Drinking tea is a ritual, one that touches every sense. And mushroom tea benefits have never been more popular. There’s nothing better than the sound of the whistling kettle as it alerts your ears it is nearly time, building up the anticipation. Once it is poured, the mug is warm and comforting; steam hits the nose with its signature scent. After it has brewed enough, you sip your first swig. The flavor is familiar, and satisfying.
Drinking tea is one of those little actions that you can do throughout your day that contributes to your overall health. Setting aside a moment to make tea and enjoy it may provide a time for you to get unstuck. Although it is short, this can feel pretty indulgent. In some small way, you are pausing to care for yourself. Tea has a long history of being a healing, nurturing drink.
Its qualities are celebrated for its effects on body and spirit. Many cultures have treasured traditions surrounding tea production and drinking. Hot, cold, sweet, tangy, green, white, black, the vast diversity of teas highlights both sacred and restorative traditions on every continent. There is one other type of tea getting a lot of hype recently, it is mushroom tea.
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In addition to the sensory experiences that come with tea-time, mushroom tea benefits may also offer some nutritional benefits, supporting the natural immune functions of the body, as well as its response to stress. Understanding the functional benefits of mushroom tea may help you elevate your daily tea ceremony, making it an even more precious indulgence that supports good health and vitality.
Why Functional Mushroom Tea?
Much like traditions surrounding tea, mushrooms have been used since ancient times for their delicious, nutrient-dense, spiritual, and healing properties. These naturally occurring living things provide an amazing substitute to plant-based and animal-based foods on the typical diet.
Taste: Mushrooms have unique umami, translated in Japanese as “pleasant, salty flavor” or the “essence of deliciousness”. One of five flavour categories, alongside sweet, salty, bitter, and acidic, umami is marked by the presence of glutamate, an amino acid which is the building block of proteins. Found in only a few foods, umami flavors stick around to create pleasant feelings on the tongue.
Nutrition: In addition to bringing an earthy taste, mushrooms are packed with nutrition. Relatively high in protein and complex carbohydrates, mushrooms are low in calories and sodium, and are fat-free. Because of how they grow and their role in an ecosystem, mushrooms are good sources of trace minerals, including vitamins and minerals.
Spiritual: There is historical evidence dating from the Stone Age suggesting species of mushrooms played roles in sacred ceremonies and spiritual journeys. In wide-ranging cultures, from Indians and Africans, to Indigenous peoples of North and South America, to ancient Greeks, psychoactive mushrooms were used for sacred and spiritual purposes by shamans and healers.
Healing: Long respected for their medicinal properties, functional mushrooms were harvested, dried, and ground into powders in order to preserve their bioactive compounds. In traditional and folk medicine across the globe, teas and mushroom tonics have been used for thousands of years to support the immune system and cure diseases.
Learn more: Most nutritious mushrooms
Functional Mushroom Tea Benefits
As you read more about these fascinating mushrooms, it is only natural that you will want to include these superfood powerhouses in your own regimen. Functional mushroom tea is a convenient, easy-to-prepare drink that may actually benefit you. If you are convinced that you need to give this drink everyone is talking about, or even a bit curious, adding the benefits of mushroom tea to your day is easier than you might think.
Quality mushroom powder allows you to enjoy all of the benefits functional mushrooms can provide with ease. One way to boost your existing tea routine is by mixing a teaspoonful of mushroom powder–this is the equivalent of a recommended 2 grams a day.
High in Anti-oxidants
Make your tea the same as normal, but relish the added flavor notes from a species like Lions Mane or Shiitake. Tea already contains catechins, powerful antioxidants that help prevent cell damage by neutralizing the free radicals produced in the body through chemical reactions. Mushrooms add extra antioxidants, helping to boost that protective potential. Try adding one teaspoon of chaga to a cup of tea to help decrease oxidative damage in the cells.
Relieve Stress with Adaptogens
Several functional mushroom species are prized for their adaptogenic properties. These mushrooms aid in adjusting the body to the stresses of life if used regularly.
Full of Vitamins and Nutrients
Try adding one teaspoon of reishi, shiitake, cordyceps, chaga, or muscaria to your daily tea routine. It will boost the nutritional value in your tea, giving it the benefits of mushrooms unique nutritional profile. The myriad nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, and trace minerals, boost your cup’s nutritional profile without adding many calories.
Strengthen Immune System
Prebiotic fiber supports gut and metabolic health, as well as helps with digestion. Mushroom cell walls contain beta-glucan, soluble fiber made up of polysaccharides. Beta-glucans are potent immune modulators supporting healthy immune function.
Make Turkey Tail Tea by mixing one teaspoonful of a high-quality, whole-mushroom powder in warm water to use its full potential in supporting the natural immune system in your body. Since the process for making mushroom tea mostly involves steeping the mushroom powder into warm water, it is easy to modify this recipe to make a flavorful broth instead. Try adding ginger, fresh herbs, and finely chopped jalapenos to the broth, which contains dried mushrooms as well as fresh mushrooms.
Get The Most Benefits from Your Mushroom Tea
As you can see, there are a variety of ways to enjoy the benefits of fungi tea. To maximize these benefits, make sure that you are purchasing a high-quality product and that you are making your tea correctly. The process of steeping mushroom powder in hot water, or adding it to a hot cup of tea, increases the accessibility of its many bioactive ingredients.
A temperature of 160degF is best for keeping adaptogenic and immune-supporting compounds, as well as making it easier to absorb for your digestive system. While heating increases bioavailability of certain key compounds, too much heat may break down the nutrients in other powdered mushrooms. When mushrooms are grown in enclosed spaces in sanitary conditions using clean water and clean air, microbiological contaminants such as bacteria are minimized.
These products do not need a high-temperature, high-pressure “decontamination step” to remove contaminants. Look for powdered mushroom products that have been processed only enough to loosen up the chitins in the cell walls. This makes them easier to digest and absorb, while not adversely impacting their bioactive components.
Adding functional mushrooms to your daily tea routine brings with it an array of health benefits. Mushroom powders can boost flavor, while providing nutrition, antioxidants, and immune-system support. Available in bulk powder form or in single serving packs, mushroom powder is portable and easy to consume.
Try a particular species for targeted benefits, or a mixed-species blend for the benefits of multiple of these superfood powerhouses.