OK, so you’re convinced. You think mushrooms can have a positive effect on your life, and you’re ready to give em’ a try.
Of course, you want to make sure the supplement you’re getting is of the highest quality.
But what is it that makes a mushroom supplement “high quality”?
Well, I’m here to tell you that not all mushroom supplements are created equal.
In fact, the difference in quality between different products can be huge. And I’m not just saying that because I think our mushrooms are the best in the world. I’ll admit, there are plenty of really good supplements available from all sorts of different sellers.
But what if I told you that some “mushroom supplements” don’t even contain any mushrooms at all?
What if you’ve been misled?
HOW MUSHROOMS ARE GROWN FOR SUPPLEMENTATION
In order to understand exactly why there can be such a huge difference between supplements, you need to first understand a little bit about the biology of mushrooms, and how they are grown.
I’ll admit, I’m sure that not everyone is as big of a mushroom nerd as I am… but bear with me- this is important.
You can think of a mushroom as having two separate parts. First, there is the “fruiting body”. This is what most people would think of when they hear the word mushroom, the actual fleshy mass that is harvested and sold in grocery stores. Fruiting bodies come in all different shapes and sizes, from the shiny, red, shelf like fruit of the Reishi, to the toothed, white, snowball shaped fruit of the Lions Mane mushroom.
But there is another equally important part of the mushroom- the mycelium. This is the part of the mushroom that lives underground, or underneath the bark of a tree. The mycelium is usually a white, matted mass of tissue that works its way through a substrate, taking in nutrients and water. You can easily see mycelium next time you are out in the woods- just look for the white strands emanating from the base of a mushroom and running underneath the moss.
The fruiting body of the mushroom is really just a way to spread it’s spores- and its life is short. Mycelium, on the other hand will survive through multiple fruitings, year after year, and can also be propagated for the purposes of cultivation.
To make this easier, you can think of it like an apple tree. The mycelium is like the tree itself, whereas the fruiting body is like the apple.
In order to grow mushrooms, cultivators start by taking a piece of mushroom mycelium and placing it in jars of sterilized grain (typically rye, millet, sorghum or even brown rice) under laboratory conditions. The mycelium will very quickly start to expand, using the grain for nutrition. When the grain is completely covered in mycelium, it is known as “grain spawn” or “myceliated grain”. This grain is then added to a substrate, such as hardwood sawdust, straw, or sometimes manure. It will continue to grow through the substrate. When conditions are just right, the mushroom will “fruit” and the fruits can be harvested.
It’s a lot of work… but it’s worth it!
WHOLE FRUITING BODY SUPPLEMENTS
The beneficial compounds that you are looking for in a mushroom supplement are located primarily in the actual fruiting body of the mushroom- not the mycelium. That’s why it is so important to actually grow and fruit the mushroom.
But to make those compounds useful, the fruiting body needs to undergo a hot water extraction, almost like brewing a big ‘ol mushroom tea. This pulls out the compounds that are locked up inside the cell walls of the mushroom fruiting body, and makes them bio-available.
The result of using the whole fruiting body together with hot water extraction is a supplement that actually contains the compounds you are looking for in measureable amounts. That’s quality.
MYCELIUM ON GRAIN SUPPLEMENTS
The process of growing medicinal mushrooms to completion (producing the fruiting body) is quite expensive to do in the United States. In fact, to produce quality mushroom supplements in this way is just not economically feasible.
But there is a way around it. You see, some growers have discovered that they can grind up and sell myceliated grain as a mushroom supplement- without actually ever needing to fruit the mushroom.
The result is a product that is mostly just grain- high in starch, and almost completely absent of any of the beneficial compounds you’re looking for.
How can this be? Trust me, I think it’s crazy as well!
You can tell that a mushroom supplement is derived from mycelium on grain by looking at the ingredients. Somewhere in there it will say “myceliated brown rice” or something similar, and the beta-glucan content won’t be specified.
Using a mycelium on grain supplement, you can never be sure how much of the mushroom you are actually getting… it might be nothing at all!
All of our mushroom supplements are derived from the whole fruiting body of the mushroom, and also go through an extensive hot water extraction process.
You can tell as soon as you open a bag of our pure mushrooms extracts. But don’t just trust your senses… our extracts are analytically tested and scientifically verified to actually contain what you are looking for. It’s right on the back of the package.
Not only do our supplements contain real mushrooms- they contain the best mushrooms in the world – and we stand behind that fact 100%. That’s quality.