Let's look a little deeper at some of the ingredients...
Shiitake Mushrooms- Lentinula edodes - Shiitake’s flavor is 4 to 10 times more intense than that of ordinary button mushroom. Ordinary button mushrooms actually should be eaten in low to moderate amounts due their toxicity. Not shiitakes though! It is a fleshy fungi and is rich in nutrients. It contains proteins (18%), potassium, niacin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins. Another ancient medicine brought in on a food level to enhance and organize immunity, this thins secretions so they can move and opens respiratory passage ways by reducing inflammation. Did you know that Shiitake is said to love music? Yes, classical and rock and roll. It also likes company and flashlights. At least that's what some farmers report who grow Shiitakes on a daily basis. They assert that when you grow Shiitakes on an isolated log, it does not produce as much as when the log is in a cluster of logs. Word has it that it also produces generously when the people attending to it emit positive energy. If there are some clumsy people near it or arguments or fighting going on, Shiitake tends to be defiant and wilts. We drum and play music for our medicine plants here as well and this is an ancient practice too that even some modern grape producers for jelly making won’t talk about but actually do.
Reishi Mushrooms - Ganoderma lucidum - Regular consumption of Reishi, and there are a few different species that all have medicinal value, can enhance our body's immune system and improve blood circulation, thus improving any health condition. Reishi is also anciently rooted in use with humans and is recommended as an adaptogen, immune modulator, and a general tonic. Reishi is also used to help treat anxiety, high blood pressure, hepatitis, bronchitis, insomnia, and asthma. I love the immune enhancing and organizing characteristics of Reishi. The immune system has great power but can get dis-organized and over or under reactive even to the point of being life threatening, such as anaphylaxis (over reactive), and sepsis (under reactive). To this extreme, one usually needs modern medicine interventions to live through the ordeal. Coming down the intensity spectrum a bit, we can still see immune system disorganization and over or under responsiveness that is not life threatening but definitely not life enhancing either. There are a beautiful number of plants, and mushrooms, that carry this beautiful way of shoring up the immune system and reminding it that it can get organized and fight the good fight for re-establishing the boundaries necessary with the microbial world in our inner world. Indeed, boundary maintenance is one of the biggest jobs our immune system has. Reishi can help.
Mushroom Broth Medicine - The Recipe
- 1 TLB each Butter and Olive Oil
- 1 medium Carrot, Celery stalk, Leek, and Onion, large dice
- 6 medium garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 pound fresh Shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed and quartered (or 1/2 lb dried)
- 1 TLB shaved Reishi mushroom
- 2oz. dried Porcini mushrooms
- 1 Astragalus root slice, or 1 TLB is you find it cut & sifted
- 8 Thyme sprigs or 1/2 tsp dried
- 1/4 cup Parsley chopped rough
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons whole Black Peppercorns, course crushed
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt -OR- 1 TLB Tamari –adjust to your taste
- 1 gallon water (16cups)
2. Add the mushrooms, bay leaf, and peppercorns and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms start to release some moisture, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to the low and simmer with the lid on the pot until the vegetables are completely soft and the stock has a pronounced mushroom flavor, about two hours.
4. Remove from the heat and add your parsley and thyme. Cover and allow to cool to warm for an hour or so. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large heatproof container or saucepan; discard the contents of the strainer. Stir in the salt or tamari and taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. If not using immediately, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Great Reference & Read: Medicinal Mushrooms by Christopher Hobbs