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?
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.”