Deemed the ‘mushroom of immortality’, reishi was once a rare and incredibly valuable plant medicine consumed only by Japanese and Chinese royalty seeking the fountain of eternal youth.While for centuries it has been one of the most frequently prescribed botanicals by Chinese medicine practitioners, now reishi is making its way to the West with an offering of health benefits worthy of its reputation.
Immune modulating properties (those that affect our immune response) are shared amongst the medicinal mushroom kingdom, with reishi taking the crown. Studies have demonstrated significant results in its therapeutic use as an immune modulator, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. As such, reishi is frequently used alongside conventional cancer and HIV therapies to support immune system function.
Ultimately we should have a diet that not only nourishes us, enhancing the quality of daily life, but also one that offers prevention against potential health conditions. As a ‘tonic herb’, reishi is a fine example of a plant to support this endeavour. Reishi is considered a ‘shen’ or ‘spirit’ tonic; nourishing our higher self. Whilst this can be tricky to measure, the relaxed focus and sense of peace and calm provided by reishi makes it invaluable among the stresses of everyday life.
As an adaptogen (supporter of the body’s stress/adrenal response) one of reishi's unique offerings is its ability to modulate the effect of caffeine; reducing central nervous system stimulation and relaxing muscles. Combine this with blood sugar regulation and cardiovascular support and you have a beautifully supportive addition to your morning cup of joe.
When consuming, ensure you have a good quality organic reishi, ideally wild-crafted and it’s best to take it on an empty stomach in the morning. Adding a dose of this shroom of immortality to your morning brew will set you up to reap the best out of your day and perhaps even extend your life span.
Kirsten Shanks is a naturopath, and founder and CEO of Orchard St.
Immortality spiced coffee elixir
This blend offers the benefits of reishi alongside the finest botanicals selected to fine-tune every body system and enhance your daily life experience; chaga, shilajit, astragalus, ashwaganda, cordecyps, he shou wu, mucuna shizandra, and gingko.
300ml coconut milk
1 shot espresso or cold drip coffee
½ teaspoon Orchard St. Immortality Elixir powder
1 teaspoon coconut nectar or maple syrup
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch cayenne
1 pinch sea salt
*all organic if possible
Gently heat coconut milk in a small pot.
While this is warming up combine all other ingredients in your favourite mug, stirring gently to blend powders.
Once hot slowly pour coconut milk over.
Sprinkle with a little extra cayenne.
"The relaxed focus and sense of peace and calm provided by reishi makes it invaluable among the stresses of everyday life."