Chuck Kleine Published

EDIBLE MOUNTAIN – How to Make Reishi Mushroom Tea


The Reishi mushroom has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes, and is one the most widely marketed mushrooms on the planet. Learn how to make Reishi mushroom tea with Hannah Hedrick, Community Educator at Grow Ohio Valley!

Ganoderma tsugae, also known as the Hemlock varnish shelf mushroom, are Reishi mushrooms found throughout Appalachia and used by herbalists all over the region. Dead hemlock trees are a favorite spot to find them growing. There’s no known look-alikes for Reishi mushrooms, although there are several varieties found in the region.

Reishi mushrooms are reported to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and may enhance immune response. They have also been shown to slow blood clotting, and should be avoided if you are taking a blood thinner, undergoing chemotherapy, or taking immunosuppressants.

One of the simplest ways to consume Reishi is to make it into tea. Once you harvest wild Reishi, slice them into strips or other small pieces as soon as possible; the mushrooms begin to harden as they dry, and are eventually  impossible to break.  “You can break a coffee grinder trying to cut one of these things up,” said Hedrick.

To make Reishi tea, heat 3 oz of dried mushroom or 25 ounces of fresh mushroom to boiling. Let it boil for at least 30 minutes, or as long as 2 hours. You can optionally add ginger, orange peel, or,honey in the last 10 minutes for flavor. Strain the boiled tea and enjoy!

Edible Mountain is a bite-sized, digital series from WVPB that showcases some of Appalachia’s overlooked and underappreciated products of the forest while highlighting their mostly forgotten uses.

Disclaimer: Folks, we hope that you take caution when entering the forest. Please always be aware of your surroundings, while treading lightly, so as to not disturb the natural joy and wonder that our wilderness provides.

Although most of the flora or fauna described in Edible Mountain has been identified by experts in the field, it is critical to your health and safety that you properly identify any item in the forest before eating or touching it. If you are uncertain about anything, please leave it alone and ask for an expert’s advice. Many dangerous plants and fungi share similar properties, which make them easily confused with their nonlethal relatives.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB) wants you to discover, protect and enjoy your natural surroundings. We do not want to see you harmed. Please harvest sustainably so that the bounty can be enjoyed by future generations.

The information contained within Edible Mountain is for general information purposes only. WVPB assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents on this service. WVPB make no guarantees as to the accuracy of the information presented, and any action you take upon the information in this program is strictly at your own risk.

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