It’s official–the shroom boom is here. And while we’ll never turn down a shiitake or portobello, our favorite fungus these days is reishi mushroom.
Native to tropical and temperate regions of Asia, reishi mushroom is a powerful plant that’s long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for its therapeutic and tonifying properties. In Chinese, reishi mushroom is known as “lingzhi,” which loosely translates to “mushroom of immortality” or “magic fungus.” That’s because of its beta-glucans component, a polysaccharide that helps keep your immune system going strong.
Beyond boosting immunity, reishi also helps you relax and supports concentration. A known adaptogen, the botanical, helps your body adapt to and cope with stress. According to the Herbal Classic of Shen Nong, a book that goes back several millennia, reishi mushroom even increases memory and promotes anti-aging effects.
For most of its history, reishi mushroom was hard to come by, growing only in the wild on the stumps of deciduous trees like the maple tree. Since so few of these trees showed reishi growth (we’re talking only about 2 or 3 out of 10,000 trees!), the mushroom was reserved for the nobility. Images of the reishi mushrooms were even embroidered onto the robes of emperors, symbolizing longevity and also flexing that they were a pretty exclusive plant.
Lucky for us, a more effective method for cultivating reishi mushrooms was cultivated in the ‘80s, making it a lot more accessible for those of us non-royals.
At De Soi, we use reishi mushroom in our appropriately-named Champignon Dreams flavor (Champignon means ‘mushroom’ in French). There it pairs with L-theanine and passion flower, the groovy blooms that come from the passionfruit plant, for a relaxing drink that’ll help you unwind after a busy day.