Feeling run down? Need an immune system boost?
One spiced reishi latte coming up!
There’s nothing I like more on a wintry afternoon or evening than a warming, nourishing, milky drink. It feels like being wrapped in the softest blanket. It can give me the gentle strength to get through the rest of the day, or help settle me in for an evening in front of the fire. And I can feel it working its magic from my tongue to my toes.
Reishi are medicinal mushrooms renowned for their immune system boosting properties. They have been found to be anti-inflammatory, and may even be beneficial for asthma and allergies. Research has also shown how reishi mushrooms calm the nerves, improve quality of sleep and may even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Further studies have shown benefits for liver cell regeneration and anti-cancer activity. Also known as Ganoderma lucidum, or lingzhi, these mushrooms contain a compound that has been shown to inhibit both cancer cell invasion and tumour metastasis. It’s no wonder that reishi are described as the King of Herbs.
There are many other medicinal mushroom powders you can use in your diet, and the two I currently have on my shelf are reishi and shitake. Shitake powder has a stronger flavour, and so is better for adding to soups and stir fries – and fresh shitake mushrooms seem to be more widely available in the UK. Scientists are also beginning to research the medicinal properties of European mushrooms, so make use of the full and delicious range we have here. My favourite for warm drinks, however, is the subtle flavour of reishi.
Together with warming, anti-inflammatory immune-boosting spices, such as turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom – this makes the perfect winter tonic. And tastes amazing!
1 glass plant based milk (e.g. almond, hazelnut, rice, oat, coconut etc.)
1tbsp reishi mushroom powder
1 stick of cinnamon
2 cardamom pods (crushed)
1/2tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4-1/2tsp dried ginger
1/2-1 tsp turmeric powder (or grated fresh)
Twist of black pepper
Simmer for 10 minutes, strain and serve.