Lets Break It Down A Bit
We get a ton of questions about medicinal mushrooms. Anything from "What do they do for you", to "How do I take them", to "What is in it".
If you are reading this then you know there is a lot of products out there advertising medicinal mushrooms. Unfortunately not all are created equal.
I will be focusing mostly on mushroom powders and will provide you with the directions to complete a fun little science experiment with the family at home!
First thing to talk about is Ingredients. If the ingredients on your package lists any kind of starch such as corn, wheat, oats, rice. Then you have a product that uses Biomass. If your ingredients list Fruited Mushroom Body then you have a true medicinal mushroom powder.
To keep it simple, ALL scientific studies on Medicinal Mushrooms was performed using Fruited Mushroom Bodies. The reason for that is because of Beta-Glucans. Beta-Glucans are the most important of the key compounds in fungi and they offer a host of health benefits.
If the ingredients list biomass then you are receiving zero or a very small percentage of the beta-glucans based on which mushroom you are taking. Most product on the market today are produced using biomass. Biomass is simply mycelium that has colonized starches such as oats, rice, corn, or wheat. It never grew into a fruited mushroom. If you are unsure of what is in the ingredients, simply reach out to the manufacturer. The simple reason why they do this comes down to profit. You can produce a lot more biomass in the same time it takes to grow a mushroom and with less overhead. And Yes, our government allows this.
Get a mushroom product to test
Add one gram of mushroom powder to 3 tablespoons of warm water.
Stir the mushroom powder into the warm water to dissolve it as much as possible.
Using the pipette, add 10 drops of iodine to the water mixture and then stir it in.
Does the solution change color to a dark purple/black?
If it does, then it confirms the presence of some type of starch. The starch material is diluting the amount of actual fungal material in the product and hence lowering the amount of active medicinal compounds in the product.