Oriveda is the only vendor sharing objective test reports

•   Frequently Asked Questions   •

Which mushroom should I take?

A great source of objective and easy to follow information is this website.. Our main portal has more links to educational content and research and background.
But don't be deceived by online marketing and anekdotes - mushroom extracts are not magic cures.

Why can't I buy all Oriveda products in the EU?

The EU has a regulation restricting the sale within the EU membership states of food items that were not commonly consumed before 1997. This includes all supplements based on mycelium (except Cordyceps CS-4) and Cordyceps militaris / Turkey Tail fruiting bodies. You can check the 'novel food' catalog here.

How to use Oriveda supplements?

We supply a detailed downloadable instruction leaflet with every purchase. You will receive an email with a download link together with your order confirmation.

In general the daily dosage is ± 1 gram (2 - 3 capsules). We recommend to take the capsules on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before or 2 hours after a meal.

Please avoid combining the supplements with dairy or -in case of Cordyceps / CCCE- caffeïne-containing products. See "Why not combine mushroom extracts with dairy products", below.

We recommend to either choose lactose-free dairy products or to take dairy products at a different time (at least an hour away) than the supplement. Just to minimize the chances of negative effects.

Also see "How much should I take?" further down.

How much should I take ?

The effects of the bioactive compounds in mushroom extracts are dose-dependant according to research. Therefore, using the levels of those active ingredients as a guideline seems logical, but surprisingly enough this is not standard. A lot of researchers and most vendors approach mushrooms as if they are standardised products in themselves, as if -just an example- all Turkey Tail mushrooms are identical and per definition bioactive.

Wrong.

Levels of active ingredients will vary based on many variables, such as environmental conditions, strain, cultivation and processing techniques and storage conditions. Only when there is a clear indication of active ingredients on the product's supplement facts label (which is supervised by the authorities) you can dose accurately. That is common sense.

Briefly, based on the verified levels of active ingredients in our products:
  • Age below 35: 1 gram of extract daily
  • Age 35 - 50: 1-2 grams of extract daily
  • Age over 50: at least 2 grams daily
These recommendations are for maintenance and assume you are in OK health. Specific health conditions usually require a higher dosage - we provide this information on demand and -briefly- in the instruction leaflets that come with every purchase.

On websites like examine.com you might also find dosage recommendations. Unfortunately, these recommendations are in general not based on levels of active ingredients but on flawed and/or outdated research, anecdotes and vendor's recommendations (which are also based on flawed research, anecdotes, etc etc..)..

Why take mushroom extracts on an empty stomach with vitamin C ?

This recommendation is not applicable to alcohol extracted Lion 's Mane, because that extract is optimized for the alcohol-solubles and is best taken with food.

The main active ingredient of most medicinal mushroom extracts are water-soluble beta-glucans, though. These are very large macro-molecules with a high molecular weight; in fact a type of dietary fiber.

When taken orally, intestinal absorptive cells (enterocytes) facilitate the transportation of beta-glucans and similar compounds across the intestinal cell wall into the lymph, where they begin to interact with receptors of the immune system, activating a wide spectrum of immunological effects.

Due to their size beta-glucans do not pass the intestinal wall easily. To increase the chances of beta-glucan entering the blood-stream it's common sense to have as little 'competition' as possible present. So no solid foods or fiber-rich smoothies !

Research found that the absorption / therapeutic effect of beta-glucans is improved when combined with vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The type or amount is not important: 20 - 50mg of the cheapest type will do. See e.g. this article - a Google search for 'beta-glucan vitamin C' will return many more results. Combining the intake with fresh juice containing vitamin C is also okay!

Vitamin C will also improve the absorption of iron.

Why not combine mushroom extracts with dairy products?

An important bioactive compound of all medicinal mushroom extracts are anti-oxidants, in particular polyphenols and their derivatives. Lactose (mainly found in dairy products) binds polyphenols, potentially neutralizing their anti-oxidant effects.

Research reports show conflicting results, which is why we recommend to either choose lactose-free dairy products or to take dairy products at a different time (at least an hour away) than the supplement. Just to minimize the chances of negative effects. (link)

I want to give my dog your Turkey Tail (PSP-50). What is the dosage ?

Our PSP-50 is very popular with dog-owners because research (based on a similar product) showed good effects when used for dogs with cancer. Our product is cheaper and contains more active compounds than the researched product.

In the research the best results were achieved with a daily dosage of 100mg p/kg of bodyweight. Higher dosages were not investigated but might even be more effective, given that the therapeutic effects are dose-dependant.

Using the research report as a guideline the recommended dosage for our PSP-50 product is ± 70mg daily p/kg bodyweight. One capsule contains 350 mg.

Are the products safe?

All products are guaranteed 100% safe. They are tested by an independant third party laboratory for heavy metals and other trace elements. The test results are available here. The analytical labs we use (CWC, Alkemist, Eurofins Group) are ISO/IEC 17025 accredited, which means the highest level of reliability and quality.

Don't overlook that although less is always better, levels of heavy metals should be seen in relation to the intake (of a dietary supplement or another food) and the bodyweight of the individual consuming it. For a baby 1ppm of whatever compound might be toxic, whereas for an adult man it is perfectly safe. The danger is in the dosage!!

Below are the official EU and World Health Organisation / Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (WHO / JECFA) guidelines. The amounts are in mcg (micrograms).
  • Arsenic: (Adult, 70 kgs: 150 mcg = daily limit)
  • Cadmium: (Adult, 70 kgs: 70 mcg daily = daily limit)
  • Lead: (Adult, 70 kgs: 250 mcg daily = daily limit)
  • Mercury: (Adult, 70 kgs: 16 mcg daily = daily limit)
Of course it is also interesting to know how much heavy metals are present in common everyday foods.

To compare, in 2007 the FDA conducted a survey to determine levels of heavy metals such as lead in typical foods. The majority of foods were free or almost free of any heavy metals, but not all. There was no difference between 'organic' and standard.

Their most striking results (levels per serving, per day):
  • fresh collard greens: 30 microgram of lead
  • dry roasted mixed nuts: 20 microgram of lead
  • Brussels sprouts 15 microgram of lead
  • Sweet potatoes : 16 microgram of lead
  • Spinach: 15 microgram of lead
These are all considered normal and safe levels.

Side effects?

In general mushroom extracts do not have side effects themselves - they are nutraceuticals, meaning 'food with therapeutic potential'. People in general have no side effects when consuming their food, but as usual, there are always some exceptions due to genetic programming. Everybody is different!

Does Lion’s Mane cause loss of libido ?

No.

Despite that, on social media some people claim Lion’s Mane lowers their libido, and are convinced that's caused by a drop in testosterone levels. Which is not the case.

What does research say ?

There is an often quoted -and widely misunderstood- research paper checking the inhibiting effect of 19 medicinal mushrooms on DHT production in the body. DHT is a testosterone-derivative and responsible for e.g. premature balding and prostate-related problems. It has no effect on libido or erection quality.

Lion’s Mane was not included in this paper. But let’s assume -for the sake of argument- it does have a DHT-inhibiting effect.
DHT is not testosterone, though. As said before, it is a testosterone-derivative and it has different properties.

The body’s testosterone is in part converted into DHT by an enzyme (5-alfa- reductase). By blocking this enzyme the level of DHT can be lowered, which can help battling premature balding and, among other things, prostate-related issues such as BPH.

Popular DHT inhibitors are Saw Palmetto and Finasteride.

DHT is not linked to impotence or sex drive in general. Logic says the main effect of lowering DHT should in fact be positive, if any. Less testosterone is converted to DHT, meaning T-levels will remain more stable.

Testosterone has a strong effect on libido and erection quality. In other words, inhibiting DHT should actually be beneficial for sex drive and erection quality. And indeed, this has been reported and was confirmed by research.

Like, Reishi has the highest DHT-inhibiting effects of all mushrooms according to research. It is also known to have a stronger effect than Viagra on erection quality and sex drive (libido). See this research paper.

Despite that, lowering DHT sometimes can have a negative effect on libido, but it only happens in roughly 1% of men according to research. Ninety-nine percent of men will not be affected.

What are the chances of experiencing this side effects ?

Unfortunately it is impossible to predict whether or not it might happen to you, but based on the available research it appears the chances are minimal; as said around 1%.

If you read social media it might appear to be more common, but that is probably because affected people usually make way more noise than those not affected.

What can I do if it happens ?

Of course you can stop taking Lion’s Mane. If that’s not your preferred option, combining the intake with Cordyceps appears to neutralise the unwanted effects for most. Cordyceps hot water extracts high in cordycepin can help to normalise testosterone levels.

Oriveda’s C+ has over 1,2 % cordycepin, making it the worlds most potent Cordyceps extract. Objective lab tests confirm this potency claim.

Working out is also good for improving T-levels; and as it happens Cordyceps with a high cordycepin level is great as a pre-workout supplement; it increases the oxygen intake in the lungs and improves liver and kidney functions.

The combination of Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps is therefore recommended.

Confusing and contradicting information online

Very understandable. Here are some common sense bullet points to help you make head or tail of the information:
  • The quality claims you read on a website / blog / in a forum should be seen as marketing without value, unless the claims are backed up by test reports, such as a genuine Certificate of Analysis (COA), which has been issued by an actual registered / certified laboratory. In-house testing is per definition unreliable because of the conflict of interest. You can find our test reports here.
  • Most vendors will not share test reports (don't you wonder why not ??). They might send you some 'fact sheet / spec sheet', though. This means nothing and can be considered deceiving, because everybody with a computer can produce that.
  • If the quality claim is not reflected on the Supplement Facts label that means a red flag. The Supplement Facts label shows the guaranteed levels of compounds, and the justness of this information is checked by the authorities. False claims result in prosecution. Many vendors decide therefore not to repeat their statements on that label. By doing that they are in fact underlining it's marketing, not facts they're telling you.
  • Information on the front label is not verified for its accuracy. Therefore you cannot rely on that, in particular if it is not repeated on the Supplement Facts label. Another red flag.
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Are your mushrooms from China?

This question is rooted in fear. Products from China cannot be trusted or are even dangerous is the underlying message. The facts are this.

First of all, all mushroom extracts are from China. The Chinese have been the undisputed masters of mushroom cultivation for over 1000 years. On top of that, there are no extraction facilities outside of SE-Asia. The lack of contamination such as heavy metals defines the safety of a product. And specific marker compounds define the potency of the product; compounds such as beta-glucan, cordycepin and polyphenols. These two aspects together define the objective quality, not the geographical location.

Marketing planted the idea that it matters where the mushrooms have been sourced. Like, Siberian Chaga is always best, Japanese Reishi is always preferable, Chinese mushrooms are always best avoided, etc...

But this is misleading, steering people away from the actual objective quality markers. It is just marketing.

Check our test reports if you want to validate our quality and safety claims - you can find them here. The finished products are tested in US-laboratories for potency and safety.

Are your products organic ?

Yes. But, although our manufacturer has the USDA Organic certificate, issued by EcoCert SA, please take notice that 'organic' is not defined by law or regulations the FDA enforces. Despite the good intentions it is used by the majority of vendors as an effective marketing tool only.

Certified organic is not a guarantee for quality or safety. For instance, it does not guarantee no heavy metals are present. Mushrooms accumulate heavy metals and heavy metals are found in all soil.

Levels of heavy metals should be covered in a lab test report. The ‘USDA Certified Organic organisation(and their international counterparts) don't test anything. It is all about paperwork. If the farm can prove they’re not using certain pesticides they get their certificate and that’s it. Nothing is being tested.

There might be one onsite inspection every year, but they don't have any lab equipment nor do any actual testing. They don’t have and don’t use labs. They look at documentation and verify compliance. That's the real truth behind 'Certified Organic'. It is mainly marketing.

The majority of the mushroom supplement sellers using the USDA certificate as a marketing tool have only that to market - a mushroom product with the USDA-organic stamp, but lacking other specifications such as active ingredients or levels of heavy metals.

An 'USDA-organic' mushroom might still contain significant amounts of heavy metals and microbial contamination, which mushrooms tend to accumulate from the soil and their environment. Unless they have a full Certificate of Analysis revealing the contamination 'Certified Organic' products might still be poor quality or even unsafe.

We do share these test reports, all published by ISO certified labs. These reports tell the consumer exactly what's in the product, instead of playing their emotions by emphasizing only the 'organic' aspect. Available here. Oddly enough 99,99% of vendors refuse to share actual proof of safety and quality (test reports). They prefer to spend their money on marketing instead of quality control.

Do the products work?

Unfortunately there is never a guarantee, because every person and every health condition is unique to a certain extent. Many variables are in play, so some trial and error is unavoidable. Despite that, here are some tips to maximize the chance of positive effects:

• Choose an extract. According to research 80% of people either have trouble or cannot digest non-extracted mushroom products at all because they lack the enzyme chitinase in their stomach. This enzyme is essential to deal with the chitin that locks the bioactive compounds in the cell walls of the mushroom. Chitin restricts the bioavailability. Only an extract can guarantee bioavailability - otherwise a therapeutic effect is completely unpredictable. See this link for a detailed explanation.

• Compare the product claims from the website against the supplement facts label - it is unlawful to exaggerate or lie on that label, but on a website or a front label vendors have much more leeway to market a product. The supplement facts label should show a breakdown of beta-glucans at least. Nowadays beta-glucans can be tested very accurately using the AOAC-approved Megazyme® assay.

Many supplements specify polysaccharides, but that's using 20th century standards. Beta-glucans are polysaccharides, but not all polysaccharides are beta-glucans; e.g. starch, chitin, cellulose and dextrin are also -completely useless- polysaccharides found in many mushroom products. A high polysaccharide percentage does not mean it is a good product.

You can easily test for the presence of starch and dextrin at home: open a capsule and mix the powder inside with a bit of cold water to make a liquid solution. Then add a few drops of iodine. See this youtube video. If the solution changes color (black, blue, red) it contains non-mushroom polysaccharides or starch. Percentages of up to 30% are not uncommon. Rice powder is also added often to increase the weight and to prevent cakeing of the extract powder.

• If a vendor is marketing his product as a 10:1 extract (or whatever ratio) but does NOT specify any bioactives (beta-glucan, triterpenes, polyphenols) on the supplement facts label this might mean it's just dried and powdered mushroom, non-extracted. (also check: "What ratio are your mushroom extracts ?").

There simply is only one reason NOT to test for beta-glucan or other active compounds - testing is pretty cheap and the results are what the consumer wants to see. Logic tells us the only reason to keep it vague or leave it out is because the outcome is unfavourable and will make the product look bad.

• If you want more quality confirmation we recommend to ask the online vendor for a Certificate of Analysis (COA), issued by a third party lab. Many vendors simply write their own COA or will send you a fancy-looking Technical Data Sheet / Specifications Sheet, but it is obvious this proves nothing.

A good COA should show the details / certification of the laboratory and carry a lab technician's signature. It should list the active ingredients and the contaminants, like heavy metals. The statements should match the product's supplement facts label. Our COA 's can be found here.

Fruiting bodies or mycelium?

This information can be found on the product page for each mushroom. In some online communities the general idea is circulating that fruiting body is always preferable over mycelium. This is wrong.

In brief, here's why (it's mainly just common sense !):
  • For some mushrooms the most important active ingredients are actually in the mycelium (Lion’s Mane (erinacines), Turkey Tail (PSP/PSK), Cordyceps CS-4 (no fruiting body extracts exist!))
  • There is a difference between mycelium-on-grains/rice (biomass) and pure mycelium. Biomass should always be avoided as it is contaminated with undigested substrate in the form of starch. This includes all US-cultivated products. We only use pure mycelium, free from starch, if the products properties request the use of mycelium
  • Quality claims are only worth something if they are backed with actual test reports. This includes a claim like 'fruiting body extracts are better than mycelium-based extracts' or vice versa. Nice statement, but where is the proof ? Also see our 'I'm confused by all the information online' entry, above. Using ‘we use fruiting bodies only!!’ has the subtext ‘it’s better!’ but actually only reveals the ignorance of the vendor, and the actual specifications, if any (% of glucans, terpenes etc.) usually have no verifiable source or backup in the form of official documents. Only specifying active ingredients is acceptable as proof of superior quality.

What is the extraction ratio ? 1:1 ? 8:1 ?

Most consumers assume "8:1" means the product is 8 times more powerful than a "1:1" product. This is not the case. Nevertheless, these ratios are usually used by vendors to underline the 'potency' of their products.

This stems from herbal practice: a dried herb (± 10:1) is more potent than the fresh one in general - this is applicable even to kitchen herbs! Many Chinese producers are actually in the herbal business and added mushrooms as an extra source of income in the past decades. They are using the same processing and quality indicators for mushrooms, but this is wrong. Mushrooms are not -structurally speaking- cellulose based (like herbs) but have a chitinous structure. Chitin needs specific processing -involving heat or enzymes/fermentation- to release the locked bioactives - see elsewhere in these FAQ.

Using a ratio-indicator with mushrooms is potentially deceiving, because it reveals nothing about the chemical compostion or bio-availability - the consumer still has no clue if the product is in fact therapeutically useful.

A ratio claim is also impossible to verify, how can you prove that, let's say a 200:1 claim, is correct or incorrect ?

Mushrooms contain a lot of water, up to 90% (e.g. Agaricus blazei fruiting bodies). Drying and pulverizing them will already decrease the volume and the weight significantly; completely dry ABM powder is already meeting the 10:1 ratio; 90% water has been removed, 10% dry matter is left. But no extraction of bioactives took place and the bio-availability is still poor. Ratio claims are best ignored.

There is one important exception though.

Lion's Mane fruiting body extracts should always be 1:1. A 'concentrated extract' such as '8:1' is in fact weaker than a 1:1 product; lab tests proved this. That's because most of the beta-glucans in Lion's Mane are not of the soluble kind, so they will be filtered out during the 'concentration' phase.

Another thing: a Lion's Mane 1 : 1 extract will also contain the alcohol-solubles (such as sterols and hericenones, which are considered powerful bioactives). A 1:1 extract is the complete mushroom ('full-spectrum') but bioavailable.

The bottom line, again: a ratio-indicator in itself is meaningless. A ratio-claim should be supported by a detailed breakdown of the bioactives on the supplement facts label to carry any weight.

We keep repeating this: the only thing that is really important for a consumer is the information on the supplement label (it is prohibited by law to lie or use deceiving phrasing on this label): the exact percentages of bioactives such as beta-glucans should be there.
If not, avoid it - the therapeutic potency might be questionable. Testing for beta-glucan is easy and cheap - so why not do it unless the outcome is not what you want ?

As an example, have a look at the image below. The most powerful extract is the dual extract (hot water/ethanol) on the right. It has twice the volume of the hot water-only extract. So volume-wise the hot water extract might be 14:1 and the dual extract only 7:1, but to draw the conclusion the 14:1 extract is the most potent one would be wrong.
chaga extract comparison A basic hot water extract (freeze dried) and a full spectrum dual extract (spray dried). The dual extract's particle size is much smaller but the total volume is larger. Smaller particles means better absorption and solubility, which improves bio-availability and therefore therapeutic effect.

Why not sell powder or tinctures?

• Capsules contain extract powder, but make dosing much easier - you know exactly how much you take and what is in it.

• We are selling mainly highly concentrated extracts. A side effect of such extracts is that they are very hygroscopic, meaning they attract and absorb moisture easily. Loose powder is difficult to keep damp-free, so if no precautions are taken (using e.g. a desiccant or some additive such as maltitol) the powder will soon start cakeing, solidify or develop lumps. In itself this is no problem: the therapeutic effect is not affected, but it is impossible to sell like that. And we do not use additives in any of our mushroom extracts, unlike other vendors.

In fact, the described hygroscopic effect can also be called an indication of quality: only extracts have these problems and non-extracted mushroom powder or biomass don't.

• Putting herbs or herbal powder in a bottle together with alcohol and/or water is called 'cold-extraction'. Liquid extracts or alcohol tinctures are effective with herbs, but never with mushrooms. Alcohol or water does not break down chitin, the main structural ingredient of fungal cells. Some directly exposed bioactive compounds will dissolve in the liquid, but the percentages are very low. Mushroom tinctures therefore never specify bio-active compounds on their supplement facts label, because these levels are entirely unpredictable and in general below the level of detection. At least 95% of the tincture is just liquid and the therapeutic potency is minimal, if any.

And consider this: a powdered extract is in fact the residue of a solvent extract (solvent = alcohol/water), it's what's left after the liquid has evaporated. After all, all powdered extracts start as a liquid -hot water- extract. A single 30ml tincture bottle contains ± 3 - 4 capsules worth of mushroom extract, the rest is useless liquid. The value for money is very poor, but since it is easy, cheap and fun to do, there are a lot of DIY vendors on the market. For therapeutic effects such products are unsuitable.

What is the expiration date ?

Our mushroom extracts do not have an 'Expiration Date' but a 'Best Before' date.

The extract powder in the capsules only contains inert compounds which do not oxidize or react with each-other. They do not expire / lose their bioactive properties over time. The only thing is that due to the hygroscopic properties of these extracts they can solidify over time because they absorb moisture from their environment. The chances of this happening are minimised by packing the extract in capsules inside an airtight, sealed pouch together with a silica gel pouch, but increase once the package has been opened. As soon as the product is opened -exposed to air- it can solidify / change color.

If the moisture levels increase the potential for bacterial contamination in theory also increases, which is why we still use a 'Best Before' date. The 'Best Before' date is usually ± 1½ year away or even 2½ years (Chaga only).

The capsules have a different color than before

Mushroom extracts are based on natural products. There will always be small variations in color. Apart from that, sometimes a new way of processing the products can also result in a significantly lighter or darker color. But the color in itself is not really important.

In the end the only thing that really matters is what is in the product - the active ingredients. Check the supplement facts label and, when in doubt, check the most recent test report(s).

The contents of the capsules got hard !

Mushroom extracts are very hygroscopic, in particular an alcohol extract such as our Lion's Mane. Meaning, they absorb moisture easily, which can cause the extract powder to solidify. It is comparable to sugar and salt, which form lumps easily in a humid environment. In extreme cases even the capsule shell can get brittle because the powder inside is absorbing the moisture.

Is this a problem ? Is the product spoiled ?

No. Just like with sugar or salt the properties of the extract will not be affected. The only potential issue is that increased moisture levels also increase the potential for bacterial growth over time. Therefore, always keep the product in a well-closed bag or bottle in an environment that is as dry as possible.

We could get rid of this 'problem' to a certain extent by adding additives (aka 'flow agents') to the product, such as malto-dextrin. This lowers the hygroscopic properties and it also makes the product easier to process. Most vendors do this. We don't.

Keep in mind that the percentage of malto-dextrin has to be ± 20 - 25% to be effective and that the specifications of the extract are usually based on the raw powdered extract without the additives present. Meaning, you pay for capsules with e.g. 400mg extract powder each, guaranteed to contain 20% beta-glucan (= 80mg p/capsule), but you get 300mg extract powder and only 60mg of beta-glucan p/capsule. You get only 75 - 80% of what you expect to get.

Chaga, radioactivity... should we be worried ?

First of all, all our extracts have been tested for the main radioactive isotopes - Caesium and Strontium and Uranium. They are perfectly safe and meet all requirements.

That said, an American producer of cultivated(!) Chaga has been spreading rumors online for several years now. He's stating that Asian / (incl. Siberian) Chaga is contaminated with radioactivity due to the Fukushima disaster, early 2011. This company is marketing its own cultivated Chaga as the only reliable alternative.
These statements are complete nonsense. It's just unsubstantiated marketing talk.

First of all, in Russia it is standard to test for radionuclides such as Caesium and Strontium when exporting. (See this example of a Russian COA).

Second, most people are probably unaware of the strict EU-customs procedures during import. American, Japanese and Canadian Chaga was stopped at the EU-borders quite often during the past few years, but not Siberian Chaga. We will explain further on how this is possible.

Third, the jetstream and ocean streams are moving away from the East Coast of Japan towards the Pacific Ocean and the US. Hawaii was e.g. hit by radiation three months after the disaster took place (over 3 times the normal radiation levels) and the American West Coast was hit shortly afterwards. In North-East China (close to Eastern Russia) however radiation levels increased only 1/100.0000th of the normal level.

Look at this official depiction of the fallout deposition (2011 computer model, later updated with environmental samples in 2013).
fukushima radiation spread
Dark blue means zero deposition. Siberia is just visible, top left. China is left. Both are unaffected except the most N-East part of Russia. But as you can see a large part of the US and Canada was affected badly. Based on this (and the EU customs reports) our advice is therefore to avoid Japanese, American and Canadian Chaga (and other wild-harvested mushrooms) completely unless they have a test report proving their safety. There is no reason at all to avoid Siberian or Chinese Chaga.

Some German vendors are still using the Chernobyl accident as a reason to avoid E-European Chaga. But considering the life-span of a Chaga-infected tree (max. 20 years) and the date of the event (1986) it is clear that the last Chaga-bearing tree from that time died at least 15 years ago. No Chaga from that time is in circulation. And again - only test reports are proof, unfounded claims on a website are not. Fake news.

A side note: cultivated Chaga as marketed in the US has completely different properties than wild-harvested Chaga and therefore cannot claim any of the effects found during research. It is also not extracted but in fact a biomass product (= mycelium including the grains in which it grows) with a high level of starch. No betulin, different sterols... for further background, have a look at this article or this extensive monograph (scroll all the way down to 'The future of Chaga').

Why extracts instead of fresh or dried mushrooms?

The term 'extract' is often used quite loosely - dried and powdered mushrooms are often also advertised as 'mushroom extract' because "the water has been extracted". This is misleading.

Hot-water extraction is the minimum that is needed to liberate bioactive ingredients from the cell-walls in which they are contained. These cells are made of chitin, an indigestible substance for humans. Most of the active components will simply pass through your body without a trace if you choose the cheap 'extracts'. Eating raw or dried powdered mushrooms has no noteworthy therapeutic effect. Our stomachs work too fast to break down chitin and most people lack the enzyme chitinase, which is essential for digesting chitin.

Read this excellent explanation on the supplement-facts blog. Extraction facility We are using a state-of-the-art hot-water and/or ethanol extraction and distillation process to get rid of the useless chitin and liberate all bioactive ingredients. One of our Lion's Mane extracts is alcohol extracted; water-solubles were filtered out.

After hot water extraction we apply alcohol precipitation. This is a production techique which removes low molecular weight compounds and by doing so increases the level of high molecular weight compounds (research showed high molecular weight beta-glucans and proteo-glycans to be the most effective). The final product has a constant level of quality and bioavailability is guaranteed. The supplement facts label is again the key to distinguishing the 'real' extracts from the 'fake' extracts: only genuine extracts can guarantee bioactive ingredients.