Correctly Preparing Immune-Boosting Mushrooms

We are all doing our part to practice social distancing, but that doesn’t include social distancing from nature which just so happens to be bursting with spring goodness.
Get your hands in the dirt, practice forest bathing, or plan your garden this weekend. This maybe your best medicine yet! That said, if you find yourself shifting from spring refreshing back into cold and flu readiness, we are right there with you. Welcome back fire cider recipe!
And if you haven’t googled this already, there are numerous beneficial mushrooms that can be used as restorative tonics to support immunity on a deep level!
Immune-boosting mushrooms are at the frontlines of our preventive measures, which is why we are pleased to be on schedule with the release of our marvelous newest program, The Mushroom Course, which spotlights fascinating fungi including folklore, foraging, and delicious, nutritious wellness-promoting recipes. Oh the mushroom yumminess that awaits us!
Correctly Preparing Immune-Boosting Mushrooms
Sidenote: For those enrolled in The Mushroom Course, please log in to your Bonus Portal now to access the Mushrooms and the Immune System Lesson which we released early for you.
So we know mushrooms can be beneficial for our immune systems; now how do we properly prepare them for use?
There are a couple of tricky qualities of mushrooms and that means we have to choose our method carefully if we want to make sure to include the immune-benefitting polysaccharides in a digestible product!
Reishi Extract HA
Mushroom cell walls are composed of chitin. Humans effectively lack the enzyme that breaks chitin down—it’s not possible for us to fully digest and use the beneficial compounds in uncooked mushrooms. So we can’t simply dry mushrooms, powder them up, and encapsulate (or eat) the powder and expect our immune system to get the benefits. Always make sure that mushrooms in powder or capsules were first cooked (heat-extracted) before being powdered or encapsulated. (If you find yourself with raw mushroom powder, just simmer it for at least 2 hours in water.)
Another consideration, immunomodulating polysaccharides found in mushrooms are only soluble in water. Alcohol may cause them to either precipitate out of solution or break down. So, unfortunately, that tincture of reishi may not offer the same immune-supporting benefits as you’ll find making a decoction (although it definitely has its own benefits)!
And if you want to take your mushies to the next immune-boosting level, try our tried-and-true Immune Tune Broth.
Immune Tune Broth HA

Immune Tune Broth

1 fresh burdock (Arctium lappa) root, sliced (or 2-3 tbsp dried burdock root)
½ bunch celery
1 carrot
1 red or yellow onion
5 garlic cloves
1 lb fresh or 1.75-2.5 oz (about 50-75 g) dried mushrooms (a combination of reishi (Ganoderma spp.), shiitake (Lentinula edodes), maitake (Grifola frondosa), and/or turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) is ideal)
10 slices dried astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) root
1-inch piece fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) rhizome, sliced (or ½ tsp dried ginger powder)
Small handful fresh parsley
Fresh or dried sprigs of sage, rosemary, and/or thyme
4-5 quarts water
Salt and pepper to taste
  • Coarsely chop the vegetables. Don’t worry about trimming off the ends, just throw it all in the pot—even the onion skin and carrot top!
  • Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot or slow cooker and cover.
  • If using a stovetop, bring to a boil, then reduce to lowest heat and simmer for at least 2 hours; allow to simmer up to 12 hours, if you like, for a deeply flavorful and nutritious broth. Add more water as needed.
  • If using a slow cooker, heat on low for 12-24 hours, adding more water if needed.
  • After cooking, season to taste, and strain and discard solids.
  • Store broth in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze in smaller portions, such as ice cube trays, for single-serving use.
This recipe combines the immunomodulant benefits of powerful mushrooms and herbs in a simple, nourishing broth. Use this broth as a base for miso or chicken soup, or sip a cup or so a day to keep the cold and flu at bay … and your immune system humming year-round!
Learn more about The Mushroom Course Early Bird Sale and over a dozen mushroom bonuses offered right now!

The Mushroom Course