Adaptogenic Mushroom Syrup
Adaptogenic Mushroom Syrup
Adaptogens are a unique class of plants that help to stabilize the body's physiological process and promote homeostasis. In other words, they help the cells adapt to physical, chemical, and biological stressors, and are therefore especially beneficial for reducing stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Since stress plays a huge role in decreasing immunity, adaptogens are also highly beneficial in keeping the immune system functioning at top notch, and can in turn help prevent more serious and life-thretenening disease, such as cancer.
To qualify as an adaptogen, an herb must be completely safe and non-toxic, it must have broad uses for health, and it must specifically reduce stress, both mental and physical. Adaptogenic herbs do not alter mood, but rather, they help the body function optimally during times of stress. To put it simply: Adaptogens help you adapt.
The following herbs demonstrate significant adaptogenic activity:
-Chaga Mushroom- proven to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors, high in B vitamins and minerals, high in antioxidant, reduces stress and anxiety, anti-inflammatory.
-Reishi Mushroom- supports a healthy immune system, supports the cardiovascular system and sooth the nervous system, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, reduces stress and anxiety, promotes more restful sleep.
-Maca Root- promotes endocrine health and healthy hormone levels, increases energy and stamina, reduces fatigue, high in minerals and protein, increases libido, promotes healthy cognitive function, reduces stress and anxiety.
-Licorice Root- supports a healthy immune system, reduces adrenal fatigue, increases energy, improves liver and kidney health, eases sore throats and is beneficial in treating bronchial infections, anti-inflammatory.
-Cordyceps Mushroom- promotes healthy liver and kidney function, traditionally used to aid fertility and balance hormones, used today to increase athletic performance, increases cognitive function and memory.
-Ginseng- enhances mood, concentration, and improves cognitive function, boosts the immune system, increases overall energy.
-Ashwaganda Root- a potent antioxidant, supports optimal thyroid and adrenal function, eases anxiety, depression and sleep issues, has immuno-modulating effects that boost and regulate the immune system and lower cortisol levels.
-Moringa- reduces inflammation, regulates blood sugar levels, improves digestion, increases energy, promotes more restful sleep, strengthens the immune system.
-Astragalus Root- has anti-aging effects, benefits the immune system, promotes circulation, reduces stress and anxiety, protects the body from the effects of stress.
-Holy Basil- helps fight fatigue and stress, boosts the immune system, regulates blood sugar, blood pressure, and hormone levels, has anti-aging effects.
-Shizanrda Berry- improves liver function and digestive health, traditionally used as a beauty tonic to promote supple skin and healthy hair, increases sexual function and stamina.
Ingredients for Adaptogenic Mushroom Syrup:
-1/2 cup ground chaga mushroom, or a few chaga chunks
-1/2 cup of reishi mushroom slices
-1/8 cup cinnamon chips
-1/8 cup licorice root (do not use licorice root if you are pregnant)
-1/8 cup elder berry
-1/8 cup echinacea root
-1/8 cup marshmallow root
-1/2 gallon spring or purified water
-1/3-1/2 cup raw honey
*Double or triple the recipe if you would like to store in the fridge for cold and flu season. With honey added, this can last up to 6 months refrigerated
Step 1: Make the Syrup
Combine water and herbs in a medium sized pot and cover. Bring to a simmer and turn heat to low. Simmer with cover on the very lowest setting for 45 minutes. Try to barely simmer your herbs, just look for very small bubbles- if it gets too hot, turn the heart off and let sit for 10-15 minutes, then turn the heat back on the lowest setting.
**An easier and more effective option when using chaga mushroom, is to use a crockpot overnight instead of simmering your herbs on the stove. This allows the chaga and the rest of the herbs to slowly release their nutrients in a low heat over 8 hours, which ensures you won’t damage any of the bio-active compounds in the chaga mushroom. When chaga reaches temperatures over 180 degrees, some of its medicinal compounds can be damaged. A crockpot is a way to ensure this doesn’t happen, if put on low or medium (depending on how hot your crockpot gets) overnight.
Strain herbs from liquid. Be sure to press out all liquid from strainer using a spoon in order to extract all the remaining liquid from the herb matter.
Licorice root will make this syrup naturally sweet, (remember not to use it during pregnancy) so there is no need to add any sweetener. However, adding honey will greatly extend the shelf life of the syrup, and using raw honey will give it some added benefits like active enzymes, immune boosting properties, anti-inflammatory properties, and defense against seasonal allergies. Add 1/3-1/2 cup of raw honey to your taste, just heating until the honey melts- heating raw honey too high will diminish some of its active properties. Once melted, pour into glass mason jar or bottle, and store in refrigerator for up to 6 months if honey was added. Without honey, this stores for up to 1 week. Drink 1-3 cups/day. For general immune support during cold and flu season, drink 1 cup per day. If you are fighting an illness or need a quick immune boost, drink 3 cups/day.
*Add your favorite plant-based milk to make this drink into a tasty, sweet treat!