A Buyer’s Guide to Mushroom Supplements: 5 Top Tips
Mushroom supplements are quite the hype on the alternative medicine scene. Did you know that before capsules and tinctures, medicinal mushrooms were brewed like tea and consumed for their health benefits?
These fungi have been used for centuries in oriental healing practices. China is still the largest producer of medicinal mushrooms. With new supplement brands cropping up every day, it can be difficult to select one.
Are you looking for the best tips for choosing high-quality mushroom supplements? This buyer’s guide to mushroom supplements includes five top tips to help you pick the right ones.
5 Best Tips for Choosing High-quality Mushroom Supplements
You can find medicinal mushrooms in the UK, the US, and almost anywhere else on earth. There are plenty of options in the market, which makes finding the right supplements tough.
Medicinal mushroom has been subject to many studies and has been scientifically proven to work. But, not all supplements are effective. Even if they all seem the same, they are not. Some have little or no efficacy. So, how do we choose top-quality mushroom supplements? These top five tips can help.
1. Know What’s In It
Many of the popular supplements are a blend of medicinal mushrooms. Before buying one, you must know what’s in it. You can’t just pick one up from the shelves and take it.
Is there any particular health problem you are looking to manage with the supplement? Then you must choose a mushroom that tackles that specific issue. Let’s say you want to boost your brain health. , In that case, your supplement needs to include Lion’s mane mushrooms. Also, there are many benefits of lions mane mushrooms, that help to keep fresh your mental health.
The easiest way to choose a supplement is according to what benefit you are trying to reap from it. Need something to help deal with anxiety? Buy Reishi or Lion’s mane supplements. If you’re looking for something that improves lung health and makes you energetic, try the Cordysep supplement.
2. Only Pick 100% Mushroom
All mushrooms have this white root-like extension called mycelium. This part of the fungi acts like both root and tree, spreading over surfaces where eventually mushrooms sprout out. If you have been looking into mushroom supplements, you have definitely come across this word.
But, you do not want mycelium supplements. Why you might ask? Answer this question instead. If you want to make a mushroom salad, would you use actual mushrooms or their icky extensions that look like spiderwebs?
If you want the nutritional content and the medicinal compounds of these fungi, only use supplements that are made from 100% fruiting bodies of mushrooms.
Since growing mushroom from spores takes time, some supplement brands use mycelium to make supplements as they develop faster. However, those supplements are very low on beneficial compounds like beta-d glucans, triterpenes, and Lentinan.
Don’t get fooled by words like “full-spectrum” on the bottle. Only buy supplements that clearly state what is inside, on the label.
3. Opt for Organic Certified
Organic certification is crucial when it comes to buying mushroom supplements. Since mushrooms are uber porous, they easily absorb things from their surroundings. This means that they get easily contaminated by fungicides, toxins, and poisonous metals like lead.
To pass organic certifications, producers have to follow strict guidelines. Animal testing, artificial fertilizers, preservatives, and other bad production practices are all banned. The product has to be organically produced in a safe location and be of high quality to become certified.
A supplement manufacturer that has received this certification is more likely to reveal where they have sourced their mushrooms from. Don’t buy supplements that are vague about their sourcing location.
Mushrooms come from all over the world, particularly from various parts of Asia like China and Japan. Try not to buy products that say made in the US as they tend to be heavy on mycelium.
4. Learn About Concentration and Dosage
Mushroom supplements come in three forms. There are capsules, powders, and tinctures. The mushroom extract is made into concentrated powders, which are then put into capsules. The powder is also sold on its own and can be added to smoothies and other beverages.
Some powders are too bitter. You can consume those by making tea and adding some salt and honey to tone down the bitterness.
Tinctures are concentrated liquid mushroom extract infused with alcohol. The alcohol makes the supplement more bitter, so it is better not to add them to drinks. You should try taking this sublingually.
Remember that these mushroom supplements contain highly concentrated extracts. As beneficial as they are, an overdose can cause severe side effects like vomiting and diarrhea.
Read the label carefully to understand the dosage. The more concentrated the supplement, the lesser you use.
5. Understanding the Extraction Process
There is a reason why ancient Chinese used to boil the mushroom and make tea out of them for consumption. You can’t just eat them. Some are too tough to chew or swallow.
To reap the full benefit, you have to extract the vital compounds so that they become more bioavailable to our body. There are two ways of extracting the compounds and some manufacturers use both methods.
One is hot water extraction. Much like the ancient tea-making process, the mushrooms are submerged in hot water to “steep”. But, this steeping goes on for hours until most of the water-soluble compounds are extracted. The liquid is then dried and made into powder.
The other method uses alcohol for extraction. Some mushroom compounds like triterpenes and sterols can only be extracted using alcohol. They are soaked in alcohol until the compounds are released from the fruiting body.
The liquid is either sold as a tincture or turned into fine powder. The supplement label should show the exact concentration of the compounds in each dosage so that people understand how much of what they are taking.
We hope that these five top tips for choosing high-quality mushroom supplements help you find the one you need. Make sure the supplement you buy is organically certified. Learn about the ingredients and opt for products that use only the fruiting bodies of mushrooms.
Having medicinal mushroom supplements can help you deal with many health problems. Remember that these supplements are highly concentrated. So, make sure to read the label carefully and to take the right dosage of the product.