Mushroom Coffee Isn't Just a Hot Trend

No, there are no mushrooms floating in a mug of mushroom coffee. (Photo: Julia Sudnitskaya/Shutterstock)

If you want some health benefits with your morning cup, considering adding some medicinal mushroom powder to your coffee grounds. Mushroom coffee may be a hot trend right now, but it's one that has roots in tradition in Chinese medicine and even as a coffee alternative during World War II. The mushroom powder gives coffee an earthy flavor, and some say it even helps reduce the coffee jitters.

According to The Telegraph, the types of mushrooms used aren't the ones you generally purchase at the grocery store like portobello or chanterelles; these are medicinal mushrooms, so there are a few things to know before you try them.

How to make mushroom coffee

When ground into a powder, cordyceps can be added to coffee. (Photo: JIANG HONGYAN/Shutterstock)

You could forage for mushrooms (if you're 100-percent positive you know what you're doing), pick them, dry them, and grind them into a powder. Fortunately, you don't need to do that. You can purchase dried mushroom powder to mix into your coffee and save yourself some time and worry.

There's even an instant mushroom coffee on the market. This video from Thrive Market shows how easy it is to make and explains some of the ways it can be beneficial.

Benefits of medicinal mushrooms

Reishi mushrooms
Reishi mushrooms have antioxidant properties and may enhance immune response. (Photo: tarapong srichaiyos/Shutterstock)

Three of the common types of mushrooms used to make mushroom coffee are chaga, reishi and cordyceps. Each of them has medicinal properties.

Reishi mushrooms boost immune system response and have complex sugars that may stop cancer cells from growing, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. They may also help lower blood pressure and help with allergies and have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Cordyceps have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. A 2010 study found that cordyceps improve stamina, fight fatigue, relieve muscle aches and increase athletic performance.

Chaga, according to Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, may prevent and treat cancer, stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation and protect the liver. The mushrooms have been used in folk medicine across Europe.

Concerns about medicinal mushrooms

chaga mushroom powder
Chaga mushroom powder may cause problems if you're taking diabetic medications or blood thinners. (Photo: Toni Genes/Shutterstock)

If you have certain diseases or you're taking some medications, these mushrooms may interact adversely with them.

Sloane Kettering warns that medicinal mushrooms don't just have positive effects, they can also have negative side effects. If you're taking blood thinners or taking diabetic medications, you should not consume chaga.

Reishi also shouldn't be used if your on blood thinners, or if you're undergoing chemotherapy, taking immunosuppressents, or taking cytochrome P450 2E1, 1A2 and 3A substrate drugs.

You shouldn't take cordyceps if you're taking blood thinners, insulin or blood-glucose lowering medicines, or have certain types of cancers.

Before you add medicinal mushrooms to your coffee, you should check with your doctor.