DIY: Herbal Alternative to Coffee

You've devoured mushrooms enfolded in tasty omelets or sprinkled atop your favorite pastas, but if you’re looking for a unique coffee alternative, try mushrooms in the form of tea as a coffee substitute!

Reishi mushroom, or Ganoderma lucidum, is a staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It's Chinese name, ling chih, means "mushroom of immortality." Those drinking the tea continuously for two months report significant improvements in their well-being.

One of reishi's active ingredients, polysaccharides, is water-soluble. This makes mushroom tea a benefit to those with health concerns. Reishi mushroom tea is nontoxic and can be enjoyed daily without negative side effects. Additionally, the soft, flat reishi mushroom makes for one invigorating (and healthy) drink that can be used as an herbal alternative to coffee.


    1. Combine 1/3 ounce of chopped or powdered reishi mushroom with 3 cups of water
    2. Bring the tea to a boil and let it simmer for 30 minutes before enjoying

Foods That Fight Inflammation & Belly Fat

When eaten on a regular basis, foods with anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation in the body, helping to prevent the long-term health consequences associated with it — but only if you also eliminate the foods that cause inflammation. When inflammation is under control, not only will you have more energy and feel better overall, but you’ll also find that weight loss and reduction of belly fat both become easier!

Remember staying hydrated is essential to flushing inflammation-causing toxins out of your body. So always aim for 64 ounces of water per day. Add an additional 8 ounces of water for every 30 minutes of exercise as well.

Try adding anti-inflammatory foods into your meal plan on a daily basis. The more often you eat these foods, the less inflammation that will be present in your body. The following foods and nutrients can fight inflammation:

Fruits and vegetables. All fruits and vegetables, due to their rich nutrient and fiber content, help to combat chronic inflammation, so make sure to include adequate amounts of these foods daily. Some types of fresh produce, however, are even more potent than others.Some terrific anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables to include in your meal plan include apples, berries, broccoli, mushrooms, papaya, pineapple, and spinach.

Green tea. This mild beverage is great for helping shrink your waistline as well as for decreasing inflammation. The flavonoids in this tea have natural anti-inflammatory properties. And the compound EGCG in green tea has been shown to help reduce body fat.

Monounsaturated fats. These heart-healthy fats help raise your healthy HDL cholesterol levels and reduce overall inflammation. Great sources include olive oil, almonds, and avocado.

Spices. Certain spices, including garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and chili peppers, have potent inflammation-reducing capabilities, so try adding them to meals as often as possible.

Whole grains. Rich in fiber, whole grains help control the insulin response in your body. The high B vitamin content of whole grains also helps reduce the inflammatory hormonehomocystine in the body.

Omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that a diet with a high percentage of omega-3 fatty acids and a low percentage of omega-6 fatty acids has been linked with decreased inflammation. Food sources of omega-3s include walnuts, flaxseed, and fish, such as wild Alaskan salmon.

Rootlogy's Guide To Growing & Using Fresh Herbs Part I

Believe it or not, growing your own medicinal herbs at home is relatively simple for anyone to do. They are among the most rewarding of garden projects, providing fresh flavor to add to meals and additional health benefits.

Read on to learn about our three herb growing essentials and the basics for taking care of coriander, parsley and basil this week.

3 Herb Growing Essentials

Healthy Soil: Choose an organic, light potting soil; this provides good drainage and room for young roots to grow. (If you're starting plants from seed, you'll use a seed-starting medium.)

Abundant Sun: Unless otherwise noted, your herbs will thrive in full sun.

Water and Food: Water your plants daily (ideally in the morning), until water drains out of the bottom of the pot. If you're using a saucer under the pot, empty it of any water collected. The soil shouldn't stay soaking wet, nor should it dry out completely. Use a balanced organic fertilizer according to package directions. Keep in mind that plants can be killed with kindness; take care not to overfeed or overwater. 



Health Benefits: The health benefits of coriander include its use in the treatment of skin inflammation, high cholesterol levels, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, anemia, indigestion, menstrual disorders, smallpox, conjunctivitis, skin disorders, and blood sugar disorders, while also benefiting eye care.

Growing Conditions: Coriander likes a sunny spot, well-drained soil and a steady supply of both water and fertilizer. It grows equally well in pots or in garden beds. If using pots, use top quality potting mix and sit the pots up on pot feet, so water drains away after each watering.

Ways To UseAccording to OPRAH's suggestion, add the seeds to everything from fruit salads to pasta. Or try steeping toasted coriander seeds in olive oil, then tossing quinoa in the flavored oil.  


Health Benefits: The herb contains no cholesterol; however, it is rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, which help control blood-cholesterol, prevents constipation, protects the human body from free radicals mediated injury and from cancers.

Growing Conditions: Parsley grows well in a deep pot, which helps accommodate the long taproot. Parsley grown indoors requires at least five hours of sunlight per day or high output plant growing lights. This herb grows well in loamy garden soil rich in nitrogen, and does well in full sun or part shade. 

Ways To Use: Try one of the New York Time's picks on how to use this green herb in your home cooked meals! 



    Health Benefits: Basil is considered one of the healthiest herbs. It's best when fresh, exuding a sweet, earthy aroma that indicates not only the promise of pleasantly pungent flavor, but an impressive list of nutrients. Vitamin K, essential for blood clotting, is one of them. Just two tablespoons of basil provides 29 percent of the daily recommended value.

    Growing Conditions: Plant basil seeds outside when the ground is warm. You may start inside with individual pots, or with bedding plants. If you start growing inside, heat cables are helpful since this is a tropical plant that doesn’t take kindly to the cold. Be sure to plant in full sunlight and in well-drained soil, enriched with compost, aged manure, or other organic materials.

    Ways To Use: Learn how the Food Network uses basil in a number of different recipes including soup, seafood and pizza.

    Stay tuned for Part II of Rootlogy's Guide To Growing & Using Fresh Herbs' next week!


    • "Health Benefits of Coriander." Organic Facts. N.p., 2014. Web. 05 Feb. 2014.
    • "How To Grow Parsley." Herb Gardens. N.p., 2012. Web. 05 Feb. 2014.
    • "Parsley Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits." Nutrition And N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2014.
    • "Wholeliving." Whole Living. N.p., May 2009. Web. 04 Feb. 2014.