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Morning Brew: Harnessing the Power of Mushrooms

Dating back to ancient times, medicinal mushrooms have long been used to treat ailments and promote wellbeing. With an influx of medicinal mushroom-fuelled products, including mushroom supplements and even chocolate bars, it seems that the wellness sector is rediscovering the potential of the humble fungi. But would you consider drinking it in your daily cup of coffee?

Despite what you may think when you hear the words ‘mushroom coffee’, the trendy concoction doesn’t taste like blended button mushrooms. Instead, mushrooms coffee has a more discreet nutty flavour thanks to a delicate blend of finely ground mushroom extract and coffee beans. And rather than using culinary mushrooms, these blends incorporate specific medicinal mushrooms like reishi, cordyceps, lion’s mane and chaga which exhibit adaptogenic properties.

What are the proposed health benefits?

Based on the effect of adaptogens, which are compounds that increase the body’s resistance to physical, biological and chemical stress, mushroom coffee is linked to a number of health benefits.

Proposed health benefits include reduced stress, mood enhancement, improved immune system, higher energy levels, reduced inflammation and a host of other benefits. But is there truth to these claims?

Yes and no. Without a wealth of research, specifically human trials, the health benefits of medicinal mushrooms are relatively unsubstantiated. However, their adaptogenic properties have been linked to reduced inflammation and improved immune response – in mice that is. So while medicinal mushrooms have a long history, particularly in Chinese medicine, scientific studies are yet to confirm their supposed benefits.

As for reduced stress and mood enhancement, a reduced serving of caffeine in mushroom coffee may have a lot to answer for. Regardless, the power of medicinal mushrooms is promising and spicing up your cup of joe with mushrooms may just improve your wellbeing.

The Nue Co Nootro Focus, $85 for 60 caps

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