Wellness Encyclopedia: Reishi + Healing Reishi Energy Bites

It’s hard to say no to a mushroom that promotes immunity and staves off allergies… 

For me, mushrooms have always held an air of mystery and magic. Popping up, seemingly out of nowhere, after a spring rain or a bout of damp weather, their myriad shapes, sizes and patterns have always fascinated me — not to mention the 50/50 chance of a particular mushroom being either really, really good for you… or completely deadly. Luckily, I grew up surrounded by women who knew how to tell the difference. Mushroom foraging was a way of life for my mother and grandmother, a skill that, unfortunately, turned out not to be hereditary when it came down to me. But just because I’m unskilled at finding them in the wild doesn’t mean I can’t incorporate the goodness of medicinal mushrooms in my diet. Instead of rooting them out amidst the damp leaves and bramble of the forest, I turn to powders and supplements to harness the powers of these adaptogenic powerhouses. A recent favorite? Reishi. As the weather changes from winter to spring and seasonal allergies and colds begin to come out of the woodwork, it’s hard to say no to a mushroom that promotes immunity and staves off allergies. The icing on the mushroom-shaped cake? Reishi is anti-tumor, antiviral and antioxidant, too, meaning it just might help prevent certain types of cancer and promotes full-body health. Learn more about this magic mushroom in today’s post and scroll on for an easy, energy-promoting recipe.

What is Reishi? A staple in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years, reishi mushrooms (also known as Lingzhi mushrooms) grow worldwide but are especially partial to Northern hemlock forests (though similar species have even been found growing in the Amazon). While there is a wide variety of reishi in the world, the most common resembles a large ear with a cork-like texture. Thought to boost the body and spirit, reishi was traditionally used as a way to improve meditation practices by bringing the body to harmony. Now known as an adaptogen, reishi works with the body to regulate and balance all systems.

What are the benefits? As one of the most powerful adaptogens, reishi can help the body regulate itself and return to balance. Reishi has been found to be anti-allergenic while strengthening the immune system and improving blood vessel function, helping to not only lower and improve blood pressure but also prevent abnormalities that could lead to some forms of cancer. The beta-glucans present in reishi have been found to protect against tumors and stimulate the immune system, which could be the reason why it so effectively protects against Staphylococci, Streptococci, and Bacillus pneumoniae bacterias. Reishi can help improve memory and cognitive function by improving nerve growth factor, and it’s been shown to reduce stress and systemic inflammation, beneficial for all of us, especially those at risk for cognitive disorders. As an antioxidant, reishi can neutralize free radicals and boost liver cell regeneration. Overall, reishi assists the body in performing its most basic functions, restoring it to its happiest state and boosting

How do I use it? Reishi mushroom powder is created from dried mushrooms, which makes it easily blend into hot or cold drinks and recipes. The taste and texture mixes easily with coffee and tea and chocolate-based desserts, especially raw treats such as the one below. The taste of reishi also lends itself well to broths and soups, or simply add a teaspoon to water and enjoy.

Healing Reishi Energy Bites

Makes about nine 1-inch bites

Ingredients:

½ cup raw cashews

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tbsp tocotrienols

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tbsp goji berries

1 tsp Sun Potion Reishi powder

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp maca powder

1 tbsp dark chocolate, melted

Method:

Place all ingredients except melted chocolate in a food processor and process until mixture sticks together when pinched (about a minute), scraping down sides as needed.

Turn out mixture onto a parchment-lined plate or baking sheet and roll into 9-10 1-inch balls using your hands. Place in the fridge or freezer to set, about 10 minutes.

Once balls are set, remove from fridge and drizzle with chocolate. Allow chocolate to harden before serving. Balls can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about two weeks or in the freezer for up to a month.

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This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. 
Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.

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