I have been brewing kombucha every week for my family for a few years now and we simply cannot live without it. If you have ever enjoyed a bottle of this bubbly elixir, then you will know why I continue to brew it every single week!
Once I got my whole system down, we started to experiment with different flavors of tea and juice. I really wanted to “health” it up even more with superfruit juices and antioxidant-packed green teas. Then I came across the big game-changer: mushroom tea! Yes, you heard that right. This stuff is amazing, packed full of so much goodness, that I simply HAD to add it to our weekly brew. This new addition took our kombucha to an entirely new level of health promotion. There was no way that I could keep this new discovery to myself.
Here is what makes the tea so health-promoting:
First, the specific mushroom tea that I am talking about contains the Ganoderma lucidum mushroom, also known as Lingzhi or Reishi.
“In Chinese, the name lingzhi represents a combination of spiritual potency and essence of immortality, and is regarded as the “herb of spiritual potency,” symbolizing success, well-being, divine power, and longevity. Among cultivated mushrooms, G. lucidum is unique in that its pharmaceutical rather than nutritional value is paramount. A variety of commercial G. lucidum products are available in various forms, such as powders, dietary supplements, and tea. These are produced from different parts of the mushroom, including mycelia, spores, and fruit body. The specific applications and attributed health benefits of lingzhi include control of blood glucose levels, modulation of the immune system, hepatoprotection, bacteriostasis, and more.” (source)
Specific Medicinal Uses and Properties:
– Cancer: G. lucidum is a popular supplement taken by healthy individual to boost the immune system and by cancer patients along with conventional therapies.
One study tested 58 basidiomycetes mushrooms, of which G. lucidum was shown to be the most effective in killing cancer cells. G. lucidum induced cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in various human and rodent tumor cells, including murine lymphocytic leukemia and lung carcinoma, human leukemia, human hepatoma, human liver tumor, human breast cancer, human prostate cancer, human cervix uteri tumor, human ovarian cancer, human colonic cancer, human small-cell lung carcinoma, lowgrade bladder cancer, and human uroepithelial cells. (source) That is impressive!
– Blood Glucose Regulation: gandoderma has been found to decrease fasting serum glucose levels in type 2 diabetic mice (source)
– Antioxidant, Antibacterial, and Antiviral Effects: it has been shown to be a potent pharmacological macrofungus!
The basidiocarp, mycelia and spores of Ganoderma lucidum contain approximately 400 different bioactive compounds, which mainly include triterpenoids, polysaccharides, nucleotides, sterols, steroids, fatty acids, proteins/peptides and trace elements which has been reported to have a number of pharmacological effects including immunomodulation, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, chemo-preventive, antitumor, chemo and radio protective, sleep promoting, antibacterial, antiviral (including anti-HIV), hypolipidemic, anti-fibrotic, hepatoprotective, anti-diabetic, anti-androgenic, anti-angiogenic, anti-herpetic, antioxidative and radical-scavenging, anti-aging, hypoglycemic, estrogenic activity and anti-ulcer properties. (source)
– Hepato-protection: studies have found ganoderma to be protective against the harmful effects of alcohol on the liver. The mushroom was found to have significant protection in the alleviation of d-GalN-induced hepatocellular injury! D-galactosamine, or d-GalN, is a hepatotoxic (liver-damaging) agent that is used in animal models to induce liver failure.
– Protection Against Gastric Injury (i.e. “leaky gut”): ganoderma was found to provide significant protection to the gastric mucosa against an ethanol induced chronic gastric ulcer (source)
So combining the health effects of cancer protection, potent pharmacological benefits, liver protection, and gut-healing, with all of the benefits already in my original kombucha recipe created a true health elixir!
– Immune Modulator: compounds in the ganoderma mushroom help the immune system to function more efficiently and help fight disease in the body.
“Some polysaccharides or polysaccharide–protein complexes from mushrooms are able to stimulate the non-specific immune system and to exert antitumor activity through the stimulation of the host’s defence mechanism” (source)
Below is a short video that explains more
Dr. Mercola also discussed the benefits of the ganoderma mushroom in an article. He listed the health benefits to include the following:
- Antibacterial, antiviral (Herpes, Epstein-Barr), antifungal (including Candida) properties
- Antiinflammatory, useful for reducing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
- Immune system up-regulation
- Normalization of blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure
- Reduction of prostate-related urinary symptoms in men
CLICK HERE for a compilation of studies of even more health benefits!
So now are you convinced that this is truly amazing? I have been using this tea to make my kombucha, using it in soups, and just drinking it as an enjoyable warm cup of tea.
Here is how I make the kombucha:
- 1 gallon water
- 1 cup organic white cane sugar (don’t worry, this gets eaten up in the process of fermentation) — where to find
- 4 ganoderma tea bags — where to find (use the coupon code “REALFOODRN” to get 10% off your order)
- 1 SCOBY — where to find
- 3/4 cup prepared kombucha (you can use store-bought for your first batch) — like this
- Make a tea by boiling the water and adding the tea bags to steep
- Steep for 45 minutes
- Add the sugar and stir, allow to cool
- Once cooled to room temp, add SCOBY and store-bought kombucha
- Cover with a cheesecloth and rubber band
- Allow to sit on your counter for one week, or until it tastes slightly sour
- Now its ready to drink!
- If you want to read about the second ferment method, read THIS POST
Also, check out my video tutorial below (this video was made BEFORE I discovered the mushroom tea, so I just used plain old tea in it)
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None of these health benefits have been evaluated or approved by the FDA. They should not be used in place of personal judgment or medical treatment when needed, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. (Only your doctor can diagnose and treat disease.) Read my full disclaimer.