How to Make a Dual-Extraction Mushroom Tincture
Medicinal mushroom products have increased in popularity over the past decade. From mushroom coffee to mushroom chocolate, there are plenty of options. A dual-extraction mushroom tincture is another great way to get the health benefits of mushrooms!
Mushroom tinctures are a convenient way to get your daily functional mushrooms in. It’s easy to add a dropperful to smoothies, coffee, and other foods. Certain medicinal mushrooms are harder to digest in their pure powder form, so an extraction helps make them more bioavailable.
Tinctures are a popular way to extract nutrients and flavors from herbs. These use alcohol to pull the beneficial constituents out of the plant and into the liquid. Common examples are vanilla extract or an herbal tincture. You can also use glycerin (glycerites) or vinegar (herbal vinegars) to extract compounds, but these aren’t technically tinctures.
Another way to extract is with plain old water! Things like peppermint tea, marshmallow root infusion, and elderberry decoction (to make elderberry syrup) all use water as the menstruum. These have a much shorter shelf-life compared to alcohol tinctures. Water also extracts different nutrients than alcohol does.
A dual extraction combines both a water extract and an alcohol extract of the same plant together. Usually, you would do one or the other, but for mushrooms, there are benefits to doing a double extraction. The water extracts the beta-glucans and polysaccharides, while alcohol pulls out triterpenes.
How to Make a Mushroom Tincture
There are plenty of different opinions on the best way to make a mushroom blend tincture. There isn’t a ton of evidence behind the different methods, it’s more preference. After researching the different variations, this is the mushroom extract method I’ve settled on.
You start by putting finely chopped or powdered dry mushrooms into a clean jar. If the pieces are too large they won’t extract as well. And fresh, wet mushrooms are more likely to spoil. I used a mushroom powder, but you can use foraged and dried mushrooms too.
These mushrooms steep in alcohol for 2-4 weeks. After straining, put the alcohol in a clean jar and reserve the mushrooms. Some people use the same mushrooms for the water extraction, while others use new ones.
Next, you’ll simmer the mushrooms in water for a bit and then strain them out. Lastly, the alcohol and water extracts are combined.
Which Mushrooms to Use for a Mushroom Tincture
There are plenty of options here. You can use just one type of mushroom or a blend of several. Certain mushrooms like shiitake mushrooms and maitake taste good in soups and stir-fries. Other mushrooms are more bitter and work best mixed into things or as a tincture. Many of them are also nootropics that help the brain.
There’s also some debate on which part of the mushroom is best. The fruiting body is the part of the mushroom that’s above ground. Mycelium is the underground part. Research shows some benefits of mycelium in certain mushrooms, but much of the time it’s not as potent.
Here are a few different options and a brief overview of their health benefits!
- Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) – Supports the immune system and cognitive function. Also high in antioxidants, improves memory and mood, and reduces inflammation.
- Reishi (Ganoderma) – Reishi mushroom has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It helps modulate the immune system, increases healing time, and may have a protective effect against cancer. It’s an adaptogen that helps protect the heart, liver, brain, and more.
- Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) – Very high in nutrients, supports the immune system and improves metabolism, strength, and endurance.
- Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) – Supports the immune system, helps with gut health, has antioxidants, and helps reduce inflammation.
- Cordyceps – Boosts energy and athletic performance and has anti-aging and immune-boosting properties. They also support healthy blood sugar balance and protect the liver and heart.
Even More Ways to Get Medicinal Mushrooms
If you don’t want to make your own mushroom tincture several places offer high-quality ones. Four Sigmatic is my favorite place to get mushroom supplements if you want a pill or powder form. Plus they make great coffee and cocoa!
- Reishi mushroom tincture
- Lion’s mane mushroom tincture
How to Make a Dual-Extraction Mushroom Tincture
This recipe uses both water and alcohol for a more powerful mushroom tincture. Use any dried medicinal mushroom you want or a blend of several kinds!
Yield: 16 ounces
- ¾ cup mushroom powder (or finely chopped mushrooms)
- 1 and ¼ cups 190 proof alcohol
- 4 cups filtered or distilled water (or more)
Place the mushrooms in the glass jar and pour alcohol over the top. Put the lid on the jar.
Let the mixture steep for 2-4 weeks, shaking daily.
Strain the mushroom powder from the alcohol with a cheesecloth and set both aside. Pour the infused alcohol into a clean glass jar and put the mushrooms into a clean pot.
Add the water to the pot and heat the mixture on the stove. Simmer gently for 2-4 hours, adding more water if necessary to prevent burning. You want the liquid to reduce by about half.
Strain the mushrooms from the water and compost.
You want to have equal parts of alcohol and water extractions. So if you ended up with 1 cup of alcohol tincture, then you’ll use 1 cup of water infusion. Add extra water or simmer the water until it’s the same amount as the alcohol mixture.
Add the water mixture to a clean mason jar.
Next, slowly add the alcohol mixture while stirring. This helps prevent the polysaccharides from separating out of the solution too much.
Pour some of the mushroom tincture into a glass dropper bottle to use and refill with the mason jar as needed.
- Store your mushroom extract in a cool, dry place away from direct heat and sunlight.
- Take a dropperful in liquid once a day or as desired.
- If your mushrooms are in larger chunks, then put them and the alcohol in the blender after they’ve soaked for a few hours. This is an easier way to grind them up. Certain mushrooms, like chaga, are really hard and may not blend well.
Do you try to make medicinal mushrooms a part of your daily routine? What are your favorite ways to use them?