The term “medicinal mushroom” used to draw snickers and knowing glances, but these days science is recognizing legitimate medicinal uses for mushrooms. Reishi mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, and western science is just beginning to explore their many uses.
Medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, chaga, maitake, turkey tail and shiitake contain both water-soluble components, known as polysaccharides and alcohol-soluble components known as triterpenes. For this reason, medicines made from reishi mushrooms often include a double extraction. This two-step process combines alcohol and water extracts to maximize the medicinal benefits.
Benefits of Reishi Mushroom Tincture
Reishi’s water-soluble polysaccharides have been shown to boost immune response, especially in relation to cancer cells. Studies show that “The polysaccharides from G. lucidum are believed to trigger an indirect antitumor mechanism in which the host immune system is altered to target the tumor cells.”
Specifically, a type of polysaccharide in reishi mushrooms know as beta-glucans “has the ability to induce both innate and adaptive immune responses…triggering a series of molecular pathways…which in turn, activate the host immune response for immune cell proliferation.”
Reishi’s alcohol-soluble triterpenes go a step further. Science has found that alcohol extracts from reishi mushrooms are “the only known source of a particular group of triterpenes, also known as ganoderic acids, which have been found to have direct cancer cell cytotoxicity on a wide variety of cancer cell lines, such as murine Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) and Meth-A, and many of them have been suggested to counter angiogenesis and metastasis.”
What does all that mean? Water extracts boost your immune system and help your body combat cancer, while alcohol extracts combat cancer directly. Talk about a one-two punch!
Some traditional reishi preparations involve making a decoction by simmering the mushrooms for 2 hours. This preparation misses the benefits of the alcohol-soluble constituents.
As a whole, western science has proven reishi mushroom extracts to be:
Reishi mushrooms have also been shown to reduce blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood sugar and reduce platelet aggregation that results in blood clots. Its effects on blood sugar were significant enough that it has been successfully used in the treatment of diabetes.
The antioxidant activity of compounds found in reishi mushrooms seems to target free radicals responsible for aging, and reishi helped reverse the effects of aging in lab mice. Reishi works to protect and strengthen the liver and has been successfully used for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B.
Disclaimer: I’ve written this article based on my own research and experience, but I am not a medical professional. Please do your own research and/or consult a healthcare professional to be sure a reishi tincture is right for you.
How to Make a Reishi Mushroom Tincture
- Thinly sliced Reishi Mushroom (either purchased dried or wild foraged)
- 80 proof alcohol, such as vodka
- Fresh spring water (or chlorine-free water of any sort)
- Mason jar (pint, quart or a half-gallon depending on your batch size)
- Cooking pot
- Filtering equipment: funnel and mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- Tincture bottles for storage
Fill a mason jar about halfway with dried reishi mushrooms. Dried mushrooms will expand, and need a bit of extra space. If you’re using fresh reishi mushrooms that you were able to collect yourself, fill the jar 2/3 full.
Cover the mushrooms with 80 proof alcohol, filling the jar to within an inch of the top rim.
Let the mixture extract for 4 to 6 weeks. Ideally, it should be kept in a cool dark location like a pantry. To maximize extraction, shake the jar as often as you remember (daily would be ideal).
After the alcohol extraction is complete, strain through a fine-mesh strainer and set the alcohol aside. Measure how much alcohol extract you had remaining and make a note of it.
Place the strained mushrooms into a pot, and add about a half-gallon of water for every 2 cups of mushrooms. Simmer the mushrooms on low for 2 hours, keeping an eye on the water level. Do not let it boil dry.
The water extract should be reduced to about 1/3 of the quantity of alcohol extract. For example, if your strained alcohol extract was a total of 24 ounces (3 cups), you’ll want to reduce your water extract to 8 ounces (1 cup).
This 3 to 1 ratio will ensure that your final extract has a high enough alcohol percentage to be shelf-stable. Once the water extract has cooled, mix it with the alcohol extract and bottle in an amber tincture bottle.
Store in a cool, dark place. The dosage for reishi tincture is generally 1 full dropper per day but can vary based on your particular circumstance.
Reminder: I’ve written this article based on my own research and experience, but I am not a medical professional. Please do your own research and/or consult a healthcare professional to be sure a reishi tincture is right for you.
I was just wondering if the same tincture process would work for shiitake mushrooms?
Yes! To the best of my knowledge, the process is the same for any mushroom tincture.
Thank you for the awesome info, Ashley! I live in VT myself, and recently harvested a bunch of Reishi in St. J (so exciting!). Was wondering if green glass tincture bottles would be sufficient as well? Don’t want to mess anything up when working with this precious medicine!
Wonderful! They’re plentiful right now =) My gut reaction would have been that green glass bottles would be just fine, but I did a bit of google research and it turns out that green glass only provides minimal UV protection. Amber bottles are the best, and cobalt blue bottles are a good second choice. From what I’ve read, green bottles are only colored for decorative reasons and shouldn’t be used with light-sensitive products.
That said, if you’re going to keep the tincture in a dark cabinet that stays closed all the time, it doesn’t much matter how you bottle it.
Hi, am in the middle of boiling the water and reishi. Not that it is written, but I am assuming the mushrooms at this point should be strained also from the water before adding to the alcohol?
Yes, definitely. Strain the mushrooms out of the water, cool the water and then add the water back to the alcohol extract.
Is there a reason to use 80 proof alcohol for the extraction of the triterpenes? Would it not be more efficient to use a much higher proof since 80 proof is 60% water? I’m glad I found your website! It has a lot of valuable information on it.
There is research showing that very high alcohol in the first extraction can damage the water-soluble compounds and that high proof liquor should only be used when extracting tough resins. Some herbalists actually extract the water-soluble portions first to get around this, but then they have to add plain high proof alcohol to the water extract to keep it from spoiling while the mushrooms extract in alcohol. Extracting in a low proof alcohol, then extracting in water is sort of a middle ground solution.
My idea is to do the water extraction first and so produce ice-blocks for the polysaccharides. Then do the alcohol extraction using 37.5% alc. vodka to produce a tincture of triterpenes only.
I expect that fa frozen polysaccharide solution is stable enough for 1 to 2 weeks supply and removes the risk of the alcohol in a mixed tincture providing some degradation to the polysaccharides.
I have been looking for some research that will either support or reject this idea, but not yet found.
When you mix it back in with the alcohol though, won’t this destroy the polysaccharides?
It seems that this is a widely debated topic. You will just want to research it and make a determination for yourself.
Can you please provide the source for the research showing that very high alcohol in the first extraction can damage the water-soluble compounds?
That comes from the Herbal Academy: “Some research suggests that high-proof alcohol destroys the water-soluble polysaccharides, so it doesn’t make sense to use the tinctured and pressed mushrooms in the decoction (Hobbs, 1986). Stephen Buhner (2012) recommends making the decoction first, while many other herbalists advise the inverse.”
Thank you for sharing useful information, the mushrooms in the picture I see is not mature enough. As the mushroom grows darker and there is no white flecks around the mushroom ears. Should use mushrooms mature, then the mushroom will be in the best state.
That’s true for Ganoderma lucidum but not the eastern hemlock reishi we have here (Ganoderma tsugae). Hemlock reishi has a white edge even when it’s very large. I’ve tried waiting until they get bigger, but if I don’t pick them within 24 hours of seeing them the slugs get them. In a wet climate like Vermont they don’t last long, and you have to pick them while you can.
Yes, mushrooms in nature are very difficult to develop. In my country, the traditional way of cooking mushrooms with water, the way to soak my fungus with wine is very good, I will share this use in our country. Thanks for the author.
Hello, I am very happy to know your blog because I feel very interested in articles about Reishi mushrooms
If you like to read about mushroom science and health you might like to know the work of PAUL STAMETS. He is an expert. He has U-Tube presentations. He also produces high quality mushroom products. We could save the ecology of the planet with fungii if only humankind would wake up!
I also am very happy to have found this excellent blog. Thanks Ashley!
Thank you for a wonderfully informative article! I was lucky enough to find some on my walk today and I have a question. How do you clean the mushrooms? Should I just brush off the surface dirt and trim away the blades of grass that the fungi grew around?
Yes, just dust them off and trim out any vegetation. Wetting them in water will degrade them quickly, so don’t actually “wash” them. If you’re making a tincture, they need to be chopped anyway, so just chop off the dirtiest parts if they won’t dust clean.
Hello, From N.H I wonted to ask do you have a printable version about working with the mushroom brew.
? Thank you. You are very good at what you do.
I don’t have a printable version, unfortunately. I’ll look into getting a plugin for the website that converts pages to a printable version though. Glad it was helpful, even if you couldn’t print it…
I have tinctured my mushrooms in high alcohol content grain alcohol. Is it ok to just dilute the alcohol down to 80% before adding the water, or have I already damage the polysaccharides? Thank you. I love your blog!
If a high alcohol was going to damage the constituents, then yes, the damage is done. There’s some debate about that, and I’m not sure that there’s anything conclusive as to whether or not high alcohol really does damage it. It might, but I don’t know that it’s been thoroughly tested. Since it’s done, I wouldn’t worry about it. There are so many medicinal compounds in the reishi, so I wouldn’t worry about a chance that one or two are weakened or removed. The rest will still be there.
To answer the other part, if you’re going to dilute it down, I would dilute it down with more boiled reishi extraction (rather than plain water). Since you used a high alcohol content, it’ll still keep if you use a bit more water extraction in the mix, but you don’t have to. A bit higher alcohol in the finished tincture isn’t a big deal, but it does give you the option of adding more water extraction without it spoiling from being over diluted.
Actually it is best to dilute higher proof alcohol to a lower percentage with water and leave the water content there. Adding water after you have made a tincture is pointless. I also recommended you cut or slightly powder the Reishi in order to allow the menstrum (alcohol and water or lower proof alcohol) to absorb the constituents properly. Also note that after studies have been done we herbalists have discovered that allowing a tincture to sit for two days and then pressing is optimal for extraction of constituents. After a longer time the plant matter begins to reabsorb the medicines you are looking to benefit from.
As an alternative you may use 40-60% alcohol to tincture. Some of the best herbalists use only 40% alcohol with incredible results.
For a fresh folk tincture, it is not recommended to jam the jar full and cover the herbs with alcohol to the rim of the jar. Ratios matter immensely, and with a folk tincture you should never add water as the fresh herb/plant/fungi contains water in it already. Only use alcohol here.
It is best to go with your gut, or you’re not sure what your gut is telling you and you are new to herbal medicine to loads of research and please do not take advice on making your own medicines from non professionals. There is far too much misinformation available and blindly believing someone because they have thousands of followers can put you and your family in a dangerous situation,
I followed your directions to make the Reishi Mushroom tinctures. And then I stored the tinctures in a cool dark place. After a few weeks I noticed that stuff is growing in the amber tincture bottles. What is it? And should it be there? I have a house with passive solar and sometimes it gets warm. Do you think the Reishi got too warm? Should I store it in my refrigerator? Thanks
Good question. I did quite a bit of research to try to answer this one. I haven’t had a reishi tincture spoil myself, but I have had other commercially purchased tinctures grow “mold” or something similar on top above the water level. While I’ve been told by some that tinctures keep indefinitely, and that shouldn’t be possible, I’ve seen it happen myself so I know something must be happening here. In my case, it’s always happened above the top of the tincture on the glass, and I wonder if the moisture condensing above the alcohol on the glass is causing something to grow? Again, these were commercially prepared tinctures, and in theory, they should keep forever, and all my research online says that’s just “not possible.”
In the process of researching this though, I did come across something that was new knowledge to me (and I will update the post above). If you’re using fresh herbs or mushrooms, rather than dried, the moisture level in the mushroom itself can lower the alcohol level, and when you’re adding water into the mix with a double extraction tincture it may incorporate too much water into the mix. The recipe here has you combine two parts alcohol extract with 1 part water extract, which puts you just a few percents above the “safe” line for alcohol preservation in a tincture.
For safety’s sake, I’m going to amend the recipe to be 3 parts alcohol tincture to 1 part water extract for an abundance of caution. That way, whether you’re using fresh or dried mushrooms, the finished tincture should stay well above the minimum alcohol % for preservation. That should just mean cooking down the water a bit further, but still getting the same amount of extracted constituents just in a more concentrated form.
I have been using fresh mushrooms for mine, and I haven’t had issues, but I have a very cold house, so perhaps that’s saved mine from what happened to yours. If yours was made with dried mushrooms, then I’m out of ideas and it’s in the same boat as my commercially prepared tincture that molded when it shouldn’t have been possible.
Hi there, I had the same issue after using the 3:1 alcohol to water ratio. I was asking around on one of my Facebook medicinal herbs and mushrooms group and someone was saying something about “glycosides” growing in some of their tinctures. Could this be what is growing? I was thinking mycilium as well but didn’t think any viable mushroom parts would survive a few months under alcohol, and 2 hours of boiling. I can’t really find anything about the glycosides in tinctures online. What do you think?
There might be something to that now that you mention it. When you’re making a burdock or dandelion tincture, you do get a good bit of precipitate in teh bottle which is inulin (a starch from the roots). It honestly didn’t occur to me that it might actually be something in the reishi itself that’s precipitating out (rather than “mold” as people are describing). That makes a lot more sense than something with a 30% alcohol content molding, which really shouldn’t be even remotely possible.
Doing a bit of research though, I can’t find any specific answers that’d confirm or deny this though. If you do ever find something conclusive, do please let me know.
I just made my first reishi tincture, although I let my alcohol tincture set for about 12 weeks before straining it. Is that too long? The tincture smells strongly of drinking alcohol and I did use a little more water to dilute it in my second reishi/water boiling extraction. So it is about 2 parts reishi alcohol/tincture and 2 parts reishi water/tincture. In my second extraction, I let the water/mushroom mixture boil for about 2 hours and then let it set overnight with the mushrooms before straining it and reboiling it again with only liquid. Then, I mixed it with the alcohol tincture. However, the smell is still very strong. Do you have suggestions for reducing the strong alcohol smell and do you think this tincture will have medicinal properties since it has 2 parts water and 2 parts alcohol? Thank you!
The extra time should be completely fine, and we often forget about ours for months. What proof of alcohol did you use? Did you pick something with a harsh taste? If you started with something really strong or really harsh to begin with, that will come out in the final product. I tend to use a mid-shelf vodka like Smirnoff and it has a very neutral taste in the finished tincture.
Most tinctures have a strong alcohol smell and taste, largely because that’s what they are. This one, since it’s a double extraction and you’re mixing in water, should actually have a lower alcohol content than most and thus less alcohol taste. It does have a strong flavor though, and reishi mushrooms do not have a particularly pleasant taste.
The only thing to be careful of is look at the original proof on the alcohol you used and make sure that your final tincture will have a 30% alcohol content once you’ve added the water extract. If it doesn’t add more alcohol to make sure it’ll keep without spoiling. Given the taste you mention, that likely isn’t a problem, but that’s the main thing to watch for in this tincture.
Thanks for your reply Ashley! I used 80 proof Vodka, I don’t recall the brand. I wasn’t sure if the final product was suppose to have a strong alcohol smell, but glad to know that this is normal.
Hello you are interested in medicinal mushrooms, I am looking for a partner to develop and commercialize cordyceps militaris and cordyceps sinesis all wild
Can’t help you with that one, unfortunately.
Can you tell me the amount to be taken each day?
I’m not a medical professional, and the dosage varies based on your situation. That said, most sources I’ve found suggest a dosage of 1 dropper full (roughly 40 drops) per day.
I’ll soon be making more Reishi tincture, and one from lion’s mane, as well. So I wanted to ask you about this:
Breaking the dried mushroom into a powder to increase surface area for extraction sounded like a good idea. When I used a coffee grinder to do so for lion’s mane some months back, what was left after I poured the “medicinized” alcohol into my dropper-bottles was a wet brick of lion’s-mane-mush, with an ethyl-fungal aroma. Do you have any idea what’s left in that? Is it good for weaker medicine, cooking, compost?
I only recently found your blog, and love it! Thank you!
Hey Brendan, Good question and honestly I can only guess. I would think that it would still contain weaker medicine, and it might be worth drying it out and putting it into capsules. Even if there’s nothing left, it shouldn’t cause any harm to take them, but if there is medicine still in there it’d be a shame to waste it.
After a double extraction, with weeks in alcohol and then hours of boiling, the mush should be pretty well extracted of everything but fiber, but I don’t know for sure honestly, and there may well be still goodness in there.
Thanks, Ashley, for the inspiration. I’m giving it a try. I’d love to check out your familystead some time. I moved to Poultney in May, where I’m just starting such a stead . . . In the meantime, thrive on!
Nice! Good luck with your move =)
Amazing! Thank you for sharing. I will surely try this because making them into tinctures gives them more versatility.
We can bring them anywhere and add to almost anything we want to eat and drink. Longer shelf life too. Thank you for the wonderful idea.
As i can read in many articles online, the usual dosage is 2 to 9 grams of dried reishi mushroom per day. For the sake of this example i will consider a 5 gram dose as the average. I made a double extraction starting with 35 grams of dried reishi. The alcohol was covering the reishi and on top there was 1 cm of extra alcohol (i mean, that looked clear free of reishi which was resting below), i mean, i used the minimun alcohol possible, when i strained i obtained 800 cm3 of alcohol. According to the dosage, if i wanna take the equivalent of 5 grams of dried reishi per day, and, as i started with 35 g, i would have to split the final 800 cm3 of extract in 7 parts, so i should drink 115 cm3 per day! That’s a lot of alcohol! How do people get to a an extract from which they drink a few drops per day? I thought about letting it evaporate, but anyways… all that process and money to end up having a solution for only 7 days? Am i missing something? I checked if the sources were refferring to 5 grams of raw mushroom instead of dried, but no, they specify dry..¿?
The dosage for dried mushrooms and mushroom tinctures are different because when you make a tincture you’re extracting things that aren’t particularly bioavailable in the powdered form. Usually, people consider the dosage for a tincture to be around 1 dropper full, but I’m not a medical professional, so you’d have to consult a doctor, herbalist or naturopath for something specific to you.
How to make tincture rom shiitake mushrooms, thank you
You can follow the exact same process for Shiitake. Good luck!
Does a pill form of the mushrooms work as well. I found one on Amazon that has 4 of these mushrooms. I don’t have time to make extract, since a family member has rare adenocarcinoma of gall bladder. She can’t do immunotherapy because her mutations don’t match. We are willing to try anything, Please, give me you opinion, nothing to loose except gain hope perhaps.
Good question…and I’m honestly not totally sure. I’ve read good things about the mushroom powders and extracts from host defense, and the guy who runs that company is on the front lines of medicinal mushroom research. He uses mycelium powder (a bit different than whole mushroom powder) and I seem to remember there’s a reason for that because it’s more available in capsule or powder form? Personally, if there was no other options for treatment I’d do it. Couldn’t hurt? But I’m definitely not a doctor or a health professional, so that’s just my unprofessional opinion.
Their mushroom powders are here: https://amzn.to/2Zmg9r2
And capsules here: https://amzn.to/2Zgafrr
If it were me (or my family member) that’s what I’d try. Best of luck and I hope for the best.
Hi again, how can i buy Reishi Mushrooms in a jar like you are doing? I would want to give this to my mother to use. We are just sitting and waiting for labs to find her mutation, so Dr. said we can do and try anything we want.
I’d suggest trying amazon or mountain rose herbs. Good luck!
I accidentally poured the water into the alcohol before I boiled it down. 🙁 is it totally ruined or can I boil it down then add more alcohol? 🙏🏽
You can use it as is, it’ll just be less concentrated. If you try to boil down a tincture it’ll actually just ignight because of he high alcohol content. (This assumes you used the right ratios so that the finished tincture is at least 30% alcohol).
Hello there! I was wondering if flavored vodkas would work okay with these tinctures, thanks!
Flavored vodka (or any other type of alcohol like whiskey, etc) are all fine for tincture making (assuming it’s the right proof). Good luck!
I purchased a reishi mushroom to make capsules for my dog. She is very allergic. I thought I would just grind it up and encapsulate it. However, as I research it , it appears that some of the medicinal properties are only released with alcohol and some with water. I do realize I should have researched first. Alcohol based tincture probably isn’t going to work for my dog. I was thinking I could make both the alcohol and water based extractions and mix them with something like flour, bake and grind it. Would you have any suggestions?
I know absolutely nothing about mushrooms and dogs, I’m sorry to say. I have no constructive advice for you, but I’d guess a dogs system likely wouldn’t appreciate alcohol, though who knows if it’s in very small tincture amounts. A friend of mine takes her dog to a canine naturopath vet, and I just learned that those do indeed exist. Maybe try finding one in your area and they likely would be qualified to advise?
Question- is it possible to leave the reishi in the alcohol for too long? I had started this process about a year ago. Left my mason jar in the back of a cupboard, and never got around to returning to it, as we were building a new home, moving, etc. I brought it with me, and am now wondering if I can still move forward with the water decoction, but I’ve not read about leaving it sit so long in the alcohol. Thanks!
Honestly, I don’t know the answer, but I have personally done just what you mention. I lost a jar in the back of the pantry for a year too.
I did go ahead with the water extraction and I did use it, but since it’s not something that has visible results it’s hard to know if that method is potent/effective. I honestly don’t know if some of the water-soluble portions are damaged by that long in alcohol.
Ok, thank you! I will move forward, then.
I have a lot of left-over decoction from making a reishi/turkey tail tincture. I assume when the decoction simmered, some of the triterpenes in the mushrooms would still be in the actual marc, since I don’t have a really good press. So am I right in thinking that in the decoction, there might be a certain amount of triterpenes along with the polysaccarides? If I wanted to preserve the rest of the decoction for use, would I add 22% alcohol by volume as you do with astragalus? Thanks for your help. Really useful blog!
Yes, if you want to preserve the rest of the extract you’d need to add just plain alcohol. Some tincture recipes say 20%, others say as high as 30%, but I usually target 25 to 30% when I’m doing it. Good luck!
Thank you for this recipe.
What would be the recommended ratio when using a 64 proof rum? It is the highest the liquor store had available besides the 94 proof.
I wouldn’t recommend doing a double extraction with 64 proof. That means it’s only 32% alcohol, and you want the finished alcohol concentration to be 30% or more. You just can’t add the water concentrate to that and ahave it work out. If you want to use it, just do a single extraction alcohol tincture.
I have 4 jars of reishis that have been soaking for four weeks now in 80% proof vodka. I was a bit eager to fit as many Reishi in there as possible and so although I remember to shake them every 3-4 days there are corners that are not completely submerged in the alcohol. The liquid is slightly cloudy. Please let me know if I can proceed and make the tincture…I hope So! Thanks so much. Tina
They should be good to go!
Hi, very nice job!
I intend to use reishi powder, in 500ml jars. What do you thing should be the ratio between powder and alcohol. Would 100gr of powder be too little for 500ml of alcohol?
I’ve honestly never worked with reishi powder, but since it takes up a lot less space in the jar I’d guess something like 1 part powder to 4 or 5 parts alcohol would be right. That’s a guess though.
Thanks a lot
Fresh Hemlock Varish Cap can be eaten. just trim the white portion and saute with a little oil. It is quite delicious. Don’t know if you get the same medicinal benefits.
Thanks for this recipe Ashley. I’m excited to try my reishi tincture!
Hi! I made my tincture and was wondering how many mL or TSP in a “dropper full”. From what I’ve seen online, droppers and number of drops can vary! Thanks!
Generally, a “dropper full” is about 30-40 drops, and as far as I can find online it’s supposed to be around 1 ml.
Thanks for the recipe. I harvested dozens of Reishi this year and made some, well A LOT of tincture. After combining the alcohol and water distill I have a few mason jars left of the Reishi water. I was thinking I could dilute and drink as is and wondering if you advise against it? (I haven’t found any literature about this on line).
Yup, that’s reishi tea basically, though made after they’ve alcohol extracted. I can’t see why not? It won’t keep though, so you’d have to keep it in the fridge and drink it within a week or so. Depending on how much you have, that may not be practical (or desirable), and I can’t speak to dosage.
Hello Ashley Is it normal after making a double extraction to have stuff floating at bottom? It’s only been a couple of day since doing the extraction with water and then putting it in with the alcohol tincture. . It seemed fine. Everything was clean. I tried to filter it but might have missed some? I used 80 proof 40% alchohol. I’m so worried.
What did you use to filter it with?
I used a sieve to filter it. Is it possible it’s the polysaccharides?
Hey Ashley! Thanks so much for this article. I have a similar question. Does your finished tincture Have floaties? Or should it be strained fine enough to be pretty much clean?
You want to strain it until it’s clear.
I have a whole pound of japanese reishi mushroom slices to go for an extract.I plan on making it at a 1:4 ratio as most herbalists recommend (100g of reishi to 400 ml vodka).While I know the alcohol percentage will change if I add the water liquid afterwards, will this ratio change too?
If yes,should I start with a 1:3 ratio instead?
What are your thoughts on this?
Also,I have some cordyceps powder from Mountain Rose Herbs that I would like to make an extract out of it.Would the powder work for this?I just can’t use the powder as is,even tried to encapsulate it,but can’t swallow capsules unfortunately.
I have collected Reishi mushrooms sliced them with a meat slicer dried them in a dehydrator and blended them in a juicer and now they are the same consistency as sawdust. Will this be acceptable to now put in jars and add the Vodka/Alcohol
It would be very difficult to strain a powder out of the tincture once it is finished infusing.
Hi, I found a reishi mushroom growing on a dead hemlock by the creek. My first experience with wild mushrooms, had it a while before I got it positively identified. Found your recipe, cut it up, and put in in Everclear (75 proof), thought I could do in 3 weeks, etc. A couple days later I read what you said about higher proof, figure I wrecked it, then I thought to dilute it half with water. Any hope for me & my tincture?
A man who reads the directions…after.
No worries. I’d say it’s fine with the higher proof honestly…if you ask 10 experts you’ll get 10 different answers, and I wouldn’t worry about it being wrecked. If anything, some constituents may have been damaged a bit, but it’s not wrecked and I’m sure it’s still got plenty of goodness in there.
any great thing to do with remaining fresh mushroom after the soaking/ simmering is done?
I am assuming that all Reishi mushrooms fit in this recipe. I have harvested Oregon Reishi which is tincturing now.
To the best of my knowledge.
Hi Thank you for your easy to understand and informative post…. Please can you tell what is the shelf life of a dual-extraction made to your recipe… I want to make two tinctures / dual extractions one with a dried powder of reishi (because I am unable to buy any at the moment) and the 2nd using fresh shitaki mushrooms. Warmly, Denny
For shelf life, it really depends on the source you read. Some day tinctures are only good for 1 year, then lose potency. Others swear it’s 3 years. The herbal academy has an article on the shelf life of all herbal preparations, and I generally defer to them: https://theherbalacademy.com/herbal-preparation-shelf-life/
I messed up! I added 4 cups of the alcohol to a gallon of water instead of adding 4 cups of mushrooms!
I still have 2 cups of the alcohol left and alot of mushrooms.
Is there anything I can do to salvage the alcohol water mix?
Should i boil the mushrooms in it? Can i boil it and just reduce the water? Would that affect the alcohol?
I don’t think that boiling would work. I would think that the alcohol would evaporate more quickly that the water.
I followed this article to make my first reishi tincture and found the resulting liquid to be black. Is this black liquid normal. I was quite surprised to find it turning black after awhile. Is this normal?
I am wondering if maybe you may have used a different species of Reishi? Did you forage for them or did you purchase them?
I grew them myself. Ganoderma lucidum
I am not sure what would cause it to turn that color. Were the mushrooms darker when you started out?
I appreciate the information. I live in middle TN and don’t see too many but we do in east Tennessee. I’m starting to get more into the fungi. I buy and sell herbs barks mushrooms… Botanicals I guess. Always looking for new inventory. I buy lots of different kinds. My business is Upper Cumberland Roots. I would love to talk sometime if you get a chance. Thanks and have a great day.
So glad you enjoyed the article.
Hi,thank you very much for all the information. I made the tincture following your recipe and as some of people have mentioned, mine has some floating things growing in the bottle. It doesn’t look like mold and it is not on the surface, it’s at the bottom.
I appreciate your thoughts about it.
That’s no problem, you will just want to strain it until it’s clear.
Thank you very much for your quick response. I really appreciate it.
Hi! Been following the directions here (Thanks!) for a bunch a Reishi I found — got everything in masons jars with alcohol stored in a dark place, then kinda forgot about them for a year. Is that too long for them to be sitting? Everything looks ok (no mold)
I would say if it looks and smells ok then it should be fine.
Very nice information
My question is this.I put reishi mushroom for 6 weeks in everclear 95% -190 proof.Now I’m ready to combine the the alcohol with the water from the decoction,but I’m sure about the ratio to get a product with enough alcohol.
You want a 3 to 1 ratio of alcohol to water. For example, if you have 3 cups of alcohol then you would want 1 cup of the water decoction.
Does anyone have recommendations on flavoring agents? My tincture is a rather earthy as is. And it got me thinking about adding thyme, orange peel, cinnamon, or other herbs to make the tincture into something a little more interesting on its own, and who knows, perhaps suitable for mixing into a cocktail or hot toddy.
I have never really thought about that but it’s an interesting question. Maybe someone will have some suggestions.
I’m just curious… I see on almost every double extraction website they say the alcohol percentage should be about 25-30% compared to the “tea” decoction, but your instructions are almost opposite that. Have you noticed this? I’d love your thoughts as I’m about to begin the second extraction process! Appreciate it!
I haven’t seen any sources that show that ratio. Do you happen to have a link from a reputable source that you can share?
I have used the Herb Nerd YouTube channel to make Lions mane and Chaga extract in the past. She has past experiences in lab production. I found her recipe the best around. https://youtu.be/RKTvaNcPEqw
Thanks for sharing.
Hi. I picked some wild reishi tsugai, sliced them up and them spread them in a paper towel lined strainer to dry. I forgot that i had placed them in 2 layers and never rotated them. The top layer has dried out well but the paper towel in the lower layer stayed a bit moist and some of the sloced muchrooms on that layer appear to have not dried well. Some peices appaer to have a greyish mold on them. Is there anyway to salvage the mushroom strips that did not dry properly?
If they have mold on them then I would throw them out.
Hi there! I finished up the second stage of my extraction recently and actually had been using a YouTube video to learn how to make this tincture, so I wasn’t aware of the 3 to 1 ratio you’ve mentioned. My ratio is basically 1:1 alcohol to water currently; would I basically just need to combined 1 mason jar of my current 1:1 mixture plus a second mason jar of vodka to make it more foolproof? Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!
Yes, you could just add more alcohol to get it to the appropriate alcohol ratio.
What size tincture bottle should I use so I know appropriate dosage?
The bottles used for this project are a 2 oz. dropper bottle. You can find a link for the bottles in the post.
Thanks for putting this together! As it turns out we have ALOT of reishis growing on our property in upstate NY and I previously had no idea what to do with them. I’ve just finished my first extraction resulting in about 80 2oz bottles full! Couple of questions though. How dark or light should the finished product be assuming about 8 weeks of sitting in the 80 proof alcohol? Also what are some recommended “mixers” to consume this daily as the taste is somewhat boozy/earthy.
It may be a little darker color if you have allowed it to infuse for a longer period of time. Some people just take it straight and others mix it with water. I have found grape juice to be the best option to help disguise the flavor.
Can one still use the reishi infused alcohol if it has been steeping for say, close to 2 years? I began the alcohol extraction and completely forgot about it. The jar has been in my cupboard since the start of the first lockdown… Can I still use this extraction and continue on with the water extraction? Also, part of the reishi is not submerged in vodka anymore- I guess the liquid must have evaporated over time- but there is no mould, all looks clear. Still safe to use?Thank you!
The alcohol should still be safe to use as long as you don’t see any visible signs of spoilage.
I have made Lions mane and Chaga extract using a recipe from the HerbNerd website which is professionally done. It’s very precise.