Adaptogenic Mushroom Elixir Recipe
Although mycology is an area still understudied by modern medicine, several ancient cultures have been using mushrooms to help treat certain conditions and diseases and prevent or mitigate them.
Western medicine, precursors of holistic medicine, and lovers of naturopathic medicine are more aware of the diversity of mushrooms with medicinal potential. Some innovative minds have begun to experiment with combining different types of medicinal mushrooms to achieve combinations that have a broader range of action.
These combinations receive the name of mushroom elixir.
If you want to know more about these adaptogenic mushroom elixirs, you are on track. They are a growing trend among lovers of mushrooms and alternative medicine and an excellent immune-boosting alternative to morning coffee.
At the end of this article, you will find a delicious recipe to make your own mushroom elixir in your home. But let's start with the basics.
What is Mushroom Elixir?
A mushroom elixir is a loose powder made up of a potent dose of mushroom extracts and organic mushrooms combined with various medicinal herbs.
You can make mushroom elixir tea by adding this nutritious powder to boiling water or adding mushroom elixir powder to any other hot or warm beverage as a supplement.
Mushroom elixirs are coffee-free and caffeine-free.
Benefits of Mushroom Elixirs
Mushrooms are commonly categorized as superfoods like berries and other herbal supplements. Drinks containing mushroom elixirs contain true medicinal power. Many mushroom combinations and brands are marketing various types of mushroom elixirs, and benefits vary depending on this combination.
The benefits provided by each mushroom are undeniable, making the combination of different mushrooms stimulate people's health and general well-being.
Some mushroom elixirs are mainly based on cordyceps, which increase endurance and vitality, reduce fatigue, protect the kidneys and liver, and contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Mushroom elixirs based on reishi, which have anti-cancer qualities and slow the growth and spread of tumors, can help regulate hormonal cycles, lower cortisol levels, help reduce anxiety levels and work as a potential tool for helping fight depression.
These elixirs with higher reishi content can serve well as an addition to your routine before going to bed as they can help you fall into a deeper sleep and have a better night's rest.
Due to the calming properties of reishi, a mushroom elixir that predominantly contains this mushroom can be excellent as a daytime de-stressor.
Mushroom elixirs based on lion's mane have neuroprotective properties and improve brain functions; they can also help manage anxiety better and promote good digestion.
Chaga mushroom-based mushroom elixirs can boost your immune system naturally. It also helps fight bacterial and fungal cells and reduce inflammation. Chaga mushroom-based mushroom elixirs are also very rich in antioxidants, which are excellent for reducing the impact of free radicals that we receive daily.
What are Adaptogenic Mushrooms?
Let's start by understanding a little better what an adaptogen is. Adaptogens are substances that work to reduce the adverse effects of stress on the body.
Adaptogens help to increase the body's natural resistance to physical, chemical, and mental stress, helping to promote normal body function during times of stress and protecting the body from stress-related damage.
Science discovered that some plants and mushrooms could exert adaptogenic properties, helping the body deal with stress.
The body's response to stress is complex and involves several body systems. The main function of the HPA axis is releasing glucocorticoids such as cortisol. Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones that activate the stress response.
Adaptogens directly influence the HPA axis and other key mediators of the body's stress response, enhancing resistance to stress and promoting homeostasis, recovery, and stability in the body.
Are all Mushrooms Adaptogens?
We cannot say that all mushrooms are adaptogens. Some fungi are only edible once.
There are many other types of mushrooms that science still does not have much information about.
But there is undoubtedly a group of mushrooms that, for many cultures and medicinal systems, such as Ayurveda or ancient Chinese medicine, are in the category of medicinal mushrooms thanks to the properties and the repairing and supportive effects that they can provide to people.
Mushrooms that currently fall into the functional adaptogenic mushrooms category include reishi, cordyceps, chaga, turkey tail, and lion's mane. These mushrooms have been used therapeutically for centuries by different cultures.
They are now known as adaptogenic mushrooms, thanks to the supportive role they can play in the body's natural adaptation.
Adaptogenic Mushroom Benefits
In general, adaptogenic mushrooms can help the body adapt to stress while keeping the immune system stable. Although many adaptogenic mushroom products often contain other holistic supplements as complements.
However, adaptogenic mushrooms can promote health and general well-being and offer stress management support.
In addition to offering stress management support, some mushroom elixirs can also increase energy levels, boost muscle recovery, and promote better heart health.
Added to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that these adaptogenic mushrooms possess, they can also enhance concentration and cognitive properties, consequently boosting work performance.
Best Mushroom Adaptogens
Mushrooms can be truly magical, and we're not referring to psychedelic mushrooms that can significantly alter your state of perception but to the tremendous healing power that adaptogenic mushrooms can have.
Although this is not to say that these mushrooms are a cure-all, they can provide several medical benefits and assist in treating some conditions such as anxiety and stress.
Some of the best adaptogenic mushrooms are:
Chaga is an antioxidant-rich mushroom that can help reduce inflammation. There is also evidence to suggest that it can help lower blood pressure and blood sugar. Chaga can also help with arthritis and has anti-cancer properties, particularly liver, lung, and brain cancer.
We could say that cordyceps is like the mushroom that Mario eats when he gets big. Cordyceps increase energy, improve stamina, and increase ATP production, boosting cellular oxygen uptake, especially during exercise. Cordyceps also reduce fatigue, boost strength and sexual desire, and fight the signs of aging.
Reishi is one of the noblest mushrooms in this group of adaptogens. It is one of the mushrooms most used as an adaptogenic supplement, thanks to its benefits to general well-being.
Reishi boosts the immune system, relieves stress and anxiety, and improves sleep cycles. It helps users feel more balanced and have a better night's rest.
Also known as Indian ginseng, ashwagandha is native to India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. This adaptogen provides brain and cognitive support and boosts energy and the immune system while helping with stress management and improving sleep.
This extraordinary mushroom has been shown to enhance immune function, promote brain and cognitive health, and help reduce anxiety and combat symptoms of depression.
Turkey tail mushrooms can boost the immune system and cell regeneration even in chemotherapy patients. It may also promote digestive health as it contains prebiotics that offers gut-healing benefits. Additionally, turkey tail comes with potent antiviral and antimicrobial properties.
Shiitake is famous in the world of gastronomy. It's rich in vitamin B, vitamin D, and zinc. It promotes a healthy immune system, lowers cholesterol, and promotes liver and heart health.
Mushroom Elixir Recipe
A mushroom elixir can be an excellent alternative to regular coffee every morning. Nevertheless, if you´re a daily grind lover, there is a way to make a delicious mushroom coffee and still enjoy the benefits that mushrooms can provide.
Depending on the recipe and concentration of the type of mushroom you choose, it can give you that energy boost that we usually look for from coffee. At the same time, mushroom elixir provides extra support for your immune system.
To prepare this delicious mushroom elixir on a creamy coconut milk base, you only need the following.
- Mixer or blender
- Glass or serving cup
- 1.5 cups of organic coconut milk. You can also use almond milk or whole milk as you wish
- 1 tbsp organic raw honey
- 2 tbsp cacao raw powder
- 1 tsp chia seed
- 1 tsp maca powder
- 1/2 tsp each of organic powdered chaga, reishi, lion's mane, turkey tail, cordyceps, and shiitake
- Pitted Medjool dates, raisins, dried cranberries, or dried apricots. You can add to as much as you want. With Medjool dates, two might be enough.
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- Himalayan sea salt
Step by Step
- Take a blender and pour the coconut milk into the blender container.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend all ingredients into a homogeneous mixture.
- Serve cold in a glass or cup.
- If you want to drink your mushroom elixir as a hot beverage, you can simply warm it up in a pot at low fire until it's as hot as you want it.
5 minutes (if you want to drink it as a hot beverage)