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A primer on the purported benefits of (non-psychadelic) mushrooms.
If you’ve looked at any telephone pole in Vancouver lately, you know that psychadelic mushrooms are having a moment—and are just a stealthy phone call or visit to a certainly-not-actually-legal dispensary away. But these aren’t the only fungi Vancouverites turn to for altering their state of being. Certain breeds of non-psychadellic ‘shrooms are a hot ticket item for wellness wonks. Here’s everything you need to know about tapping into the magic of mushrooms.
Foraging for fungi does require some knowledge, of course, as some can be poisonous and even deadly (we’re looking at you, death cap mushroom). But with high risk comes high reward: this sometime pizza topping has been revered for its medicinal properties since the ancient Egyptians were calling it the “plant of immortality.” Medicinal mushrooms (the non-psychedelic kind) are linked to good stuff like helping to balance auto-immune conditions, brain health, adrenal support, calming anxiety and even living longer… not to mention they’re a delicious food, packed full of dense nutrients and minerals like vitamin B, potassium and copper.
Mushroom enthusiasts will try to sneak them into everything (drinks, oils, teas, supplements…). The key to optimizing those benefits is to take them every day. Also, different (tasty) species are known to have different benefits. Are you studying for an important test or need to improve your mental performance? Lion’s mane is the way to go. Want to be in peak physical shape? Cordyceps has been known to help. And wellness faves reishi and chaga are perfect for recovery, immunity and overall health.
For something easy you can add to your coffee, tea, smoothies, elixirs or cocktails (no judgment), Rainbo has potent extract tinctures, like 11:11 ($55, rainbo.com) or lion’s mane ($47)—or try a package set like their Adaptogen Bundle, made up of reishi and cordyceps ($85).
For a concentrated elixir powder you can make into hot cocoa or blend into smoothies, try 5 Mushroom Chocolate from Harmonic Arts to get plenty of mushroom bang for your buck ($30, harmonicarts.ca).
Another tasty cocoa option is Blume’s Reishi hot cocoa blend ($25, itsblume.com), designed to help you unwind while you reap all the mushroomy health benefits.
Want a way to chill out that don’t involve drinking fungi? Explore our guide to Vancouver’s best spa treatments here.