Extracting the medicinal components from mushrooms and herbs has been practiced by humans for thousands of years. Up until the first use of Penicillin in 1941, they were our primary medicine for any ailment.
The scientific study of traditional medicine over the last century has yielded a wealth of information as well as many exciting new questions. We have gained a lot of valuable knowledge which allows us to make more effective extracts. We have developed new techniques, like the Ultrasonic extractor used at Profungi, and assembled powerful synergistic blends of mushrooms and herbs.
The continued worldwide research of these marvelously complex medicinal plant and fungi allies will undoubtedly yield much more valuable information in the decades to come. It is an exciting time of discovery, and we sincerely hope that you will join us on this journey.
Learn more about the complete line of Profungi extracts in our store.
There are three primary reasons for extracting the medicinal components from mushrooms and herbs.
1) Most of the medicinal plants and mushrooms are not considered culinary. In many cases, they are far from even being edible. Several of the highly medicinal mushrooms are as tough as tree bark and medicinal roots, like those of the Oregon grape plant, are incredibly bitter and hard. To make the medicinal components available for our bodies to absorb, they need to be extracted.
2) The beta-glucans (polysaccharides) from mushrooms which benefit our immune system* are locked up in the chitin (pronounced: KY-tin) of the mushroom cell wall structure. Our human digestive system does not adequately break down chitin, so eating any of the culinary, medicinal mushrooms or a non-extracted mushroom powder provides very little, if any, support from the valuable beta-glucans.
3) An extraction—done properly—preserves both the delicate and potent medicinal components, concentrating them into a highly effective dose.
Each herb and mushroom has a unique array of medicinal components. Many individual components have been isolated, patented, and are currently used in pharmaceuticals. However, any given species may contain dozens of medicinal compounds, and while some of these may be effective when isolated, it is common that the complexity of the combined components is even more powerful and resilient than any one in isolation.*
We use pharmaceutical grade organic alcohol to extract and preserve the array of components which are not water soluble. Our pharmaceutical grade alcohol is triple filtered to meet the stringent United States Pharmacopeia purity standards. This extraction process takes time and the additional expense of the organic alcohol, but it is worth the effort to ensure that you get the full spectrum of medicinal components.
Learn more about the alcohol we use here.
A hot water extraction is primarily used on mushrooms to dissolve the chitin in their cell walls and release the medicinal beta-glucans. Once the chitin is dissolved the beta-glucans become available to our digestive system and can pass into our bodies to benefit our immune system.* The challenge in this process is to dissolve the bond and concentrate the extraction without applying extensive heat which will break the beta-glucans down into smaller chains rendering them less effective.
To solve this problem we have created our Ultrasonic extraction process. Combining powerful high-frequency sound waves with ultra-pure hot water, our Ultrasonic extraction breaks up the chitin quickly. The beta-glucans dissolve into the hot water faster and don't degrade during the extra time that it would take for a traditional hot water extraction.
To learn more about beta-glucans, continue here.
You've probably noticed that all of the extracts we make are liquid, not powdered or capsules. Simply put, we prefer liquid extracts. We feel that liquid extracts are easier to absorb (more bio-available) than extracts which are processed by high heat drying. The effectiveness of any extract is the result of how much your body absorbs, not how much you take. With liquid extracts, you simply add a dropper to orange juice, coffee or tea as part of your morning routine.
Learn more about our extracts here.