Tea and mushrooms? It sounds like an unlikely pairing! Maybe you eat mushrooms on top of a salad, soup, or a stir fry dish, but drinking mushrooms may not have crossed your mind. However, even if mushroom teas have gained popularity in recent years, people have been sipping this wonderful concoction for health reasons in various parts of the globe for health benefits.
In addition to the sensory pleasure that comes with drinking tea, mushroom tea effects can nourish and support your body's natural immune system and stress response. The tea, which comes in wide varieties and is made from various kinds of mushrooms, can also help you settle into your day.
If you’re considering hopping on the bandwagon, here is a comprehensive guide on medicinal mushroom tea benefits and types. These teas, unlike psychedelic mushrooms, won't get you high but will lift your spirits and energy!
What Is Mushroom Tea?
Mushroom tea is made by steeping mushroom powder or mushrooms in water. It can be made in several ways and with a variety of mushrooms. Making mushroom teas involves soaking dried mushrooms in hot water or combining the mushroom powder with other teas or water.
Today, some mushroom powders are added to herbal tea blends (like green tea) and are available even in tea bags. You can also buy a mushroom-coffee combination to kick things up! That is why mushroom tea is more of a supplement than a beverage.
But why would you reach out for a cup of mushroom tea?
Mushrooms have a unique umami flavor, which can be described as a delicious essence or pleasant savory taste. Umami flavor, unique to some foods, lingers and gives the tongue pleasurable sensations.
In addition to their earthy flavor, mushrooms are incredibly nutrient-dense. Mushrooms are relatively high in complex carbohydrates and proteins while low in fat, sodium, and calories. In addition, mushrooms are a good source of micronutrients, including trace minerals and vitamins, due to their growth and place in the ecosystem.
The healing powers of mushroom teas and tonics have long been revered in traditional and folk medicine worldwide.
Types Of Mushroom Tea and Their Benefits
Although any edible dry or fresh mushroom can theoretically be used to create an infusion, only a few types are used to make tea, and they are all thought to have medicinal benefits. Out of the 2000 edible mushrooms, 270 are thought to have potential health advantages. The possible medical benefits of taking mushroom extract or infusing dried mushrooms in hot water are typically more important than the flavor. The most well-known mushroom tea types are:
Reishi Mushroom Tea
Reishi is an adaptogenic mushroom, also known as the mushroom of immortality. It helps your body adapt to stress by optimizing and stabilizing numerous physiological functions during hard times.
Drinking Reishi tea also helps boost immunity and blood pressure. It is an excellent pick for someone just starting functional mushroom supplements.
Numerous benefits of Reishi tea include:
- Improved sleep quality.
- Lowering of stress.
- Enhanced blood flow.
- Reduce the signs(1) of anxiety and depression.
Who is it for?
Reishi mushroom tea should be your pick if you are looking for immune support, relaxation, relief from depression and anxiety, vitality, and improved sleep quality.
Chaga Mushroom Tea
Another adaptogenic tea option comes from Chaga mushrooms. Along with many other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, it is chock full of fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamin D.
An impressive list of advantages associated with Chaga has been proven, including:
- Anti-cancer benefits.
- Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Natural energizing(2) qualities.
- Antioxidants properties.
- Digestive benefits.
Who is it for?
Try Chaga tea if you want gut health and immunity support, revitalization, and relief from pains and aches.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Tea
For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine has employed the health benefits of Lion's mane mushroom. It is widely accepted that it supports the health of many organs, including the heart and the liver.
Some of the Lion’s Mane mushroom tea benefits include:
- Enhance focus and mental clarity.
- Stimulate psychological and physical relaxation.
- Boost cognitive function.
- Support immunity.
- Decrease inflammation.
Who is it for?
Lion's mane tea is a perfect energy booster that can replace your morning coffee, amplify your focus and concentration, and support overall health.
Mushroom Tea Taste
The flavors of mushroom tea can vary, just like when cooking with them. While some mushrooms may be flavorless, others may have a more robust flavor. Some might taste meatier, while others might have an earthy flavor, like Chaga mushrooms, or they might even be slightly bitter.
For instance, compared to the slightly bitter Chaga tea flavor, the flavor of Lion's mane is more delicate and even a bit sweet. On the other hand, maitake is somewhat spicy and woody in taste, similar to Reishi mushrooms but sweeter.
Is There Caffeine in Mushroom Teas?
Pure mushroom tea has no caffeine. However, some coffee or tea recipes may require the addition of mushroom powder. Some mushrooms may naturally increase energy levels, and when added to coffee or other caffeinated beverages, they may provide an even more substantial energy boost. Your cup of tea or coffee will contain caffeine if you mix mushrooms and actual tea, like green or black tea, or add the mushroom powder to your coffee.
Is Mushroom Coffee Easier On Your Stomach?
Mushrooms are naturally alkaline. This can help balance out the acidity of coffee, making it easier on the stomach and preventing digestive discomfort.
Can I Drink Mushroom Tea Every Day?
You can drink medicinal mushroom teas daily, as they are safe in average amounts. However, if you are on medications or have a health condition, check with your healthcare provider before sipping mushroom teas.
Does Mushroom Tea Help With Anxiety?
Chaga and Reishi mushroom teas are great to help lower anxiety symptoms. These adaptogenic mushrooms aid the body's natural response to stress and maintain equilibrium.
More and more people who weren't previously aware of the benefits of mushroom tea are starting to enjoy it. There is something for everyone to love, whether you are looking for a distinctive flavor or are more interested in mushroom tea benefits.
- Evaluation of Anticonvulsant, Antidepressant-, and Anxiolytic-like Effects of an Aqueous Extract from Cultured Mycelia of the Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Higher Basidiomycetes) in Mice,(1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25954905/
- Effect of Inonotus Obliquus Polysaccharides on physical fatigue in mice, (2)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254627215301266