Mushroom tinctures are a very popular and effective way to consume medicinal mushrooms.
Extracting the mushroom's compounds and nutrients into solvents like alcohol and water makes them easier to absorb and allows them to be stored for longer periods of time.
But how can you make a mushroom tincture by yourself at home? Keep reading to find out!
What Is A Mushroom Tincture?
A mushroom tincture is simply a liquid extract made from mushrooms. The most popular way to consume mushroom tinctures is by taking them orally, although they can also be used topically.
Tinctures are usually made with alcohol, but glycerin or vinegar can also be used. The main benefit of using alcohol as a solvent is that it extracts more of the mushroom's compounds and nutrients. It also allows the tincture to be stored for longer periods.
Glycerin and vinegar are good alternatives for those who are avoiding alcohol for personal or religious reasons. However, they are not as effective at extracting the mushroom's compounds and nutrients.
Glycerin tinctures will also spoil more quickly than alcohol-based tinctures.
What Are The Benefits Of Mushroom Tinctures?
Medicinal mushrooms are packed with proteins and other beneficial compounds like terpenoids, triterpenes, and polysaccharides. However, these compounds are hidden behind the mushroom’s chitin cell walls.
Plus, most mushrooms also are tough to swallow and woody, which makes consuming them a bit unpleasant.
When you make a medicinal mushroom tincture, the alcohol (or other solvents) breaks down the chitin cell walls and makes the compounds more bioavailable. This means that your body can absorb and use them more effectively.
Tinctures are also more concentrated than dry mushrooms. This means that you need to take less of them to get the same benefits.
Finally, mushroom tinctures are also super convenient because:
- You can easily use them to incorporate mushrooms into your diet by putting a few drops of mushroom tincture under your tongue, in your favourite drink, or in soft foods like soup
- You can take them with you everywhere
- They can be stored for long periods without losing their potency
What Are The Downsides Of Mushroom Tinctures?
There are a few downsides to mushroom tinctures that you should be aware of before you make your own. Some of these include:
- Mushroom tinctures are more expensive than regular mushrooms. However, this is because they are highly concentrated. Meaning that you need to take less of them to get the same benefits. Still, if you’re on a budget, you can always try making your own at home (more on that later in this post).
- They can be quite potent. This is great if you're looking for quick relief from symptoms, but it can also be overwhelming if you're not used to taking them. Start with a small dose and increase it gradually over time until you find the right amount for you.
- Many tinctures contain alcohol. Because most tinctures are alcohol-based, they might not be a good option for those who don't want to or can't ingest alcohol. But, if this is the case, you can always try using one of the numerous alcohol-free tinctures instead.
Mushroom Tinctures VS Mushroom Powders - Which Extract Is Better?
Mushroom tinctures and powders are both extracts that can be used to increase the potency of medicinal mushrooms. But which one is better?
The main difference between mushroom tinctures and powders is that mushroom tinctures are made with alcohol (or another solvent), while mushroom powders are simply dried and ground mushrooms in the form of a fine powder.
But at the end of the day, both are good for your health and it really comes down to personal preference.
Some people prefer mushroom tinctures because they can be easier to take and they can often extract more beneficial compounds if they are dual extracted in water and alcohol.
While others prefer powders because they don’t contain any alcohol, and can be just as effective.
So, which is better? Well, that depends on you and what you're looking for.
But, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to take your medicinal mushrooms, then mushroom tinctures might be the way to go.
Medicinal Mushroom Species You Can Use to Make a Tincture
Here are some of the most popular medicinal mushroom species that are often used to make tinctures:
- Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum). This super-shroom has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine for its health benefits and has even been shown to have potent antioxidant and anti-microbial properties.
- Lion's mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus). Found on hardwood trees and logs, this unique-looking mushroom is believed to have immune-boosting properties and may even help in initiating the development and regeneration of nerves.
- Turkey tail mushroom (Trametes versicolor). One of the most studied medicinal mushrooms, Turkey tail has numerous supported health benefits but is best known for potentially helping in managing obesity, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and controlling the growth of cancerous cells.
- Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus). Similar to Reishi, this mushroom is also thought to help prevent or slow the growth of certain types of tumors and cancers due to being packed with rich antioxidants.
- Cordyceps mushroom (Cordyceps sinensis). This parasitic fungus is frequently believed to be one of the best mushrooms to combat heart disease and high cholesterol. It also has been indicated to possibly help improve symptoms of diabetes and tuberculosis due to its immune-modulating effects.
- Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes). Packed with a host of beneficial minerals and vitamins, Shiitake mushrooms have long been used by our ancestors for their powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It is also believed to help treat certain viral infections like HPV and Hepatitis C.
How To Make A Mushroom Tincture At Home:
The type of mushroom you’re going to be using will ultimately determine the process and ingredients you need for your tincture.
For example mushrooms like Reishi, Lion’s mane, and Shiitake need to be made using a double extraction process to extract the widest range of compounds from them.
This process is preferred because some of their beneficial compounds are soluble in water, while others are only soluble in alcohol.
On the other hand, other mushrooms like Chaga mushrooms don’t need to undergo the double extraction process and can simply be water-extracted instead.
For this recipe, however, we will be using ingredients like the Reishi mushroom, Lion's mane mushroom, and Turkey tail mushrooms which are best prepared using dual extraction.
The process for making a double extraction tincture is as follows:
- Start by picking out the mushrooms you will be using and chopping them up into small pieces. This will help to increase the surface area and make it easier for the solvents to extract the compounds from the mushroom.
- Add the mushroom pieces to a jar and completely cover them with 25-35% alcohol, making sure to leave at least half an inch of space from the top of the jar.
- Seal the jar and let it sit for 4-6 weeks. This will allow the alcohol to extract most of the compounds from the mushroom as they soak. Make sure to store it in a cool, dark place and shake it once a day!
- After it's ready, strain the mushroom pieces out of the solution using a coffee filter or cheesecloth.
- Simmer about half a gallon of water in a pot and add the previously strained mushrooms into the simmering water. Try to use filtered or distilled water so that you don't introduce any impurities into your tincture!
- Simmer for about 2 to 4 hours or until the water level has reduced by approximately 10 to 20 ounces. Make sure to always monitor the water level as you never want it to evaporate completely. You may have to add water to the pot throughout this step.
- Withdraw the pot from the heat and let it cool down.
- Strain the mushroom using a cheesecloth and funnel, collecting the water extract.
- Mix the alcohol extract with the water extract to create your mushroom double extract.
Where To Buy Mushroom Tinctures?
If the process of making your own tinctures at home sounds like too much work, or you simply don’t have the time or equipment to do so - it’s pretty easy to purchase a mushroom tincture online nowadays.
There are many brands now vying for the top spot when it comes to producing medicinal mushroom tinctures, however, none we’ve found so far are better than Life Cykel.
Life Cykel operates to the highest quality standards and undertakes rigorous 3rd party testing to ensure their extracts are optimally concentrated and free from any contaminants.
Check them out via the banner below (or any banners throughout this article).
Here are a few frequently asked questions about tinctures you might be wondering about:
1.) How to store a mushroom tincture?
Mushroom tinctures should be stored in a cool, dark place. This could be a cupboard or drawer in your kitchen or even the back of your fridge.
2.) How to take a mushroom tincture?
Mushroom tinctures can be taken in a variety of ways. The most common way is to take them orally by placing a few drops under your tongue. You can also add the mushroom tincture to water, tea, coffee, most other beverages and food!
3.) Are mushroom tinctures safe?
Mushroom tinctures are generally considered to be safe. However, it's always a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider before taking any mushroom supplements, just to be on the safe side.
That’s A Wrap!
Medicinal mushroom tinctures are a great, easy and convenient way to get a concentrated dose of medicinal mushrooms into your daily routine.
With a bit of patience and the right setup - you can easily make your own mushroom tinctures at home, or if you’re strapped for time, Life Cykel produce some of the best quality mushroom tinctures available anywhere.
We hope this article has helped to satisfy your curiosity and inspired you to see how mushroom tinctures might be able to help you!