Hey there! Now that you've gotten your hands on some fresh herbal mushrooms, wouldn't it be great to have a quick and simple recipe right about now?
Being herbs with rich medicinal and culinary histories in every tradition, mushroom recipes are abundant and diverse, but certainly the simplest one of all would be plain and simple tea!
In this article, you will learn:
about the health benefits of mushroom teas;
how to prepare mushroom tea and adjust the recipe to your needs; and
about the most popular and powerful mushrooms currently used.
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4.1. Turkey Tail
What's In A Mushroom Tea?
To start with, medicinal mushrooms are full of proteins, minerals, and antioxidants, the bread and butter of anyone looking to get themselves and their loved ones healthy.
They are also a source of beneficial compounds like beta-glucan polysaccharides and triterpenes that impart a wide range of immune, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging benefits.
Virtually every mushroom species has also been shown to possess their own unique quirks. Depending on your choice(s) of mushrooms, your tea may induce any or all of the following benefits:
Increase in immune cell activity
Anti-bacterial and anti-viral activity (T-cells, B-cells, etc.)
Anti-tumour activity (natural killer cells)
Nutrition and antioxidant activity
Other beneficial effects
Better energy during waking hours
Improvement of insomnia
Reduction in blood pressure
Improvement of mood and stress tolerance
Why Start With Tea? Here's Why.
Mushroom teas, are indeed the lowest-hanging fruit in the world of herbal fungi.
Boasting the simplest of preparations requiring the least attention and kitchenware, can be learnt quickly, and added to your routine hassle, confering upon you its health benefits right from the start of your journey or even as an avid or casual tea drinker.
Should you have decided to venture deeper, mushroom tea preparation also opens doors to herbalism and cuisine, intersecting profoundly with many of their fundamental concepts and principles.
Mushroom teas, like all teas, are produced by the process of water extraction. Check out our other article for the core principles of water extraction and its methods.
Making Herbal Mushroom Tea
Just as with preparing any other tea, the goal of mushroom tea preparation is to apply hot water of a sufficient temperature and duration in order to penetrate the herbal matter, release its herbal compounds, and draw those compounds out into the water to form tea.
Give your choice of cooking utensils some thought as well to make your preparation process as convenient as possible. My favourite piece of kitchenware is the traditional chinese style brewing pot as it comes with a handle for holding and pouring and is also suitable for storing my tea herbs overnight in the refridgerator (more on this below).
Ingredients & Equipment
15 g of LingZhi mushroom
1 Brewing pot
1. Place 15 g of LingZhi into a ceramic pot.
2. Add 1,500 mL of water and bring to a boil.
3. Simmer it over low heat for another 30 minutes.
4. Pour out and serve your tea!
Because brewing with whole mushrooms may not exhaust said mushrooms with the first brew, it is quite common for the mushrooms to be brewed again to produce subsequent servings of tea.
To brew subsequent servings of tea, simply repeat the boiling process of the first serving.
A good gauge of when your mushrooms have been fully utilised is by looking out for when their bitter taste and the tea's colour diminishes.
Storing Tea And Herbs Overnight
Mushrooms that have been used in tea brewing can be refrigerated overnight for use the following day without any effects on the taste and quality of tea produced.
Store your LingZhi or other already-boiled mushrooms inside the fridge in a covered bowl or pot to prevent contamination. I prefer to place my brewing pot itself into my refrigerator after having poured out my last serving for the day.
Mushroom teas can also be stored overnight in the fridge just like the mushroom! Simply warm the tea by adding hot water when you are ready to consume it.
Mushrooms To Try Brewing Tea With
Herbal mushrooms contain a wide array of powerful healing compounds, each mushroom having their unique sets of properties that can benefit you both in sickness and in health.
LingZhi is a woody, non-edible mushroom that is also acclaimed as one of the most potent. It is one of the few herbal mushrooms shown to carry compounds that positively impact multiple different chronic diseases.
Having been used for millenia in multiple herbal traditions for cancer, diabetes, insomnia and so on, their reputation has been further shored up by the growing number of studies supporting their continued use for such diseases.
LingZhi also boasts powerful nutritional and antioxidant value, stimulating the immune system, supporting longevity and quality of life in healthy persons as well.
Turkey Tail is another inedible, woody mushroom that is also used for systemic and chronic diseases like LingZhi.
Research and clinical studies on Turkey Tail have mainly revolved around their anti-tumour and immune boosting effects in patients. Other studies that have been carried out also point toward Turkey Tail being able to alleviate fatigue and improve athletic performance.
Just like other mushrooms, Turkey Tail also possesses a slew of antioxidants that counter inflammation in the body
Adapting The Basic Recipes For Your Needs
Once you have understood all the fundamentals of tea preparation, put it into practice and prepare your own teas with various other mushrooms.
Learning to tweak the various aspects of the recipe is paramount for integrating mushroom tea drinking into your routine and deriving the experience and health benefits you desire.
Here is some food for thought when it comes to adjusting the basic recipe:
Adding more herbal material gives a stronger brew and stronger-tasting teas. Nevertheless, ensure your herbs are completely submerged before and during the boiling step to maximise extraction and avoid charring of your herbs, adding more water as necessary;
Mushrooms that are woodier and considered inedible can be given more time to sit and simmer. It is usually better to lean your total brewing duration toward that of the tougher mushrooms, either by boiling more servings or boiling for longer each time;
If you are unused to drinking bitter teas, try diluting the teas with additional hot/warm water or mix the earlier servings of tea with later ones before drinking. You can also add date, honey, or any other condiments to help mask the taste as you adjust your taste palate.
You might choose to eat the mushrooms that are edible after they have been sufficiently cooked by the brewing proces instead of continuing to make tea with them.
We have covered the basic tea preparation recipes of various herbal mushrooms as well as the possible adjustments that can be made to maximise your tea-drinking experience.
Tea preparation is as easy as 1-2-3; it is easy to learn, tweak, and effortless to practice as a part of your daily life from which you can begin to reap benefit right from the start and pays dividends in the long term.
Disclaimer: While we resolve to ensure that each and every one of our articles is well and sufficiently researched, providing accurate and detailed information regarding herbal and pharmacological research, we do not claim to distribute any form of medical or medical-related advice on our site and blog. Medical advice should only be administered by your qualified medical practitioner(s) . The statements, findings and opinions mentioned are solely those of the respective individuals and entities quoted to have had expressed them.