gradient with black adobe express
Learn about

Mushroom Extracts &
Bio-Active compounds found in them

What is a Mushroom Extract?

An extract is a product made by mixing raw plant or mushroom material with a solvent like water or alcohol. The dissolvable compounds are removed from the plant or mushroom's structural parts by the solvent.

The active element in a specific herb or mushroom, such as the beta-glucans found in most therapeutic mushrooms, is present in high concentrations in extracts.

Another benefit of extracts over raw herbs is that they have a higher bioavailability, which means they are simpler for the body to absorb and utilize. In the case of mushrooms, the extraction process degrades chitin, which is the indigestible cell wall of the fungus that houses the active compounds. Extracts are commonly used in the production of nutritional supplements because of these factors.

Extracts might be in the form of a liquid or a powder.

What is an Hot Water Extraction?

A hot water extract is exactly what it sounds like: it dissolves water-soluble compounds from fresh herbs or mushrooms using hot water. The raw material is heated in water for a length of time at a temperature of roughly 80–175°C in this process. The remaining solid plant material is normally removed after extraction, and the water is evaporated to leave a powdered extract.

Because the main active element in the great majority of therapeutic mushrooms – beta-glucans – is water-soluble, hot water extracts are widely utilized to make mushroom supplements.

What is an Alcohol Extraction?

An alcohol extract, as the name implies, employs alcohol as the solvent instead of water. Ethanol is the most common form of alcohol utilized in this procedure. Alcohol extraction separates the alcohol-soluble components from the raw herb or mushroom material.

Terpenes (particularly, triterpenoids), sterols, and flavonoids, which are the main non-water-soluble active chemicals present in certain mushrooms, are often isolated using alcohol extracts.

What is Dual Extraction? Get the most out of your mushrooms.

In some situations, using both water and alcohol extraction – often known as a dual or double extraction – may be useful. The material is first extracted with either hot water or alcohol, and then the leftover plant material is removed with the other technique.

Following that, the liquid from the first extraction is mixed with the liquid from the second extraction to make a dual extract. Dual extraction is commonly employed for mushrooms like chaga and reishi that contain considerable amounts of both water-soluble and alcohol-soluble active compounds.

Most herbalists recommend performing a hot water extraction first and then an alcohol extraction, however, there is some debate about this.



Polysaccharides (complex sugars) are carbohydrate molecules made up of long chains of smaller monosaccharides (simple sugars) that are joined together by glycosidic bonds. In nature, these natural compounds perform a variety of tasks, including energy storage, cellular signaling, and structural support.

Many distinct polysaccharides are found in medicinal mushrooms, but one form in particular, beta-d-glucans, is thought to be responsible for the majority of their health effects. Polysaccharides are commonly extracted using the hot water extract technique because they are water-soluble.


Beta D-glucans are a kind of polysaccharide fibre that is indigestible. They can be found in mushrooms, microorganisms, and plants like oat and barley. Only beta-glucans from fungus (mushrooms) contain the unique β-(1→6) branching structure that has the most therapeutic potential.

Many medicinal mushrooms' health-promoting qualities, including antioxidant activity, improved immune system function, and blood sugar and cholesterol management, is due to this unique 1 - 6 beta-d-glucans. Lion's Mane, Turkey Tail, Shiitake, Reishi, Chaga, and Cordyceps are just a few of the therapeutic mushrooms that contain them.


Although polysaccharides and, in particular, beta-glucans, are the most significant ingredients to search for in mushroom supplements, they are by no means the only ones. Terpenoids are the second most significant active component in therapeutic mushrooms, after polysaccharides.

Terpenoids are natural substances generated by a variety of species, including mushrooms, and are not to be confused with their parent component, terpenes. Diterpenoids, triterpenoids, and sesquiterpenoids, in particular, have been shown to have medical value. Terpenoids, like beta-glucans, appear to have many of the same therapeutic properties, such as enhancing immune system function.

Terpenoids are not water soluble, which is something to bear in mind. As a result, they must be removed using an alcohol extraction method from the mushroom of choice. Alcohol extraction is usually performed following hot water extraction, thus the name "dual extract."

Triterpenoids, together with beta-glucans, are abundant in Reishi and Chaga mushrooms, for example. To obtain a high-quality Reishi or Chaga mushroom extract with large amounts of both beta-glucans and terpenoids, dual extraction is required.


Let's connect like mycelium

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.