Reishi - Quest for quality

When we decided to add Reishi to our product line, we asked ourselves the following questions:

  • Why should one choose a Reishi extract instead of, for example, a Chaga extract ?
  • After having the answer to that, what properties should the best Reishi product possible have (because that is what we were after)
  • What other Reishi products are currently available and how good are they ?

The first two questions could be answered quickly.

We discovered that what makes Reishi stand out from other medicinal mushrooms is the combination of bioactives; water-soluble beta-glucans (including glyco-proteins/proteo-glycans; fancy names for protein- and peptide-linked beta-glucans) and alcohol-soluble triterpenes, many of which are unique for Reishi.

These compounds appear to have a powerful synergistic effect when combined, so it was obvious our product should be a dual extract (meaning a combination of a hot water extract and an alcohol extract) with high percentages of these bioactives in a bioavailable form.

Therefore the source material should be red Reishi fruiting bodies, cultivated on wood logs (also known as 'duanwood': meaning 'original wood', the same wood Reishi grows on in nature). Research papers showed that this combination produces the highest level of bioactives.

It was not easy to come up with a Reishi product that outclasses all others and is still affordable, because there are literally 100s of them, with prices ranging from a few to hundreds of dollars. Even more confusing: suppliers' prices for Reishi products with almost identical specifications could vary as much as 600% (!) from one supplier to the other.How was that possible ?

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Reishi being cultivated on bags of sawdust. For superior Reishi cultivation on wood logs is the best option, though.

To get an answer to these questions and to make sure we would get the best and most pure product, in line with our other mushroom extracts, we had to do a lot of research. This took time, but it was worth it - not only did we learn a lot but we can now supply our customers with the best Reishi product available for a reasonable price. And with this article, the core of which is applicable to most other mushroom extracts.