Healthy Coffee From Reishi Mushrooms

Coffee is probably one of the most profitable businesses to get into these days. The lines forming in and outside popular coffee brands like Starbucks or Seattle’s are testimony to the world’s love affair with coffee. Whether this is because of a fad or because we need caffeine to get through the day, I really can’t tell. Personally, there is something about waking up and smelling that fresh, bittersweet concoction to start the day.

There are a growing number of entrepreneurs that are now introducing what is called “Healthy Coffee”. Although regular coffee does have its benefits; it is a great antioxidant – a substance that prevents oxidative damage to our bodies. Oxidation is what happens when cells use oxygen and they produce waste called ‘Free Radicals’ which also damages other cells. Antioxidants act like vacuum cleaners and help us eliminate these toxins. Coffee made from Reishi Mushrooms (other names include ganoderma lucidum, lingzhi, ling chi) is one example of a healthy coffee.

Reishi mushrooms are actually from the genus asidiomycete fungus (family Ganodermataceae). It’s basically a fungus that in some species may form a mushroom. You can’t really eat it as itself but it is a popular ingredient in most Asian supplements. The Chinese refer to it as Ling Zhi while the Japanese call it as Reishi. Out in the wilderness, reishi mushrooms look like red-brown shelves shaped like kidneys that are attached onto dead wood. When harvested, they are shaped like regular mushrooms with a dark brown core, light brown middle layer and white caps.

In the East, Reishi Mushroom has long been regarded by many for its medicinal properties. The American Herbal Pharmacopeia and Therapeutic Compendium has also published a monograph for the species. They have beneficial polysaccharides and ganodermic acids. Even beauty products such as the Yves Saint Laurent Temps Majeur Creme boast of its ganoderma lucidum component and call it as “the mushroom of eternal youth”.

Now if you have been wondering why else it is called Healthy Coffee aside from giving you eternal youth, here are some other known benefits of the Reishi Mushroom:

1. It is a known anti-inflammatory used to treat headaches, menstrual problems, constipation
2. Cardiovascular benefits include help in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels
3. Help relieve allergies/asthma
4. Improves over-all health and immunity, promotes regular sleeping patterns

Those with cancer may benefit from Reishi because it is known to stimulate non specific immune response and have anti tumor activities – some doctors may prescribe it to help those undergoing chemotherapy.

Helps control type II Diabetes

What about its side effects? Some have documented mouth dryness, bleeding from the nose and bloody stools. Although these benefits sound promising, it is always wise to tell your physician if you are planning to take this coffee or its supplement counterpart especially if you are already in an anti-hypertensive and anti-coagulant regimen or pregnant.

Reishi mushroom can be put in hot water and taken as tea, hot chocolate, mocha or even Latte.

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