Photography Marissa Findlay.
Emily Blanchett and Jessica Clarke are on a mission to introduce Kiwis to the health and wellness benefits of medicinal mushrooms.
Say hello to nutrient-rich mushroom powders that can be added to beverages, cooking and baking.
Clarke, a professional model whose credits include being photographed by Mario Testino and walking for Giorgio Armani, first encountered mushroom lattes in LA. Blanchett, best known for starring in television series The Block and running salad bar The Green House in Palmy with her mum, also enjoyed the benefits of mushroom supplements while living in the US.
The high school pals were living in New York when Covid struck. It was the catalyst to return home and launch Mother Made – a range of organic, dehydrated mushroom powders and capsules. Good caught up with the pair to get the details.
What inspired you to launch a mushroom supplement?
Jessica: I came across medicinal mushrooms while living in NYC and LA. A friend introduced me to mushroom lattes and I was obsessed immediately from the way they made me feel. I researched different mushrooms, and realised they’ve been used for thousands of years but only now has modern science taken a particular interest in it. I started using them daily. It was nice to find a natural supplement that had noticeable benefits without any adverse effects. When I spoke to Em, she too said she had tried them and was sleeping better, had a clear mind, a happier gut and energy that lasted throughout the day. Returning home during Covid, we reflected and decided that New Zealand was missing out on this ancient medicine!
Where does the name Mother Made come from?
Emily: Mother Made means made from Mother Nature. It’s a play on words because we are seeing a shift in people choosing natural products over ‘man-made’ pharmaceuticals.
What products are currently in the range?
Jessica: We’ve launched Mother Made with five plant-based mushroom products. [There are] three capsule products designed to be taken daily: Reishi to help relax and calm nerves, Cordyceps to help stabilise energy and Lion’s Mane to help improve brain function. And [there are] two powder blends specially formulated to provide benefits in the morning or the evening. Our AM blend is designed to switch on your brain, boost your energy and strengthen your immunity. Our PM blend helps you relax and reach REM sleep and supports digestion and skin, hair and nail health.
What varieties of mushrooms do you use and why did you choose these over others?
Emily: The mushrooms we chose for our range have had the most research and have been used medicinally around the world for centuries. We also considered their benefits and what consumers might need help with, e.g., sleep, energy, stress, immunity, gut health and brain fog.
Where are the mushrooms grown?
Jessica: We source the mushrooms from their origin in China. Over centuries, Chinese medicine has developed standards to guide the cultivation of the best quality medicinal mushrooms. Our mushrooms are grown organically on a farm, not in a lab, making them kind to the earth as well as our bodies.
What health, beauty and wellness benefits have you seen personally since using a mushroom supplement?
Jessica: I’ve been using mushrooms as a staple in my diet for a few years now and overall I feel more balanced. I sleep much better when I take Reishi at night. My energy stays consistent throughout the day when I take Cordyceps in the morning, and my brain is more focused when using Lion’s Mane. Mushrooms are also rich in antioxidants which leave my skin glowing.
Who would benefit the most from using a mushroom supplement?
Emily: Anyone needing a helping hand with deeper sleep, anxiety and stress, stable energy, brain fog, immunity, gut health, inflammation – basically everyone!
What is your favourite way to consume the mushroom powders?
Jessica: I use the AM powder every day in my coffee – it really switches you on and gives you energy for the whole day. It also dissolves easily and adds rich flavour.
Emily: I use the PM powder when cooking dinner. It tastes amazing and gives dishes some depth.
What’s next for you guys? Are there any new products on the horizon?
Emily: We are just trying to educate everyone about the incredible medicinal properties mushrooms have to offer and make them available for everyone to try. We’ve been talking about introducing a ‘beauty blend’ and a ‘mood booster’ too.