HEALTH

The Magic of Adaptogenic Mushrooms

From hemp milk to jade rollers, it sometimes feels as though we are being bombarded with a perpetual influx of products touted to improve our health and wellbeing. Like many of my fellow millennials, I am a shamelessly avid follower of such trends. Similarly, I have also experienced my own range of health concerns over the years, and have sought to heal myself through the abundant power of natural medicine and organic food.

As such, when I first stumbled across the mention of Reishi powder whilst perusing the Instagram of some Californian wellness personality, my curiosity was piqued. Here was an image of her demurely sipping a Reishi-infused hot chocolate, skin aglow, a picture of health.  A quick Google-search of “reishi” lead me down a rabbit-hole of associated information concerning medicinal mushrooms and adaptogens as a whole, and their seemingly endless array of healing properties. Fast-forward a couple of years, and their presence seems to be as commonplace as that of the humble coconut oil – in takeaway elixirs, imbued in healthy chocolates, you name it.

Dubious about trying one of these bad boys in your morning brew for the first time? Let me attempt to sway your mind, for this trend is well-worth your while.

My foray into the world of adaptogens was made all the more appealing by the repeated promise of “improved sleep quality”. Admittedly, despite my best attempts at inculcating zen into my life, sometimes that pesky fiend Anxiety does seriously get the better of me. This manifests in patchy sleeping habits and, as I’m sure you’re aware, a roll-on effect into various other dimensions of wellbeing. Enter my go-to line of defence – coupled with a good old glass of red here and there, of course – reishi, cordyceps, chaga and lion’s mane. I encourage you to read up on the health benefits of consuming all four of these in particular, for they all have their individual uses. To name but a few; stress relief, immune system support, increased energy and concentration and just a tangible overall sense of wellness.

In fact, I was so thoroughly impressed by the immediate results I felt through the consumption of these guys that I decided to do something truly wild: I swore off coffee for a whole week. I replaced my morning long black with a soothing elixir incorporating a powdered concoction of a few of the above, just to enable myself to feel the benefits without the additional stressor of caffeine. I also made up a big batch of these Reishi Chocolate Almonds (recipe here) to devour – and if that doesn’t coax you into consuming your ‘shrooms, I don’t know what will.

Really, though, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Curiosity aroused? I advise you to do your own research specific to your needs (the Instagram of Mycologist Paul Stamets is a great place to start!) and compose your own kick-ass retinue of fungi powders. In need of recommendations? Pay a trip to the gorgeous Orchard Street space, and treat yourself to one of their delicious mushroom-spiked infusions – I highly recommend buying a jar to take home while you’re there. American brand Sun Potion also produces a beautiful product, like Four Sigmatic, who make convenient sachets and blends for use on the go. If you’re not already a devoted convert by then, I do urge you to use up that withered week-old bunch of kale artfully hidden up the back of your fridge.

 

Words, Katie Dyce.