Eating fresh mushrooms is the best way to reap their health benefits, right? Actually, no! A tincture (also known as an extract) is a much better choice. Allow us to explain.
Fungal cells are strengthened by chitin, a substance that many humans cannot digest well. That means that when we eat fresh mushrooms, their fungal cells—and any medicinal substances inside of them— exit our bodies still intact. This prevents us from absorbing their incredible healing compounds. What a waste (literally)!
The key to unlocking all the healing properties of medicinal mushrooms is to break down the chitin cell walls. This allows the compounds inside the fungal cells to become bioavailable. So, how exactly does one do that? It’s done via a process called extraction.
What is extraction?
Traditional extraction is similar to making tea. It involves soaking raw organic materials (such as dried herbs, fruits, or mushrooms) in a liquid extract solvent, such as alcohol. This process releases the plant’s nutritional compounds that are locked within the plant’s cells. Extraction yields concentrated mushroom extracts (or tinctures) that are bursting with health-promoting compounds.
A new type of extraction
Here at Forage Hyperfoods, we use ultrasonic extraction to produce high-potency extracts that feature all of the fungi’s beneficial polysaccharides, triterpenes, and vitamins. This method of extraction is more efficient and produces more nutritionally-dense extracts.
With ultrasonic extraction, an ultrasonic system sends waves (or mechanical vibrations) through the liquid. This causes large pressure changes which create tiny pressure bubbles on the surface of the mushroom cells floating around in the liquid. These eventually implode, causing an opening in the mushroom cell wall that releases the inner constituents (a.k.a “the good stuff”) into the liquid.
Another added benefit of ultrasonic extraction is that it removes the need for harsh extraction solvents. With this method, using something as mild as water can yield full-spectrum extracts. In fact, by using ultrasonic extraction, Forage Hyperfoods is able to offer both alcohol and alcohol-free mushroom tinctures.
How potent are tinctures?
Functional mushrooms in tincture form are more potent than mushrooms in other forms such as fresh or powder. This is because, as explained above, extraction breaks down the fungal cell walls, making the healing goodness contained within the cells bioavailable for our bodies to absorb. This is especially true with ultrasonic extraction which yields tinctures with exceptional potency and bioavailability.
You also can more easily consume a larger quantity of mushroom via a tincture than by ingesting it in other forms.
What are mushroom tinctures used for?
Functional mushroom tinctures are available in many varieties. We offer alcohol and alcohol-free chaga, lion’s mane, reishi, and turkey tail tinctures. Each variety has different healing properties, so which one(s) you decide to take will depend on the health benefits you’re seeking:
- Chaga is best known for its powerful immune-boosting and gut health benefits.
- Lion’s mane has been shown to benefit nerve health, focus, and memory.
- Reishi is ideal for stress balance and immune support.
- Turkey tail is great for immune support and gut health, and may also help combat cancer.
How much mushroom tincture should you take?
Consuming tinctures is an easy way to incorporate functional fungi into your routine. We recommend taking 2ml (or two dropperfuls) one to two times a day. As with starting any new supplement, however, it’s recommended that you start with a lower dose and gradually increase as necessary. You can put mushroom tinctures directly into your mouth or drop the liquid into any hot or cold beverage or soft food.
Functional mushroom tinctures can be taken any time of day, although some may be better to take at certain times than others. For example, reishi is known to have a more calming or sedating quality, so it may be best to take that one before bed.
Tinctures are easy to carry on the go and require no prep time or cleanup. Reaping the incredible benefits of functional mushrooms has never been easier!
Incorporating tinctures into your daily routine
Tinctures offer an easy, convenient, and effective way to receive the healing benefits of medicinal fungi. By using ultrasonic extraction, Forage Hyperfoods is able to offer high-potency, full-spectrum extracts that contain all of the fungi’s unique and powerful compounds.
These extracts work best when taken regularly—ideally daily—and when used in conjunction with other health behaviors such as exercise, eating a healthy diet, restorative sleep, and stress reduction. Make them a part of your daily routine today!