Give a Boost to Your Home Cooking by Adding Medicinal Mushroom Broth
Mushrooms have been used as culinary and medicinal ingredients for centuries. By nature, mushrooms work to deeply nourish and tonify your body’s systems to optimal health, especially during the transition seasons of spring and fall. Using immune tonics in the form of medicinal mushroom broth is both a delicious and easy way to absorb your nutrients!
Medicinal Mushroom Broth — Just as Healing as Bone Broth, Vegetarians Rejoice!
Most people think of homemade chicken noodle soup as their first go-to healing meal when feeling under the weather. This is partially due to the full, bone-in chicken that is being simmered along with the rest of the ingredients. Bone broth has been coveted for its ability to repair muscles, provide high mineral content for our bodies to absorb, and yield important healing compounds, such as collagen, glutamine, glycine, and proline.
Don’t eat meat, or don’t have a trusted butcher from whom to source organic beef bones? Have no fear – medicinal mushroom broth may be just as nourishing, if not more so!
Mushrooms, when extracted or boiled for a long duration (an hour or longer), provide comparable nutritional value in improving immune function, remineralizing the body, decreasing inflammation, and even protecting your cells from cancer. Packed with nutrients, and a subtle umami flavor profile, medicinal mushroom broth can be drunk hot or cold after initial boiling. It pairs well with everything, from simple miso soups to being used as a base for vegetarian gravy.
Trusted for Thousands of Years: A Traditional Chinese Medicinal Mushroom Broth Blend
When looking for inspiration for a nutritious and healing medicinal mushroom broth, Fu Zheng (translated loosely as “to support normality”) is the way to go. Fu Zheng is sometimes referred to as “Yang Yin Fu Zheng,” in acknowledgment of its balancing properties to both yang and yin. When this powerful broth is ingested, it activates the immune system, leading to a whole cascade of health benefits.
Fu Zheng therapy nourishes, tonifies, and invigorates the body’s qi (pronounced, “chi”). This ancient blend is highly regarded in Asia as an adjunct treatment to cancer, as a way to improve digestive function, and to nourish the blood and yin energies, while tonifying the qi and yang energies. (1) Fu Zheng recipes vary, but all tend to include sweet, slightly bitter, and slightly warming herbs and mushrooms. At Mushroom Revival, our favorite recipes include fruiting bodies of cordyceps, reishi, shiitake, and maitake mushrooms. For our organic fruiting bodies of Cordyceps militaris, order online here!
Most of the health benefits linked to Fu Zheng medicinal mushroom broth are directly due to a particular class of compounds prevalent in mushrooms: polysaccharides, and, more specifically, beta-glucans! (2) Beta-glucans are abundant in mushrooms, and refers to the particular configuration of polysaccharides therein.
Savory Medicinal Mushroom Broth Recipe
Based on Fu Zheng tonifying formulas
- 2-4 quarts of water, limited only by the size of your stock pot
- 5-6 slices dried reishi mushroom
- 7-8 fresh or dried shiitake mushroom
- 1 g dried cordyceps mushroom
- ½ cup dried maitake mushroom, chopped (1 cup if fresh)
- ¼ cup burdock root, chopped
- 10 sliced dried astragalus root
- 1 2-3 inch rootlet of ginseng
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2-3 scallions, chopped
- 3 stalks celery with tops, chopped
- 2-4 cloves garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 inch strip of dried Kombu seaweed OR 2 tbsp Wakame seaweed
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Optional: Miso paste, eleuthero root, turmeric root, and/or sesame oil
- Combine all ingredients except cordyceps mushrooms in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover, and let simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours. Keep an eye on the water levels; you may want to add a bit more. The broth will be rich, feel free to further dilute to extend the life of the stock.
- Near the end of your boil, add in cordyceps mushrooms, as these delicate mushrooms only need to be boiled for 15 minutes for optimal extraction.
- After 2-3 hours total, remove from heat and strain your medicinal mushroom broth through a strainer or cheesecloth.
Therapeutic Dose: 3 big mugs of medicinal mushroom broth per day, or 2-3 bowls of soup using this broth as the base.
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- Li H1, Xu S, Cheng T, Tang L, Bai J, Lin M. Effects of traditional Chinese medicine Fu Zheng decoction on the immunological function and clinical prognosis of the elderly patients with pneumonia. Cell Biochem Biophys. 2015 Jan;71(1):473-80. doi: 10.1007/s12013-014-0227-7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25260393
- Halpern, G. M. (2007). Healing Mushrooms: effective treatment for today’s illnesses. Square One Publishers. New York.