Drinking mushroom tea can improve your well-being, with benefits such as boosting your immune system and promoting brain health.
Ever heard the tale of Alice in Wonderland? She was whisked off to magical adventures after consuming a potion, which many believe was nothing but some fascinating mushroom tea! While we can’t guarantee fantastical experiences, we can definitely assure you of the genuine and science-backed mushroom tea benefits.
In this article, we’ll explore what mushroom tea is and how it’s made, its various health benefits, optimal ways to consume it, and potential considerations. So, prepare a soothing cup of tea, find a cozy spot, and get ready for a captivating readin’ & sippin’ time!
What is Mushroom Tea and How is it Made?
Mushroom tea is a nourishing infusion crafted by steeping edible mushrooms in hot water. The type of mushroom used can influence the tea’s benefits and flavor profile. Here are some common types of mushrooms used in mushroom tea:
- Reishi: Known as the “mushroom of immortality,” reishi is an adaptogen often used for its potential immune-boosting and stress-reducing benefits.
- Chaga: This adaptogenic mushroom is rich in antioxidants and has been linked to a variety of benefits, including immune support and inflammation reduction.
- Lion’s Mane: Named for its unique appearance, lion’s mane is lauded for its potential cognitive health benefits, including improved memory and concentration.
- Cordyceps: Known for its potential to enhance energy and athletic performance, cordyceps is an adaptogen popular for those looking to boost physical stamina.
- Shiitake: In addition to their delightful flavor, shiitake mushrooms have been associated with benefits like improved heart health and enhanced immune function.
- Maitake: Sometimes called “hen of the woods,” maitake mushrooms are adaptogens often used for their potential to regulate blood sugar and support overall well-being.
- Turkey Tail: Rich in antioxidants and known for its immune-boosting properties, turkey tail is commonly used for its potential health benefits.
- Agaricus Blazei: This adaptogenic mushroom is highly valued for its rich nutrient content and potential to support the immune system.
Want more details? Feel free to visit our complete guide on mushroom tea to learn more about the different varieties, their origins and specific details related to each type!
Mushroom tea preparation method
Creating mushroom tea from these adaptogenic varieties involves a simple process :
- Boil 1 cup of water.
- Add 1 teaspoon of mushroom powder to a cup.
- Pour the hot water over the mushroom powder.
- Stir until the powder is completely dissolved.
- Optional: Add sweetener or other flavorings to taste.
- Allow the tea to cool a bit before drinking.
Just so you know, mushroom tea made from mushroom powder does not naturally contain caffeine, unless it’s a blend that specifically includes a caffeinated ingredient like green tea or coffee.
Let’s dive into the health benefits of mushroom tea now!
List of 10 Mushroom Tea Benefits
The diverse types of mushroom tea bring a range of benefits, contributing to better health. Let’s discuss the top 10 mushroom tea benefits that scientific studies support.
1. Immune System Support
Immune support refers to the strengthening of your body’s natural defenses against diseases and infections.
Reishi, chaga, shiitake, maitake, turkey tail, and Agaricus Blazei mushrooms are known for their immune-boosting properties. They contain compounds like beta-glucans, which stimulate the immune system by enhancing the functions of macrophages, neutrophils, and natural killer cells, integral components of our immune response.
- NCBI – Immunomodulatory Effects of Edible Mushrooms
- NCBI – Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition
2. Enhances Cognitive Health
Cognitive health refers to the health of brain-related functions including memory, thinking, and learning.
Lion’s mane mushrooms contain hericenones and erinacines, compounds that stimulate the production of nerve growth factor, which is vital for maintaining the neurons, which are the cells responsible for helping us think and remember.
- NCBI – Lion’s mane mushroom, a potential therapeutic agent for dementia
- Medical News Today – Lion’s Mane: Uses and Benefits
3. Antioxidant Activity
Antioxidant activity involves neutralizing harmful free radicals in the body, which can cause cellular damage.
Chaga and turkey tail mushrooms have a high antioxidant content, which helps to combat free radicals in the body. This oxidative stress reduction can help protect against various diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
- NCBI – Antioxidant Effects of Medicinal Mushrooms
- Healthline – Chaga Mushroom: The Immune-Boosting Superfood
4. Boosts Energy and Stamina
Boosting energy and stamina refers to enhancing the body’s physical performance and endurance capabilities.
Cordyceps mushrooms are known to increase the body’s production of the molecule ATP, which is integral for delivering energy to the muscles. This can help increase athletic performance and overall energy levels.
5. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety reduction involves managing emotional responses to challenges or threats in the environment.
Reishi and lion’s mane (hericium erinaceus) mushrooms can help manage stress and anxiety. They contain compounds that influence the balance of neurotransmitters, chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body, and can have a calming effect.
6. Improves Heart Health
Improving heart health involves enhancing the cardiovascular system’s functions and maintaining its health, which includes regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Reishi and shiitake mushrooms can help improve heart health by regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They inhibit an enzyme involved in cholesterol production and contain compounds that prevent blood clotting.
7. Regulates Blood Sugar
Regulating blood sugar involves maintaining the balance of glucose in the bloodstream to prevent conditions like diabetes.
Maitake and reishi mushrooms can help regulate blood sugar levels, making them beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk. They increase insulin sensitivity and reduce glucose levels in the blood.
- Medical News Today – Diabetes and Mushroom
- NCBI – Medicinal mushrooms as an attractive new source of natural compounds for future diabetes therapy
8. Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Anti-inflammatory effects involve reducing inflammation in the body, which can help manage conditions associated with chronic inflammation.
Chaga, reishi, and turkey tail mushrooms contain compounds that inhibit the production of inflammatory molecules, reducing inflammation in the body. This can help manage conditions associated with chronic inflammation.
- NCBI – Chaga Mushroom
- NCBI – Immune Modulation From Five Major Mushrooms: Application to Integrative Oncology
9. Supports Digestive Health
Supporting digestive health involves promoting a healthy digestive system, which can include improving digestion and promoting a healthy gut microbiota.
Shiitake and maitake mushrooms have prebiotic properties, nourishing the beneficial bacteria in our gut. This supports a healthy gut microbiota, which is linked to improved digestion and overall health.
- NCBI – Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life
- Healthline – The Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms
10. Assists in Weight Management
Assisting in weight management involves helping to maintain a healthy body weight to reduce the risks of health problems.
The presence of melatonin in certain mushrooms like maitake can support weight management efforts as they can potentially increase metabolic rate and aid in fat breakdown. They also have low calorie content and are high in fiber, making them a good addition to a weight management diet.
- NCBI – Maitake Mushroom Extracts Ameliorate Progressive Hypertension
- NCBI – Dietary Sources and Bioactivities of Melatonin
Reflecting on mushroom tea benefits, the advantages are clear and comprehensive. If this fascinates you, be sure to read our article on the health benefits of drinking tea.
What’s the Best Way to Take Mushroom Tea?
Mushroom tea can be enjoyed as a straightforward brew or used creatively as a base for soups or smoothies. It pairs well with foods rich in Vitamin C, which can enhance the absorption of its nutrients.
For a delightful variation, consider a mushroom tea latte with mushroom extract powder, added almond or oat milk, and a hint of cinnamon!
Potential Side Effects and Considerations of Mushroom Tea
Although mushroom tea benefits are compelling, it’s crucial to remember that individual responses may vary. Some people might experience digestive discomfort or allergic reactions, so starting with small amounts and observing your body’s reactions is advisable.
Also, always prioritize quality when sourcing mushrooms. Choose edible, organic, and preferably locally sourced mushrooms to avoid potential contaminants.
From boosting the immune system to promoting cognitive health, mushroom tea benefits are varied and scientifically validated. However, understanding the health benefits of mushroom tea is a personalized experience.
Why not start exploring today? Brew a cup, discover the health benefits of mushroom tea, and share your personal experience with us. And if your curiosity still lingers, be sure to read our review post about the best mushroom teas.