Can I eat raw or cooked mushrooms and get all the beneficial effects? No
Can I dry, crush and/or powder mushrooms and get all the beneficial effects? No
Can I soak mushrooms in alcohol or vinegar to make a tincture and get all the beneficial effects? No
Because most of the bio-active ingredients are “locked” inside Chitin cell walls (the same super hard material that covers many insects and crustaceans). Most people do not have the stomach enzymes (Chitinase) to dissolve the Chitin in order to access the bio-active compounds. Therefore, the bio-active compounds are not bio-available.
Ok, so how do we unlock the bio-active compounds?
In the simplest crude form (which has been used throughout history) by brewing a tea or soup, the hot water “melts” the Chitin enabling the bio-active compounds to become bio-available to us.
The highest yield of bio-active ingredients (which Oriveda uses) is achieved when a high water temperature combined with high pressure (100º-190 ºC and pressure up to 50psi) is used.
This will release all of the water-soluble bio-active compounds such as Beta Glucans. The hot water extraction should ideally be performed under pressure, because extended exposure to heat will cause disintegration of some of the molecular structures over time, rendering them therapeutically useless.
However! Some of the bioactive compounds are non-water-soluble (such as Triterpenes in Reishi and Chaga and Erinacines in Lion’s Mane). In this case we need a second extraction method which involves a different solvent.. Ethanol!
Hot ethanol extraction enables all of the bio-active compounds to be released. (Not to be confused with a tincture, aka soaking mushrooms in alcohol which works great for herbs but not for fungi). Once this process is completed, an extraction can be labelled as “Dual Extraction.”
So, you will notice that all of Oriveda’s mushrooms extracts are “Hot Water Extracted” with Reishi, Chaga and Lion’s Mane Mycelium being “Dual Extracted” as they contain compounds which are non-water-soluble. After these processes, Oriveda conducts spray-freeze-drying to ensure no ethanol/alcohol residue is left and a finely powdered extract with a high bioavailability and purity will be the result.