We think water is great! Without water, life as we know it on earth would cease to exist. For humans, animals, plants and fungi alike, water is the stuff of life. At its most pure, there’s nothing quite like it. That’s why it’s our chosen method for getting you the purest Lion’s Mane extract possible.
However, there are other ways some businesses harvest their mushroom extracts. So it’s only fair we tell you about that way too.
It’s just not the way we do things. That’s not to say it’s an awful choice - it’s just not our choice…
What’s An Extract?
Simply put, an extract is a substance made by removing it from its original source.
You take the raw material, apply a solvent to it to break it down, and hey presto, you get an extract. Actually, it’s not quite that simple, but hopefully, that's enough info for now to have a basic understanding of extraction.
In terms of health supplements, extracts usually come from plant or animal sources. For example, Omega 3 is often extracted from fish oils; vitamin D3 can come from wool oil (yes, you read that correctly).
And in our case, Lion’s Mane extract is what it says it is, and comes directly from the Lion’s Mane mushroom.
Why are extracts so great?
Extracts are usually high-potency. If you bake, you’ll know all you need is a couple of tiny drops of vanilla extract to taste the flavour. With fungi, the extract will contain super-strength levels of the active ingredient it’s known for, such as the incredible immune-stimulating beta-glucans found in Lion's Mane.
An Easy Pill To Swallow
An extract has higher bioavailability, making it easier for your body to absorb and reap the ‘mane’ benefits (pun totally intended)!
What do fungi cell walls, insect skeletons and crustacean shells have in common?
It’s basically the tough stuff used to hold things up and protect the important stuff. For Lion’s Mane, crabs and dragonflies, it’s fantastic, but because you, as a human, rarely produce the enzyme needed to break it down, it remains an insoluble fibre not dissimilar to the skin of a sweetcorn kernel - need I say more!
The great news is…
During the extraction process of Lion’s Mane, we totally break chitin down, allowing your body easy access to all the vital goodness found inside the mushroom’s cells. Including immune boosting beta-glucans, anti-inflammatory triterpenes, cholesterol-combatting sterols and other beneficial compounds.
The 2 Types Of Extraction Methods
There are so many varieties of medicinal fungi out there, each possessing a wonderment of active compounds with health-promoting properties such as anti-ageing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, to photo-protective.
To access all this great stuff, different mushrooms require different extraction methods because we can only extract specific compounds using certain dissolvents.
Hot Water Extraction For Lion’s Mane Extract
People have used mushrooms in traditional Chinese medicine to help with brain function and gut health for centuries, and hot water extraction is their preferred method of choice to get potent, high-quality Lion’s Mane extract.
What is hot water extraction?
There’s no surprise when I tell you that hot water extraction uses hot water to extract a substance from its original form. It’s considered the best choice for Lion’s Mane mushroom extract, as the main beneficial properties, the beta-glucans, dissolve in water.
What’s the process?
The Lion’s Mane fruiting body gets added to and heated in water with a temperature range of about 80-175 degrees celsius for a set period, after which the solid bits are strained away, leaving behind only liquid. This gets heated again, causing the water to evaporate, and the residue remaining is pure, undiluted Lion’s Mane extract.
No chemicals - simply water and Lion’s Mane.
There are certain mushrooms that can only be ‘unlocked’ by alcohol, and I’m not talking about a trippy night down the local!
Medicinal mushrooms, such as Reishi and Chaga, contain most of their beneficial properties within alcohol-soluble compounds. So using water extraction when dealing with them probably won’t get the best results.
What is alcohol extraction?
Alcohol extraction uses food-grade alcohol, which is classified as safe for human consumption because of its purity and lack of additives, to extract the alcohol-soluble compounds with health-promoting properties from the fruiting body or mycelium of mushrooms.
What’s the process?
Mushrooms get added to a container of suitable alcohol, and the mixture is left to soak for anywhere between 1-6 weeks. The solution is then strained, the solid matter discarded, and you’re left with mushroom-enriched alcohol.
As you might expect, the dual method uses both water and alcohol.
It’s a good choice for mushrooms that contain equal amounts of water-soluble and alcohol-soluble compounds, such as Chaga and Reishi.
Both methods get carried out as above, one after the other on the raw matter, (the order in which is debatable), and then the two magical (not magic) mushroom extracts get combined.
The Benefits Of Water Extraction For Lion’s Mane
Water extraction is the only way to get the amazing water-soluble compounds from the Lion’s Mane fruiting body. Without using water extraction, the Lion’s Mane extract won’t contain any of the brain-boosting benefits of the beta-glucans.
Other benefits of using water extraction include…
- The tough cell walls are softened and broken down to release the goodness within.
- It’s a gentle process which doesn’t damage the health-promoting beta-glucans.
- The process creates a consistent amount of therapeutic content in each dose.
- Extracts contain higher amounts of antioxidants compared to ground powders.
- Water is the only way beta-glucans can get extracted; otherwise, you can’t absorb them.
- 100% water soluble extract means it’s instantly absorbed into your body.
- No by-products, so you receive 100% health-boosting Lion’s Mane extract.
Our Lion’s Mane supplements contain only 100% Lion’s Mane extract derived from water extraction.
To find out more about how Lion’s Mane supplements can help improve your memory, focus and mental well-being, click here…