What is a Mushroom Tonic?
The world of mushrooms brings with it many new terms. One you might be curious about is mushroom tonics. A tonic in general terms is a substance taken to enhance health or feelings of wellbeing and vigour. When it comes to medicinal mushrooms, any preferred way of enjoying your extracts is considered a tonic.
In the wellness world, mushroom tonics have evolved to refer to any tea, potion, latte or brew that has mushrooms at its heart. We’re all for this movement as our preferred way of enjoying our mushies is as a mushroom tonic tea. This allows you to not only experience the flavour, qualities and personality (as we like to call it), of the individual mushrooms but also allows you access to their benefits in an unadulterated form.
Read on to discover the different types of mushroom tonics and how you can create your own!
Mushroom Tonics Across History
Consuming mushroom tonics in the form of a tea is the main way in which the healing benefits of medicinal mushrooms have been accessed throughout history; by steeping raw medicinal mushrooms in hot water over lengthy periods of time. Chaga is a perfect example, the Khanty people indigenous to north-western Siberia are thought to be the first to discover that Chaga could be used as a healing substance, grinding it down to include in soups and tea. In more recent history, Chaga tea was used as a coffee substitute by the Finnish in World War 2. Coffee, as a casualty of war, was hard to come by, but there was an abundance of Chaga growing in Finland's forests, and so the Finnish swapped one energising brew for another.
How Do You Make a Mushroom Tonic?
Let’s run through some of the ways you can make your own mushroom tonic.
Mushroom Tonic Teas
As we mentioned, a healing cup of mushroom tea is our preferred way of enjoying medicinal mushrooms and making one couldn’t be easier.
Add ¼ teaspoon of your favourite mushie extract to a cup of warm water and stir a couple of times to dissolve the powder. Our Inner Atlas extracts are 100% water-soluble. This is because we use 100% mushroom fruiting bodies with no fillers and a high extract ratio; in the case of Chaga the extract ratio is 20:1 meaning 20 kg of raw Chaga creates 1 kg of extract powder, and when used creating a pure and potent brew. If you’re using another brand of mushroom extract and happen to notice a significant amount of residue floating on the top of your cup chances are your extract contains fillers.
You can also add medicinal mushrooms to your favourite traditional tea, we love Reishi and tulsi for the ultimate cup of calm, or steeping some diced raw ginger and turmeric in a cup of warm water and adding our Turkey Tail extract for an immune-boosting tea.
Combining Mushrooms in Tonic Teas
You can combine different mushroom extracts in the one tonic tea like Reishi and Turkey Tail for a sense of calm rejuvenation, or Chaga and Lion’s Mane for an energising sense of focus. A popular trend is to include all of the mushies you can get your hands on in one brew, which is great as each mushie has its own distinct set of benefits. However, we often like to work with one or two mushies at a time focusing on their unique healing properties and allowing ourselves the opportunity to experience and tune into their individual benefits.
Adaptogenic Tonic Blends with Medicinal Mushrooms
We crafted our Adaptogenic Tonic Blends Dawn, Day and Dusk to offer a simple and delicious way to enjoy medicinal mushrooms and to act as a guide to the best time of day to do so. Dawn and Dusk with their cacao base and Day with its maca base are powdered blends featuring carefully selected medicinal mushrooms, Australian native bush foods and additional organic spices forming ready-made mushroom tonics.
For those that don’t so much enjoy the flavours of the individual mushie extracts straight up in a tonic tea, our Adaptogenic Blends are for you. When blended with warm coconut milk, or another milk of your choice, Dawn tastes like a hot chocolate with a hint of warming spice, Day a vanilla maca latte, and Dusk tastes like a hot chocolate with a dash of plum.
You can also feel free to experiment and create your own potions working with a variety of herbal extracts and using our Adaptogenic Tonic Blends as a base. We love adding ashwagandha to our Dusk Blend to enhance the calming benefits.
Medicinal Mushrooms in Coffee
Another more recent phenomenon is adding medicinal mushrooms to coffee. With their anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant profiles, medicinal mushrooms can go a long way to help mitigate some of the unwanted side effects of caffeine
We don’t tend to have a coffee every day to give our adrenals a chance to relax, but let’s face it, some days just call for one. If it’s a coffee day for us at Inner Atlas HQ we love adding some Cordyceps and maybe a bit of Turkey Tail. Their flavour profiles work well with coffee and come with immune and performance benefits.
Medicinal Mushrooms as a Coffee Substitute
Mushroom tonics are also often used as a coffee substitute. Reishi and Chaga in particular with their dark and rich flavour profiles, can be added to warm water to create your mushroom tonic and can help take the place of your morning coffee if you’re trying to wind your coffee consumption back. What we call a Chaga Long Black is always a mid-morning go-to for us!
Let us know in the comments below how you create your mushroom tonics. The more creative the better. We’d love to hear from you!