Don’t freak out over the title of this post. Mushrooms? Fungi milk? Let me tell you a bit about the power of medicinal mushrooms. Inflammation-fighting foods are (just like in 2016) a big wellness trend and for a good reason. Now the days are getting longer and spring has sprung, some of us feel a little bit sluggish (or even sickish) and (cold or warming) medicinal mushroom milks can be a great way to boost your health. But let’s be honest, don’t we all need a bit of extra energy once in a while? Spring is a great time for renewal and I decided to give my golden milk routine a boost by adding in some medicinal mushrooms. I love to indulge in a good cup of medicinal mushrooms in the morning or at the end of the day to unwind. I’m over-the-moon excited to introduce to you today’s medicinal mushroom milk recipe in collaboration with iHerb, since I’m a huge fan of both!
Superfoods are a great way to boost your smoothie or milk. But why not try more often mushrooms? The powders from Sun Potion are more than superfoods or as the founders of Sun Potion say: ”they are transformational foods.”
Before I’m going to dive into the wonders of medicinal mushrooms, let me explain why I’m such a long time customer of iHerb. To give you a quick recap: I love the prices, their huge selection of products (over 35,000 products!), their low shipping costs (they ship to more than 160 countries) and their amazing service.
I get a lot of questions about my iHerb orders on Instagram, especially about the shipping costs and customs. I find their shipping extremely fast and cheap. Let me give you an example. I ordered these two products on a Friday afternoon and I received them the next Monday morning. The shipping was 1.88 euro, but since you build up loyalty credits as of your first order (without having to do anything to activate this) I hardly pay any shipping costs. When it comes to customs, it really depends on where you live. But where I live right now in Europe I noticed that if I keep my order below 80 euro’s s (so sometimes I split my orders in multiple ones) I hardly ever pay customs. I guess you can imagine why I order almost everything at iHerb, right?
iHerb is by the way a Google Trusted Store, this means that your purchase is protected. So let’s say there’s an eligible issue with your order and you can’t resolve it with iHerb (which I highly doubt), you can request Google’s help and Google will then resolve the issue. I once had a small issue with iHerb and got treated like a royal after I contacted their customer service.
Oh, and like I said the customer service is great, so if you have any questions feel free to drop iHerb Customer Service a message. If you don’t speak English that’s not a problem since their Customer Service support is available in 10 different languages.
As I wrote earlier, with each and every purchase you’re building up loyalty credits (money to spend at iHerb), but as a new customer you will get $5 off your first order as a welcome gift.
Ok, enough about iHerb and let’s dive into this amazing recipe with medicinal mushrooms.
Is ”medicinal” not just a fancy name for ”superfood”? I don’t think that is the case. A selected group of mushrooms are (already for centuries) ‘’medicinal mushrooms’’ because of their medicinal use, antibacterial -, anti-inflammatory –, and antiviral properties. Some mushrooms are adaptogenic and have immune-enhancing properties.
These mushrooms are often the ones that can be found in Asia, but (luckily) they’re also more and more available in dried or in capsule form. Mushrooms have been around for centuries and are used in medicine practices for a long time. However, mushrooms are more and more being studied because of their nutrient compounds. The compounds that give mushrooms their healing qualities are polysaccharides such as beta-glucans, letinan and triterpenes.
This doesn’t mean you can take mushroom powder instead of medicine or that it’s a miracle cure for everything, but one thing is sure: they contain antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. The components in these mushrooms have been studied and showed for example to strengthen and boost the immune system along with other health benefits. Together with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants mushrooms can be a great adaptogen. A what?
What are adaptogens?
Adaptogens are nothing new, they have been used for centuries as medicinal foods. Western medicine is a bit late when it comes to using adaptogens as ”healing foods”. The studies on this are piling up, but what we do know by now is that some adaptogens are able to reduce stress.
Adaptogens can also act like a regulator of our energy. They also can help support our central nervous system, adrenal function, and adaptogens (such as medicinal mushrooms) are great to help the body use utilize oxygen more efficiently. I will list more sources of studies that point the health benefits of adaptogens at the end of this article.
How to use medicinal mushrooms?
Medicinal mushrooms are great, but a lot of research is still being done. Therefore, I think it’s wise to use them in accordance with your body. So always pay attention to how your body feels after adding them to your milk, smoothie, or water.
You can use medicinal mushrooms in teas, milks, in tonics or in powder form with food. Medicinal mushrooms are great to use in coffee or chocolate drink/smoothies because most of them have a nutty and earthy flavor. I also like to add these powders to any raw milk such as cashew- or almond milk. It tastes delicious and I’ll take the amazing health benefits as a big bonus.
There are many medicinal mushrooms that are worth to try such as Cordyceps, Ashwaganda, He Shou Wu, Lion’s Mane and Rhodiola. But today I will use two that I think are the best ones to start out with: Chaga & Reishi.
Of all the mushrooms reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is probably the most well-known and researched mushroom powder. Reishi is known in Chinese medicine as the “queen healer’’ and I noticed the relaxing power of this mushroom. Reishi enhances the immune system, regulates the mood, it strengthens the metabolism, but it also protects and can overcome viral infections such as the flu. But most of all it reduces anxiety, stress and insomnia. It also improves the cognitive function and memory.
Reishi is known as an immune supporter, for longevity and as a stress reliever.
Because of its mild flavor (almost milky) reishi is very easy to use on a daily basis. Reishi can be enjoyed in a milk such as in below recipe. Reishi is also great in warm water, tea or in smoothies, matcha, golden milk, raw chocolates, and lattes. In the morning I add some into my smoothie or I make a milk. In the evening I prepare a (warming) milk with reishi by blending some hot water, almond milk, and reishi to unwind.
Reishi might be the ‘’queen healer’’, but chaga is the ‘’king healer’’ and has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. It is a powerful adaptogen and knows for its anti-inflammatory properties. It enhances the immune system and chaga seems to be the highest in antioxidants of all mushrooms. Furtermore, chaga seems to be alkaline and is therefore great to give any smoothie that extra boost.
Chaga is a good source of energy and it promotes overall well being.
Chaga can be enjoyed in warm tea, but it also tastes great in raw nut milk tonics such as in below recipe.
Resihi and chaga are also a great combination if you would like to improve your skin and fight (skin) inflammation. This can be the effect of hormones that are more in balance, the fact of its stress reducing properties or the fact that overall levels of inflammation in the body might go down.
A bottle of Sun Potion Chaga and/or Sun Potion Reishi will last you a long time. The best way to include medicinal mushrooms in your diet is to add small doses ((½ – 1 teaspoon/ day) for a longer period of time rather than double the amounts for a shorter period of time.
Where to buy medicinal mushrooms?
Fortunately, these medicinal mushroom powders are getting easier to find in stores, but I find it the easiest and most convenient to get it from iHerb and Sun Potion is my absolute favorite brand.
Medicinal Mushroom Milk
This medicinal mushroom milk with Sun Potion Chaga and Sun Potion Reishi is easy to digest, delicious and full with nutrients and doesn’t taste anything medicinal. I absolutely love this recipe as a warming relaxing milk in the evening or morning. This milk contains:
- minerals such as calcium, magnesium.
- healthy fats from the chia seeds/flax seeds.
- all the health benefits as written above.
If you ever made my ”cheat version of almond milk” than you know more or less what to expect when it comes to the taste: it’s incredibly delicious. This Medicinal Mushroom Milk is not just a “wellness-trend”, but a nourishing blend that you will enjoy and want to keep in your daily health routine.
Have you ever tried a medicinal mushroom milk? I hope you’ll give this a try, enjoy it and reap the health benefits! Oh, and don’t forget to click this link to get $5 off your first iHerb order.
- Combine all the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. You can adjust the sweetness by adding more or less dates. Blend until smooth and creamy, then pour and enjoy!
- When you have a high speed blender you can blend this a bit longer so it will heat up a bit by pouring it into a small saucepan and gently heating until lukewarm. You can also serve it chilled over ice.
Dosages of medicinal mushrooms depend on your health and frequency of use. If you’re taking medications be careful for interactions. Also if you’re pregnant discuss with your doctor before taking medicinal mushrooms.
- Panossian A, Wikman G. Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity. Pharmaceuticals. 2010;3(1):188-224. doi:10.3390/ph3010188.
- Panossian A, Wikman G. Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity. Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2009 Sep;4(3):198-219. Epub 2009 Sep 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 19500070.