Although increasing in popularity, the use of mushrooms for medicinal purposes is not new. For centuries our ancient ancestors have used mushrooms to treat wounds, strengthen the immune system, prevent diseases, and treat illnesses. Research has shown us that medicinal mushrooms were used as early as 450 BCE by Hippocrates to treat inflammation and cauterize wounds.
Modern science continues to examine the power of medicinal mushrooms. Mushroom tinctures have been found to have incredible benefits for your health and can be made and used at home. They have been described as mini-vaccines or sidekicks to your immune system.
What is a mushroom tincture?
Tinctures are extracts of organic material. When using a tincture, you are getting the most concentrated form of that plant. Tinctures are created by dissolving the mushrooms in ethanol. When dissolving mushrooms in ethanol, you get a concentrated solution containing the medicinal benefits. You may also use hot water to further extract the mushrooms, creating a very potent solution.
When to use mushroom tinctures?
Everyday! As you will soon see, there are several health benefits that can be achieved. There are thousands of different mushroom species, and they don’t all share the same benefits. Some are known for their anticancer properties, while others improve cognitive function. You can use one or multiple mushroom tinctures depending on the benefits you are looking for. Simply drop 5 to 10 drops of your tincture in a glass of water or tea, and you can boost your immune system, reduce the risk of disease, improve mood, and more.
How do I make mushroom tinctures?
The first step in making mushroom tinctures is to grow your own mushrooms! With an at-home growing kit, like “Nature Lion’s Lion’s Mane Grow Kit” you can grow your own mushrooms in just 3 weeks. Pick your mushrooms and fill a mason jar 2/3 of the way full. Fill the jar, covering the mushrooms with 80 proof alcohol like vodka. Let this mixture sit for 4 to 6 weeks in a cool, dark location. Shake the jar daily to extract the medicinal properties. After 6 weeks:
- Strain the liquid into a new jar.
- Place the strained mushrooms into a large pot and add water (1/2 gallon for 2 cups of mushrooms).
- Simmer on the stove for about two hours, ensuring it doesn’t come to a boil. This will produce a liquid that should be about 1/3 of the alcohol liquid you put in the new mason jar.
- Once it has cooled, pour it in with the alcohol liquid.
- Store in a cool, dry place. You can place it into smaller tincture jars with a dropper for easy daily use.
8 Health Benefits of Mushroom Tinctures
1. Aids in weight loss
Reishi is a wonderful mushroom with countless health benefits, including weight loss. A study published in 2015 found that Reishi extract can reduce obesity in mice by modulating the gut microbiota.
2. Improves cognitive function
Lion’s mane mushroom tinctures can reduce the risk of dementia, repair nerve damage, reduce brain fog, increase mental clarity, and focus. It’s much more than a temporary feeling too! Consistent use of lion’s mane mushroom tinctures can affect your brain’s physical makeup by increasing the production of nerve growth factor (NFG) and myelin. By increasing NFG and myelin, you reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. A fascinating study looked at those with mild cognitive impairment. These individuals were given lion’s mane, and when compared to a control group, researchers found that lion’s mane was able to improve mild cognitive impairment.
3. Reduces depression and anxiety
Reishi mushroom tinctures can ease anxiety and depression. A study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that reishi mushroom acts as an antidepressant.
4. Prevents and treats diabetes
Reishi mushroom tinctures have an incredible effect on blood sugar levels and prevent and treat diabetes by regulating these sugar levels.
5. Boosts immune system
Many mushrooms naturally contain antioxidants and immune-boosting properties that lower one’s risk of illness and disease. Lion’s mane, reishi, oyster, and chaga mushrooms improve the function of the immune system. Research has shown that reishi mushrooms effectively maintains a healthy immune system by suppressing the inflammatory response.
6. Reduces the risk of cancer
Most medicinal mushrooms have anticancer proteins, which is just one of the reasons we love them so much! Lion’s mane mushrooms have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer when ingested regularly. Chaga mushroom tinctures can also prevent or slow the growth of cancer. A 2010 study found chaga mushrooms to be a natural anticancer ingredient. Turkey tail mushrooms naturally contain a compound referred to as PSK, which is an approved anticancer ingredient. In addition to reducing the risk of cancer, it can help support the immune system of those going through chemotherapy. A study found that these medicinal mushrooms improved the immune system of those with breast cancer and receiving standard treatment.
7. Increases heart function and reduces the risk of heart disease
Chaga mushroom tinctures have been found to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is considered bad cholesterol and risk for heart disease. Chaga mushrooms aren’t the only ones good for heart health. Shiitake mushrooms can also lower LDL levels. Further, they contain phytonutrients when preventing plaque buildup. Reishi mushrooms reduce blood pressure and cholesterol for reduced risk of heart disease.
8. Reduces inflammation and associated pain and diseases
Many common diseases like Alzheimer’s are caused by chronic inflammation. By reducing inflammation, you can prevent and treat these diseases. Lion’s mane mushroom tinctures have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Adding mushroom tinctures to your tea or water allows you to reap all the incredible health benefits listed here. Before doing so, always speak to your health care provider, especially if you are currently taking prescription medications or have any health conditions.
Are you considering making mushroom tinctures at home? To get started today, pick up a Lion’s Mane Mushroom Grow Kit and grow your own organic mushrooms in just 3 weeks!