Medicinal mushrooms have been around for thousands of years but it is only more recently that they have gained popularity and proven to work wonders for many people. There is a wide variety of different mushrooms out there, all with their own unique compounds and benefits so it can be a little overwhelming to know where to start. For the purpose of keeping things simple and relevant we have chosen our top four mushrooms specifically for immunity and fatigue.
Adding a mushroom powder into your routine can actually be a lot easier than you think. You can add it into your morning smoothie, hide it in a soup or stir it into a tea or hot choccy before bed.
The best thing about mushrooms is that you don't have to wait until you're stressed or run down to start taking them - they also work beautifully as a preventative and ongoing support.
Calm down with Reishi.
Reishi is a full body adaptogen which is commonly used to enhance the body's natural ability to respond to stress. This can be a great choice to reach for in the evening to help you wind down and support a restful sleep. Reishi has also been shown to support the immune system through activating immune cells such as macrophages and helper T cells as well as producing an increased response to the defence of pathogens. Its antioxidant rich compounds can also help to support the body through oxidative stress which is hugely relevant in today's fast paced, high stress world. Reishi is highly regarded for its benefits during times of stress as it works to balance/support the endocrine system (more specifically our stress hormones). This can be a great one for those experiencing post viral fatigue as it will help to nourish the adrenal glands.
Tip: Add 1 tsp to a warm elixir of your choice after dinner to aid sleep. We like a warm chai, cacao or turmeric drink with oat or coconut milk and a squeeze of honey. Sweet dreams.
Enhance with Turkey Tail.
This mushroom is known to support longevity, immunity and stamina.
Turkey tail contains potent polysaccharides which help to manage inflammation and support immune defences at a cellular level. It's also rich in probiotics which help to nourish the beneficial bacteria in the gut and assist with the balance of good flora in the gastrointestinal tract. It is important to note that there are a wide range of turkey tail supplements out there - be sure to choose one that is derived from what is called the ‘fruiting body’ of the mushroom as this will contain the most amount of compounds.
Turkey tail is a good option if you are looking for something to stimulate your immune system but also support your energy levels and gut health.
Tip: Mix some Turkey Tail in with your morning oats or drink of choice. Hello longevity.
Wake up with Cordyceps.
This mushroom is highly valued as a natural elixir to help combat illness, increase stamina and increase longevity. Cordyceps contains amino acids which are the building blocks of protein as well and vitamins and minerals. Similar to Turkey Tail, it has a strong prebiotic content which is beneficial for our digestive system. It is widely used to enhance endurance and improve oxygen consumption in athletes but can also aid in recovery and immune function. This can be a great mushroom for fatigue and can be taken either first thing in the morning or in the afternoon as energy levels dip.
Tip: Add some Cordyceps to an iced matcha in the afternoon or your afternoon drink of choice for a little PM lift. Ease through the afternoon.
Focus with Lions Mane.
Lion's mane is a common mushroom used to help support cognition and neurological function. If you are someone who struggles with staying focused, forgetting/losing things and or brain fog - this could be a goodie for you. Lion's mane is a nootropic, which, put more simply, means it has a protective effect on the brain. The nootropic compounds found in Lion's Mane can stimulate chemicals in the brain which help to promote the repair, growth and normal functioning of neurons. Alongside memory and focus benefits, several studies have shown improvements in mood following Lion's Mane supplementation. Like the other mushrooms discussed above, Lion's Mane has potent antioxidant and inflammatory properties, helping to combat against oxidative stress and restore balance. Its immune modulating properties support an appropriate response without overreaction and also promote healthy gut flora.
Tip: Add some Lions Mane to your morning coffee for that extra brain zing! Hello brain power.
Lastly, there are so many brands out there which can make choosing a supplement somewhat overwhelming sometimes. The brands we have tried and love are superfeast, life cykle and OM mushrooms. For further information or any more questions feel free to reach out or pop in to the studio.
Reishi infused chocolate fudge.
Recipe developed by Olivia Odey from Adaptive Naturopathy.
You will need.
300g chocolate of choice (we used 70% cacao dark chocolate but you can choose a lower % if you want it a little sweeter!)
¼ cup nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew all work well)
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 heaped tsp reishi powder
Optional add-ins: freeze dried strawberries, chopped nuts, dried fruit.
Melt the chocolate of your choice over a double boiler, stirring in the nut butter and coconut oil until well combined. You want to take it off the heat as soon as it's melted to avoid burning or over mixing.
You can either mix your optional add-ins through the mixture or pour into a lined baking dish first and then decorate.
Set in the freezer until it's firm enough to cut up.
You can eat it straight from the freezer or keep it in the fridge for a more fudgy texture (our favourite)!
A perfectly timed sweet for that loved one this valentines day, if you're into that.