5 Mushroom Tinctures That Can Improve Anyone's Health - Birch Boys, Inc.

5 Mushroom Tinctures That Can Improve Anyone's Health

Nov 23, 2018Garrett Kopp

Earlier this summer we launched our four mushroom tinctures: Red Reishi, Turkey Tail, Chaga and Lion's Mane (Since then we’ve expanded the line to also include Maitake). As these have become some of our most popular mushroom products, we would like to share with you an in-depth guide to Tincture use and some other thoughts to ponder along the way.

What is a Tincture?

A tincture is typically an extract of plant material dissolved in ethanol. Tincture concentrations of 25–60% are common, but may run as high as 90%. In chemistry, a tincture is a solution that has ethanol as its solvent. In regard to mushrooms, alcoholic tinctures are made with various ethanol concentrations, 20% being the most common. Birch Boys tinctures have been tested and shown to contain between 20-25% alcohol content in the final product.

Other solvents for producing tinctures include vinegar and glycerin, both of which cannot be used for human consumption. Ethanol has the advantage of being an excellent solvent for both acidic and basic substances.

Some examples of tinctures:

  • Cannabis tincture

  • Elderberry tincture

  • Iodine tincture

Birch Boys uses a unique double extraction process when producing tinctures. This means that we first start by preparing a hot water extraction of each mushroom. We then use the leftover mushrooms and extract the remaining nutrients from the mushrooms using alcohol. The hot water extract, or 'tea' so to speak, is boiled down to lessen the water content. Then, both extracts, water and alcohol, are combined together.

This is considered the most effective extraction method, designed to not leave any beneficial components behind in the raw mushrooms.

Why Use Mushroom Tinctures?

Antioxidant Support- Most fungi contain antioxidants, which help support the immune system, but Chaga has the highest concentration of natural antioxidants. Choose Chaga if you’re looking to support the immune system, cellular health and healthy skin support.

As an Alternative to Caffeine - Functional fungi contain long-chain polysaccharides, which help our body turn food into energy. Many people use fungi teas and blends as a coffee alternative or enhancement. Choose Chaga, Turkey Tail and/or Lion’s Mane as a buzz-free, crash-free alternative/addition to coffee.

To Support Restful Sleep - Reishi supports a calm feeling and can aid in relaxation. It is great to take in the evening to ensure restful sleep. Choose Reishi as a meditative aid and to sleep well.

To Support Cognitive Health - Lion’s Mane is a nootropic, which means it supports healthy cognition, memory and focus. Choose Lion’s Mane for cognitive and neurological support.

As Part of a Well Balanced Weight Loss Regimen - Mushrooms contain fiber which can help to make you feel fuller. Maitake helps to support a healthy metabolism. Choose Chaga and Maitake to add to your balanced weight loss regimen.

To Support Overall Wellness - Most fungi are adaptogens, or possess adaptogenic properties. Adaptogens help your body maintain homeostasis and support a healthy response to stress. Choose any Tincture to support overall wellbeing, or even better, try the Mushroom Tincture Bundle.

Why A Daily Regimen Is Important

What makes a habit a habit? Repetition! It seems that some habits are better than others at maintaining emotional and physical health. When we repeat the same action over and over as part of everyday life, it becomes a part of who we are. Good habits create a high level of discipline that can be broadly applied to your life, leading to a happier, more peaceful existence.

Throughout history, many different cultures used exercise, such as yoga or military training, sports, musical concerts or culinary events into daily life to promote community and togetherness. Little did early humans know that they had stumbled upon the key to a successful society: citizens who were happy and healthy naturally, by living a regimented yet flexible lifestyle. The roots of prosperous human existence can be traced back to ancient good habits regarding food and nutrition. Before diving into my personal regimen, let's introduce the tinctures we're referring to.

Incorporating Tinctures Into Your Daily Routine

As always, let's talk mushrooms- which are considered one of the world's most beneficial superfoods that can be added to any sort of lifestyle regimen to promote wellness. Let’s take a look at historic use of the following mushrooms to find evidence as to why we should continue these usage traditions today.

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) was first discovered in the Changbai Mountains in Ancient China around 300 BC, and was known as an herb of great medicinal use. Reishi teas, soup broths and other recipes became incredibly prolific as this culture incorporated the use of mushrooms into everyday life to benefit from Reishi’s calming and health-supporting properties.

Reishi was not the only fungus consumed habitually by cultures past. Chaga (Innonotus obliquus) is also mentioned in ancient Chinese medicinal texts as well as indigenous peoples in Russia. The Khanty people from a region historically known as "Yugra" in Russia used Chaga in a variety of ways. They drank it to aid in digestion and to help them feel fuller during periods of fasting. They created a natural soap using Chaga, lard and ash to help soothe skin irritations. The Khanty people also smoked Chaga, believing that it improved lung health, which is not scientifically supported. While Chaga does make a great incense, it is not recommended to smoke Chaga.

Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) Historically Lion’s Mane (or hedgehog mushroom) was used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, just like Chaga and Reishi. In modern day, Lion’s Mane is taking the world by storm. In addition to the compounds most functional fungi contain, Lion's Mane also contains erinacenes and hericenones, the two components that are responsible for Lion’s Mane’s ability to support healthy cognition. Used for centuries as a tonic, Lion’s Mane is native to China, Japan, North America and Europe and can still be found and used today.

Maitake (Grifola frondosa), or the 'dancing mushroom' has been one of the newest additions to our tincture line. Maitake is an adaptogen, which means that it can help several bodily processes return to homeostasis. In addition, Maitake supports cardiovascular and circulatory health and has proven itself as one of the most nutritionally rich polypore mushrooms out there.

The final mushroom in this lineup is Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor). This mushroom is perhaps the most convoluted when it comes to specific historic use, but we do know that indigenous peoples of Asia have been using Turkey Tail mushrooms in elixirs for over 2,000 years. Even though we don’t have specific details on the historical usage of Turkey Tail, it is presently the most clinically researched mushroom to date. Turkey Tail has been used in hospitals in Japan since the 1970s and compounds extracted from Turkey Tail are currently the subject of an FDA clinical study. Turkey Tail’s compounds are incredibly interesting. Over 35 phenolic compounds found in Turkey Tail are unique to this amazing fungus. The history of Turkey Tail may be lost to time, but its future is very promising.

The connection between historical use and modern possibility is exciting. Do these examples of historical use resonate with your daily routine? If our ancestors habitually consumed these powerful fungi provided by nature, why not explore the benefits for ourselves?

My Personal Tincture Routine

Before I get into my tincture routine, it is important to note that everyone’s body chemistry is different. Each individual person will respond slightly differently to supplements based on their unique bodily properties. This is exemplified in our reviews, where you’ll notice that each reviewer has their own routine and notices effects on their own timeline. I encourage you to experiment (mindfully and responsibly) in order to find the best combination of tinctures and routine for you! Keep reading and if you still have questions, give us a call.

After waking up, I put 2mL of Chaga tincture in a tall glass of water, and drink it before I take my morning shower. It doesn’t have any immediate noticeable effect. It seems to kick in after about two hours.

By then it’s about 10-11am and I’m usually just settling in at my desk. I know the Chaga Tincture is kicking in when I’m excited to open my email. I make sure to build some momentum by conquering my small tasks for the day, and then I add 2mL of Lion’s Mane Tincture to my daily cup of chai. From 12-3pm I’m a machine. This is where I really seem to lock into the most important tasks of my day.

The Lion’s Mane/Chaga combo sometimes leaves me trapped ‘in the zone’ if I don’t consciously pace myself. If I’m not mindful, I’ll strain my neck from diligently working away at the computer for too long.

Right around 4pm everyday, right after my big work session, I use Turkey Tail Tincture. It helps support my immunity and aids digestion.

I use 2mL of Reishi after dinner at home. It makes me feel more level-headed and collected. Back when I didn’t use the Reishi, I’d often lay restless long into the night and destroy my sleep schedule. The Reishi doesn’t make me drowsy, but it certainly makes me feel more in tune with my biological constraints. I feel less tense and am able to relax.

The most important part of staying on top of my routine is to make sure I have the appropriate tincture at each location:

  • Chaga Tincture - on the bedside table

  • Lion’s Mane Tincture - in my office desk drawer

  • Turkey Tail Tincture - in my car (always close)

  • Reishi Tincture - living room coffee table

Frequently Asked Mushroom Tincture Questions

Where do mushroom tinctures originate from?

Tinctures were first recorded to have been used around 1000 AD. Alcohol was distilled and used to extract the powerful chemical properties of herbs and mushrooms alike.

How do I use the mushroom tinctures?

Simply take up to 4mL of your chosen tincture(s) per day. You can take the full serving at one time, or spread out your serving throughout the day. Add tinctures to soups or broths, drinking temperature beverages, and smoothies or yogurts for a subtle mushroom flavor. Get creative! Specific serving size questions should be directed to your healthcare professional. Listen to your body to determine what serving size is right for you.

Can pets use the mushroom tinctures?

Dogs can use mushroom tinctures, but cats cannot. Healthy pets are happy pets.

Can I mix and match tinctures?

We encourage you to do exactly this! Take advantage of our Mushroom Tincture Bundle, containing Chaga, Maitake, Turkey Tail, Lion’s Mane and Reishi Tinctures or build your own custom bundle. This concept can be fun for those who are interested in experimenting with beverage creation at home. Send us your wildest brews and you may be featured on our website!

Can I take every tincture, everyday?

We have many customers who use every tincture every day. We recommend starting with one tincture at a time so that you can feel the benefits of each tincture individually before you begin using all of them together. This way you can feel which ones work best for your body and buy accordingly. We have a convenient ‘Build a Bundle’ where you can get the Tincture Bundle discount on any 5 tinctures of your choice.

How should I store my mushroom tinctures?

Ideally, your tinctures should be kept in a cool, dark location (such as a pantry). Do not freeze tinctures or expose to prolonged sunlight or high temperatures as ingredients can become ineffective. Tinctures do not have a shelf life time span and can be kept for upwards of 10 years.

What method of chemical extraction does Birch Boys use?

As mentioned above, our tincture process is a dual extract with hot water and alcohol. First, the mushroom soaks in 190-proof, gluten-free alcohol for 6 weeks. Then the fungi/alcohol mixture is put into an evaporator and an equal amount of distilled water is added. This simmers for 12 hours, and more water is added each time that the liquid in the evaporator reaches 50% of its original volume. Afterwards, the fungi pulp is sifted out and the remaining liquid is put into our glass tincture bottles.

What makes Birch Boys mushroom tinctures different from others?

Our dual water and alcohol extraction process creates a clean and impurity-free mushroom extract with a taste that blends well with anything it is added to. Our wild-harvested mushrooms are gathered from the most pure North American semi-arctic forests within the Adirondack Mountains of Northern NY. Our proprietary sourcing alone sets the industry standard for quality.

Take this guide as a reference tool and explore the many uses of Mushroom Tinctures! If you have used Mushroom Tinctures in the past, please reach out to us to share your experience. We are always looking for interesting recipes, beverages and overall creative uses for mushroom tinctures!

Garrett Kopp Expert Chaga Harvester and woodsman

About The Author

Garrett Kopp is the 25 year old Chaga visionary and founder of Birch Boys, Inc., a company well-known for its assortment of teas, tinctures, and extracts from healing wild fungi. Kopp grew up in the Adirondack Mountains, where he naturally developed a broad passion for the wild northern forests of New York. He began to specialize and narrow this passion toward Chaga after a freak accident where he helped himself to a cup of what appeared to be iced tea in his Grandmother’s refrigerator, who had started harvesting Chaga and brewing it on her own amidst a battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Soon thereafter, Kopp and his grandmother expanded their Chaga harvesting activities to local farmer's markets, where they discovered significant demand for the fungus and its powerful ability to help everyday people.

These entrepreneurial efforts landed Kopp acceptance into Clarkson University’s early entrance program, the Clarkson School, where he studied Engineering & Management and Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Several years and hundreds of research hours later, Kopp returned to his hometown. Having shipped to over 20,0000 individuals throughout all 50 states, Birch Boys has organically grown into a nationally recognized online brand . Kopp is proud to have built a vertically integrated supply chain, sustainably sourcing the fruits of tree-borne fungi from over 220,000 leased acres of leased private land in the Adirondack park, where it is carefully harvested by hand before being dried, processed, and extracted with love, at his fungi factory in none other than Tupper Lake, NY.

Recommended Reading

The Mushroom Of Immortality - Reishi's Benefits and History

3 Benefits of Lion's Mane Mushroom

Turkey Tail Mushroom - A Subject of Clinical Study

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Comments (3)

  • Do you sell your products private label? I would like to speak with someone about this opportunity.

    Mike Greenberg
  • Is there any THC in your products. Because of my job I can’t use anything that has it in it.

  • Hello you are interested in medicinal mushrooms, I am looking for a partner to develop and commercialize cordyceps militaris and cordyceps sinesis all wild


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