The title says it all- two awesome things merged together as one incredibly strengthening and healing beverage. Both Reishi and cacao are world renowned for their healing properties and I’ll share a few of their amazing benefits before showing my way of making this fusion. And yes it does taste yummy.
Reishi Health Benefits
Reishi is a mushroom that has been used for thousands of years in Asia as a powerful tonic that can strengthen immunity, improve energy and vitality, reduce anxiety, insomnia, while also healing the liver, and strengthening the heart. Numerous studies have also pointed to its potential for helping heal cancer and reishi is often utilized as a healing agent in parts of Asia for the treatment of this disease. As a therapist and herbalist, I have noticed that Reishi seems to have a powerful effect on helping people who have experienced deep trauma that have contributed to feelings of anxiety, insomnia and depression. Reishi gently lifts the mood and strengthens a person at a profound level.
Reishi is best extracted by water and alcohol. Simmering reishi in a pot of hot water for a while is the best way to extract the medicinal constituents with water. Generally, this method (decoction) extracts the polysacharides that are known to be strengthening to the immune system and hypotensive. Tincturing reishi by steeping it in alcohol for a number of weeks is the best way to extract the triterpenes such as ganoderic acids that are antibacterial, antiviral, antitumoral, anti-inflammatory and strengthening to the nervous system. Combining both a water and alcohol based extraction is the premier way of taking reishi. But in this yummy concoction I will just be talking about a water based extraction of reishi.
Cacao Health Benefits
This amazing “fruit” is one of the most commonly consumed “herbs” in the world. It is an incredibly super-food in many ways for many reasons. It is comprised of over 700 compounds and cocao is rich in antioxidant polyphenols that are cardioprotective , anti-coagulant (prevents arteriosclerosis and strokes) hypotensive and improve blood flow. But the most important factor about cacao is…that it improves your mood and makes you feel awesome. Cacao contains both caffeine and theombrine, substances known to stimulate, improve alertness and cognitive function. Cacao also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), a substance known to trigger the release of endorphins, one of the “feel good” chemicals produced in the body. Interestingly, PEA is also released when we are in love and perhaps leads to the reason cacao is thought of as an aphrodisiac. Finally, cacao contains anandamide, a cannabinoid that induces a feeling of euphoria. Excessive consumption of cacao can induce the same feelings of excessive elevation, anxiety and burnout that happen when drinking anything caffeinated but it is generally well tolerated by most folks if taken in moderation.
The first step is to procure yourself some good responsibly grown and harvested Reishi. I like to buy my Reishi from Mt. Rose herbs but you can often find Reishi in herbal stores in most cities. A good strong daily dose is 10 grams, or about 1/3 of an ounce. You can get a good idea from this picture how much that is without needing a scale.
Then throw the reishi in a blender with about a cup and half of water. This helps to give more surface area to extract the medicinal constituents.
Then toss it in a pot – bring to a boil and then simmer for about a half hour.
Then take it off the stove, decant it and measure- you should have about a cup of reishi decoction.
In a pot, add a heaping tablespoon full of organic cacao and a heaping teaspoon of honey
Then add your reishi
Mix it up and add some milk. I use almond milk…add to taste.
Heat and stir on low heat for 30 seconds on the stove then pour into a cup. Drink. Yum!
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