Mushroom Tea Grows Its Fandom

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"Ganoderma lucidum 01" by Eric Steinert, Passauc, France.

“Ganoderma lucidum 01” by Eric Steinert, Passauc, France.

A far cry from a bright green powdery matcha or delicate curly chocolate brown tea leaves, mushroom tea is gaining attention as a healthy beverage option.

Reishi, cordyceps and chaga are the mushrooms most often found in these teas. These fungi are known as adaptogens which scientists believe can lower stress levels.

Mushroom tea is not actually new. For thousands of years it has been a traditional drink in Asia. It is being brought to American markets by several companies, including Four Sigma Foods, a brand perviously based in Finland that has now moved to Los Angeles and is placing significant effort on bringing the beverage to New York and California. The mushrooms are generally dried and powdered and then stirred into hot water.

Mushrooms are used extensively in the pharmaceutical industry for their health-protective properties. Tero Isokauppila, president of Four Sigma Foods, told Yahoo, “Reishi…can help regulate hormones, lower stress, and break down [stress-related] cortisol. Chaga has the highest source of antioxidants…while cordyceps are really good for oxygen intake….”

fsf-chaga4-giantSome drinkers of mushroom tea note that dried mushrooms like reishi can be tough, making it more difficult to extract the components that are healthiest. A long steep time will help. Most of the pre-packaged versions add sweeteners and flavoring agents like ginger or star anise which should be considered by those choosing to make their own tea from scratch.

Source: Yahoo