New “Healthy Coffee” Features Reishi Mushrooms from Asia

The Cantonese have a saying: “Anything that walks, swims, crawls, or flies with its back to the heavens is edible.” Everyone’s heard about powdered rhinoceros horn being a much sought after aphrodisiac in China, the demand almost driving the huge creatures to extinction. The Chinese also value sea cucumber and snake urine to increase their sexual powers. The sea cucumber is an exotic creature that resembles a cucumber with the addition of tubed feet and a row of tentacles around its mouth. They also believe that old things help one’s health also. Stinky Tofu” is a brine made with shrimp, vegetables, tofu, and salt. It is allowed to ferment for several months to the point of stinking really bad before it is consumed. If you think that’s bad, then how about some thousand-year-old eggs? Actually they are duck eggs preserved in ash and salt for only a hundred days, but who’s counting? Then there’s “Bird’s Nest Soup.” That’s an actual bird’s nest that was made with the bird’s own saliva. The birds live in caves in Southeast Asia and men must balance on tall bamboo poles to retrieve the nests. And the list goes on and on and we haven’t even gotten to the plants yet.

So when I heard about the latest Chinese medicine cure that’s gaining popularity in the United States, putting mushrooms in coffee, I wasn’t really surprised. Americans have been fascinated with caffeine and coffees lately, just look at the meteoric rise of places like Starbucks and Seattle’s Best, as well as all of the energy drinks that grace the shelves of the local supermarkets and convenience stores.

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The name of the mushroom is Reishi in Japanese. The Chinese call it Lingzhi. The scientific name is Ganoderma Lucidum. It belongs to the Polypore group of fungi. Polypores, commonly known as bracket or shelf fungi, are mushrooms that grow off of the sides of trees. Over 30 years of scientific research in Japan, Taiwan, China, and the United States have sustained Reshi’s effectiveness as a health food and highly effective medicine. The ancient Chinese called Reishi the “herb of longevity,” but it was so hard to come by that it was reserved for use only by the royal families.

The modern day proponents of a drink called “Healthy Coffee” that contains the mushroom claim that it has over 150 different antioxidants and 200 health-promoting active elements. The Healthy Coffee is made with 100% Brazilian coffee beans and the mushroom extract. It contains less caffeine than regular coffee and green tea, but is supposed to give an even greater boost of energy in the morning. The coffee is also low in acid and helps regulate the pH balance. In China, the mushroom is associated with the realization of happiness, wisdom, recuperation, health, vitality, and long life. Not a bad way to start off the morning and it sure sounds better than Bird’s Nest Soup.