Why Mushrooms?

Why Mushrooms?

In my first year of herb school, I fell in love with a mushroom named Reishi. Everything I learned about it fascinated me—its storied history in Traditional Chinese Medicine, its many profound benefits for both body and spirit, and of course the physical beauty of the mushroom itself. I decided to drink reishi every morning for a year to deepen my understanding of this ancient tonic.

Unfortunately, as I surveyed the marketplace I found that so many products were either low-quality mycelium or extremely expensive (or, sadly, both). I ended up buying capsules from a trusted company and every morning I would empty three capsules into a mug and add boiling water. I came to love the ritual of drinking the bitter brew and became sensitive to the energies of reishi as a shen tonic, or spirit nourisher, and how that impacted my nervous system, my heart, and my overall vitality.

Years later, both my enjoyable memories of drinking reishi and my growing frustration at the increasing amount of inferior mushroom products on the market fed the desire to have a Rasa mushroom blend (that is both happily compatible with Rasa and perfectly good on its own).

The World’s Best Mushrooms

While adaptogenic herbs have always been our main focus at Rasa, mushrooms have consistently been strong supporting actors—from the cordyceps and lion’s mane in Bold to the turkey tail in Well, Well, Wellderberry. Our sourcing ethic and knowledge of medicinal mushrooms have meant we use the best mushrooms in the world—their potency and purity are unmatched. But we’ve never really talked about it!

I’ve appreciated when some of you write in asking tough questions about our mushrooms, like what we grow our reishi on or the cordycepin % in our cordyceps. As a whole, though, we’ve done very little education around how incredibly good our mushrooms are. Launching Magnificent Mushrooms gives us a good excuse. We’ll be talking a lot about why we use fruiting bodies, why we measure beta-glucans, why we extract or even dual-extract, and more!

Why These Six Mushrooms?

Turkey tail, reishi, cordyceps, lion’s mane, poria, tremella. These six mushrooms comprise our Magnificent Mushroom blend for several reasons. First, they’re some of the most researched herbs in the world. Second, we want to celebrate the adaptogenic mushrooms by including the only three mushrooms that are also considered adaptogens—reishi, cordyceps, and poria. Third, functionally, this blend is very balanced, with a well-rounded focus on immunity, performance, and nervous system nourishment. And a bonus—the taste is surprisingly good (for a mushroom powder)!

Mushrooms & Adaptogens

We cringe every time we hear mushrooms like chaga categorized as adaptogens. While there are three mushrooms that are also adaptogenic (only cordyceps, reishi, and poria), most aren’t. The wholesale co-opting of the term adaptogen for anything mushroom is damaging to both medicinal mushrooms and adaptogens alike.

Medicinal mushrooms live alongside adaptogens under the umbrella of Tonic Herbalism—herbs that are meant to be used regularly to strengthen and balance our bodies. But where adaptogens focus on our stress response, mushrooms are all about our immune system. Just as with chronic stress, immune imbalances are common in our society, and working with high-quality mushrooms can support a healthy, regulated immune system.

This tonic action of mushrooms makes them a good complement for our adaptogenic coffee alternatives. If our mission at Rasa is to drink more plants and shift our relationship to energy, then a super potent mushroom boost focused on immunity and vitality is a welcome new addition to the family.

As I finish writing this I’m drinking a strong cup of Magnificent Mushrooms mixed just in hot water. I’ll normally add these mushrooms into my french press of Rasa when I want a mushroom boost for extra immunity or focus, though drinking the mushrooms straight like this is still my favorite way to experience them. Whether you put our mushroom extract powder in your Rasa, coffee, smoothies, or even oatmeal, I also suggest trying the blend in nothing but hot water at least once to experience the magnificence of mushrooms in their purest form.