1. How Do I Use Medicinal Mushrooms?
If you're new to functional mushrooms, you can start with one functional mushroom or product or start with multiple – it's completely safe, not to mention highly effective. However, if you're new to supplements, it's best to introduce one product at a time as they each have different bioactive compounds that affect everyone differently.
Here is what is generally best when introducing functional mushrooms to your routine:
• Start with one functional mushroom or product for a period before adding another product to your routine.
• Research supports long-term and consistent supplementation with functional mushrooms for optimal health benefits – 3 weeks is an excellent place to start.
• Three weeks allows for optimization of that mushroom supplement, and determining the best time of day and the best dose for oneself will differ between consumers.
• Much like an elimination diet where one food is added in or removed at a time to determine its effects, this can help provide insight for a personalized and unique addition to one's wellness routine.
2. Which Medicinal Mushroom Product is Right for Me?
Which product or functional mushroom is right for you will depend on multiple factors: your current health status, your desired health outcome, your lifestyle, and the benefits of each mushroom. Because this is so individualized, we've created our very own quiz to help determine which one is best for you. Click here to take our free mushroom quiz.
Our product line consists of 6 single mushroom products available in capsules and 3 multi-mushroom blend supplements available as a powder. Mushroom capsules, or mushroom pills, offer the convenience of consuming them anywhere and anytime. In contrast, mushroom powder blends offer a creative way to consume them in any recipe you choose.
You can mix the blends into smoothies or shakes, coffee or tea, protein powder, oatmeal, pancakes, chia pudding, yogurt, dressings, sauces, and soups – endless possibilities. They add an umami flavour and can turn regular snacks and recipes into superfoods.
3. When to Take Mushroom Supplements for Best Results?
Generally speaking, one can take any functional mushroom at any time of day. Some factors that come into play and will help guide you are the medicinal mushroom health benefits you're after and the effects of that individual functional mushroom.
For example, Cordyceps is known for its energizing effects and is typically suggested to take in the morning and/or early afternoon. On the other hand, Reishi is known to support sleep and anxiety; if looking to support sleep, taking it in the evening may be best, in comparison to taking it any time of day for anxiety.
4. Can You Stack Multiple Functional Mushrooms/Products in One Day, and How Much of Each Functional Mushroom/Product Can I Take?
Yes, you can take multiple functional mushrooms at a time each day! Our team often does this depending on what mushrooms we feel drawn to for that day, how we feel, and the current season of life. None of our products would offer excessive amounts if taken according to the dose on the label, even if you took them all in one day.
All our products are dosed according to Health Canada's recommendations and current literature and can be found on each product page so that you can total how much of each mushroom extract you would get by stacking them.
To better understand how much of each functional mushroom you can take per day, it's essential to know what extraction is, what quantity crude equivalent (QCE) is, and the daily max QCE as per Health Canada's mushroom monographs.
5. Mushroom Supplement Extraction Ratios
The extraction ratio of each medicinal mushroom identifies the amount of dried mushroom used to create the serving you receive. For instance, a 15:1 extract starts with 15 kg of dried mushroom fruiting bodies. A hot water and/or alcohol extraction method releases the bioactive compounds and removes unwanted contaminants.
This decoction is then spray-dried to 1 kg of a potent mushroom extract with all the beneficial compounds from the original 15 kg of dried mushrooms. We do this because of the realistic convenience of taking 1 g of extract instead of 15 g for the same benefit.
Companies that don't list extraction ratios or percentages of bioactive compounds (such as beta-D-glucans) are likely selling 1:1 products, and you would need to consume a lot of them to get the same benefits as high extraction ratio products.
6. Here's a breakdown of QCE:
Quantity Crude Equivalent (QCE) is the starting quantity of crude material that was used to create a smaller amount of concentrated extract product.
The strength of medicinal mushroom extracts is generally expressed as a ratio of dried mushroom material to final extract quantity, also known as the Quantity Crude Equivalent (QCE). It is expressed in the following format:
X : Y
X = weight of dried whole fruiting body medicinal mushrooms
Y = weight of concentrated powder produced after extraction (extract)
The concept here is that the medicinal compounds locked inside of the dried mushroom material (X) are found in the quantity of final extract (Y) and the majority of non-medicinal elements have been excluded.
Essentially, it's the amount of functional mushrooms we started with compared to the amount of finished concentrated product you receive in your therapeutic dose.
QCE is an important feature that must be listed on the label of a functional mushroom supplement if it is an extract produced in Canada.
High quality products list QCE in order to identify how concentrated they are. This is required for products that have an NPN licence from Health Canada.
Here's a breakdown of QCE using Chill Now reishi extract capsules as an example:
• Chill Now contains a 15:1 dual extract of Reishi
• 2 capsules = 500 mg
• 2 capsules = 7500 mg QCE
But which of these numbers is it? Why are there two?
• Each capsule of Chill Now contains 250 mg of reishi extract, so with 2 capsules, you're receiving 500 mg
• Since Chill Now is a 15:1 dual extract, we need to pay attention to the extraction ratio (15:1)
Here is how we calculate QCE:
• Take the amount in 2 capsules (500 mg) and multiply by the first number in the extraction ratio (15:1)
• 500 mg x 15 = 7500 mg QCE
• With 2 capsules, you are receiving 7500 mg QCE of dried whole Reishi
• In other words, with 2 capsules (500 mg - the final preparation), you are receiving all of the beneficial compounds that came from 7500 mg crude material (and none of the non-medicinal fibrous matter).
Now that we understand what QCE is and know how to calculate it, it's essential to know what the daily max QCE of each functional mushroom is as per Health Canada's Mushroom Monograph:
• Cordyceps daily max QCE = 9,000 mg
• Chaga daily max QCE = 3,600 mg
• Lion's Mane daily max QCE = 12,000 mg
• Maitake daily max QCE = 7,000 mg
• Reishi daily max QCE = 15,000 mg
• Shiitake daily max QCE = 16,000 mg
• Tremella daily max QCE = 9,000mg
• Turkey Tail daily max QCE = 27,000 mg
7. For ease and simplicity, here are the Quantity Crude Equivalents for each of our products:
Chill Now - 2 capsules deliver:
o Reishi 15:1 dual extract = 7,500 mg QCE
Defend Now - 2 capsules deliver:
o Turkey Tail 12:1 extract = 12,000 mg QCE
Energize Now - 2 capsules deliver:
o Cordyceps 8:1 extract = 8,000 mg QCE
Everglow Now - 2 capsules deliver:
o Tremella 8:1 extract = 8,000 mg QCE
Focus Now - 2 capsules deliver:
o Lion's Mane 8:1 dual extract = 8,000 mg QCE
Protect Now - 1 capsule delivers:
o Chaga 8:1 dual extract = 3,600 mg QCE
3 Mushroom Blend - 1/2 tsp delivers:
o Cordyceps 8:1 extract = 2,666 mg QCE
o Lion's Mane 8:1 dual extract = 2,666 mg QCE
o Turkey Tail 12:1 extract = 4,000 mg QCE
o Total QCE = 9,332 mg
Balance 4 Mushroom Blend - 1/2 tsp delivers:
o Lion's Mane 8:1 dual extract = 2,000 mg QCE
o Maitake 8:1 extract = 2,000 mg QCE
o Reishi 15:1 duale extract = 3,750 mg QCE
o Shiitake 8:1 extract = 2,000 mg QCE
o Total QCE = 9,750 mg
6 Mushroom Blend - 1/2 tsp delivers:
o Chaga 8:1 dual extract = 1,333 mg QCE
o Lion's Mane 8:1 dual extract = 1,333 mg QCE
o Maitake 8:1 extract = 1,333 mg QCE
o Oyster 8:1 extract = 1,333 mg QCE
o Shiitake 8:1 extract = 1,333 mg QCE
o Tremella 8:1 extract = 1,333 mg QCE
o Total QCE = 8,000 mg
8. Should Medicinal Mushrooms Be Taken with Food?
Health Canada recommends consuming all mushroom supplements with food to avoid digestive upset. Most report that they can take their mushroom supplement anytime without any trouble, but it's common for people new to using high-potency mushroom extracts to experience some digestive irregularity for a day or two when beginning a new routine. It is best to discontinue use if an upset stomach occurs for more than 48 hours. Always consult your healthcare practitioner for the best advice for your specific situation.
9. What is a Therapeutic Dose?
Not all mushroom supplements are made equal. At Eversio Wellness, we use only the whole fruiting body of organic healthy mushrooms to ensure the high potency and therapeutic effectiveness of our mushroom extract blends and capsules.
All Eversio Wellness products provide a therapeutic dose (over 3,000 mg QCE) in just one capsule. However, for most products, taking 2 capsules is still within the safe mushroom dosage guidelines and can provide greater effects more quickly when taking the product to address a specific concern. All our products were dosed according to Health Canada's mushroom monograph and the current literature examining the health benefits of functional mushrooms.
10. Can Children Take Medicinal Mushrooms?
Functional mushrooms for children is a tough one!
We understand why many parents would like to offer the calming adaptogenic and natural cognitive boosting power of mushrooms to their children, however, the Health Canada Mushroom Monograph does not provide any recommendation for this population.
Currently, Health Canada's guidelines do not recommend mushroom products for anyone under the age of 18.
We aren't able to advise you on a dosage for your little ones at this time, but we like to think we will get there one day!
Use of highly concentrated mushroom compounds like ours is “science in progress” and we have no doubt that we will be learning more about their use with children very soon!
Until then, we encourage you to read as much of the great research available on medicinal mushrooms as you can, consult a trusted health care provider, and go with your “Parent Gut” on this one.
Here is a podcast episode where our co-founder, Brandi Garden, shares about giving functional mushrooms to the little humans in her life. Additionally, you can click here to watch a short video from Brandi Garden on this topic.