When looking at medicinal mushroom supplements, you will have seen products called mushroom tinctures. However, you may not know what a tincture is or how it could benefit you.
Here, we will explain what a mushroom tincture is and the benefits of them.
What is a Mushroom Tincture?
Mushroom tinctures are a specific type in the broader spectrum of tinctures.
What is a Tincture?
Tinctures are commonly used in herbal medicine. They are concentrated liquid extracts that use either alcohol only or alcohol and water as the solvent. The solvent is what helps extract the beneficial components of either plants or mushrooms.
Generally, you need at least 20% alcohol in them for preservation purposes. Different companies will have varied alcohol percentages above 20% in their tinctures.
Did you know that microbes can’t grow in an environment above 50% alcohol? That’s why our tinctures contain 50-55% alcohol as well as playing a key role in extracting valuable nutrients.
Did you know that the brown colour of tincture bottles is to prevent light damage? Without that tinge, the tincture will degrade much faster.
You may be wondering how the word ‘tincture’ came to be. At the start, there was the Latin word ‘tingere’, which means ‘to dye or colour’. This word has a companion, ‘tinctura,’ which means ‘dyeing’.
Only in the 17th century did the word ‘tincture’ start to be used in late Middle English.
Did you know that ‘tint’ and ‘tinge’ are also derived from the root ‘tingere’?
Why does it reference ‘dyeing’ so much? Well, the tincture takes on the colour of the plants used. While a tincture may not be as colourful as a tie-dye shirt, the results are just as neat.
Tinctures have a long history of being used to administer herbal medicines. Its history spans just as long as distilled alcohol. There are records of both these practices as far back as Ancient Egypt.
In 1025, the Al-Qanoon fi al Tibb (The Canon of Medicine) was published. This book was an overview of all Islamic medicinal knowledge at the time. It discussed many medicinal topics, including tinctures.
Since The Canon of Medicine set the standard for medicine in Medieval Europe, it’s no surprise that tincture use spread there.
Why don’t we use tinctures as much today, then?
The rise of pharmacology and the emphasis on pills caused herbal medicine, and subsequently, tinctures, to decline in popularity.
Nowadays, they are starting to make a comeback as people search for natural remedies to their issues. This new popularity is where mushroom tinctures come into play.
How are Tinctures Made?
The three components you need to make a tincture are the following:
- Raw material (mushroom, plant, etc.)
- Food-grade alcohol (aka ethanol)
- An airtight container
After adding the ingredients, you let the mixture sit for a few weeks. When the time is up, you can filter out the remaining solids.
Voila! You have your very own tincture!
If you’d like a more detailed explanation, check out our Mushroom Extraction article.
Fruiting bodies vs Mycelium Tinctures
Two main parts of fungi used in mushroom tinctures:
- Fruiting bodies (aka the mushrooms)
- Mycelium (aka the root-like structure)
Which one you use depends on what you need.
Fruiting bodies are known for having a higher concentration of beneficial polysaccharides, while mycelium is quicker to grow.
We take a deep dive into this comparison in our Fruiting Bodies vs Mycelium article.
Mushroom Tincture Benefits
- Fast Acting – The alcohol allows the tincture to be absorbed and enter the bloodstream quicker
- Convenient – Mushroom tinctures can be mixed into a variety of drinks, such as tea, coffee, and smoothies
- Concentrated – Only the beneficial compounds remain after extraction, so there is a higher concentration of them
- Long-lasting – If stored in ideal conditions, the alcohol content allows for a shelf life of up to 5 years
- Easy to Produce – The creation of a tincture doesn’t involve a complicated procedure
How to Take Mushroom Tinctures?
Mushroom tinctures should be consumed orally with a dropper. The two main methods to take them are adding them to drinks or placing them directly in your mouth.
For drinks, we recommend mixing your tincture into your coffee, juice, or smoothies. Any drink will work. This method is best for those that want to water down the tincture and minimise the ‘bite’ from the alcohol content.
The other technique involves placing drops under your tongue. The advantage of this method is that the tincture will bypass the digestive system and go straight into your bloodstream. Quicker absorption = Benefits sooner.
Our Mushroom Tinctures
Have you caught the tincture bug? How about you check out some of our mushroom tinctures?
How We Make Them
We have a trusted manufacturer who sources our ingredients from around the world. These mushrooms and botanicals are added to buckets of water and alcohol. The type and quantity of these ingredients depend on the tincture being made.
Our extraction process takes about 10 to 11 days. Once done, we press the batch so only the liquid extract remains.
Finally, quality control checks are performed and vitamins are added in certain cases.
After the initial manufacturing process, the product is sent to 3rd party accredited laboratories to test for purity, potency, and composition. Each of our products has received a Certificate of Analysis (COA) as a result of passing the tests.
How to Take Them
Make sure you shake the bottle well before using it. For dosage, we recommend adding 3.5 droppers (3.5 ml) to your beverage of choice once a day.
You should see the medicinal effects within 15 to 30 minutes. To maximise the benefits, we recommend you use our tinctures daily for at least 3 weeks. This will give your body greater adaptogenic effects.
As well, you are welcome to take more than one tincture at once. Each of our products focuses on a specific need, so if you need it, take it!
Safety Concerns About Mushroom Tinctures
Before you go out and buy a mushroom tincture, consider the following.
Children should not use tinctures. Not only are tinctures developed solely for adult use, but they also contain alcohol. Both of these facts lead to tinctures being unsafe for children.
We recommend talking to your doctor first if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. They can figure out if mushroom tinctures are both safe and beneficial for you to take.
Individual mushrooms used can have different potential side effects, so ensure you do your research.
Now that tinctures are making a comeback, this is the perfect time for you to get your hands on some mushroom tinctures. Check out our products and see what you think!