Mushrooms have become very popular over the last few years. From shiitake and reishi, to chaga and maitake, more and more folks are feeling drawn to these fascinating and useful beings. When I’m at events, I get a lot of questions about how to prepare and consume them for their benefits. Making a decoction is a good way to go, but I prefer making what’s called a “double extraction” since mushrooms contain some constituents that are water-soluble, called beta-glucans, and some that are alcohol-soluble, called triterpenes. A double extraction effectively pulls out these constituents with the added benefit of being shelf-stable!For information and research on the benefits of various mushrooms, I recommend checking out the works of Christopher Hobbs and Paul Stamets. Rosalee de la Forêt offers this great introduction to mushrooms on her site as well.
Ready to work with mushrooms in your home apothecary? Making a double extraction is actually very similar to making a tincture with plant material, which you can read about here. The process is simple, and I hope this easy step-by-step guide will be helpful as you create a mushroom double extraction of your own:
Make a Mushroom Double Extraction
- 80 proof or higher alcohol (I use vodka)
- organic dried mushrooms such as Reishi, Maitake, Chaga, or Shiitake
- spring water
- Fill a mason jar halfway full of dried mushrooms.
- Fill jar with the alcohol, making sure that it completely covers the mushrooms, but leave about a ½ inch of space at the top of the jar.
- Let it sit for a month. Shake daily.
- After a month, strain mushroom-infused alcohol into another mason jar and set aside.
- Next, make a water extract by bringing a half gallon of water to a simmer in a stock pot. Add the mushrooms from the alcohol extract to the simmering water.
- Simmer the mushrooms for about 2 hours, until the water has reduced to approximately 8-16 ounces. Make sure to keep an eye on the water level, as you don’t want it to completely evaporate. You may need to add water to the stock pot throughout the process.
- Let it cool. Strain and compost the mushrooms, reserving the mushroom-infused water.
- Combine the water extract with the alcohol extract.
The final product is your mushroom double extract! The alcohol percentage should be somewhere between 25-35%, making it shelf-stable.
Looking to buy organic mushroom extracts?