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Mushroom Extraction Essentials

Mushroom Extraction Essentials. Image features an array of Harmonic Arts Mushroom Capsules, Powders, and Tinctures. All surrounded by fruiting body Chaga, Turkey Tail, and Lion's Mane.

Elizabeth Ferns |

In order to spot a high quality functional mushroom supplement, looking at its extraction method can shed some light on how potent the benefits will be. Extraction is an essential process that unlocks all the healing properties within the mushroom while breaking down indigestible fibre and chitin within the cell walls. Doing so creates a concentrated, pure, and bioavailable product that supports whole-body balance, including increased energy, enhanced immunity, better digestion, and more.


What is a Mushroom Extract?

The scientific definition of extraction is “the process of selectively removing a compound of interest from a mixture using a solvent.” In this context, the compound of interest is the fruiting body mushroom, and the solvent could be water, alcohol, or both. During the extraction process, our mushrooms are essentially “cooked down” to unlock their healing properties.


Methods of Mushroom Extraction

Proper extraction will yield potent levels of fungal polysaccharides, triterpenes, and beta-glucans that are easy for your body to absorb. There are two main methods:

Hot Water Extraction

Hot water extraction is the most common type of extraction method. It involves heating the mushrooms in large vats of hot water and simmering them for a long period of time as a “decoction.” This type of extraction is necessary to release the water-soluble polysaccharides within the mushrooms, including beta-glucans. Each of our mushrooms undergo hot water extraction to unlock these active compounds.

Alcohol Extraction

For mushrooms that are woodier in texture and density, such as Chaga and Reishi, an additional alcohol extraction is necessary to free up beneficial triterpenes. This is accomplished by saturating the fruiting bodies in alcohol for several weeks, and then pressing the liquid out afterwards.

Learn more about our extraction process in this video with our Co-Founder, Yarrow Willard.


Understanding Extract Ratio

When shopping for a mushroom supplement, look for the extraction ratio. This will provide an idea of the amount of mushroom medicine you receive per serving. A high extraction ratio means that the supplement will be potent and easier to digest, giving you a greater concentration of wellness benefits in a small amount of product.

For example, our Reishi Concentrated Mushroom Powder has an extraction ratio of 12:1. This means that every 1 gram (¼ tsp) of Reishi Mushroom Powder consumed is equivalent to 12 grams of whole, fruiting body Reishi.


Have Your Mushrooms Your Way

Depending on lifestyle and personal preferences, you may choose to take your mushrooms in the form of a powder, capsule, or tincture. Need help deciding which form is right for you? Check out our guide here.

Mushroom Powders

Our water-soluble Mushroom Powders make it easy to add a concentration of bioavailable compounds to your morning coffee, smoothie, or other recipes. Made from 100% fruiting body, our Concentrated Mushroom Powders feature high extraction ratios to provide you with a potent dose of benefits.

Mushroom Capsules 

Our Mushroom Capsules offer a convenient twist on our best-selling Mushroom Powders. Our vegan and gluten-free Capsules are easy to add to your current supplement regime or take them with you on the go. Stick to your wellness routine, no matter what life throws at you with this form of mushroom support.

Mushroom Tinctures 

Tinctures are a quick and effective way to add bioavailable mushroom extracts to your daily routine. They can be taken on their own or added to drinks and other recipes. Made with 100% fruiting body, our Mushroom Tinctures are formulated by Clinical Herbalists and handmade on Vancouver Island.


Ready to dive into the world of functional fungi? Click here to shop our mushroom products.