Supplement You Can Trust Logo

Mushroom Powder Vs Extracts – Which make the Best Mushroom Supplements?

Best Mushroom Supplements

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]People have been using mushrooms medicinally for centuries, from traditional medicine to modern health crazes.

Nowadays, you can find fungi in all kinds of forms – from pill-based supplements to coffee – but which makes the best mushroom supplements?

Powders and extracts are two of the most common forms of mushroom supplements, but products can vary wildly in quality, ingredients, and production methods.

Mushroom supplements are quite exciting, as they are simultaneously new and old: They’ve been used in traditional medicine for ages, but we’re still discovering unique health benefits! While mushrooms can be consumed in various ways – raw, cooked, dried, and steeped in hot water to make tea, etc. – mushroom supplements come in two main forms – powders and extracts.

This article will help you understand the differences between mushroom extracts in powder or extract form and what types of products will provide the most benefits based on your health needs. But before we get into tips for choosing the best mushroom supplements for your needs, let’s start at the beginning.

What is Mushroom Powder?


Mushroom Powder

The mushroom powder is exactly what it sounds like – a powder made by drying and crushing mushrooms, which extends their shelf-life and potency while minimizing nutrient loss. Due to the simple manufacturing process, these powders can be made from all kinds of mushrooms and are often incredibly pure, as they’re (almost) nothing but mushrooms.

Mushroom powders can be made from only the mushroom fruiting body or the whole mushroom uprooted from its substrate, which may affect the potency of the finished powder. But no matter what species is used, the mushroom powder is water-soluble and highly versatile, making for some of the best mushroom supplements in terms of versatility and ease of use.

Mushroom Powder Benefits

Because most mushrooms are dried at low temperatures (lower than 104°F) before being powdered, more natural compounds survive intact, giving mushroom powders a wider range of nutrients than extracts. These macro-and micronutrients make mushroom powders great as nutritional supplements that can easily be added to food and drink to supplement your intake of, say, protein or B vitamins, though they are less effective for specific aims like boosting your immune system.

This versatility makes powders some of the best mushroom supplements for people taking supplements for nutritional reasons – such as vegans looking to boost their protein intake – but means they aren’t as effective at treating specific ailments. As the old saying goes, “a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

What is Mushroom Extract

 Mushroom Extract

Mushroom extracts are made by soaking dried mushrooms in a solvent to release compounds before the liquid is strained and cooked down into a mushroom-infused extract. Depending on the type of mushroom and desired compounds, manufacturers may use water, alcohol, or other solvents (like glycerin) and heat treatments (i.e. cooking) to extract beneficial compounds.

Some of the most beneficial compounds in mushrooms (such as beta-glucans) are ‘locked’ inside the cell walls of the mushroom fruiting body, but solvents allow you to extract these compounds from within the mushroom cells. However, the extraction process means that many nutrients like minerals and B vitamins won’t make it into the finished product, making extracts the best mushroom supplements if you want specific health benefits, rather than a broader spectrum of nutrients.

What are Mushroom Tinctures?

Many supplement manufacturers use the term “tincture” to refer to mushroom extracts, while others use the terms interchangeably, so you may be wondering what the difference is anyway. All extracts are made by extracting part of raw material using solvents, while tinctures are a form of extract that uses ethanol.

In other words, all tinctures are extracts, but not all extracts are tinctures, so try to ignore the tincture cheerleaders and read the ingredients list to find the right supplement for your needs.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Mushroom Extract Benefits

The main appeal of mushroom extracts is the control over what compounds end up in the finished product, and the higher concentration of active ingredients like beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are believed to help lower cholesterol, improve blood sugar management and boost the immune system, making extracts some of the best mushroom supplements for these health benefits.

Extracts can also be safer than powders, as the extraction process eliminates or destroys a lot of the trace amounts of toxic chemicals in certain mushroom types. However, it’s worth noting that most mushroom powders aren’t toxic by any stretch of the imagination and will only contain traces of harmful chemicals which are perfectly safe if you stick to the recommended dosages.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner el_class=”icon-box-styles icon-box-half-br-1″][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]

Best Medicinal Mushrooms to Try

Medicinal mushrooms have a long list of health benefits, including immune support, antioxidant effects and even boosting brain function, though each type of shroom is different. To help you find the best mushroom supplements for your health needs, we’ve compiled a list of some medicinal mushrooms which you should keep an eye out for, including:[/vc_column_text][icon_box icon_position=”left” border=”0″ title=”Cordyceps” image=”2831″]Cordyceps – a genus of parasitic fungi that grow on insects – has been used to treat kidney disease, fatigue, and sickness in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Although modern scientific research is limited, cordyceps supplements have antioxidant effects and may help boost exercise performance, making them highly desirable for people with active lifestyles.[/icon_box][icon_box border=”0″ title=”Chaga” image=”2832″]Traditionally used to make medicinal teas, Chaga mushrooms are high in fiber and antioxidants, which can help boost your immune system and fight inflammation. Available in powder and extract form, chaga is one of the best mushroom supplements if you’re looking for anti-inflammatory effects, and it can help regulate your digestive system.[/icon_box][icon_box icon_position=”left” border=”0″ title=”Lion’s Mane” image=”2833″]This descriptively named mushroom has a distinctive white, shaggy appearance and is popular in Asian countries like Japan, China and Korea, where it’s promoted as a ‘brain food’. Lion’s mane is widely regarded as a brain booster, as it’s packed with antioxidants and promotes the production of the bioprotein NFG (Nerve Growth Factor) and myelin, which are crucial to the healthy functioning of your brain.[/icon_box][icon_box border=”0″ title=”Turkey Tail” image=”2834″]Trametes Versicolor or Turkey Tail mushrooms are full of antioxidants, immune-boosting compounds (polysaccharopeptides) and prebiotics, which have a variety of health benefits. Because Turkey Tail has such a wide variety of health benefits, they make for some of the best mushroom supplements in terms of all-around performance.[/icon_box][icon_box icon_position=”left” border=”0″ title=”Reishi” image=”2835″]Widely renowned for its calming properties (especially when consumed in herbal teas), Reishi mushrooms are full of beneficial compounds like antioxidants, polysaccharides and peptidoglycans. These ingredients mean that Reishi mushrooms may aid weight loss, regulate the immune system and reduce symptoms of fatigue and depression.[/icon_box][icon_box border=”0″ title=”Shiitake” image=”2836″]Shiitake mushrooms are well-known for their rich, savory taste, but they also have many health benefits, such as boosting immunity, supporting heart health and providing antioxidant effects. As one of the most popular mushrooms, shiitake is widely available and more affordable than other mushrooms on this list, making it one of the best mushroom supplements in terms of availability and affordability.[/icon_box][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”icon-box-styles icon-yellow-unaligned-br-style-1 icon-yellow-unaligned-br-style-2″][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Pros and Cons of Mushroom Powder and Extract

When you look into the benefits of medicinal mushrooms like the ones listed above, it’s clear to see that they’re pretty amazing, but what’s the best way to get more mushrooms in your life? Even when you reduce the debate to the two main types of mushroom supplements – powders and extracts – it can be tough to choose the right form.

Fortunately, we’ve done the work of finding the pros and cons of mushroom powders and extracts so you can choose the best mushroom supplements for your needs:[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text el_class=”blue-box-text”]

Mushroom Powder Pros and Cons

The mushroom powder is incredibly versatile, as you can measure specific doses, add it to food, drink, and smoothies and even blend different mushrooms if you want the health benefits of multiple types. However, powders are less convenient or targeted than extracts, as you consume the whole mushroom (including some ingredients you may not need), and you have to mix them into food or drink.

Mushroom Powder Advantages:

  • Versatile – you can add the powder to any food and drink (try using some as a seasoning!)
  • Purity – quality powders shouldn’t have any additives or fillers, so you get pure mushroom

Mushroom Powder Disadvantages:

  • Effort – mushroom powder needs to be mixed with food or drink before use.
  • Dosing – it can be difficult to measure the right dose without specialized scales or scoops

Mushroom Extracts Pros and Cons

Extracts tend to be more concentrated but provide fewer nutrients than mushroom powders, as they only contain certain compounds and chemicals from mushrooms. As a result, extracts are less versatile but better when targeting specific health concerns (i.e. immune support), meaning people looking for specific benefits tend to rate extracts or tinctures as the best mushroom supplements.

Mushroom Extract Advantages:

  • Convenient – just take a few drops under the tongue or in food and drink
  • Easy to swallow –easier to consume than large pills or dry powder

Mushroom Extract Disadvantages:

  • Missing nutrients – extracts and tinctures do not contain fiber, while alcohol-based tinctures also lack water-soluble beta-glucans believed to support your immune system
  • Dosing – it’s hard to measure small doses of extracts, especially when using a dropper

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”icon-box-styles icon-yellow-unaligned-br-style-1 icon-yellow-unaligned-br-style-2″][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Buying Tips

After you’ve decided whether you want a mushroom powder or extract, you need to consider various factors to find the best mushroom supplements for your needs. When scanning the aisles of your local pharmacy or searching online, remember these top tips:[/vc_column_text][icon_box icon_position=”left” border=”0″ title=”1. Avoid Mycelium”]Mycelium is the sterile part of a mushroom which are mostly devoid of nutritional or medicinal benefits, and they are often added to powders as a bulking agent. While mycelium can provide some dietary fiber, it lacks the beneficial compounds associated with mushrooms’ main health benefits (immune support, antioxidants, etc.), so try to find supplements made using the main fruiting body.[/icon_box][icon_box border=”0″ title=”2. Look for Specific Compounds”]Most of the health benefits we’ve mentioned are from specific compounds like beta-glucans, peptidoglycans and polysaccharides, so seeing a lot of unpronounceable words on the label of your supplements may be a good thing in this case. Quality manufacturers will proudly announce that their products are full of active ingredients, so the best mushroom supplements should list several on the label.[/icon_box][icon_box icon_position=”left” border=”0″ title=”3. Avoid Generic Products”]There are plenty of quality mushroom supplements on the market, but you should be suspicious of generic or super-cheap products, as they may cut corners, use inferior ingredients or produce them in unsanitary conditions. Always look for third-party certification and a USP stamp to make sure that you’re getting a quality product that contains quality ingredients and is made to industry standards.[/icon_box][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]

Which is Better – Mushroom Extract or Powder?

In the end, the best mushroom supplements are what works for you, so there is no clear ‘right answer’  to this question. However, the two main types of supplements function very differently, and you may prefer one or the other depending on your nutritional needs.

Mushroom powders are better suited to people looking to get more nutrients like protein and B-vitamins (such as vegans), while extracts provide focussed, high-concentration doses of specific compounds ideal for treating specific health concerns. But whichever approach you take, make sure you choose a high-quality product with the type of mushroom best for you by following the tips in this article.

And last but not least, please get professional medical advice before starting on supplements, as even the best mushroom supplements can’t beat conventional medical treatment.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

supplement favicon

Written and Researched by

SupplementsYouCanTrust is made up of passionate health writers dedicated to providing reliable information on supplements and vitamins. With backgrounds in nutrition, medicine, and research, our team brings a diverse range of perspectives and expertise to the table.
Dr Wasim Khan

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Wasim Khan’s areas of expertise lie in understanding the role of dietary supplements and vitamins in healthcare. His in-depth knowledge allows him to provide comprehensive advice and help you make informed decisions about your nutritional intake and supplement usage.

Leave a Comment