The Extraction of Medicinal Mushrooms:
FUNGICOPIA Dual Extract Challenge: If you can find a more potent extract than one I produce, I will give you a full refund and alter my technique. I have NEVER had someone complete this challenge and more often than not, people report that my extractions are 5x-10x the potency of the extract they have been ingesting. All the Medicinal Mushroom products I offer, are the exact products that I consume myself. I want to help people, whether that's in making your own potent medicines, or supplying you with the absolute finest quality natural medicines that you can find in North America.
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I have been changing lives for years and turning non-believers, into medicinal mushroom advocates. If you have had poor quality medicinal mushroom products in the past, or don't believe that they hold significant prowess, all I can say is "TRY THEM". Then tell me they havn't changed your life in a profound way. I have hundreds of testimonials(and peer reviewed studies) attesting to the power of Cordyceps, Chaga, Lions Mane, and Reishi, the 4 most significant medicinal mushrooms. I am not a doctor, and I will say that these products are not intended to cure, heal, or diagnose any disease. However, I have found extensive positive benefits for an extremely broad spectrum of health ailments and disease. These are safe, natural, and powerful medicines that you can grow & forage yourself.
I have been producing potent medicinal mushroom tinctures for over a decade. I made these elixirs for myself and for close family and friends who were sick or needed to improve their quality of life, so potency and quality were the primary focus of my pursuits and research. I will not release my personal and unique extraction technique, because other companies have tried to copy my techniques in the past and pass them off as their own. I will however, assist you in making your own high quality extractions and determining the quality of store bought tinctures. The principal behind extracting these natural medicines, is that you can pull all the valuable constituents from the natural source and concentrate them into a liquid solution, leaving the useless husks and cell walls behind. There are numerous medicinal compounds found in a variety of 'medicinal' mushroom species. Many of these compounds are very rare and are found exclusively in particular species of fungi. This means that you will never be exposed to these potent medicinal components, unless you consume these rare mushrooms. These compounds can be obtained by breaking down the cell walls with some form of solvent, and removing the valuable components. With most mushrooms, a full spectrum of benefits can be attained if you perform a DUAL EXTRACTION. This means that you need to take both: the alcohol soluble and water soluble compounds and combine the two solutions together, which are two separate extractions. If you only make a tea(hot-water extraction), then you will only receive the hot-water soluble fraction of whatever medicine you are trying to obtain. I dream of a future where people are able to procure their own fungal medicines and so I am happy to present you with the most in depth descriptions of how to do so. The methods I show you here are different from my own technique, which is unrivaled in potency and quality. For this reason, I have no issue in teaching my competition on how to make proper extractions and a better quality product. No matter what you do, you will never be able to compete with my personal extraction technique! Sorry guys.
Determining Quality of Store Bought Extracts & Being An Informed Customer
The PPT(Polkinghorne Potency Test)
The PPT test, is a simple colour test that I developed to compare the quality of products labelled dual extractions. It may seem simple, but determining the concentration of your extract is a significant factor in determining its strength and potency. Unless the company you are buying your extracts from, is using food dye to change the colour, you can easily tell how concentrated the tincture is by observing its colour. The colour will also indicate the quality of the mushrooms they used and the quality of the extraction technique.
The first thing you must do is, take a look at the bottle of extract you are interested in. Is it translucent or faint in colour? An excellent quality product will be darker/deeper in colour, not watered down. For example my Cordyceps Complex is a deep, deep, florescent orange coloured liquid that just looks incredibly powerful(and my god, it is). My Chaga tincture on the other hand is incredibly dark. In fact, if you put my Chaga dual extract up to the light, you'll notice a complete absence of light, it looks black. Even a proper Lions Mane extract will be a darker yellow/light brown colour when it is concentrated. Reishi is a bright orange/red colour when concentrated into a high quality tincture.
The second part of the test, is determined by the colour of water, when the extract is added to it. Using a 250ml glass of water, place 3 droppers full(each dropper is about 15-20 drops) of the tincture in question, into the water. If the water has no colour change at all, then unfortunately it is poor quality. If you notice a subtle colour change, that's much better, but if you notice that it significantly changes the water colour, then you know the extract is highly concentrated. These are the tinctures that you want to be purchasing, and believe me, they are rare to come by. You can also tell how potent an extract is by taking a dropper full, directly on the tongue. If it tastes good(which it shouldn't), or not bitter, then it is weak. If you can only taste alcohol, then its mostly alcohol. When these compounds are concentrated, the flavour of each type of mushroom becomes very bitter and almost unpleasant to ingest directly into the mouth. These are what you are looking for. Using the PPT, you can also do a side by side comparison between 2 different extractions to determine how concentrated each of them is. I recommend comparing my own extractions with those you buy online or at the health food store. You will be blown away at the difference.
The Two Main Ways To Perform An Alcohol Extraction
So. What is an Alcohol Extraction? An alcohol extraction is performed to attain significant medicinal compounds that can not be produced from a Hot-Water extraction. Many cancer inhibiting compounds, antioxidants, and immuno-modulators are exclusively alcohol soluble. This means they are only soluble in an ethanol based solution and can not be attained through a Hot-Water extraction or tea. Although drinking a tea from any of the 4 main medicinal mushrooms is still very beneficial, I have noticed tremendous differences in the potency and quality of the final product, if these two components are combined. A Dual Extraction is comprised of both the alcohol soluble constituents and hot-water soluble constituents, which results in a full spectrum of benefits. There are 2 main ways to perform an Alcohol Extraction. One technique is utilized by most, for its simplicity and lack of necessary equipment, but requires more of a time investment. The proper extraction technique requires an individual to powder whatever mushroom they want to extract, then place it in a mason jar with alcohol(min 40%, ethyl based alcohol). You'll want to utilize the highest proof, drinkable alcohol you can acquire, 75%(151 proof) is an ideal candidate as 200 proof alcohol is no longer available to the Canadian public without special permissions(Thanks LCBO...). The second technique requires less time and is much more efficient at extracting the valuable compounds, however, it requires a rather expensive apparatus(Soxhlet Extractor). It also requires you to be familiar with how to use the apparatus properly, as heating flammable substances can be dangerous to the inexperienced. Both techniques are described in detail below and both will create an incredible final product that you will enjoy for years to come. Cheers to your good health and congrats on your interest in making your own medicines. You have come to the very best place to get your information. Take it from a guy who has not a single health ailment. I am the epitome of perfect health.
** It should be noted that CHAGA can not be extracted very well in a Soxhlet apparatus. The best way to perform an alcohol extraction on Chaga, is to allow it to soak in alcohol for up to 2 months(1 1/2 months is plenty). The black exterior of the Chaga sclerotia is where most of the alcohol soluble compounds are localized. This is the fraction of Chaga that you should grind up into a powder and place into the jar with alcohol.
The Traditional Jar Soak - The Cold Alcohol Extraction
The first and most common technique for creating your own medicinal mushroom tinctures, is the Mason Jar Soak. I highly recommend emulsifying whatever medicinal mushroom you want to extract from, before you submerge into alcohol. Basically, with Cordyceps, Lions Mane, & Reishi; you'll want to submerge your powdered mushrooms in high proof drinking alcohol(min 40%), for 3-4 weeks, but no longer than a month is necessary. Chaga on the other hand, is much more dense than the other medicinal mushrooms and requires extra time to pull out all the constituents(2 months is ideal). Ensure the jar is half full with your mushroom powder, then submerge it in alcohol so that its completely covered and there is still half a jar of alcohol remaining, 2 parts alcohol to 1 part mushroom powder. The dry mushrooms will soak up this alcohol over the first few hours and this will cause some of the cells to burst. If you have powder or mushrooms that are not submerged, then you have used to much. Make sure the jar is not kept in a warm area, or it will begin to ferment. Agitate the jars by shaking every couple days, this will evenly distribute the alcohol and help break down some of the cells walls. If you really want to go over and above, you can place the jars in a freezer for 1-2 days a week, then remove and shake. This heating and then cooling, expands the cell walls, then contracts them, which makes a significant difference in the time needed for a proper extraction. Once time has passed and your alcohol has taken on a deep colour, it is ready to add to a Hot-Water Extraction. This will create the dual extract that everyone is trying to acquire! Congratulations! This is a relatively simple technique that anyone can utilize, right at home and with little equipment.
The Soxhlet Extraction - The Heated Alcohol Extraction
An Alcohol Extraction completed using a Soxhlet apparatus, will be the most potent form available. Simply put, the Jar Soak technique works wonderful, but a Soxhlet Extraction is by far the most efficient method. The fact that it recycles the alcohol means that you dont need a lot of alcohol to begin with. Using 40% alcohol is not recommended because it has a lot of water in it. The water boiling point is much higher than the alcohol's, so if more than 50% of the solution is water, then you're only going to get less than 50% of the volume evaporating into the main chamber. Try and use ethyl based alcohol over 60% and ensure that the volume of alcohol is enough to fill the thimble reservoir. A completed cycle will take anywhere from 4-6 hours and will require constant attention during the process. Never leave the apparatus unattended. When the process is complete, there will be no colour removed from the medicinal mushroom material. This is what makes the Soxhlet extraction so incredible, it removes all possible alcohol soluble compounds, until there is nothing left to remove. It requires some basic lab skills and a knowledge of the dangers of working with heated combustible gasses. Essentially, powdered medicinal mushrooms are placed into the extraction thimble, which is then placed into the main chamber of the Soxhlet extractor. Alcohol is poured over the thimble(always ensure the material is covered in alcohol before you start the extraction) and the distillation flask is filled with alcohol. The distillation flask should never be filled over half full. The heating mantle below the distillation chamber heats the alcohol, which evaporates and fills the main chamber, where it reaches the condenser. The condenser is hooked up to a separate container filled with cold water and ice, you must maintain the cool temperatures by adding ice every 20-30 minutes. When the heated alcohol vapour reaches the condenser, it condenses and turns back into a liquid state. The condensed alcohol then drips down into the thimble, where it saturates your material in warm alcohol. Once the main chamber fills to a certain point, the gravity fed system will drop the liquid down one of the side tubes, back into the distillation flask. The alcohol soluble compounds are brought down into the distillation chamber where they constantly concentrate. The alcohol will continue to evaporate and after several cycles, the liquid solution in the bottom will begin to take on the colour of whatever mushroom you are extracting. This cycle will be repeated until there is no more colour and therefore no more alcohol soluble constituents to be removed. Using a Soxhlet apparatus will create the most potent alcohol extraction possible, with the least amount of time, using the least amount of alcohol. Its really an incredible tool and has numerous other lab applications. Its probably the most useful piece of lab equipment that anyone could acquire and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to sell dual extracted tinctures. Thats right, remember who taught you this important, juicy, valuable information ;)
The extraction apparatus is expensive(for a good one), and if you are interested in acquiring a Soxhlet apparatus, I recommend purchasing my full Soxhlet kit, which includes everything you need to get working on your own high quality extractions. Buying a cheap apparatus in this case, is not a good idea, because they will break easily and will not perform correctly. It is also difficult to find all the separate pieces required for the full set. If you buy individual pieces, they will often not fit together. You can find a complete set up on the Products page.
If you require any additional information on how to utilize your Soxhlet Extractor, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Top 4 Medicinal Mushrooms & The Techniques For A Proper Dual Extraction
One step that is universal in extracting the 4 top medicinal mushrooms, is that they should all be ground into a fine powder. The emulsification of the these fungi, breaks down the cell walls before you even start the extraction process. The important medicinal compounds are found within these cell walls, so grinding the cells into a fine powder will allow more of the constituents to be available during the extraction process. This can double or triple your concentration of significant constituents. You can of course, use full pieces in your extraction, but you will notice a significant decrease in concentration.
The Hot-Water Extraction Technique
This is the most common way for people to consume medicinal mushrooms, worldwide. Essentially, a hot-water extraction is a tea that is brewed from one of these medicinal mushrooms. To prepare a hot-water extraction, requires a little more work than brewing a teabag of Earl Grey tea leaves. You could steep your medicinal mushrooms simply, in hot water for 20 minutes. This will make the weakest potency, hot-water extraction. If however, you want to make a potent hot-water extraction and utilize the maximum amount of medicinal compounds, you should invest a little more time and effort into your process. For Lions Mane, Reishi, and Cordyceps, I recommend boiling a pot of spring water(or filtered water).Chaga requires more cooking time and agitation in order to extract as much of the medicinal and nutritional components as possible. Once the water is boiling, follow the species specific steps, below:
Cordyceps - Add 1oz of dried, powdered Cordyceps to 1 L of boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat of the stove to minimum and simmer for an hour. While its simmering, stir every 10-15 minutes to break down any remaining cells. Filter the sediment, and either mix with your Alcohol Extraction, or enjoy as a very potent tea. The colour should be a deep yellow/light orange. A healthy daily dose of tea would be 100ml, of the final product. I would not exceed 200ml per day, there's no need.
Lions Mane - Add 2ozs of dried, powdered Lions Mane to 1 L of boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat of the stove to a minimum and simmer for an hour. While simmering, stir every 10-15 minutes to agitate any remaining cell walls. Filter the sediment, and either mix with your alcohol extraction, or enjoy as a wonderful, brain enhancing tea. There is no limit to how much Lions Mane you consume and the effects are dose-dependent, which means the effects are only felt when you consume the mushroom. I tend to take 2-3 doses of 50-100ml per day in order to feel the effects on my brain and cognition.
Reishi - Add 2ozs of dried, powdered Reishi to 1 L of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to the minimum and simmer for 2 hours. Stir every 10-15 minutes to agitate the remaining cell walls. Filter the sediment, and either mix with your alcohol extract, or enjoy it with honey, as a purifying tea. Reishi tastes very bitter, it is absolutely the worst tasting medicinal mushroom, but its effects are powerful and well studied. Drink 100-200ml per day to feel significant positive effects.
I utilize both the fruiting body of Cordyceps militaris, as well as the mycelium from Cordyceps sinensis(CS4). The combination of both types of Cordyceps mushrooms, makes a much more potent product as the effects of both compliment each other, giving you a full spectrum of potent medicinal compounds. My dual extracted Cordyceps tinctures are the most potent and immediately felt medicinal mushroom elixirs. 1-2 Droppers full is all that is needed for a daily dose. Within 20-30 minutes of consuming the tincture, you will begin to feel the energy, power, and motivation surging through your veins. There is a slight feeling of euphoria, however your mind is extremely focused and your body is running at peak performance. Don't worry, Cordyceps do not stimulate your heart like caffeine. In fact, they actually regulate your heartbeat, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. The motivation is an interesting effect that everyone seems to feel significantly. It gives you the feeling of having energy, but that you want to use it for something important. Olympic athletes use this natural substance as a potent training enhancement and hundreds of my customers use it at the gym, to get work done, or just to get moving. These are incredible power mushrooms!
Reishi has been reportedly used traditionally in Asia for over 1000 years. There are several different Ganoderma species and all have different concentrations of medicinal compounds. For this reason, each bottle of Dual Extracted Reishi contains medicine from 3 different Reishi species. I utilize the conks of Ganoderma tsugae, Ganoderma lucidum, and the Japanese variety: Ganoderma neo-japonicum. The effects of Reishi extractions can be felt by most, within 40 minutes of consuming 2-3 droppers full. With Reishi, I find that I personally dont get much benefit, aside from feeling clean and clear minded. This is because of Reishi's adaptogenic nature. The healthier you are, the less you will feel its benefits. If you're sick, you will most definitely feel several incredible effects. The most significant results I have obtained through testimonials, are those who are undergoing Radiation or Chemotherapy for Cancer treatments. The results have clearly demonstrated that Reishi helps alleviate nausea, lack of appetite, radiation sickness, and many other aspects of the healing process. It is a powerful natural aid for anyone undergoing Cancer treatment and I highly recommend it to people, with their doctors consent.
Lions Mane is an incredible medicinal mushroom! One of the most significant, in fact. It is the only truly significant medicinal mushroom that affects brain development, nerve growth, memory, and neural synapses. It has grown to be known as the "brain mushroom" and as a powerful Nootropic substance. I have found that a blend of Lions Mane & Bears Tooth, significantly alters my focus and mental capacity. They also help me cope with stress and mental fatigue, giving me the mental boost I need to get my work done effectively and efficiently. All of the Hericium species are medicinal in terms of their brain healing properties and my Dual Extraction contains both Hercium americanum & Hericium erinaceus, to achieve a broader spectrum of medicinally significant components. It has a mushroom like taste when concentrated, so I tend to drink it with my coffee in the morning, which totally masks the flavour. There is currently several trial studies on the effects of Lions Mane on patients with Neurological diseases like Alzheimer's and Dementia. The results of these studies will be significant proof of the mental power and potential this mushroom holds.
Chaga is my personal favourite. It is my closest herbal ally and I have an intricate understanding of the effects on myself and thousands of other people. Out of all the medicinal mushrooms, it contains the largest variety of beneficial compounds and in high concentrations. Think of it as a phytonutrient rich multivitamin, comprised of many compounds that your body would never have the pleasure of enjoying, if you didn't ever give it a try. The effects are so broad, that I wont even go into them here. Visit the Chaga page in the medicinal mushroom section for more info. Although I can personally testify to the effects and I have hundreds incredible testimonials, along with hundreds of human cell and animal studies, there has not been any significant human trials to corroborate what I already know. It's also very rare, only growing in the Northern hemisphere of the world and there is not enough Chaga to share with everyone in the world, not even close. For this reason, a lot of my inexperienced colleagues doubt that it has any medicinal benefit at all. This to me, is just inexperience and poor logic. If you depend on the studies conducted by others for every ounce of information you hold as truth, then you will never learn the truth. You need to experience this MOST POWERFUL medicine for yourself and draw your own conclusions. A dual extraction is so crucial with this fungi, much more so than the other medicinal mushrooms, because its exterior contains almost half of its medicinal power. A simple tea from this sclerotia is potent and effective, but a proper Dual Extraction is just indescribable with human language. You can literally feel it going to work on your decrepit body and exhausted brain.
The Dual Extraction of Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)
Chaga has a different extraction technique than the other medicinal mushrooms. To create a powerful dual extract from Chaga, it requires 1-2 months of prep time and attention to the different parts of the sclerotia to be extracted. There are hot water soluble compounds and alcohol soluble compounds, but they are found in different areas of the Chaga sclerotia. Improper extractions are often made, because people have no idea where these compounds are located. The combination of these 2 extractions will create a Dual Extract with a full spectrum of benefits. The alcohol soluble compounds are primarily found in the black exterior of the conk(which many people discard), and the hot-water soluble compounds are primarily found on the inside of the conk(long chain, complex sugars). If you try to extract the hot-water soluble compounds with alcohol, you will receive very little of the benefits, the same is true for the opposite. Below, I will show you how to make your own, proper dual extracted tincture from Chaga. Its not the same quality as my own, but it will be better than anything you can buy online or at a store, guaranteed.
Hot-Water Soluble Fraction of Chaga
This is the most difficult medicinal mushroom to make a hot-water extraction from. Chaga is much more dense and the nutrients are much more concentrated, than the other medicinal mushrooms. In order to attain the most hot-water soluble compounds, you must cook the Chaga for much longer. I recommend 1-2ozs of powdered Chaga for 1 L of boiling water. Place the Chaga into the boiling water and allow it to boil for 5-10 minutes, then reduce the stove temperature to the minimum and simmer for 3-4 hours. Anything over 4 hours and you will be destroying many of the active compounds. The initial boiling temperature, significantly breaks down the cell walls, but if you boil it for too long, you will also be destroying many of the powerful compounds. Stir every 10-15 minutes to help break down any cells walls that have not perforated. When your hot-water extraction is complete, the tea will be a dark amber/black colour. Its not actually black, if you hold a jar of your tea up to the light, you will notice the dark colour is actually just a very concentrated beautiful gold/amber extract. You can either add this extraction to an alcohol extract to create a Dual Extract, or you can enjoy the tea on its own. A healthy daily dose would be about 200-250ml, but whatever your body doesn't utilize, will be excreted in your urine.
Alcohol Soluble Fraction of Chaga
The black exterior of the Chaga sclerotia, contains all the alcohol soluble compounds. It also contains about 50% of the variety of important medicinal constituents, such as Triterpenes, SOD, Melanin, and numerous phyto-nutrients. To the best of my knowledge, the exterior of Chaga contains the highest traces of Melanin, SOD, and Triterpenes found in nature. It is integral that you keep the black portion of the sclerotia, DO NOT discard it.
** The only effective way to extract the alcohol soluble compounds from the black fraction, is to soak the black powder in a solution of ethyl alcohol the traditional way, for up to 2 months. A soxhlet extraction does not seem to work well with this medicinal fungi.
The Alcohol Fraction of Extraction
Dry the Chaga until its bone dry. Drying in the sun will generate vitamin D in the exterior. The dried sclerotia is rinsed in water with a small amount, 10-1 ratio, of H2O2. This kills any microbes that may have been on the fungi.
Scrape all the exterior off the conk and place them in a jar.
This will be your triterpene based extract, the primary compounds that inhibit cancer propagation. NOTE ON CHAGA EXTRACTS: Most people and so-called experts scrape off the black thinking its useless, when it actually contains the highest concentration of the triterpenes, melanin, and SOD's. Making a tea from this black exterior is almost useless, because it needs alcohol as a solvent to break it down.
Mix in alcohol with your exterior pieces & scrapings, in a 3-1 ratio, in a large mason jar. The alcohol used should be a minimum of 40% alcohol content, but this will produce a weak final product. The higher proof you use, the more potent the extraction will be. We use 151 proof(75%) rye alcohol, but you can use any ethyl based alcohol. After saturating the black exterior in a healthy bath of alcohol, you'll want to shake the jar and agitate the small pieces. This initial agitation will get the alcohol working.
Seal up and place in a cool area. Let stand for minimum 2 weeks(optimally 1 month), stirring occasionally. We have our own unique method of preparation that involves kinetic energy, heat, and sub zero temperatures. The longer you wait, the more concentrated the final product will be, until 1 1/2 months, at which point almost all the beneficial compounds will have been released. If you leave the jar to sit for too long(over 2 months), it will begin to ferment, which isn't beneficial. If you leave it in a warm area, it will also ferment, so keep it cool.
Once your alcohol extract has turned deep black,
you know its ready. First, filter out the sediment. You can use a coffee filter, but I use a high pressure compression filter to separate the particulates. At this point I recommend either fast evaporation of the
jars or a slow, low temp simmer on the stove for several hours. All of the
alcohol will evaporate and you will be left with a triterpene concentrated,
potent natural medicine. To make a dual extraction continue on to the next step...
Step 6: The Hot-Water Soluble Fraction of The Extraction
Now that you've completed your alcohol extraction
and have a rich concentration of cancer fighting triterpenes, melanin, and SOD, you're wondering:
how do I boost my immune system, regulate my blood sugar levels, and obtain energy? Well, you prepare a hot water extraction(or
tea) and mix it with your remaining alcohol extract. Fortunately, the tea is
even easier to produce and is actually the most common way people consume Chaga.
Use the inside of the fungi, which contains high concentrations of the
immuno-modulating beta-glucans. These boost your immune system, modulate blood
sugars, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Simmer the core for several hours(3-4) on low
heat until desired potency is acquired. Anything over 4 hours or higher temperatures, and you'll be destroying many of the active compounds. You can watch my video on how to make a proper hot water extraction below.
DUAL EXTRACTION: Mix BOTH your alcohol tincture and potent hot-water extract together and simmer on a low temperature, again for half an hour or reduce to desired consistency. Bottle, and place in fridge for preservation. Depending on how concentrated you make it, the daily dose will vary, but Chaga is safe for everyone to consume and I have consumed incredible doses with only positive effects, I have never ever felt sick after ingesting Chaga. With that being said, your body will only utilize a certain amount of the medicine at a time, the rest you will excrete in the form of urine. I recommend ingesting a couple droppers, a couple times per day; rather than taking huge doses at a time. Read the large list of medicinal benefits on the Chaga page.
Nice work! Enjoy great health my friends!