Extraction Methods: Concentrating on Medicinals

Medicinal Mushroom extraction is the process of releasing and concentrating compounds for medicinal dosages. Techniques must be evaluated for medicinal properties and holistic retention.

Extraction of Medicinal Mushrooms

SCCO2 · Hot Water · Alcohol · Full Spectrum Extract Myth · No Extraction

SuperCritical CO2

The Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (SCC02) extraction process utilizes cooler temperatures, extracting a more complete mushroom spectrum, and no flammable solvents. Extraction of polysaccharides and triterpenes and a higher number of retained compounds are provided with this one extraction method making SCC02 extraction the best choice for the fullest spectrum possible and a safe choice for production workers.

Currently, the limited number of SCC02 facilities, unawareness among suppliers and the great expense are factors that make this extraction process rare in the marketplace. It is believed that SuperCritical Carbon Dioxide extraction methodology will become the standard as suppliers realize its potential and facilities update their technology.


Hot Water

Hot Water Extraction is the traditional method to free polysaccharides from the mushroom chitin thereby increasing the bio-availablilty to humans. Polysaccharides, which include the primary medicinal compounds ßeta-glucans, are released by heating and breaking down the chitin that composes the cell walls.



Mushrooms that offer triterpenes are also extracted using an alcohol extraction method to make the triterpenes bio-available. Ethanol is the a common alcohol solvent. Mushrooms with triterpenes will be extracted twice: once using a hot water extraction process and the second using an alcohol extraction process.


Full Spectrum Extract Myth

There is no such thing as a Full Spectrum Extract: The term is an oxymoron. The very process “extracts” for desired compounds and all extraction techniques denature the original material to some degree. For medicinal mushrooms, extracts offer viable medicinal dosages. Medicinal mushroom extracts must be correctly labelled in order to for the industry to maintain credibility.

» The term “full spectrum extract” is not approved for use under Pure Mushroom Initiative Standards.


No Extraction / Full Spectrum Powders

Pure Mushroom powders that have not been extracted and are simply the result of grinding up the fruiting body or mycelium are full spectrum: containing the full spectrum of original compounds and in the original, natural ratio. These powders are not feasible for medicinal dosages but are beneficial as functional food.

Mushroom powders are the choice for functional food. Extracts are for medicinal dosages.