Medicinal mushrooms and tonic herbs are intelligent immune boosters, gut healers, stress busters & hormone balancers.
Tonic herbs are not a trend. Their medicinal use is grounded in thousands of years of empirical evidence. As the safety and efficacy of tonic herbs are beginning to be acknowledged by modern science, we are simply confirming the effects ancient herbalists monitored over thousands of years of practice.
By definition, a tonic herb:
- must not cause harm or place additional stress on the body
- must promote healing within the body via a non-specific action
- must be adaptive in nature, assisting the body to overcome any physical, psychological or environmental stressors.
TONIC HERBS V MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS
Tonic herbs were first mentioned in Emperor Shen Nong's Classic of Herbal Medicine, the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, around 2,000 years ago. This text (also known as the Divine Farmer's Materia Medica) was a culmination of thousands of years of traditional herbal wisdom from the many healers in ancient China. It may or may not have been written by a man with a see-through belly. The lore is fascinating! Many well-known herbs feature in Shen Nong's text, and he classifies herbs according to three distinct categories:
Superior herbs (also known as imperial herbs) - these are the herbs that can be consumed daily with benefits accumulating over time. They were used daily by the wisest and wealthiest people, including the Emperors.
Regular herbs - these are the herbs that can treat the ailing. These herbs should not be used for an extended period as there is a potential for long-term negative side effects.
Inferior herbs - these herbs are primarily considered to be toxic. Inferior herbs should only be used for a short period to get a powerful and fast result when treating a serious illness acutely.
What are Medicinal Mushrooms?
Medicinal mushrooms (still technically herbs!) are unmatched in their ability to build immunity and adaptability within the body and are among some of the world's most prized tonic herbs.
Some famous medicinal mushrooms are also great culinary mushrooms - think shiitake - but many are difficult to consume in their raw form. For this reason, they were (and continue to be) extracted, to maximise their medicinal value. Different extraction methods yield different compounds. Generally, a mushroom extract will provide a more concentrated and cost-effective way of consuming the mushrooms (compared to purchasing the ground mushroom and extracting it yourself). At SuperFeast, it takes 10 kilograms of dried mushroom to produce 1 kilogram of medicinal mushroom extract powder.
In the wild, medicinal mushrooms are tree-dwelling. Many species tend to favour the wood of the particular trees, and the trees, in turn, lend the mushrooms some of their medicinal compounds.
Keen to try some medicinal mushrooms & tonic herbs? We have curated a selection of our favourite Superfeast Mushrooms & Herbs for you to try.
SuperFeast is Australia's leading purveyor of high quality tonic, adaptogenic herbs and medicinal mushrooms. We love that they only work with small scale independent farmers, who are growing and harvesting in areas and environments that are in alignment with the ancient herbal tradition of Dì Dào (地道) (Di Tao) sourcing. This means the herbs are of the absolute highest quality possible.
THE FARMERS' STORE TOP PICKS
Mason's Mushrooms is a super-blend of the world's favourite medicinal mushrooms in a single product, hand-picked to support immunity, gut health, hormonal function, and the nervous system.
Mason's Mushrooms is both the perfect starting point for someone wanting to begin their journey towards radiant health, or for the well versed herbalist to maintain their daily dose of medicinal mushrooms.
Traditionally used in Chinese medicine to:
- Balance spirit
- Support healthy immune system function
- Improve sleep quality / deep sleep
Regarded by ancient herbalists as the ‘mushroom of immortality,’ reishi is traditionally used in Chinese medicine to support healthy immune system function and promote a healthy stress response. A famous Shen tonic, reishi is recommended to calm and balance the spirit, and to enhance sleep quality. It strengthens the Heart, Kidneys, Lungs, and Liver - it is one of those special herbs that work on all Three Treasures (Jing, Qi, and Shen), as well as all the five Taoist organ systems.
Reishi is extremely rare in the wild and was once reserved for use amongst emperors and royalty only. Immortalised throughout Chinese art, temples, statues, and paintings, reishi mushroom was held in the highest esteem amongst Chinese royalty and is surrounded by many legends over the past 4 millennia. Kuan Yin, known as the goddess of healing, was occasionally depicted carrying a reishi mushroom. This polypore was extremely prized amongst the Orient and often hung above doorways as a protector.
Lion's mane is a wonder mushroom that has been used for thousands of years by traditional herbalists to boost digestive health. In modern times, lion's mane has become famed for its nootropic effects, aiding the brain’s plasticity and capacity to function, as well as supporting nervous system regulation.
Favoured as a culinary delicacy as well as a potent herb, lion's mane is a restorative that nourishes those of us who are mentally overwhelmed or trying to digest too much out of life.
Being Yin in nature, lion's mane supports the creation of a healthy gut lining and can support those with gastrointestinal upset. It's also a tonic for the immune system, supporting a healthy immune response.
The Latin name, Hericium erinaceus, literally translates to 'hedgehog mushroom,' and as the Western name suggests, the cascading fruiting body of the mushroom bears striking resemblance to the mane of a lion.
Traditionally used in Traditional Chinese medicine to:
- Enrich/nourish/tonify/fortify/strengthen Kidneys
- Help enhance/promote general health and wellbeing
- Tonify/nourish/strengthen/replenish Lungs
Cordyceps is traditionally used in Chinese medicine to tonify and strengthen the Lungs, nourish and fortify the Kidneys, and enhance general health and wellbeing.
Cordyceps is considered a life-enhancing herb as it nourishes both the Yin and Yang, and it is revered as an absolute superior herb in the Daoist Tonic Herbal tradition.
In the Daoist herbal tradition, cordyceps is also used to increase physical performance; we reduce our recovery time after exertion and cultivate an overall robust feeling in the body, mind, and spirit when using this mushroom. It's also an immunological powerhouse and a great herb to strengthen our capacity for the ultimate source of life and energy - the breath!
Cordyceps is great to help combat coughs and phlegm; it's a wonderful ally for preventing cold and flu and in the stages of recuperation (just avoid if you have an active fever)
Revered for centuries in folk medicine, chaga is considered one of the most protective mushrooms for the cells.
Chaga can assist in balancing energy and supporting immunity - its got a mega-dose of antioxidants. Chaga is found growing wild in old-growth birch forests; it is not a herb that likes to be cultivated. The ability of this mushroom to predigest the nutrients contained in the birch tree allows it to deliver a potent medicine that serves so many benefits for us humans.
Chaga also helps to increase your body’s resilience and capacity to process and respond to stressors.Stress is a major trigger in so many illnesses and symptoms today and chaga can assist in calming the mind and supporting the body’s stress response.
Trametes mushroom is one of the most ubiquitous of the fungi kingdom, growing in many regions of the world with a well-documented historical usage spanned across many ancient cultures. It is known as the “turkey tail” mushroom in the West, as its fan shape bears a strong resemblance to the tail of a standing turkey.
Ancient Taoists prized the turkey tail fruiting body because it grew on evergreen pines (trees that were thought to hold deep yang energy within their roots). Thus, it was often prescribed in conditions of yang deficiency. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) classic texts often refer to its ability to dispel wind and damp whilst resolving upper respiratory infection, increasing stamina and treating abnormal cells. It is recognised as a Qi and Spleen, Lung and Liver supporting herb.
In Mexico and Asia, turkey tail is used to treat skin fungal infections and disorders and the indigenous Australians were known to use turkey tail to treat infections.
There is a reason that turkey tail is the most prolific mushroom in the entire world growing on nearly every continent and in all regions; because it is pure medicine for the human race. The immunological strength acquired when taking turkey tail is undeniable.
Turkey tail is a beautifully striated polypore found in temperate forests on all continents except Antarctica (have a look in your own backyard, or nearby nature reserve; it is highly likely there is some residing there!). The most rigorously studied of all mushrooms, several human studies support the use of turkey tail for modern-day disease prevention and as an adjunct treatment to bolster the immune system during medical procedures.
Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to:
Maintain / support healthy reproductive hormones
Enhance / promote / increase healthy sleep patterns
Support healthy stress response in the body
Ashwagandha has been treasured for its ability to revitalise and rejuvenate for more than six thousand years; this Indian root strikes a delicate balance between strengthening and fortifying the body while bringing a calm, parasympathetic embodiment.
This potent herb is still a staple within the Ayurvedic system and by the general population as a tonic of India; it is considered one of the most important herbs in the tradition.Ashwagandha is used in Ayurvedic medicine to promote healthy sleep patterns, support reproductive hormones and foster a healthy stress response in the body.As a rasayana, ashwagandha is given to children (in milk) to support healthy development and the elderly as it helps to promote ease, calms the mind, and supports healthy ageing.
Ashwagandha's botanical name, Withania somnifera, provides a bit of a clue to its powers; the species name somnifera means 'sleep-inducing.'The Hindi name ashwagandha is derived from the word ashva, referring to the horse sweat-like smell of the root!his translates to granting the strength of a horse to those that use ashwagandha. Ashwagandha holds a similar place in the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia as ginseng does in the Traditional Chinese healing system, however, it has a softer energy.
The iconic blend of the Taoist herbal tradition’s most revered Jing herbs.
The JING blend is the primary formula of Taoist herbs for people seeking to replenish the Essence of their body and organs that has been lost from living with stress over a long period, indulging in excess, and generally leaking core essence through staying too long in the sympathetic nervous system state and living a general Western lifestyle.
The blend can be used to rebuild your core energy, and once restored can remain in your lifestyle to help you to continue to cultivate this essence within the Kidneys.
A tonic herbal ‘multivitamin’ is formulated with herbs for supporting women's health and healing. This formulation blends the most revered women’s herbs used in Chinese medicine to nourish and replenish Blood and support a healthy menstrual cycle.
The SuperFeast I Am Gaia blend celebrates women and their right to thrive in flowing, abundant health. All women; from the young to the young at heart. As a formula, I Am Gaia is a collection of the Orient’s most potent and revered tonic herbs, those traditionally used to invigorate and sustain feminine health.
This blend tends to the foundational roots of a woman's health, offering deep nourishment to the body, mind, and spirit. Tonifying the organs on both a physical and energetic level, building and moving of the blood via the Liver, Spleen, Heart, and Kidneys, regulating hormones, menstruation, fertility, and increasing lubrication.
All information sourced from Superfeast https://www.superfeast.com.au/