Medicinal Mushroom Dual Extracts: What It Means

Updated: Aug 18

If you’ve perused our shop or bought a medicinal mushroom product before, chances are you’ve come across the verbiage medicinal mushroom dual extract.

But what does dual extract mean and why is it important?

In layman’s terms, dual extract means that the matter you're working with (in this case our homegrown dried mushroom fruit bodies) was extracted two times with two different solvents.

The first extraction is almost always done with hot water, also known as a decoction. The second extraction can use a wide range of solvents but usually uses alcohol, known as a tincture.

So, why do we use the dual extract process in our medicinal mushroom dual extract products? It makes the most potent product.

When it comes to medicinal mushrooms, there are two classes of compounds we’re primarily after: beta-glucans and triterpenes.

The first, beta-glucans, are water soluble. This means that when we perform our hot water extraction, we’re able to extract the beta-glucans.

The second, triterpenes, are water insoluble but alcohol soluble. This means that while our hot water step isn’t capable of extracting the triterpenes, our alcohol extraction step (the second step of the dual extract process) is.

To get the full spectrum benefits of medicinal mushrooms, both of these extraction steps need to be performed. It’s also important to perform the extractions at the optimal temperature and duration for each species. That’s why, given the rapidly developing research in this field, we at Mindfull Mycology often say we’re in perpetual R&D.

Finally, any dual extract product should be made using 100% mushroom fruit bodies. Many medicinal mushroom products on today’s market use mushroom mycelium. Mycelium can be thought of as the root system of mushrooms and contain far less beneficial compounds than mushroom fruit bodies.

For example, one of the main medicinal compounds in Reishi mushrooms are triterpenes, of which there are more than one hundred. These various compounds, called Gandoeric acids and lucidenic acids after the scientific name for Reishi, Gandoeram lucidum, are not even detectable in Reishi mycelium.

In Reishi mushroom fruit bodies, however, they are prolific. They also account for Reishi’s pronounced bitter taste, which is why we at Mindfull Mycology say that if you don’t pucker when you take your Reishi extract, you’re taking the wrong product.

As for the alcohol in a typical dose of our medicinal mushroom dual extract products, it’s minimal enough to be about the same amount of alcohol you’d get from a glass of juice.

So next time you’re looking for a high quality medicinal mushroom extract, remember:

Mushrooms > Mycelium

Soxhlet extracted products by companies devoted to extractions > Your local farmer’s homestyle extracts

Dual extracts are the gold standard.

Still thirsting for more?

To learn about our current extraction processes, read our article Medicinal Mushroom Extractions: A Primer on Our Process, dive into our methods with our simplified How to Use a Soxhlet Extractor guide, and learn why we use a Soxhlet in our post Soxhlet Extractor: Why We Do What We Do.

And to learn more about the mushrooms in our other products, click on the name of the mushrooms below:
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