Insomnia-free: Reishi Latte

Dr. Dorian Holmes, ND

Makes 2-4 servings

Growing up, I was only exposed to the cute button mushrooms of which I would never eat. No thank you. The flavor was not my favorite, to say the least. I didn’t know that there were so many types and flavors associated with mushroom varieties. For instance, shiitake mushrooms can have a nutty taste or even meaty-flavor. They are a great substitute when you are not cooking with meat. In school, I learned that the longer one cooks down mushrooms over low heat, the sweeter and healthier they become. They can help out to round out flavors in a spicy dish.

Over the last few years, I have come to love mushrooms, especially Reishi (aka Ganoderma lucidum). Reishi has loads of research that supports its use with insomnia. Among its 400 bioactive constituents, Reishi’s tranquilizing effect is due to its high amounts of GABA and TNF-alpha. TNF-alpha significantly reduces sleep latency thus improving one’s ability to fall asleep faster. When we have accumulated many nights with very little sleep it can seem impossible to catch up and feel refreshed.

Reishi actually helps to increase the duration of one’s deep, physically relaxing and restorative, non-REM sleep time. Another feature of improved non-REM sleep time is an upregulation of the brain’s clearance of metabolic waste, via the glymph system. Of paramount importance is REM or light sleep; together (REM and non-REM sleep) improve one’s memory consolidation or ability to move short-term memory into long-term memory.

May the joy of restful sleep be with you!


4 cups filtered water per

1 heaping tablespoon ground reishi mushroom


1 TBS slippery elm powder –improves digestion & creaminess

1 TBS goji berries – subtle sweetness & flavor

½ cup canned Thai Kitchen coconut milk

1 TBS coconut oil

2 TBS hemp seeds – reduces inflammation, assists brain health

1 cap opened buffered vitamin C

1 tsp. chlorella – antioxidant & alkalinize

1 drop lavender tincture – calmness

1 cup hot water or favorite nut milk

½ cup canned Thai Kitchen coconut milk

  • Reishi Mushroom Tea: Add ground 2 heaping tablespoons of ground reishi and 8 cups of water to a stainless steal or ceramic pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, reducing liquid by half. This usually takes about 1 hour. (This mixture will keep ~3-4 days in the fridge).
  • Reishi Latte: Add canned coconut milk, slippery elm powder, goji berries, coconut oil, hemp seeds, vitamin C and chlorella all to a blender. Blend well.
  • Warm 1 cup of Reishi Mushroom Tea with 1 cup of favorite nut milk, not boiling. Let cool for 3 minutes, if necessary. Add reishi plus nut milk to blender. Cover lid with additional towel to prevent splattering.   Blend well.
  • Add 1 drop of lavender into each mug. Pour Reishi Latte into 2-4 mugs. Add honey, if you prefer. Enjoy!

Cui, X. Y., S. Y. Cui, J. Zhang, Z. J. Wang, B. Yu, Z. F. Sheng, X. Q. Zhang, and Y. H. Zhang. “Extract of Ganoderma Lucidum Prolongs Sleep Time in Rats.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Feb. 2012. Web. 09 Aug. 2017.

Krueger, James M. “The Role of Cytokines in Sleep Regulation.” Current Pharmaceutical Design. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 8 June 2009. Web. 09 Aug. 2017.

Zeng, Yawen, Jiazhen Yang, Juan Du, Xiaoying Pu, Xiaomen Yang, Shuming Yang, and Tao Yang. “Strategies of Functional Foods Promote Sleep in Human Being.” Current Signal Transduction Therapy 9.3 (2015): 148-55. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.