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Dual-Extraction: The Secret to Getting the Most Out of Your Mushrooms and Lichens

Dual-Extraction: The Secret to Getting the Most Out of Your Mushrooms and Lichens

Feb 13, 2024 | Herbal Tinctures

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.

Why Choose Tinctures?

For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know that my favorite go-to herbal medicines are tinctures. Why? Because herbal extracts are quickly assimilated into the bloodstream within 5 minutes — unlike tea, tablets, or capsules. Alcohol-based tinctures are also able to draw out more beneficial compounds of the plant — with one caveat: lichens and medicinal mushrooms require dual-extraction with both alcohol and water.

Here we will cover several essential medicinal mushrooms and lichens, their uses, and step-by-step instructions for how to make your own dual-extracted tinctures. If you need a potent mushroom or lichen extract sooner rather than later, I have included links below to each product in my apothecary. You will also find an exciting announcement at the end of this post — make sure not to miss it!

Turkey Tail Medicinal Mushroom (Trametes versicolor)

My Favorite Medicinal Mushrooms & Lichens

As someone with multiple sclerosis, several medicinal mushrooms and lichens have been crucial for managing the disease and avoiding contagious illness that can trigger a flare. In fact, medicinal mushrooms are what helped me to get out of my wheelchair and thrive again. Incredibly, my MS hasn’t progressed in over two decades. But these botanicals address so much more!

Whether you are struggling with an autoimmune disorder or another health concern, the following herbal remedies are an excellent option. Here are the four essential medicinal mushrooms and two lichens that I recommend:


Reishi mushroom is an outstanding adaptogenic herb that strengthens the body against the negative effects of stress — such as increased inflammation, hormonal imbalance, high cortisol, and fatigue. This is particularly important if you have MS because stress can cause a flare. Reishi also encourages rejuvenating sleep, promotes adrenal health, and supports a healthy immune response. Moreover, it is neuroprotective, calms allergies, and is antiviral.

  • Immunomodulatory Effect
  • Inflammation
  • Neuro-protection
  • Fatigue
  • Cognition
  • Seizures and Convulsions
  • Antiviral

Turkey Tail

Another anti-inflammatory medicinal mushroom is turkey tail. It also helps to modulate the immune system so that it is not over or under active, making it an excellent herbal remedy for managing autoimmunity. Turkey tail is exceptional for healing leaky gut, chronic fatigue syndrome, and treats a range of bacterial and viral infections as well. What’s more, this impressive mushroom is also an outstanding prebiotic, combats candida, and addresses small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

  • Immunomodulatory Effect
  • Inflammation
  • Prebiotic
  • Antiviral and UTIs
  • Cognition (learning and memory)

Lion’s Mane

Lion’s mane mushroom is another impressive herbal medicine for managing multiple sclerosis as it fortifies the nervous system and addresses gut inflammation. It also helps to encourage Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), which is necessary for the repair of the protective, fatty coating surrounding nerve fibers known as the myelin sheath. For those with MS, the myelin sheath is often severely damaged. This protein maintains the neurons that are involved in learning, memory, and focus. Research has established that lion’s mane also improves cognitive function.

  • Immunomodulatory Effect
  • Inflammation (including gut inflammation)
  • Neuro-protection
  • Nervous System Recovery: Myelin regenesis (in vitro) and stimulation of NGF (Nerve
    Growth Factor)
  • Cognition
  • Calms stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Boosts energy and relieves fatigue
  • Antioxidant


I use a cordyceps extract every day to manage my MS. Similar to reishi, cordyceps has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. It is known to have neuroprotective properties that reduce neuronal cell death — an important consideration for those with MS. This unique mushroom is anti-inflammatory and helps to improve energy. It is also antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiprotozoal, which is helpful for addressing poor gut health. Cordyceps is anti-cancer (as are the previous 3 mushrooms) and regulates blood sugar as well.

  • Immunomodulatory Effect
  • Inflammation
  • Cognition
  • Memory
  • Neuro-protection and Neuro-inflammation
  • Antiviral

Each of the above botanicals can also be found in my convenient Mushroom FOURtress Bundle.

lungwort lichen growing on bark

Lungwort Lichen

Lungwort is a lobed lichen with leaf-like structures that resemble the human lung. It is well-known for its use in lung diseases but has many other uses. Lungwort lichen grows in old growth humid forests on conifers and hardwood trees.

  • Soothes respiratory inflammation
  • Clears the lungs of congestion
  • Improves cold, flu, and bronchitis symptoms
  • High in antioxidants
  • Helps to degrade prions responsible for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)
  • Effective against staphylococcus, pneumonia, and salmonella
  • Addresses constipation, stomach pain, indigestion, diarrhea, and bloating

Usnea Lichen

This is my number one go-to herb (paired with Elderberry) for keeping healthy during the cold and flu season, and when I am traveling or around crowds. It has powerful antibiotic, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties. I spray it on the back of my throat to help prevent illness. It can also be used on wounds, fungal skin conditions, and thrush to promote healing.

  • Herbal antibiotic
  • Antiviral
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antifungal
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Sinus infections
  • Strep throat
  • Cervical dysplasia
  • Epstein-Barr
  • Tuberculosis
  • Herpes
  • Facilitates clotting and stops bleeding
  • Can be sprayed on the back of the throat to prevent/treat illness
  • Thrush (anti-fungal)
mortar and pestle

DIY Dual-Extracted Tincture

A majority of lichens and mushrooms need to be dual-extracted to access the full spectrum of beneficial compounds within the plant — such as polysaccharides (including beta-glucans) and triterpenoids like ganoderic acid.

Double Extraction Method

You can easily scale down this recipe for at-home use. You’ll need: 8 ounces (225g) or more of dried mushroom or lichen, 24 ounces (650g) of 80 to 100 proof alcohol (40 to 50 % alcohol), and 16 ounces (500ml) of distilled water.

1. Fill a quart-sized (32 oz – 900g) canning jar half-full with diced dried mushrooms, then fill it to 1⁄2 inch (1.25cm) of the top with alcohol. Stir and cap it, shaking it every few days for 2 months. Then strain out the alcohol and set it aside to keep.

2. For the decoction, poor 16 ounces (0.5L) of water into a ceramic or glass pot with a lid and put the mushrooms into it. Cover and simmer the mixture on low until half of the water has simmered off. This will take a few hours. If the water level drops too quickly, add more so that you can continue simmering your mushrooms. The end result should be 8 ounces (250ml) of your decoction. Do not boil.

3. Allow the water to cool, and then strain out the mushrooms, pressing them to remove all of the liquid. Mix this water (8 oz –250 ml) and the alcoholic tincture you have set aside (you should have about 24 oz – 0.75L of alcohol tincture) together to create the finished double-extraction. It has a high enough alcohol content (30%) that it should be shelf-stable for many years, as long as it is stored in a sealed container. The ratio of the alcoholic tincture to the decoction is 3:1.

Nicole Apelian teaching Lost Remedies Herbal Academy

My Online Herbal Academy — Now Available!

Are you seeking a hands-on course designed to deepen your knowledge of herbal medicine? My new Lost Remedies Herbal Academy is for you! It will give you the skills to identify, harvest, and utilize the medicinal plants around you — whether on a day-to-day basis or in the event of a collapse where conventional prescription and over-the-counter medicines may be hard to come by. This is the same valuable knowledge our great-grandparents had that’s almost completely lost today.

My course is designed to empower you with the knowledge and skills to take charge of your family’s health. Whether you’re looking to treat a nagging cough with a remedy growing in your backyard or would like to put together an essential herbal medicine kit for emergencies, this training is tailored to fit your needs. It will help you to reduce medical costs, prevent and treat a range of health conditions, and become more self-sufficient.

This is something you don’t want to miss! Tap here to learn more.

Nicole Apelian

Nicole’s Apothecary Products in this Post

Nicole's Apothecary Cordyceps Mushroom Tincture

Dual-Extracted Cordyceps Mushroom Tincture

Nicole's Apothecary Dual-Extracted Elderberry Tincture-04

Dual-Extracted Elderberry Tincture

Nicoles Apothecary Lions Mane Tincture

Dual-Extracted Lion’s Mane Mushroom Tincture

Nicole's Apothecary Reishi Mushroom Tincture

Dual-Extracted Reishi Mushroom Tincture

Nicole's Apothecary Turkey Tail Mushroom Tincture

Dual-Extracted Turkey Tail Mushroom Tincture

Nicole's Apothecary Usnea Tincture Spray

Dual-Extracted Usnea Tincture Spray

Nicole's Apothecary Mushroom FOURTress Bundle

Mushroom FOURtress Bundle

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