Mushrooms have a crazy medicinal super power that gives me pause. I’m not talking about our most common white button mushrooms. I love these — and I think you either love mushrooms or hate them — but they don’t add much by way of medicine.
There are many other mushrooms, some like shitake or portabella, well-known. But unless you are a mycologist, a true mushroom expert, immersed in the gourmet world as a chef or food writer, or your cultural heritage is steeped with mushrooms, they all have a sort of wild earthy, slightly sketchy reputation.
And then there is herbalism. To the herbalist mushrooms and medicinal go hand in hand. Reishi is perhaps the most loved, utilized and mainstream. I have seen it in drinks on supermarket shelves. But how in the world does this member of the fungus family have so many benefits? Benefits such as immune boosting, nerve calming, allergy and asthma relieving, circulation improving. I am in awe. Does adding a cup of reishi tea to this cake make a difference? If you cut the cake into 16 pieces you are getting about a half ounce roughly in each piece. That isn’t bad but it also isn’t what you would consider a medicinal dose.
My thoughts are as follows: When you eat a vegetable, let’s say a carrot, you know that it is a good source of vitamin A. We need vitamin A every day to support many body functions like good eyesight, healthy skin, nerve functions. Vitamin A is an antioxidant and decreases inflammation. But we know that eating a carrot won’t provide the total vitamin A needed. Instead it is a building block. one of many sources that you may eat throughout the day to reach an optimal amount. You may also eat romaine lettuce in a salad, broccoli and a sweet potato for dinner, some cantaloupe. I think the same can be applied to eating something that is made with an herb, like reishi. You eat a piece of cake and there is some reishi mushroom tea in it that will help support your immune system among other things. In addition, throughout the day you may be eating those carrots, broccoli, and sweet potatoes or drinking a cup of green tea and taking a spoonful of elderberry syrup, all immune boosters. It’s a building block, but in the meantime, this cake is one darn delicious block.