November can be a stressful time; the seasons are changing, we’re preparing ourselves, homes, and vehicles for the winter, and the holidays are just around the corner. It’s easy to think you’ve got to just buckle up and get through it, but there are many ways you can support your body through this time. We're currently loving adding Concentrated Mushroom Powders and Tinctures from Harmonic Arts to our daily routines to support our brains, hearts, and bodies.
We asked the lovely Tosha MacKay, our representative at Harmonic Arts, some common questions about mushroom powders and tinctures, and here’s what she had to say:
What’s the difference between a mushroom powder and a mushroom tincture? Why might someone choose one over the other?
The main difference is our mushroom tinctures also contain the steam extracted mycelium and primordial mushrooms. The tinctures offer an "ease of use" to the customer, they provide a greater amount of alcohol soluble compounds (terpenes, phenols and ergosterols), they are more bioavailable being in an alcohol base which allow for a much quicker delivery method (5 seconds to become blood), and there is an ease of accuracy in dosage with the measured ml on the dropper.
Our concentrated powders provide 100% fruiting body concentrated extract which provides a very high potency of medicinal compounds and a much broader spectrum of polysaccharides compared to mycelium. The powders provide a better value as there is more product/cost in the packaging and lastly, the powders offer versatility, you can add them into anything from cooking to smoothies, to coffee (my fave).
The bottom line is that we understand that customers enjoy the ability to choose HOW to consume their products and want them to experience the benefits of using them consistently. This gives them that option. Maybe they want the powders at home and to carry a tincture in their bag for ease of use "on the go."
Is it recommended to take mushroom powders and tinctures everyday?
Absolutely! Mushrooms are probably the safest medicine on the planet. They work as a strong adaptogen and when used consistently, provide the body with the essentials it needs to perform daily functions. Our bodies are a miraculous work of art and will always strive to maintain homeostasis. Sometimes we become out of balance, mushrooms help to support the body in daily functions and to aid in maintaining that homeostasis.
What are some ways you can incorporate mushroom powders into your daily life?
This is a fun area. Basically, you are only limited by your imagination when it comes to using mushroom powders. The best way to use them is whatever way you find easy. Soups, smoothies, coffee, just some hot water to make tea.... Get creative and share your ideas!!
How are the mushroom powders made or extracted?
An easy way to explain our mushroom powders is that they are essentially a juice powder extract that is hydrophilic (100% water soluble) that provides instant absorption into the body. There are no lignans or sediments and contain a very potent variety of active medicinal compounds.
The fruiting body of each mushroom undergoes a hot water extraction process. Chaga and Reishi undergo an additional alcohol extraction process. Through hot water extraction, the water-soluble compounds are made bioavailable (e.g. beta glucans and other polysaccharides). Through the alcohol extraction process, the fat-soluble compounds are extracted (e.g. triterpenes, sterols). The alcohol we use in extraction is food grade distilled ethanol made from non-GMO corn. After the extraction, the alcohol is removed.
Following the extraction processes, the liquids are first concentrated into a powder by a spray-drying vacuum reduction chamber method. Next, they are blended, re-powdered without any carriers or fillers, and tested again for quality assurance. Once the extraction and concentration process is complete, our Concentrated Mushroom Powders are instantly absorbable in any liquid and are between 7-12 times more concentrated than the original mushrooms.
The extraction ratio stated on each label represents the amount of dry mushrooms used to make the final concentrated extract. Reishi, for instance, is shown as a 12:1 extract. This means 12lbs of whole fruiting body mushrooms were used to make 1lb of concentrated powder. For our 45g jar of Concentrated Reishi Powder, a total of 540g of whole Reishi mushrooms (12 x 45g) was used to produce the extract in this jar. This level of concentration means very little of the concentrated powder is needed in a single dose. Each mushroom contains a varying amount of constituents, hence the concentration ratio will vary from 7:1 to 12:1. This ensures we can obtain an extract containing a guaranteed minimum of 30% polysaccharides - the known active principle behind the mushroom’s immuno-modulating properties.
As shown on each jar, the extraction ratios for our Concentrated Mushroom Powders are:
Reishi - water & alcohol extraction - ratio 12:1
Chaga - water & alcohol extraction - ratio 9:1
Cordyceps - hot-water decoction only - ratio 8:1
Lion's Mane - hot-water decoction only - ratio 7:1
Turkey Tail - hot-water decoction only - ratio 8:1
5 Mushroom – equal part blend of the above 5 mushrooms
What is the difference between eating cooked fresh mushrooms and using mushroom powders?
Medicinal mushrooms are often very woody or our bodies are not able to break them down to be able to extract the proper compounds that we are desiring. While some medicinal mushrooms are absolutely delicious and can be consumed fresh and cooked (Lion's Mane for example), the majority of them need to be processed in a way that our bodies can utilize the nutrients. For those that are able to get their hands on some fresh medicinal mushrooms, we always recommend processing them in a way to make them more bioavailable. This could be slicing and simmering into a tea or making into a tincture. Keeping in mind that different constituents will be extracted with different methods (water or alcohol).
What is your favourite mushroom powder and why?
My favourite mushroom powder is our 5 Mushroom Blend. I love adding it to my coffee every morning. The bitter flavour profile of the mushrooms compliments the bitterness of the coffee, and they work synergistically together. The coffee acts as a taxi-driver to deliver the mushroom medicine deeper into our cells while the mushrooms slow the absorption of the caffeine into our bloodstream, giving you less of those highs and lows from the caffeine. I also love making tea with our Chaga powder and hot water too. Or adding the 5 Mushroom Blend to my gravy, it really gives it a deep flavour and wonderful colour. I find it hard to narrow down just one favourite way to use them, as you can see. LOL.
Check out this video to learn more about Harmonic Arts' Concentrated Mushroom Powders!
So, whether you’re trying to boost your energy, heal your gut, or simply looking to feel balanced and grounded - there's a medicinal mushroom for that! Stop by the shop or browse our collection of Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, Turkey Tail, Lion’s Mane, and the 5 Mushroom Blend online, now 15% off until November 29.