Elixir Alert: Why Your Next Latte Should Have Mushroom In It

iStock/efetova
iStock/efetova

The latest wellness tonic just got way, way earthier. By now you’ve maybe had cacao powder, collagen, maca root, and other types of superfoods in your morning sip. But have you tried adding a scoop of medicinal mushroom powder to your latte? Here’s why sipping on a cozy mug of ‘shrooms just might be the healthiest elixir yet.

Wellness and coffee shops across the country have added a new form of morning latte to their menu. This cozy beverage, however, lacks the adrenaline-inducing properties of normal caffeine lattes and coffee.

Mushroom lattes are instead filled with a variety of medicinal mushrooms along with plant milks, honey or another natural sweetener, and other ingredients with known superfood powers.

Medicinal Mushroom Health Benefits

Mushrooms have long been touted for their health benefits. Along with being the only non-animal source of beneficial vitamin D (they’re fungi), mushrooms are loaded with nutritious healing properties, vitamins, and minerals. This includes being a superior source of beta-glucan, a beneficial type of fiber with serious immune support.

Beta-glucans in mushrooms are considered immune modulating, meaning they can regulate certain immune responses in the body. In fact, these beneficial fibers are known to help produce and activate immune cells that help to ward off disease and infections.

Beta-glucans contain both insoluble and soluble fibers with promote digestive health, blood sugar regulation, and weight reduction.

Mushrooms possess anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, boost the immune system, provide protein, and contain beneficial antioxidants. They are also considered to be adaptogens, or substances that help the body adapt to stress and hormone fluctuations, like the upcoming holiday season, for example.

Mushroom Latte Ingredients: Types of ‘Shrooms

Shiitake mushrooms. This mushroom, indigenous to Japan, China, and other parts of Asia, has been used medicinally for more than 1,000 years. Shiitake mushrooms promote immune function and are often used in cancer therapy for their ability to improve immune markers adjuvant to chemotherapy.

These mushrooms are also antimicrobial and may improve cholesterol profile. Shiitake mushrooms can be found raw or in dried form in powders, elixir blends, supplements, and teas.

Oyster mushrooms. This easy-to-grow mushroom contains a natural form of statin that promotes cholesterol-lowering effects. Oyster mushrooms also have anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties and high levels of antioxidants. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, oyster mushrooms help to strengthen veins while relaxing joints and muscles. Oyster mushrooms can be found raw or in dried form.

Maitake, hen of the woods mushrooms. These mushrooms, indigenous to northern Japan, are purported to have strong anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects thanks to their unique molecular structure.

The immune-modulating properties of maitake mushrooms help to “enhance the properties of natural killer cells, cells that can bind to and kill tumor and virus-infected cells.”

Their potent properties are considered most effective against breast, prostate, liver, and colorectal cancers. Maitake can be found raw or in dried form.

Reishi mushrooms. One of the most well known medicinal mushrooms, reishi mushrooms have been used medicinally for more than 2,000 years for their abilities to promote health and prevent illness. Historically, reishi have been used to support immune, heart, and liver health and promote anti-cancer abilities.

These mushrooms are also one of the best adaptogens out there, and help to regulate the body’s response to stress and adrenal fatigue while also strengthening the immune defense against disease and infection. Reishi mushrooms are widely found dried whole, dried and ground into a powder, encapsulated, in teas, or in elixir blends.

Turkey tail mushrooms. This colorful mushroom can be found in forests in Europe and China as well as in the woods of the pacific coast in the U.S. Along with other medicinal mushrooms, turkey tail mushrooms have anti-cancer and anti-viral properties. These mushrooms can be found dried and ground up into powders, teas, and supplements.

Cordyceps mushrooms. These types of fungi grow on an insect host (like a dead bug) rather than plant host like most mushrooms. Cordyceps mushrooms are immune modulating and promote cholesterol lowering effects, antioxidant benefits, and anti-cancer activity. Cordyceps can be found dried and ground into a powder or encapsulated.

Chaga mushrooms. This immune-boosting mushroom has been consumed for centuries for its ability to support the integrity of blood vessels and keep cholesterol levels in check.

Chaga’s abundance of beta-glucans help to stimulate the immune system and reduce inflammation as well. These mushrooms can be found dried in teas, elixir blends, powders, and encapsulated.

How To Make A Mushroom Latte

If your local coffee shop isn’t serving mushrooms just yet, you can make your own mushroom latte at home. This will require a few high-quality organic dried mushroom powders along with plant milk and other wellness staple ingredients.

Like other morning elixirs, this mushroom latte recipe is easily adaptable and can be made with whatever you may have in your kitchen. Feel free to add in turmeric, ginger, goji berries, dates, or other adpatogens to make the most delicious mushroom tonic ever.

Medicinal Mushroom Latte

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened cashew or coconut milk
½ tsp reishi mushroom powder
¼ tsp chaga mushroom powder
¼ tsp cordyceps mushroom powder
½ tsp maca powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 heaped Tbsp cacao powder
2 tsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp coconut oil, MCT oil, or ghee

Directions

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and gently warm over medium heat until ingredients come to a simmer.

Transfer hot liquid to a high-speed blender and blend on high for 30 seconds, or until latte is frothy.

Pour into a mug and enjoy!

Related On Organic Authority
The Benefits of Mushrooms: 10 Ways to Use the ‘Super Fungus’
Mushrooms Offer Promising Vitamin D Benefits, New Study Finds
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Kate Gavlick
Kate Gavlick

Kate is a Nutritionist with a Master's of Nutrition from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon and the blogger and photographer of Vegukate. Kate believes in nourishing the whole body with real, vibrant foods that feed the mind, body, soul, gut, and every single little cell. Her philosophy is simple when it comes to food and nourishment: cut the processed junk, listen to your body, eat by the seasons, eat plates and bowls filled with color, stress less, and enjoy every single bite. When she's not cooking in her too tiny Portland kitchen, Kate can be found perusing farmer's markets, doing barre classes, hiking, reading, and exploring.