mushroom tea and tincture
Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on December 3, 2009
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The active, beneficial components of medicinal mushrooms need to be extracted from either the fruiting body or the mycelia with heat or alcohol in order to make them bioavailable to us in a form that can be properly utilized by the body. In other words, just encapsulating powdered mushrooms or mycelium and then taking those capsules will not provide any of the true healing, balancing and therapeutic benefits of medicinal mushrooms, because our bodies can’t assimilate their active components when we consume the raw fungi.
Fungi cell walls contain a substance called chitin, which is the same thing the shells of crustaceans like lobsters and shrimp are made of. The medicinal phytochemicals that make these medicinal fungi such powerful healing allies for people can’t be extracted directly from the chitin via our digestive processes because we lack the enzymes needed to dissolve them from the chitin. The only way these phytonutrients become available and useful to us is when they are physically extracted from the chitin using hot water and/or alcohol.
Different constituents are extracted depending on which method is used. The polysaccharides (ie beta glucans etc) are extracted using hot water, and alcohol is used to extract the triterpenes.
Ideally, the best and most economical way to get the most beneficial effects out of medicinal mushrooms is to tincture them in alcohol for a few weeks, strain and press the mushrooms to extract as much tincture from them as possible, and then decoct (bring to a boil then gently simmer in water) the leftover tinctured mushrooms for an hour or two. Most medicinal mushrooms can be cooked like this at least 2 or 3 times (and the resulting tea drunk) in order to extract the maximum amount of polysaccharides from them.
Drinking some tea and taking some tincture together on a regular basis is the most effective way to get the most potent beneficial effects of medicinal mushrooms into the body, however taking encapsulated extractions is no doubt much more convenient.
AFAIK, there’s only one company that makes encapsulated medicinal mushroom extracts using both hot water and alcohol extraction methods:
Mushroom Science is also very reputable company, but they only use hot water extraction:
I’ve been doing a lot of research on medicinal mushrooms recently, and the more I learn, the more I’m becoming convinced that they are one of THE most amazing and effective botanicals available to us in terms of their potential to positively impact on our health.
Besides being used for ages by human beings in many places all over the planet for thousands of years, medicinal mushrooms have virtually no known side effects, and they can be safely taken by just about anyone (pregnant and nursing women may wish to consult their health care professional) for extended periods of time.
Mushrooms like Reishi and Shiitake (or rather their extracts) are being used regularly by mainstream medical doctors in places like Japan to treat cancer, due to their well documented anti-tumor effects. There have been any number of scientific, peer reviewed studies done on several different medicinal mushrooms including Agaricus blazei, Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake, Coriolus and others, which verify the powerful healing and balancing effects of these fungi that have been known to indigenous peoples the world over for eons.
I’ve found that when you really start to dig into some research and begin learning more about the beneficial components contained in these remarkable fungi and their historical use, it really makes you wonder why it is that so few people in the west have ever used them, and why so many folks around here seem to have absolutely no idea about the extent of their amazing healing properties.
Source of Mushroom powder
I dunno where everyone gets their medicinal
mushroom powders, but I stumbled across this site
that has either 4 oz or 1 lb sizes of just about
every mushroom powder you can think of, and they
sell plugs if you want to grow your own.
If you’re interested here it is:
Looks like 1lb of mushroom powder runs 30.00, the
4 oz is 11.00. But do you know hoe many 500 mg – 1
gram capsules that will make? Lots and lots. It
beats 15.00 a bottle for 60 or so capsules by a