Mushrooms: How and Why Are They Extracted?
Mushrooms are a popular food, and mushroom supplements have been gaining popularity as well. Most mushrooms supplements are made with a mushroom extract. An extract you ask? What on earth is that? Read on to learn more about the what, how and why of mushroom extracts.
What is a mushroom extract?
A mushroom extract is made from a mushroom itself, which has been extracted from its original source. The extract can be made using alcohol or water as a solvent to separate the mushroom's beneficial compounds like beta-glucans and polysaccharides (which contain anti-inflammatory properties) into liquid form that can then be consumed by humans.
Mushroom extracts are mushrooms that have gone through an extraction process. The process ensures that mushroom compounds are concentrated and easily bioavailable. Mushroom extracts can also be made to be more potent so smaller amounts can contain higher levels of antioxidants.
The main components of a mushroom include polysaccharides, proteins, enzymes and other active ingredients such as triterpenes and nucleic acids. In most cases, they are concentrated and made into a mushroom extract powder, but can also come in liquid form. Mushroom extract contains all the beneficial compounds from the mushroom in an easy to use format that ensures you get all of their benefits!
How are mushrooms extracted?
Making mushroom extracts starts with the extraction process itself. Mushrooms are extracted by using different solvents, such as water, or a water and alcohol combo (dual extract). For example:
- The water-only mushroom extract is mainly used for cooking purposes, but can also be sold in powder form as a supplement. Water-only extracts are made using hot water to steep the mushroom, then filtration is used to separate the mushroom from its water.
- Water and alcohol-based extracts (dual extracts) are often combined with hot water first to draw out polysaccharides (a type of carbohydrate) and other beneficial compounds. A second extraction process then takes place using alcohol. Dual mushroom extracts are often iced to remove the alcohol from the mushroom extract, which is then further dried into a powder. Alcohol mushroom extracts are typically used in supplements and beverages.
- Mushrooms can also be extracted using other ingredients like glycerin: a sugar alcohol. The mushroom extract is mixed with the glycerin and then heated to remove any remaining mushroom solids. Glycerin mushroom extracts are often used in tincture form as a traditional alcohol alternative.
What is the benefit of extracting mushrooms?
There are many reasons why mushroom extracts make a better supplement than raw mushrooms. For one thing, mushroom powders can be difficult for some people to digest properly when taken as a mushroom supplement. Water-only mushroom extracts are easier to digest and absorb than powders, oils or alcohol-based mushroom products. The mushroom extract makes for a more efficient supplement as well, since the mushroom has already been broken down into its basic components.
Another reason why mushroom extracts make a better supplement is that they provide much higher concentrations of active ingredients when compared with raw mushrooms. Mushroom extract supplements can contain up to 20 times the amount of beneficial compounds found in your average mushroom powder.
For example, our mushroom extract capsules are made with up to 16x extracts.
This means Purana's 375mg Reishi 16:1 capsules contain the equivalent of 6 grams (6000mg) of Reishi mushroom!
Why would anyone want mushroom extracts?
Extracting mushroom is important for a few reasons. The main reason being the fact that mushroom extracts contain high amounts of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in their natural forms which can help support the immune system as well as the body's overall health. In addition, mushroom extracts can be a great way to combat aging and help with weight loss since they have been shown in studies to reduce oxidative stress on cells.
Mushroom extracts have been around for thousands of years, which means there is plenty of research behind them. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, mushroom extracts are used for immunity, longevity and to help with fatigue. Many mushroom extracts have strong antioxidant properties that may even protect against some types of cancer.
Mushrooms in extract form provide all the benefits you would get from eating mushrooms - in one concentrated dose! If you want one of the most nutrient-dense foods possible, then mushroom extract powder is a great choice! They contain all of the nutrients from mushrooms in an easily digestible form.
Mushroom extract supplements make a great part of your self-care routine. Whether you want them as a cooking ingredient, functional health supplement or beverage base they can be used in many ways. Not all products are created equal, however! Be sure to check the quality and potency of the product to ensure you are getting a proper dose of mushrooms as some products may not contain the recommended daily dose.
You can trust Purana's functional mushroom extract capsules for quality, potency and convenience!