Cordyceps! The mushroom that has taken the world by storm in Olympic games, coffee blends, tinctures, and even the hit HBO series "The Last of Us".
But unlike the brain-eating zombie mushroom in the hit TV series, the cordyceps mushrooms that are hitting the shelves are not going to eat your brain.... WE HOPE?! (Just kidding. Cordyceps are generally considered very safe.) Even Paul Stamets said so:
I have just finished watching the second episode of #TheLastOfUs and I have two opinions.— Paul Stamets (@PaulStamets) January 26, 2023
First, I'm a science-fiction fan and I love weaving the creative elements of fungi into the narrative.
But let's get real. Cordyceps can not infect humans. pic.twitter.com/R0cLGq0GPO
Cordyceps mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. But it's only relatively-recently that these mushrooms have been mass-grown, mass-harvested, and mass-processed into extract powders, tinctures, and coffee blends for consumers in the United States.
Until there is more regulation in the mushroom market, it can be difficult to know which brand is telling you the truth about quality, potency, and safe-sourcing.
That's why, when it comes to getting the most medicinal value out of mushrooms, many functional mushroom advocates are turning back to basics: mushroom tea.
Making your own cordyceps tea at home has many benefits. But the most important ones are:
1. You can carefully source your mushroom product for quality, potency, safety, sourcing, and more.
2. You can fully control the amount of mushroom extract, powder, or tincture you add to your tea. This allows you to increase or decrease your dosage based on your own unique effects.
3. You can save BIG by not buying commercial and usually-overpriced tea products from the supermarket shelves.
In this article, we'll talk about how to make cordyceps tea at home using powder extract or tincture. Plus, we'll talk more about what cordyceps tea is, what some of the possible benefits are, and where to get some of the best cordyceps products on the market today.
Let's dive in!
How to make cordyceps tea at home
Unless you're growing cordyceps at home yourself (unlikely!) the best way for you to make your own cordyceps tea is to buy quality cordyceps extract powder or tincture.
With that in mind, here are the different ways you can make cordyceps tea at home:
Make cordyceps tea with extract powder
Source high-quality and third-party lab-tested cordyceps extract powder. You might find this available at your local international food market. Or you can buy from a trusted retailer online.
Once you have your powder, it's time to make tea:
1. Measure out the appropriate dosage of powder according to your package directions. This is likely to be around 1 teaspoon. Add your mushroom powder to an empty mug.
2. Heat around 1-2 cups of water on your stovetop or in your kettle.
3. Once the water is boiling, take it off the heat.
4. Let the water cool for 60-90 seconds so that it's hot but no longer boiling. You don't want to boil the cordyceps extract, just get it hot enough to dissolve.
5. Slowly pour the hot water over your cordyceps powder until your mug is nearly full.
6. Use a spoon to carefully incorporate the cordyceps powder into the water.
7. Cover your mug with a small plate and let it steep for around three minutes. This allows the mushroom extract to fully incorporate into your brew.
8. Remove your cover, and add any sweeteners or flavors you enjoy like stevia, honey, milk, or lemon!
What does mushroom tea taste like?
Cordyceps has a notoriously earthy and somewhat bitter taste. Like many teas and coffees, it can become an acquired taste over time. Until then, use natural additives to your heart's content!
Make cordyceps tea using cordyceps tincture
If the taste of cordyceps tea with powder is too earthy for you, then you might like to make your own cup of tea using cordyceps tincture instead! Tincture is easier to incorporate since it's already liquid. Not to mention, tincture gives you the flexibility to add cordyceps to the tea you already enjoy drinking, which can further mask the flavor.
You can, of course, follow the steps above to make your cordyceps tea with tincture. Just switch out the powder for a measured dose of tincture.
But we think you might like this method a bit more:
1. Choose an herbal tea that you already enjoy drinking. Chamomile, lavender, hibiscus, peppermint, lemongrass, you name it!
2. Brew and steep the tea according to your package directions.
3. Measure the appropriate dosage of cordyceps tincture using a dropper.
4. Add cordyceps tincture while your tea is still hot - but not boiling.
5. Gently stir into your tea with a spoon.
What is cordyceps tea?
Cordyceps tea is a type of tea that's made with (or from) cordyceps mushrooms. Cordyceps are a funky-looking fungus that grows primarily in the Himalayan region. However, in commercial products, cordyceps can be grown in mass quantities in grow centers and labs.
Cordyceps tea is made by steeping dried cordyceps mushrooms in hot water, and sometimes other ingredients such as ginger or honey are added for flavor. Because cordyceps mushrooms are so hard to come by naturually, you can use cordyceps extract powder or tincture to make cordyceps tea at home.
Cordyceps tea is becoming increasingly popular as a health beverage, and is often sold in health food stores and online. But not all cordyceps products are created equal! Be careful where you buy from to make sure you're getting a quality-sourced product from a company that knows what it's doing.
Cordyceps mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and are believed to have a range of health benefits.
With that in mind...
What are the possible benefits of cordyceps tea?
Mushrooms have been dried and used in teas for centuries before they hit US market shelves. And for good reason. These mushrooms have been traditionally used to boost the immune system, improve athletic performance, and for their anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects.
But like MOST medicinal mushrooms, more human research is needed to fully understand and support these claims.
Here's what we know about how people are using cordyceps mushrooms today:
Cordyceps tea might boost your immune system: Cordyceps mushrooms are believed to have immune-boosting properties, which can help to improve the body's natural defenses against infections.
Cordyceps mushrooms may increase your energy and endurance: Cordyceps mushrooms are believed to help increase energy levels and improve athletic performance, making it a popular supplement among athletes.
Cordyceps might have anti-inflammatory effects: Cordyceps mushrooms contain compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help to reduce inflammation in the body and relieve pain.
Cordyceps may help to improve respiratory function: Cordyceps mushrooms have been used to treat respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis in traditional Chinese medicine. Some studies have shown that cordyceps may improve lung function and oxygen uptake.
Cordyceps are high in antioxidants and may have anti-aging effects: Cordyceps mushrooms are believed to have anti-aging properties, which may help to reduce the effects of aging on the body and improve overall health and well-being.
How often should I drink cordyceps tea?
How often you should drink cordyceps tea will vary greatly depending on a handful of factors. Your dosage and frequency can include unqiue facotors like:
- Your individual health status and goals
- The quality and potency of the cordyceps mushrooms used in the tea (remember, not all cordyceps products are created equal...)
- How your body responds to the tea
In traditional Chinese medicine, cordyceps mushroom tea is usually consumed daily as a tonic to promote overall health and well-being.
While more research is needed to understand the long-term benefits, side effects, and medication interactions, one cup of tea is usually considered pretty safe.
Consult with your doctor if you're on immunosuppresants, blood thinners, or are breastfeeding or pregnant.
What is the dosage of cordyceps for tea
You'll usually want to consult your product's packaging label (and your doctor) before determining your appropriate dosage.
Usually, 500-2,000mg of cordyceps extract is recommended to notice any benefits.
However, it is important to note that cordyceps mushrooms can cause allergic reactions in some people. Always start off with a smaller dose and then carefully monitor your body's response before increasing the frequency or amount of tea consumed.
As with any supplement, we recommend you use use cordyceps tea as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
What other mushrooms can I add to my tea?
While cordyceps mushroom tea is typically made using only cordyceps mushrooms, some people want to acheive synergistic effects in their tea by adding with other functional mushrooms. The good news is? If you've gotten the OK from your doctor, the world is really your oyster as far as combinations and blends!
Here are some mushrooms that can be added to your cordyceps tea to create your own unique and personal blend:
Reishi mushrooms: Reishi mushrooms are known for their adaptogenic properties, and are often used to support immune health, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.
Chaga mushrooms: Chaga mushrooms are a type of fungus that grows on birch trees and are known for their antioxidant properties. Chaga is often used to support immune health and reduce inflammation.
Lion's mane mushrooms: Lion's mane mushrooms are known for their cognitive benefits, and are often used to support brain health, memory, and focus.
Shiitake mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms are a type of edible mushroom that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Shiitake is often used to support immune health and reduce inflammation.
Just click on any of the mushrooms in the above list to check out the possible benefits and applications of that particular kind of tea.
Personally, we love to use lion's mane and cordyceps together to help improve memory, focus, and stamina throughout the day.
What to look for when buying cordyceps mushrooms
If you're thinking of buying cordyceps to use in tea, make sure you do your research. Right now, the medicinal mushroom product market is severely under-regulated. That means, companies don't HAVE to tell you about their mushroom sourcing, growing methods, extraction methods, or even the dosage of the mushrooms.
In fact, many US-based companies source their cordyceps outside of the US. And some of them don't run third-party independent lab testing on those mushrooms when they arrive.
When shopping for a cordyceps powder, tincture, capsule, or tea, make sure you look at the following:
Evaluate the type and quality of the cordyceps: Look for a product that uses high-quality, organic cordyceps mushrooms. Where are the mushrooms sourced from? How are they grown? Does your product contain 100% fruiting body? Or is there mycelium added in as well?
Look for a dual extraction: Look for a product that uses an appropriate extraction method, such as hot water extraction or alcohol extraction. A dual extraction can help to ensure you're getting the maximum benefit from the active compounds within the cordyceps mushrooms themselves. Head on over to our guide if you want to learn more about what mushroom extraction is.
Review the third-party lab testing and COA: Look for a product that has been third-party tested for quality, purity, and potency. In many cases, this will be listed as a Certificate of Analysis (COA) on their site. You shouldn't have to ask customer service for this report. But if it's not listed on the site, make sure you ask for it. Also remember that the COA should come from a US-based lab. This is especially important if the COA is coming from the source itself. In this case, the COA is NOT independent and may not be accurate.
Check out the reputation of the company: Look for a reputable company that has a history of producing high-quality supplements. Spend a bit of time reading online reviews and ratings from other customers. But remember, great marketing doesn't always equal a great company!!
Price: Be wary of products that are significantly cheaper than others on the market, as this may be a sign of low quality or poor manufacturing practices. You might also want to be wary of the most EXPENSIVE product on the market.
The best cordyceps tea products
Here at Remeday, we don't make any mushroom products. Our only goal is to help readers like you learn about mushrooms and their possible benefits in a free and fun way. Because of that work, we've seen the best (and worst!) of the mushroom products out there.
Below is a list of products we have researched extensively for quality, potency, transparency, price, and third-party testing. We only ever list products we have used ourselves and would also recommend to friends and family.
Here are some of the best cordyceps products on the market:
Cordyceps tinctures for teas:
We can't get enough of this incredible tincture brand. Life Cykel is a leader in the mushroom tincture market. But they remain a relatively small company. Their size allows them to focus heavily on great, local sourcing, quality ingredients, and a proven tincture extract process.
There are so many reasons to love Mushroom Revival. They're also a small company and are not only committed to creating great products, but also produce the hit mushroom podcast "Mushroom Revival Podcast". They've met with the best of the best in the mushroom industry and apply all that insight to their incredible suite of products.
Cordyceps powder for tea
If you're looking for a top-notch mushroom powder to add to your morning brew, Real Mushrooms has what you need. This brand is a clear leader when it comes to quality, potency, beneficial compounds, and 3rd party independent lab testing for safety and active compounds. We love using this powder and know you will, too:
While you're researching, be sure to check out FreshCap. We absolutely LOVE FreshCap. Their wide selection of powders and capsules are perfect for those looking to balance quality with price. This Canada-based company is highly focused on product quality AND mushroom education. We've been using their capsules personally for some time now and really enjoy the quality.
Thank you so much for stopping by. We hope you found this article helpful! If you're still curious to learn more about Cordyceps, head on over to our free cordyceps learning center!