Reishi Tea, a Delicious Way to Support Your Immune System
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is a great mushroom to have around as the seasons change and the weather starts to get colder. Known as the “10,000 year mushroom”, Reishi has been studied for its ability to modulate the immune system. It’s considered a tonic, which means it’s meant to be used regularly over time to achieve the full benefits it has to offer.
Mushroom cells contain chitin, a polysaccharide that our human bodies can’t digest. So, in order for us to get the full benefits of the medicinal value that’s locked up in mushrooms, we have to break this chitin down first.
That means that to make a good Reishi tea, we need to put the dried mushrooms through a long, slow simmer. The result of this process is called a decoction – basically, a really strong tea.
How to make your Reishi decoction:
Break your dried Reishi into small pieces. Add to fresh filtered water in a stainless steel pot. Turn the heat to high until water starts to boil, then turn down to low and simmer gently for at least 30 minutes and up to two hours.
The longer you simmer, the stronger the tea will be. When it’s ready, it should be a light amber color. Strain out the Reishi pieces and allow your brew to cool slightly before drinking.
Reishi has an inherently bitter taste and you might not find it pleasant to drink straight. Try out some variations on this recipe. Adding some slices of fresh ginger during the simmering process or mixing your Reishi decoction with chai tea are popular options. Also, adding some honey and a splash of cream or coconut milk make for a delightful beverage any time of day.