LA is known for its healthy lifestyle – take a drive through West Hollywood and you’ll find juice bars and workout studios on every corner. But Lifehouse Tonics and Elixirs is taking the juicing method to a new level, ditching typical ingredients like leafy greens and using medicinal mushrooms as their key element. We sat down with owners Jack Latner and Fraser Thompson to decode the mushroom mystery and try a few of their delicious recipes (one of which tasted like mint chip ice cream... we swear).
How did Lifehouse come about?
Years ago I became interested in Chinese tonic herbs and medicinal mushrooms for my own personal use. A friend of mine introduced me to this world – at the time he was using these holistic remedies to help him deal with an autoimmune disorder and I went along out of curiosity. After using them for a little while I started to notice changes in my own physique. I had more energy, my skin was clean and clear and I was sleeping soundly. I soon realized that there wasn’t a place where someone like me (an amateur so to speak) could go, learn, and consume these fantastic and strange ingredients. Fraser (my business partner) and I decided that it was important to open a place that was just like that. A place that is accessible to anyone and everyone whether you’re a holistic nutritionist or someone who’s never heard of Ashwaganda, Reishi mushroom or Eleuthero. Even more important was everything had to taste incredible. No more plugging your nose and taking a disgusting immunity shot. Now you can get all your natural immunity ingredients and enjoy it.
What is the difference between an elixir and a tonic?
A tonic is defined as a medicinal substance that is taken to give a feeling of vigor or well-being. An elixir is a magic or medicinal potion. At Lifehouse Tonics + Elixirs our tonic drinks are elevated smoothies packed with vitamins, minerals, Chinese tonics herbs, ayurvedic herbs, medicinal mushrooms and more. Our elixirs are our lighter offerings that are bottled. Developed to resemble a refreshing tea or cooling infusion, they’re jam packed with different algaes, various sea minerals, medicinal mushrooms, tonic herbs and ayurvedic ingredients.
Your elixirs and tonics are definitely not your average superfood smoothie — how did you develop the recipes?
We spent a very long time formulating our recipes. We put together an all-star team that included vegan chefs and herbalists. We honed in on the very best ingredients and worked from there. As you may know, many of these mushrooms and herbs taste very strong on their own. So it was quite an exercise attempting to mask those strong or bitter flavors. After some hard work and very creative formulation, we created elevated superfood drinks that are extremely delicious.
Why medicinal mushrooms? What are the health benefits?
Even though most people do not consider mushrooms medicinal herbs, many of the world's 38,000 species of mushroom have medicinal qualities. They have been used medicinally for thousands of years in many cultures around the world. Their benefits and uses vary greatly, but many of them are considered some of the most beneficial organisms on the planet. Medicinal mushrooms contain immune activating beta-glucans and other polysaccharides. There’s a lot of research showing they protect and support immune health. Medicinal mushrooms are also one of the few plant species that are adaptogenic 'immune modulators.' They can either up-regulate or down-regulate natural immune response as needed. They help your body adapt and deal with the environmental stressors we’re exposed to each day. Some of our favorite mushrooms at Lifehouse Tonics + Elixirs include Reishi, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Shiitake, Maitake, Turkey Tail and Agarikon.
To try at home:
Pineapple Ginger Kefir
5 oz raw coconut water
5 oz coconut kefir
1 tsp Lifehouse infusion
1.5 cups Pineapple (fresh or frozen)
1 half inch of Ginger (fresh or frozen)
Add a pinch of your favorite sweetener to taste.
Lifehouse Tonics and Elixirs
7515 Sunset Blvd, LA 90046