Before You Buy: What to Look for in a Reishi Mushroom Extract
What to Look for in a Reishi Mushroom Extract
Before you buy a Reishi mushroom extract, it’s important to know the signs of quality and potency. This blog will give you a primer on Reishi, as well as a guide to buying the best Reishi mushroom extract.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is known as the mushroom of immortality, Ling zhi (spirit plant) and 10,000-year mushroom. Reishi boasts a variety of benefits, including adaptogenic properties and support for overall wellness, healthy sleep and immune health.*
Reishi mushroom can be found in several colors, ranging from reddish orange to black. It grows across the US, Europe, South America and Asia, on elm, alder, oak and some conifer trees.
Reishi is a tough mushroom — most of its “goodness” is locked up inside, so it needs to be extracted before you consume it. Reishi also tends to be bitter due to its triterpene content. If your extract is high quality and made from fruiting bodies, you’ll taste the difference. Reishi fruiting bodies contain over 130 triterpenoid compounds (mostly ganoderic and lucideric acids).
In China and Japan, Reishi has been used in herbalism for four millennia. Considered to be an adaptogen, helping the body’s natural response to stress, it also promotes healthy sleep.* (4) It may also help promote stamina and healthy energy levels!* (5) It supports the immune system, and Reishi also offers cardiovascular and antioxidant support.*(6)
Reishi is one of the mushrooms in our Mush-10 powder and tincture. We also offer a single Reishi mushroom extract if you prefer to take it solo.
What to Know Before You Buy Reishi Mushroom Extract
Here are four important questions to ask before you buy Reishi mushroom extract:
1. What part of the mushroom is used?
Only certain parts of mushrooms are traditionally used in herbalism. Fruiting bodies are the above-ground parts of a mushroom. (These are the parts you most commonly forage, cook and extract.)
Mycelium is a part of the mushroom that humans rarely see, because it’s usually underground. While important to the mushroom, mycelium is not traditionally used to support your health.*
It’s cheaper and faster to grow mycelium on grain, so many products use it instead of fruiting bodies.
Our products use only 100% Reishi fruiting bodies, never mycelium, so you never pay for grain or filler.
2. How do you make your Reishi mushroom extract?
As we mentioned above, the active parts of Reishi mushrooms are inside the cell walls, which our bodies can’t break down. They need to be extracted — and the best ones use two methods.
Our Reishi mushroom extract undergoes a dual extraction of water, known as decoction, and alcohol, known as tincture. The active compounds in mushrooms are both alcohol-soluble (triterpenes) and water-soluble (beta-glucans). To get full-spectrum support from mushrooms, we extract our mushrooms with 190-proof alcohol and hot water, then carefully combine the two.
We follow the science and extract Reishi at the optimal alcohol percentages, temperatures and durations.
3. Are your extracts tested for purity and potency?
When you’re buying a Reishi mushroom extract, it’s important to look for proof that they are pure and potent.
Every batch of mushrooms we use goes through lab testing. We test for heavy metals and biological contamination, to ensure the purity of our products. We also check the concentration of active compounds such as beta-glucans and triterpenes. We want to see the science when it comes to the potency of our supplements, so we make sure to get exact numbers.
4. Is your Reishi extract made with organic mushrooms?
Mushrooms can be Certified Organic, but not all of them are. Our Reishi mushroom extract is Certified Organic by Baystate Organic Certifiers. Everything we use is organic, from our substrates to our cleaning supplies. Every product we sell and every ingredient we use is tracked by a batch number and can be traced back to its origin.
Ready to try Reishi mushroom extract for yourself? Check out our potent, Certified Organic and dual-extracted tincture!
(1) Winston, D., & Maimes, S. (2007). Adaptogens: herbs for strength, stamina, and stress relief. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
(2) Tang W, Gao Y, Chen G, et al. A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract in neurasthenia. Journal of Medicine and Food. 2005;8(1):53‐58. doi:10.1089/jmf.2005.8.53
(3) Wachtel-Galor S, Yuen J, Buswell JA, et al. Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 9. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/
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