Are you using counterfeit mushroom extracts? Here’s how to know the difference.

Are you using counterfeit mushroom extracts? Here’s how to know the difference.

Apr 27, 2021 | Herbal Remedies, Herbal Tinctures, Natural Remedies

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that I may earn a small commission from, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I use or have used myself. All opinions expressed here are my own.

High Quality Ingredients Matter

When I set out to create the most potent medicinal mushroom extracts available, I knew the method of production was crucial. This is why I employ a dual-extraction process and an innovative spagyric method for every tincture. We also only use the fruiting body of the mushroom. Many are unaware of the difference between products that use mycelium compared to those who utilize the higher quality fruiting body. It can be confusing for consumers to distinguish between the two. Here’s why fruiting body mushroom extracts are superior.

Mycelium vs Fruiting Bodies

Mycelium are the roots of the mushroom. A good analogy is that mycelium is to mushrooms what roots are to trees. Commercially, mycelium is usually grown on grain, mainly rice or oats. If grown to full size, they will form a complete fruiting body, which is what we normally associate with a mushroom: the stem, cap, and gills. Namely, everything that grows above the bed of grain, bark, or fallen log. The fruiting body contains the majority of nutrients and bioactive compounds like vitamins A, B, C, and D, zinc, and β-Glucans.

turkey tail mushrooms
To speed production and to save money, US mushroom supplement producers will often harvest the mycelium before it has formed a fruiting body. It is then ground together with the grain substrate. The end product isn’t considered a mushroom at all and contains little, if any, beneficial compounds. According to FDA Section 585.525: Mushroom Mycelium – Fitness for Food; Labeling:

Any food in which mushroom mycelium is used should be labeled to state that fact. Labeling should not suggest or imply that the food contains mushrooms.

Many times, supplement manufacturers will use the Latin name of the fungi on the label without distinguishing whether it is mycelium or the fruiting body. Grain will often be listed as “Other Ingredient”. Most consumers are unaware that the supplement they are taking isn’t truly a mushroom but a lesser grade mycelium product. It’s important to know the difference.

The Benefits of Mushroom Fruiting Body Products

The mushroom fruiting body is “full spectrum” as it contains most of the vitamins and minerals of the fungi, including:

  • Vitamins A, B, C, and D
  • Phosphorous
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Potassium

Mycologist Jeff Chilton notes that the active beneficial compounds found in medicinal mushroom fruiting bodies are:

  • β-Glucans—Antibiotic and antiviral properties, supports immunity.
  • Triterpenoids—Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, reduces lipids in the bloodstream, protects the liver, curbs histamine release.
  • Ergosterol—Antitumor, antioxidant, a precursor to Vitamin D2.
  • Statins—Can lower cholesterol in significant enough doses.
Nicoles Apothecary Mushroom Fourtress

The Gold Standard of Mushroom Extracts

In my Apothecary, we only use the mushroom fruiting body, in addition to the spagyric method. This creates the most potent extract available. Fruiting body extracts contain 30 to 40 percent beta-glucans, compared to mycelium extracts, which typically have only 5 to 7 percent. These compounds are known to regulate the immune system, improve glucose tolerance, support heart health, and more. In short, if you are seeking the most potent medicinal mushroom extract, tinctures that utilize the whole fruiting mushroom body are essential.

Learn more about our superior mushroom tinctures, including my Warrior Bundle, Mushroom Trio and Mushroom FOURtress bundles by visiting the Apothecary today!

Nicole Apelian

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