A Guide to Making Mushroom Tinctures At Home
You might have noticed the recent growing trend of medicinal mushrooms for health benefits. Let’s admit the facts, buying medicinal mushrooms might cost you more than you’d want to spend on them. But if you also want to benefit from this superfood, the easy way to go is to make mushroom tinctures at home.
Mushroom tinctures are extracts of medicinal mushrooms in liquid form. Here’s a guide to everything you’d want to know on how to make mushroom tinctures yourself in the simplest method possible.
Benefits of Making Medicinal Mushroom Tinctures
Medicinal mushrooms have been around for centuries, being used in traditional medicine. One of the biggest advantages of mushroom tinctures is that they have a longer shelf-life than storing fresh mushrooms. Even if you’re freezing raw mushrooms, you can’t keep them longer than a few months.
On the other hand, mushroom tinctures can be kept and used gradually for months. You won’t have to worry about additional steps on storing them or that they’ll get spoiled if you don’t use them within a specific period.
Higher Active Compounds
Mushroom extracts are one of the best methods you can go for to attain the maximum medicinal properties of that specific mushroom. Mushroom tinctures are filled with concentrated levels of polysaccharides and triterpenes of that mushroom. Additionally, you can get these active compounds through mushroom tinctures from otherwise indigestible parts of some mushrooms.
Of course, you can’t take a bag full of raw mushrooms with you everywhere when you’re traveling. But, you can carry an airtight mushroom tincture with you so you don’t have to miss out on acquiring your daily medicinal properties of the mushroom.
Easy Solution for Everyday Addition
You don’t feel like cooking entire mushrooms every time you’re up for a little medicinal superfood, especially if you’re thinking of adding it to your daily routine. Meanwhile, tinctures are an easy solution with no hard work. All you need to do is add a few drops to your drink without going through long extraneous processes just to prepare the mushroom.
Steps to Making Mushroom Tincture
Clean the Mushroom(s) Properly
After successfully getting your hands on a harvested mushroom, the first step is to have it cleaned up properly. To get this done wash your mushrooms and chop them into tiny pieces. Once you have this part done, dry them thoroughly for the next step. Many experts agree that dry mushrooms are much easier to handle for this process and even give better results than alternative options.
Deciding on the Number of Batches
During the dual mushroom extraction process, you can go two ways i.e. either make two separate batches for each of the extraction methods or use the leftover material of the alcohol extraction process to the water extraction. There are various arguments to this decision as well since many suggest that concentrated alcohol extraction destroys the polysaccharides that are further on to be obtained in the water extraction process.
Extracting with Alcohol
It’s better to prepare the tincture beforehand by filling the container with dried mushrooms and providing it cover with high proof alcohol such as ethanol. Let this jar sit for 2-6 weeks in a spot without any sunlight. The mushroom material will gradually start settling at the bottom with clear fluid forming the top-most layer.
Make sure you shake the container every day so that the material and alcohol are evenly distributed for increased extraction. Boil it to reduce the liquid quantity so that the components are fully extracted and dissolved. Once this process is complete; press, bottle, and keep it in a cool place for maximum shelf-life.
Commonly Asked Questions
Should you be making the tincture using a fruiting body or mycelium?
If you’re looking to gain the best benefits from your homemade mushroom tincture, the most preferable option is to go for the mushroom’s fruiting body instead of mycelium. This is due to the reason that the mycelium part or a fully mycelium-grown mushroom is filled with residual grains that are then present in the extract as well.
These residual grains constitute a significant portion of the extract then, which means that you’ll get lesser medicinal benefits. If you want to make the best of your mushroom tincture, you should always go for fruiting bodies to take it a step further and ensure you’re only getting pure solutes in your tincture.
Where should the mushrooms in your extracts be sourced from?
To make the best mushroom tinctures, your mushrooms should be sourced from fresh farms. You can always go for market products, but most of them are laboratory-grown containing lesser active compounds. Your best choice is fresh produce without mycelium and artificial substrates. Meaning you’ll only be getting natural, fully-nutritious fruiting bodies in your tinctures.
How much of a dose should you take of the tincture?
You should only be taking the safe amount of dosage i.e. 1 ml 1-3 times, or 3 tsp/daily. Preferably take them half an hour before your meals throughout the day. Mushroom tinctures are dietary supplements which is why you should be consulting a medical professional to steer clear of any complications if you’re starting a daily tincture routine.
How do you take a tincture?
Mushroom tinctures are liquidized forms of mushroom extracts which means you can take them orally in any way you want. You can use the tincture drops directly under your tongue or even add them to your hot or cold beverages. Add them to herbal teas in your daily routine for an additional health boost for your body.
Should you opt for a water extract or alcohol extract?
Water extraction and alcohol extraction both work differently on the mushroom. Water extraction focuses on attaining concentrated polysaccharides which are suppressed under ethanol extraction.
On the other hand, you’ll be attaining maximum triterpenes if you opt for alcohol extraction as well as longer preservation of the tincture. Extracting your mushroom using a combination of these methods will lead to a double extract which has both polysaccharides and triterpenes and is therefore much more beneficial in helping with various ailments.
How do you know which mushrooms need dual extraction instead of only water/alcohol extraction?
While there is still confusion surrounding clarity on which mushrooms require dual extraction, you can get a basic understanding with a few simple steps.
Primarily, mushrooms that are sturdy and firm with a relatively harder fruiting body should be extracted with the dual extraction method. A few of these include Chaga, Reishi, Red belted Polypore, etc. Similarly, mushrooms with softer fruiting bodies such as Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, etc. can be extracted with only one method without the additional effort.
Mushroom tinctures have numerous benefits for your daily routine without the haphazard or additional trouble. Moreover, if you get it right you won’t have to worry about preparing your medicinal mushrooms on a daily since a few drops of the tincture will do the job for you.
You don’t have to waste your precious dollars on expensive tinctures when you can make it yourself. Try this method and see for yourself the easy procedure and uncountable benefits you’ll be getting at the end!