holding mushrooms

3 Ways to Harness the Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Though medicinal mushrooms are just recently gaining popularity in the U.S., the utilization of mushrooms for their multitude of health properties is not a new practice. In fact, Eastern cultures have used functional mushrooms to support physical and mental well-being for thousands of years [1]. 

As the medicinal mushroom trend takes hold in Western society, people are seeking different ways to incorporate these superfoods into their diets. Here are some of the go-to ways in which you can take advantage of the health benefits of mushrooms. 

Can’t You Just Eat Medicinal Mushrooms?

Some medicinal mushrooms, such as lion’s mane and maitake, are soft and mild enough to eat, while others, like reishi and chaga, are too hard and bitter. Regardless of texture, however, the walls of mushroom cells are composed of a fiber called chitin, which our bodies can’t digest. 

This means that, in order for our bodies to gain access to the beneficial compounds that lie within the mushroom cells - in other words, make them “bioavailable” - these cell barriers must be broken down. The following methods allow you to unlock the medicinal properties and maximum potency of functional mushrooms. 

Mushroom Tea

Our favorite way to reap the health benefits of mushrooms is in the form of functional mushroom tea. When you drink Tamim Teas, not only do you receive the powerful nutrients of the medicinal mushrooms they contain, but also those of the natural and organic herbs and spices that the mushrooms are paired with. 

To enjoy Tamim Teas, boil water, then add 1 teaspoon of our looseleaf mushroom tea blend for each cup of water used. The longer you steep the tea, the more breakdown of the cell walls you will allow and thus, the more flavor & bioavailable functionality you’ll get!

They say that good things take time - luckily steeping your tea won’t take too much time, but a little patience can have big payoffs. And not to worry - oversteeping isn’t an issue with our teas, like it can be with others.

Mushroom Soup

Another easy way that people can enjoy the benefits of medicinal mushrooms is by using them to make soup broths. To extract the beneficial substances from the mushroom cells, the mushrooms should be simmered in water for at least an hour to allow cell walls to be broken down and have the substances within seep into the broth.

In the case of the softer mushrooms like lion’s mane and maitake, the mushrooms can remain in the soup and be eaten along with the broth (if you don’t mind the taste!). However, you’ll have to strain out the harder mushrooms, such as reishi and chaga, as their firm textures and bitter tastes do not usually lend to an enjoyable culinary experience.

Here’s a lovely Winter Tonic Mushroom Soup recipe to warm and nourish you through the cold months! 

Powdered Extracts

A popular way to access the nutrients in functional mushrooms is via powdered extracts. Powdered extracts are made through a multi-step process in which medicinal mushrooms are submerged in hot water to break down the chitin. 

Sometimes the mushrooms will be subjected to a second immersion in alcohol to break down remaining compounds that are not water-soluble, and this will be combined with the water extract. 

Then, the solution is concentrated and dried into powder [2]. These powders can then be added into smoothies, beverages, baked goods, etc.

Be warned, however: some producers of these mushroom powders acquire their mushrooms from questionable sources. If you’re purchasing powders from a brand, do some research to see where they’re purchasing their ingredients from. If you’re making your own powder, take it upon yourself to make sure that your mushrooms are coming from trustworthy, local, organic mushroom farms. 

At Tamim Teas, vetting our sources responsibly is of utmost importance. We have a firm commitment to ensuring the quality and authenticity of the ingredients that we use to create our herbal tea blends. We also stay true to the tradition of real mushroom tea from eastern holistic healing, which means using the whole, freshly dried mushroom rather than any powder.

Though scientific research on the healing properties of medicinal mushrooms is still developing, the results of the growing number of studies are very promising. Research has pointed toward the functional mushrooms that are used in Tamim Teas having positive effects on immunity [3], cognition [4], mood [5], energy [6], cancer prevention [8] and more!

Read more about the exciting research on the health benefits of mushrooms on our Research page. Once you realize why you need medicinal mushrooms in your life, check out our online store and get your hands on some of the best functional mushroom tea on the market!