An ode to fungi: the fun of cooking, drinking, and eating mushrooms

Move over CBD. Mushrooms are having a moment and they’re probably here to stay. For more on the topic, we hear from the founders of Dirtea, while food writer Anastasia Miari explores the trend further

A woman's legs with a cup of tea balanced on them

The potent (read: ‘magic’) powers of Psilocybin mushrooms are now being considered for use in psychiatric treatment. Oregon just announced that it’ll be the first state in the US to work on building psychedelic mushrooms into everyday life, with a newly formed Psilocybin Advisory Board. Add to that the recent release and subsequent popularity of Merlin Sheldrake’s book Entangled Life – all about the biology, ecology, climatology and psychopharmacology of the earth’s ‘metabolic wizards’ – and it seems mushrooms should be more than just an afterthought at breakfast. 

A few facts about fungi
After your button, portobello, chanterelle and oyster mushrooms, there are tens of thousands of species out there, (around 1,100 of which are detailed on A hundred species of fungi live on human skin. There are 36,000 ‘sexes’ of mushroom – all they have to do to reproduce is mix genes by bumping into each other. Recent studies have found that fungi can communicate between themselves, and with trees and plants, illustrating that they can think without a brain. 

The power of mushrooms inspired exhibitions at London’s Somerset House (2020’s Mushrooms: The Art, Design And Future Of Fungi – featuring the works of artists as diverse as Cy Twombly and Beatrix Potter), a new magazine, The Mushroom, and even a TikTok account (@mycolyco). Yes, mushrooms are definitely on trend.

According to a recent study conducted by Pinterest, superfood powders have had a 144% year-on-year spike in searches on the site, and interest in nutrient-packed mushrooms in particular is up 46%. Medicinal mushrooms – also referred to as ‘superfoods’ and ‘adaptogens’ – have long been used in Chinese medicine and are now the latest in a series of superfoods back on the menu.

How to get yours
‘Since drinking mushroom teas, my brother and I have experienced a sharper mind, and an enhanced immune system, nailing longer runs and consistently amazing sleep. Ultimately, life is a lot more fun since we started drinking Dirtea,’ says Andrew Salter, one half of the duo behind Dirtea, a new health-food brand that’s harnessing the power of fungi. 

Choose from Chaga mushroom to boost the immune system, Lion’s Mane for mental focus, Cordyceps for physical performance, and Reishi for a good night’s sleep – all by adding a teaspoon of the powder to your favourite brew. Because what’s more magical in a world filled with insomniacs than a night of uninterrupted sleep? 

For more information about Dirtea and mushroom teas, visit



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