Mushrooms are quickly shaping up to become one of the trendiest health foods within the healthy living and fitness spheres. There are a bunch of reasons for that, but perhaps the most important is that dietary mushrooms are not just packed with health benefits but are also extremely versatile! This allows them to be incorporated into a dizzying number of DIY-friendly, at-home recipes.
Today, we’re taking a look at one such recipe: a mushroom tonic that promises a quick health boost without sacrificing anything in terms of flavor! And the kicker: it’s pretty easy to make, too! Without further ado, let’s jump right in and take a look at what you need to prepare to make a great, hearty mushroom tonic that’ll be a great addition to your morning routine.
- Small pan or pot (optional)
- 1 tbsp of powdered organic mushroom of your choice
- 2 tbsp. cacao powder
- ½ tbsp honey
- 2 cups milk (dairy, nut, or coconut-based)
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp. flaxseed, ground
- 1-3 pitted dates (optional)
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
- Salt as desired
- 1 cup-sized serving of fresh mushroom tonic
- Approx. $15–25, depending on the choice of ingredients
- 5 minutes or less
- About 5 minutes
- 5-10 minutes
- Up to 50 calories in a cup, with plenty of fiber, protein, and lots of healthy vitamins!
- Quick morning drink
Assemble all of your ingredients. There is lots of room to experiment here; you can use one or multiple types of mushrooms, and you can add both honey and fresh dates as sweeteners.
Additionally, you can adjust the volume of cacao powder and coconut oil to somewhat alter the texture and aroma of the tonic. When you’ve got a mix you like, simply add the whole lot to a blender and mix until perfectly smooth.
If you would like to serve your mushroom tonic warm, pour the liquid out onto a saucepan or into a small pot and gently heat over the stove. Alternatively, a mushroom tonic goes just as well served cold with ice!
What does it Taste Like?
The flavor of homemade mushroom tonic depends mostly on the balance of all the non-mushroom ingredients involved. Generally speaking, edible mushrooms don’t have a very strong taste, and they blend in well with other food groups. This means that you can also easily add some mushroom power to regular milk, tea, coffee, or whatever the day might call for!
Our mushroom tonic recipe is tailored to be an energizing, bright pick-me-up. That’s why it contains many subtle sweet notes with hints of cacao and a very smooth, creamy feel.
Mushroom Tonic Benefits
A mushroom tonic is not just an enjoyable way to start off your daily routine. It packs some serious benefits for your health as well! Medicinal mushrooms have been shown to have a positive effect on nearly every major area of our health and well-being.
Apart from being chock-full of essential nutrients such as fiber, protein, essential vitamins, and antioxidants, mushrooms also help immune functioning and have been used as a treatment for various gastrointestinal issues. Read on below for a detailed overview of some of the most widespread species of mushrooms and each of their unique superpowers!
Benefits of Reishi
Reishi, or lingzhi, as it is known in Chinese, has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries. Known for its distinctive red, fan-like appearance, it grows all over East Asia and is also found in many forests throughout Europe and the Americas. The proven health benefits of reishi make for quite a long list; the Ancient Chinese didn’t call it “the mushroom of immortality” for nothing.
Reishi has been shown to assist the immune system, prevent inflammation, and help the body fight disease. The mushroom might also have a certain effect on our hormonal balance that can help ward off stress and anxiety-related symptoms.
Benefits of Chaga
Out of all medicinal mushrooms, Chaga is probably the least appetizing. Not only is its appearance somewhat off-putting—burnt charcoal seemingly being the most common descriptor—but Chaga is also not the most exciting fungus to eat raw. That alone should not deter you from taking a closer look, though, as Chaga is known as one of the best immunomodulators in all of nature.
Absolutely chock-full of rare antioxidants, Chaga is a supreme natural cleanser known as a superstar in immunotherapy. It’s even being seriously vetted in cancer research! Following the traditional recipe of steeping it into tea or using Chaga powder provides the same results with a much lighter load on the palate compared to raw Chaga. Of course, you’re free to add it to your mushroom tonic as well!
Benefits of Turkey Tail
Like the reishi, the turkey tail mushroom has a long history of medicinal use by cultures around the world. Because of its immune-boosting properties, it’s known as an effective natural treatment for common viruses, including the flu and influenza.
In clinical research, it’s shown potential for treating numerous types of cancer as well as chronic conditions such as TB and diabetes. Besides that, turkey tail is loaded with compounds that ease digestion and lower cholesterol levels and blood sugar.
Benefits of Lion’s Mane
Arguably the most freaky-looking mushroom on this list, the lion’s mane does its name justice with a big mess of white, tendril-like growths that are called hairs by mycologists and do actually resemble the fur of a lion’s mane.
As a supplement, lion’s mane is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits. Especially when it comes to internal inflammation in the joints, muscles, or nerves, lion’s mane offers better outcomes than even some prescription medicines.
On top of that, lion’s mane, aka the “brain mushroom”, is known to support nervous system health in several ways, promoting memory function, sharper focus, and lower risks of migraines and tumors, among other benefits As a bonus, lion’s mane also contains plenty of important nutrients and minerals, ranging from niacin to riboflavin, zinc, potassium, and others!
Benefits of Cordyceps
A favorite among athletes, cordyceps has long been known for its effects on physical performance. By funneling more oxygen to the blood (and the muscles), cordyceps improve our physical stamina and allows us to concentrate on hard physical tasks more efficiently.
But that’s not all! Cordyceps has also proven itself as a great gastrointestinal aid, supporting our microbiome and bowel functioning. Curiously, the fungus has also made a name for itself in some Eastern cultures as an aphrodisiac. Coupled with the proven effects of cordyceps on physical stamina, that sounds like a recipe for a good time, if you ask us!
Research on that particular effect is still inconclusive, but plenty have reported copious amounts of satisfying days (and nights) thanks to this supershroom.
Mushroom Tonic for Sleep
Almost all of the mushrooms on our list, and plenty of other species important to our health, have some beneficial properties relating to sleep. Some species, like reishi and lion’s mane, have even caught the attention of sleep scientists researching possible treatments for certain types of insomnia!
From calming our bodies physically to reducing pain, clearing up brain fog, and more, mushrooms have a lot more to offer in this department than you might have heard! This is why a good reishi mushroom tonic is not just a great choice for early mornings. It lends itself equally well to late afternoons or evenings as a powerful sleep booster.
Now’s your turn: apply what you have learned today and try making your own mushroom tonic! It’s easy, rewarding, and an incredible step in the never-ending journey towards a healthier, better self.