Back in 2019, The Guardian declared that medicinal mushrooms are “having a moment” – and in the post-pandemic, post-professional burnout era, liquid extracts of mushrooms such as Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Chaga and Turkey Tail with therapeutic powers to support our wellbeing, stress management and immunity have never been more convenient – and compelling.
Functional fungi are nothing new: the health benefits of mushrooms have been deeply respected for thousands of years. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates recognised the anti-inflammatory effects of mushrooms around 450 BCE, while the medicinal effects of Reishi mushrooms were recorded more than 2400 years ago in China’s Shen Nong’s Materia Medica??. Indigenous communities have long harvested mushrooms to treat a variety of ailments, with Eastern and specifically Traditional Chinese Medicine using mushrooms for centuries to treat disease and aid longevity. In modern TCM, mushrooms are still used in powder form, as capsules, with herbal teas and nutritionally.
Tapping into traditional wisdom to maximise our health, boost our energy and balance mood isn’t just a trend – ongoing research is revealing the potential of medicinal mushrooms for immunity, brain health and beyond.
If you’re still in the mushroom-curious camp, or you’re already part of the movement and regularly enjoy mushroom coffee, liquid extracts and tinctures are gaining momentum and now could be the moment for you to introduce an elixir into your wellness routine. Here’s what you need to know to stoke your curiosity further…
Not your average mushrooms
When we’re talking about medicinal mushroom benefits, we’re going beyond the culinary varieties on your radar such as Shiitake or Portobello. At Beams Co, we work with a potent lineup of mushroom species that have therapeutic benefits. A recent report in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences noted the medicinal properties of mushrooms,including anti-inflammatory, antidepressive and neuroprotective effects. Proven to have good antioxidant capacity, they also stimulate the immune system.
Here are some of our favourites for supporting our health and restoring balance for our wellbeing:
Lion’s Mane mushroom benefits
We consider Lion’s Mane our commitment to better brain health. It’s our fix for brain fog, and for flexing our skills for focus. Some of the most promising Lion’s Mane benefits are in neural health and its potential for improving brain function: a 2019 study published in the journal Nutrients suggests that Lion’s Mane Improves the growth of neurons in the hippocampus – the part of the brain that drives memory and learning.
Chaga mushroom benefits
Chaga has long been hailed as a functional food and one of the best mushrooms for immunity. Used as a traditional remedy in Russia and Siberia to treat pain relief to cancer, the medical community continues to explore its potential. The world’s oldest private cancer institution, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, describes Chaga benefits, including anti-tumour effects as well as stimulating the immune system and reducing inflammation. At Beams Co, we consider it our immune system booster.
Turkey Tail mushroom benefits
This is our go-to super mushroom for gut health. Our gut microbiome is not only considered our second brain, it plays an active role in our immunity. Turkey Tail is known for maintaining that precious balance – amongst growing evidence of Turkey Tail benefits, a study published in the journal Gut Microbes discussed the prebiotic activity of Turkey Tail and its support of gut health, through its capacity to regulate the balance of healthy bacteria in the intestine.
Reishi mushroom benefits
Reishi has long been revered for its ability to reduce stress and bring on better sleep. Think of it as a companion to bring more calm into your life. Its tranquilising effect has been acknowledged in TCM for centuries; in 2021, the sleep-promoting powers of Reishi mushrooms were confirmed in a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Let’s talk mushroom tinctures
Mushroom tinctures have long been used across cultures to capture beneficial compounds from medicinal mushrooms in potent elixirs for wellbeing.
Tinctures are made through an extraction process, using either water, alcohol, or both as some of the most valuable compounds can’t be extracted by water-based methods alone. There is a DIY movement around the world that might pique your interest, but as with anything you take to support your health, understand the quality of the ingredients you’re using.
At Beams Co, our mission is to make the act of supporting your wellbeing effortless and enjoyable, so our liquid mushroom extracts are ideal if you’re looking to enjoy the benefits of medicinal mushrooms in a bioavailable and potent few drops.
The premium liquid extracts we offer are made in small batches, with native Australian mushroom strains farmed in South East Queensland’s Samford Valley, using biodynamic practices. Each elixir is made using the dual extraction method, using filtered rainwater collected from the same site, and special batch vodka by Mount Glorious Distillery.
The result is an intentionally made, impressive lineup of medicinal mushroom extracts featuring the likes of Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Turkey Tail and Reishi – and in the new Beams Infinity multi-mushroom extract, they merge to support your immune system, productivity and focus.
Dosing with mushroom tinctures: can you overdo it?
At Beams Co, we recommend taking 1ml of mushroom extract a day – our master formulations are high quality and crafted with pristine ingredients, so this is all you need. And it’s always wise to let your health practitioner know that you’re introducing medicinal mushrooms into your wellness regime, and to check if there will be interactions with any medications you’re taking.
Integrating elixirs into your everyday ritual
How do you use mushroom elixirs? Start your day with a mindful moment and a drop under your tongue before a morning meditation or walk. If your go-to elixir is Lion’s Mane mushroom, Dr Alex Dimitriu, founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine in California, has recommended that it’s best taken early in the day as it boosts energy.
We like to add our tinctures to smoothies loaded with antioxidant berries, greens and coconut butter to flood our system with nutrients, or in an invigorating chai or cold brew coffee.
If you’re interested in other pairings, our mushroom elixirs can be enjoyed in a nourishing bowl of soup – or in our favourite way – with a dark chocolate chaser for an extra dose of antioxidants. We can’t think of a better way to add a little boost to our health.