I’ve been blessed with a relatively well-behaved body that treats me well. In return I try to reat it well. However throughout my 30s I’ve struggled with emotional instability during the last phase of my cycle. I have so much more empathy for men who don’t get to enjoy the beautiful balancing effects of female hormones because I truly feel as though I’ve lost my super powers during my luteal phase. Short of hiding in my house for a week every month I’ve looked for ways I can best support my body while it is lacking estrogen.
Recently someone suggested I try mushrooms.
No not the “magic” kind although mushrooms truly are magic, that is another post.
Through some very quick reading on the internet I determined that there are three mushrooms that could potentially help me: lions mane, cordyceps and reishi. Diving down that rabbit hole I found myself entering into the world of mushroom coffee and wondering about the ever important supplement question: dosage.
Another slightly more indepth internet search resulted in the following dosage ranges:
- Lion’s mane – 500mg-4000mg or 0.5-4grams with 1 gram being most common
- Cordyceps – 1000-3000mg or 1-3g with 2 grams being the typical dose
- Reishi – 1500-9000mg with 2000mg or 2 grams as the recommended dose.
Reishi mushrooms were the only ones that flagged some significant health concerns if I got the dosage wrong so the 9g dose seems a little too far into the danger zone for my comfort levels.
Next task was to source product.
4 Sigmatic seems to be the company dominating this realm at the moment (early 2022) and picked myself up some of their lions mane coffee which was indescribably delicious but did not contain any dosage information. *sad face* I was told by a friend who met the, very handsome (her words not mine), owners of the company that this meant the dosage in the coffee was insignificant. *second sad face*.
The delightful medicinal tea company Traditional Medicinals makes a reishi rooibos tea with a dosage of 201mg per bag, also somewhat insignificant.
So…off I went in search of powders.
I will mention at this point I debated just growing the darn things myself as I like to be as close to source and self sufficient with my food as possible but I reigned myself back in, reminded myself this was an experiment about my hormones and I could cross that bridge later should it work.
I chose a company called Nuts.com and ordered myself 8 yummy ounces of each.
Now that I had my powders I needed to figure out how the heck I was going to accurately dose myself. Enter my beautiful balance scale:
Interestingly the reishi and lions mane came out the same: 3tsp=5g and the cordyceps was 1 3/4 tsp = 5g
- Lions mane – 3tsp = 5g
- Cordyceps – 1 3/4tsp = 5g
- Reishi – 3tsp = 5g
Now I have not used powders long enough to know how consistent a measurement this is across products so this pertains specifically to the Nuts.com powders I ordered. Should I order again I will probably remeasure and reweigh because…dosage.
Now because I don’t particularly want to dose myself constantly my focus here is on the phase of my cycle that I struggle with. My intention is to supplement with the mushrooms to support when my emotions are more fragile. Which means during my luteal phase which is roughly a week to 10 days.
If you are reading this and want to learn more about cycle tracking I highly recommend you do! It is such a rewarding and helpful journey to understanding yourself and to knowing that cyclothymia is probably not actually a health disorder but rather just a normal part of being a human being.
I digress back to mushrooms.
My Mushroom Coffee Recipe for Hormone Support
(makes two cups of coffee – I normally just have one)
- 20 grams of fresh ground coffee
- 2.5 grams of lions mane (1.5tsp)
- 2 grams of cordyceps (3/4 tsp roughly)
- 1.6 grams of reishi (1 tsp)
Stir or sift all the powders together into some fluffy goodness and make your coffee as usual. The flavour is definitely different and rich and earthy and delicious. Two sips in and I couldn’t tell anymore.
Note: it was much harder to press my Aeropress with the mushroom powder in.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
UPDATE June 2022:
The coffee is impossible to filter or make. There are too many mushrooms in it and it is too thick.
I tried making coffee without a filter and then pouring it through a sieve but it also wasn’t very good.
Dosage was excellent and it has helped tremendously. I feel much better and very supported.
I’ve been making mushroom hot chocolate instead. I make the hot chocolate as normal and then stir in the mushroom dosage. I also measured enough of the mushroom dosage to fill a large jar and then stir one heaping spoonful of the mushrooms in my hot chocolate to make it easier to mix up a glass of hot chocolate for myself.