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FAQs

Table of Contents

Who can take mushrooms?

Why should I take mushrooms?

Medicinal mushrooms are a rich source of unique bioactive compounds which can act therapeutically to support your energy and health. They have been used in traditional medicine around the world for thousands of years. Find out more HERE.

What are the contradictions for mushrooms?

Although medicinal mushrooms are considered a safe functional food, they should not be consumed during pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you are on any medications, please consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking medicinal mushrooms.

Are your products safe for children?

Medicinal mushrooms appear safe for children (although they should be dosed appropriately) but there are no long term studies to support this. Therefore, we cannot recommend our products for children below the age of six years old.

Ingredients and extracts

Are your products organic?

All our mushrooms are 100% organic, as are all our ingredients in our lattes, coffees and blends. Our products are verified by the Soil Association, who uphold the highest standards in organic manufacture.

Are the products vegan?

All our products are suitable for a vegan diet. We grow our Cordyceps products on organic sorghum rather than using insect hosts, as it grows on in the wild.

Do the products contain any allergens?

All our products are free of gluten, dairy and soy and other common allergens.

What are your capsules made of?

The capsules are made of vegetable cellulose. These are of vegan origin.

Are the mushrooms tested? Do you publish your certificates of analysis?

Yes, all our mushrooms go through rigorous third-party laboratory testing. We obtain certificates of analysis with all our mushroom extracts, all of which show we meet below-threshold measures for heavy metals, mycotoxins and other contaminants. We do not routinely publish these but may be able to make these available on request.

Which parts of the mushroom do you use?

It depends on the mushroom, but our products are largely based on the fruiting body, alongside some mycelium, which provides a wider range of key active compounds for optimal benefits. We also use Reishi spores in our spore range, which are microscopic spores that the mushroom produces at the end of its growth cycle: these are up to 300% richer in triterpenes, a potent chemical studied for its anti-inflammatory actions. Reishi spores must go through a process of milling to increase their bioavailability. Unlike cheaper competitors, we crack our spores up to 30 times, to obtain a typical triterpene content of 2%.

While all mushrooms produce spores, research has so far only concentrated on the clinical potential of Reishi spores specifically.

How do you obtain the mushroom extracts?

Since mushrooms in their whole form are not particularly bioavailable to humans, we use extracts to deliver high concentrations of polysaccharides and other active components. We use two types of extraction. Hot water extraction will pull out water-soluble compounds such as the polysaccharides (including the beta-glucans) but not the triterpenes. The alcohol extraction (ethanol) will extract the triterpenes but does not work so effectively on polysaccharides. Some of the harder, woodier mushrooms like Reishi and Chaga require a dual-extraction method to deliver high concentrations of active compounds. We use the biomass in some products which contain compounds secreted by the mycelium (antimicrobials, digestive enzymes, antioxidant enzymes) although the beta glucans and related polysaccharides tend to be higher in the fruiting body. Lion’s Mane erinacines are found in the mycelium and so is 98% of cordycepin, from the Cordyceps mushroom. This is why the formulations are unique and prepared according to the specific mushroom species.

Extracts may also be preferable to whole mushroom and biomass products in cases of gut dysbiosis and malabsorption.

What are your extraction ratios?

The extraction ratio refers to how much of the raw material has been concentrated down to the final product. Our extraction ratios are between 8:1 and 10:1.

Sourcing and growing

Where do you source the mushrooms?

Our mushrooms are sourced globally. We work with experienced and reputable organic farms around the world which specialise in mushroom cultivation. Our mushrooms come from North America, Asia and Siberia, in places mushrooms have been grown and used for thousands of years.

Why do you source from China?

This is a common question. We source some of our mushrooms from select cultivators in China, and our Reishi is grown in the traditional home of red Reishi cultivation, Longquan. Since quality is our highest priority, it makes sense to grow mushrooms in the most optimal growing conditions and habitat.

Out of all the traditional cultures that have grown and used medicinal mushrooms, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has perhaps the longest and most extensive experience. This understanding and knowledge gives Chinese mushroom cultivation a distinct advantage.

How are your mushrooms grown?

Our Chaga mushroom is wild crafted on birch trees in Siberia and sustainably harvested, removing the Chaga conk without damaging the trunk of the host tree, to ensure it can regrow. Other mushrooms are grown on their preferred growth medium under nature identical conditions, so they have similar nutritional profiles to wild mushrooms. Our Reishi is grown on duanwood—these are logs that Reishi traditionally grows on and enables it to form and grow as it would in the wild.

Powders and capsules

Is there any difference between the mushroom powders and the capsules?

Not in terms of ingredients, no. In terms of quantity, two capsules provide 1g of powder, meaning that the powder goes further than the capsules if you are taking a gram a day.

I got fewer servings from my powder. Why?

Our mushroom powders are calculated on a per gram dosage but due to the density of the product you may need more or less than half a teaspoonful. Usually a half teaspoon of powder is equal to a therapeutic one-gram dose but bear in mind teaspoon sizes can differ.

Do you sell samples?

We don’t sell samples, as this would not provide enough product to give a true impression of the mushrooms’ benefits. We do however sell sachets of our mushroom latte and coffee blends.

Taking mushrooms

How do I use the mushrooms?

We would recommend starting with 2 capsules or 1g of powder a day. This is an ideal starting dose for general health and all-round support. If you need extra support you can gradually increase the dosage or introduce another mushroom for a more targeted approach.

When is the best time to take the mushrooms?

Whenever suits you! We like Cordyceps earlier in the day to support stable energy levels. Lion’s Mane can be taken after lunch or early afternoon to support brain function, and Reishi can be taken in the evening to promote calm and relaxation. Take them whenever you feel the need.

Can I combine mushrooms?

Yes. There is some evidence that combinations of mushrooms work synergistically to provide greater immunological benefit than single species taken individually. While therapeutic benefits can be attained from as little as a gram a day, some health conditions may benefit from several doses of different mushrooms for a broader range of effects.

Can I take mushrooms long term?

Most medicinal mushrooms can be taken long term, and there may be additional benefits to taking them over a longer period. Reishi is the only mushroom to date that has studies demonstrating contraindications with medicines (anti-coagulants) at significantly high dosages. Generally, Reishi shows good support for liver function, although toxicity may occur at high doses beyond what we recommend and if using non-organic sources.

What is TCM?

TCM stands for Traditional Chinese Medicine. At Mushrooms 4 Life our mushroom products were originally formulated by naturopaths and TCM practitioners. Mushrooms have a long history of therapeutic use in many cultures around the world, but perhaps they are most well known in Chinese herbal folklore and history. The Chinese herbal classic text, the Shen Nong Ben Cao (c.200 AD) includes several mushrooms still in common use today, such as Reishi and Snow Fungus. TCM regards the body as a holistic organism, where imbalances or disease can affect the flow of energy or ‘Qi’. In TCM balance is sought through various methods, including acupuncture, cupping, forms of exercise and meditation such as Tai Chi, and plant medicine. Herbs and mushrooms are considered to have energetic properties that can act within the body’s energy (meridian) system to restore the flow of Qi or life force.

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