Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your mushroom questions about our product details, ordering & shipping, taking medicinal mushroom extracts, and about the health benefits and effects by mushroom type.


Where's my order?

Please check your order confirmation email which will have a link to your order’s status. This link will also contain the tracking info if your order has shipped. Orders will generally ship within 2 business days if all items are in stock.

Items that are out of stock will ship on a first come first serve basis once they are back in stock.

Do you accept returns?

Yes, please see our returns page for details.

I only received part of my order

Please check the packing slip that was shipped with your order to see if all items were packed. If items are missing from the packing slip then most likely some part of your order was out of stock at the time your order was placed.

Our system will ship the items that are in stock and it will queue up a backorder for the items out of stock. When new stock arrives, the rest of your order will ship immediately.

If the packing slip indicates all items were shipped and you did not receive everything, please contact us.

My package arrived damage. What do I do?

Contact us immediately with your order# and send us photos.

Where do you ship from?

All of our orders ship from Sparks, Nevada, USA.

Where do you ship to?

We only ship to the USA and Canada.

Secondly, COVID-19 and tighter import/border restrictions throughout Europe/UK, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia. This has caused a high rate of rejected international orders being sent back to us. This is why we do not offer direct shipping via our website. We have also found that certain countries have higher rates of credit card fraud and issues with mail delivery and for those reasons, we do not ship to every country.

If you are in Canada you can also order via our Store. Look for the wording “Sold By Real Mushrooms and Fulfilled by Amazon.” This will ensure the order comes from Amazon’s Canadian warehouse.

If you do not see your country listed at checkout, we recommend setting up a freight forwarding account with some like Shipito. These types of services give you a US address to ship to and then charge you a small fee to forward your shipment to your destination country.

See more info on our Shipping Page.

You're a Canadian company but your prices are in USD. Why?

The majority of our order originate in the U.S. and the majority of our expenses are in USD hence all our prices are in USD

Will I need to pay any duties on international shipping? Can it be avoided?

If you live outside the US, there is potential that your order may be assessed for duties and/or taxes. This is entirely dependent on your country’s import regulations. Typically, the higher the order value, the more likely it will be assessed for duties and/or taxes.

If you live in Canada, you can order off and avoid possible duties and/or taxes. If our product listing says “Sold by Real Mushrooms and Fulfilled by Amazon” then this is inventory that Amazon holds for us in Canada so it will be shipped from within Canada and you will avoid any border charges. However, if the listing says “Sold and Shipped by Real Mushrooms” then this inventory comes from our US warehouse and does have the potential for possible border charges.

If you live in the EU, you are welcome to use a freight forwarder service like ShipItTo. This provides you with a US address that you can ship to which will then complete the shipping to your final destination.

Where is my Amazon order?

If you’ve ordered Real Mushrooms through Amazon then it is most likely that Amazon has shipped out your order. We send inventory to Amazon and they ship it out for us when you order it. Because Amazon takes care of the shipping and handling, they do not give us access to any of the tracking information to help you in the event that there is an issue with your order. I wish we would help you but we do not have the information needed to do so.

You will need to contact Amazon support directly in regards to your order.

For contacting Amazon, please see these helpful Amazon resources:

Do you sell at any retail locations?

No, currently all of our products are sold through our website, and We also sell through select health practitioners.

When I ordered my credit card charged me a international processing fee. Why?

If you reside outside of Canada, in very rare instances your bank and/or credit card may charge you an international processing fee. This is outside of our control and it depends on the account and agreement you have with your bank and credit card.

For the vast majority of customers, this is not an issue.


What are Subscriptions?

Subscriptions make sure you never run out of mushrooms. All subscribers get 15% off and free USA shipping. You can add, edit, modify, cancel, skip your subscriptions at any time. Fully customizable.

Choose the “Subscribe and Save” option when adding to cart.

How do I subscribe to a product?

When on any subscription enabled product page, select the “Subscribe and Save” option and select the number of units and how often you want to receive the product (every 1 month or 2 months).

Once you complete the checkout, you will receive an email to complete the creation of our Real Mushrooms account where you will be able to access all your subscriptions details.

How do I cancel a Subscription?

  1. Log into your Real Mushrooms account
  2. Select Manage Subscriptions on the left
  3. Under Subscription Orders select the cancel option next to the product you would like to cancel

If you just want to skip a shipment, see below.

How do I change a Subscription?

  1. Log into your Real Mushrooms account
  2. Select Manage Subscriptions on the left
  3. Under Subscription Orders select the edit option
  4. Here you can change how often it is delivered, the # of units, the credit card on file and shipping address

How do I add a Subscription?

  1. Log into your Real Mushrooms account
  2. Select Manage Subscriptions on the left
  3. Under Subscription Orders select the “Add Product” option
  4. You can also go through the standard website checkout as well

How do I change skip a shipment?

If you’re still fully stocked with mushrooms, instead of just cancelling, you can decide to skip a shipment.

  1. Log into your Real Mushrooms account
  2. Select Manage Subscriptions on the left
  3. Select Delivery Schedule on the left
  4. This will show all your upcoming shipments
  5. Here you can choose to skip a shipment

How do I update my credit card?

  1. Log into your Real Mushrooms account
  2. Select Manage Subscriptions on the left
  3. Select Billing Information on the left
  4. This will show your credit card info
  5. Select Edit to update your card

Mushrooms - General

Where are your mushrooms from?

We take great pride in providing mushroom extract powders of the highest quality. One of the ways we do this is by using the mushroom (fruiting body) in all our products rather than using the mycelium (mushroom root system) which is commonly grown with grain. I’ll explain more about this further below.

All our mushroom extracts are from the leading supplier of organic mushroom extracts: Nammex. They have over 40 years of mushroom growing experience and were one of the first companies to bring organic medicinal mushroom extracts to North America. Their ingredients go through rigorous quality control and are tested twice for heavy metals, agricultural chemicals and microbial contamination to ensure they meet all standards for dietary supplements of this nature. All of their extract are made from certified organic mushrooms (fruiting bodies), organically grown or wildcrafted from deep within mountain regions of China.

Mushrooms used for dietary supplements are seldom grown in North American since it’s too expensive. In fact, China is the leading supplier of mushrooms worldwide and supplies over 85% of the world’s mushrooms. It has a rich history of mushroom use as both food and medicine and is the birth place of mushroom cultivation with shiitake being farmed in the early 1200s. China is one of the only places in the world where you can get 100% organic mushroom (fruiting body) extracts that can be sold at an affordable price.

An important note is that any products made in the USA are typically not made from mushrooms but mycelium, the mushrooms root system, grown on grains.

The grain cannot be separated from the mycelium so it ends up being a significant portion of these types of products. Independent analysis has shown that due to this high amount of grain, they contain very little of the active compounds found in the research. Read your supplements panel very closely and look for the words “mycelium”, “myceliated brown rice”, “mycelial biomass”, “full spectrum”, “whole life cycle” or other derivatives of mycelium. Click here to see what it actually looks like. It is not mushrooms. See “What is mycelium on grain” for more details.

This is why we specifically test for beta-glucans and starch, to show the potency of our products and to show that we have no added fillers like grain. Just 100% mushrooms.

Do you test for heavy metals?

Of course. All products are screened for heavy metals twice. We follow the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) guidelines for heavy metals.

American Health Products Association Suggested Heavy Metals Limits in Herbal Dietary Supplements

American Health Products Association Suggested Heavy Metals Limits in Herbal Dietary Supplements

All of our product specifications follow the following industry established limits:

  • Lead: <2ppm*
  • Arsenic: <2ppm*
  • Cadmium: <2ppm*
  • Mercury: <0.1ppm*

Based on our recommended dosage (1g), our heavy metal limits are even stricter than the limits set by AHPA.

As we, the Real Mushrooms team, are also consuming our products on a daily basis, we are always concerned about the health and safety of our products.

*ppm = parts per million

Why do you only list beta-glucans and not polysaccharides?

Beta-glucans, which are a polysaccharide, are the most well researched medically active compound in mushrooms. For this reason, we specifically measure beta-glucan levels on our products. We do not believe in using polysaccharides as a measure of quality as it can be easily doctored using starch. Starch is an alpha-glucan, which is also a polysaccharide.

As an example, mycelium on grain products have been shown to have high levels of starch, which allows them to tout high polysaccharide numbers when in reality they have very low amounts of beta-glucans as the bulk of these polysaccharides are made up of starch. The starch comes from the grain that ends up in the final product.

Read our full article on why polysaccharides are a poor measurement of quality.

Do you test for mycotoxins?

We have tested for mycotoxins in the past but they are rarely found with edible mushroom products.
This is a bigger concern for food and animal feed where aflatoxin producing fungi like Aspergillus grow. These fungi are often found in grains so this might be a greater concern for products that are made from mycelium grown on grains. It is in the mycelial stage that the aflatoxins are produced.

Why do you list starch on your packaging yet claim no added starch?

We list starch as a way to prove that our product is 100% mushroom.

Mushrooms generally do not contain starch. They do, however, contain small amounts of glycogen. Typically  less than 5%.

Starch and glycogen are both alpha-glucans.

As per the Nammex report, mushrooms have very low levels of alpha-glucans.

When we do our beta-glucan testing and verify the beta-glucans in the product, that same test also measures alpha-glucans. We use this alpha-glucan number as our starch basis though we know is it primarily glycogen because mushrooms do not contain starch. This saves us from additional testing costs to measure starch specifically when we already know that it is less than the alpha-glucan number.

Starch is a common carrier material that can be found in many medicinal mushroom supplements. It is often used as a carrier in mushroom extracts in the form of dextrose or maltodextrin.

In the case of myceliated grain products, high amounts of starch are present due to the grain that ends up in the final product.

This is why it is so important to measure starch so that you’re not wasting your money on carrier materials or grain. This is also why polysaccharides are a poor measure of quality. A simple iodine starch test can be done at home for under $5 to verify if any fillers are added.

All of our products have less than 5% alpha-glucans as they are made purely from mushrooms without any added of fillers or carriers.

What is myceliated grain?

Mycelium is the vegetative state (think root system) of the fungal life cycle. The fungal lifecycle consists of spore, mycelium and mushroom. Mycelium is the stage that produces a mushroom but it is not a mushroom. Just look at some images in Google.

Myceliated grain or grain spawn or mycelium biomass is a method for producing the seed for growing fresh mushrooms. It has now been adopted by many “mushroom” ingredient suppliers as an inexpensive way to produce a “mushroom” supplement, yet in reality it is not a mushroom product. It is a grain based mycelium product similar to tempeh.

The process involves taking a plastic bag of sterilized, cooked grain (rice, oats, sorghum, etc), injecting it with a fungal culture (reishi, chaga, shiitake etc.) and allowing the mycelium to grow out on the grain. Once the mycelium is fully grown out on the grain, it is harvested and the mycelium with the grain is dried and turned into a powder. This produces a product that does not contain any mushrooms, though the package may say “mushroom” on it, and it has a very high starch content (upwards of 70%) because of the residual grain ending up in the final product. Because of all this added grain, the amount of fungal material in the product is very low, leading to very low levels of active compounds like beta-glucans.

Myceliated grain is a cheap way to make “mushroom” supplements that are not actually mushrooms. In reality, when you compare the amount of active compounds in the product, it ends up being a very expensive product. To identify myceliated grain products, look for wording like “mycelium”, “myceliated brown rice”, “mycelial biomass”, “full spectrum”, “whole lifecycle” in the supplements panel and marketing materials. These are good indicators of grain based mycelium.

Products made entirely from mushrooms, like Real Mushrooms, typically have 5-10x more beta-glucans than mycelium on grain products.

What is the concentration ratios of your extracts?

Our extracts range from 1:1 to 16:1 but we do not list them specifically as we believe extract ratios have only limited value when not accompanied with active compound testing.

For example, without analytical testing there’s no way to know whether a 10:1 extract is more concentrated than a 4:1 extract. It is also possible to have two products with the same extract ratio yet with completely different levels of active compounds.

Also note that the higher the extract ratio, the more dense and sticky the final product gets so in order to keep it as a free flowing powder, a carrier is often added. This will dilute the potency. This is why measurement of active compounds and starch is so important.

Extract ratios can also be misrepresented. For example, fresh mushrooms are typically 90% water so the wet to dry ratio is 10:1. Some products use this ratio saying their products are a 10:1 extract (10lb of fresh mushrooms = 1lb of powder) when in reality it’s just a 1:1 (1lb of dried mushrooms = 1lb of powder). All extract ratios should be based off dry weight.

Without analytical testing of active compounds and starch measurements to show purity, extract ratios have limited value. Higher extract ratio does not equate to higher potency.

For these reasons, we do not specifically publish our extract ratios. If you’d like to know, just contact us.

The amount of active compounds in our products are some of the highest in the marketplace and the low levels of starch demonstrate the purity of our products.

Do you provide certificates of analysis?

Yes. Please contact us directly if you wish to see a certificate of analysis.

How is a mushroom extract made?

You take dried mushrooms and grind them into a fine powder.
Then you will cook them multiple times with water and/or alcohol. Water to release water soluble compounds. Alcohol to release non-water soluble compounds.
This cooking breaks down the cell walls of the mushroom allowing for the extraction of the beneficial compounds (beta-glucans, triterpenes, etc.). The mushroom cell walls are made up of chitin, which our bodies do not have the enzymes to break down properly so if we just eat fresh mushrooms the active compounds are not as bioavailable to us. Hence, the requirement for extraction.
The resulting liquid from cooking the mushrooms is drained off and concentrated to the desired consistency. If any alcohol is used in the extraction, it is precipitated out (removed).
The liquid is then sent to a spray dryer, which removes all the water, leaving you with the final powder.
So the final liquid is now a powder without any of the water and/or alcohol.

I'm not feeling anything, Are they working?

The important thing to remember with medicinal mushrooms is that they are adaptogens and adaptogens work over long periods of time. The benefits of medicinal mushrooms are obtained through prolonged use.
Medicinal mushrooms are not necessarily something you are likely to “feel” like caffeine or aspirin. Some people do say they “feel” them but it is uncommon.

Will using the extract powders with hot liquid kill the active compounds?


All of our products have already been extracted with hot water and/or alcohol. Any further “extraction”, like adding them to hot water, will not effect the powder or the medicinal compounds.

When alcohol is used for extraction, is any alcohol left over in the final product?


When alcohol is used for extraction, it is precipitated out so it does not end up in the final product.

What does the "Lot#" printed on the back of the package mean?

This indicates when the product was created. It is not an expiry date. The product is good for 2 years from the lot#.

Can I give your products to my pet?

Yes of course. A holistic vet who prescribes our products recommends 1/8 tsp twice daily for small dogs. Scale the dosage up or down accordingly to your pet’s size. If they do not like the taste, break the servings into smaller dosages more frequently over the day.

Why are only some of mushrooms dual extracted?

We use double extraction on our reishi and chaga ingredients in 5 Defenders and Reishi 415.

It is most important in reishi and chaga as much but not all of the beneficial triterpenes are non-water soluble. With other mushrooms it’s not as important as the main active component is the beta-glucans which are water soluble.

Typically with concentrated extracts, like in 5 Defenders and Reishi 415, you remove the mushroom fiber before concentration begins. This is why you would do separate hot water and alcohol extractions so you can obtain those beneficial triterpenes before the mushroom fiber gets removed.

On the other hand, our Chaga Extract, Lions Mane Extract, and Cordyceps-M products are 1:1 hot water extracts that still contain all of the mushroom fiber so nothing is lost in the extraction process and all of the non-water soluble components are still present even though it is a hot water extract.

For more information on this, please read our blog post.

It says you're USDA Organic but I can't find you in the USDA Organic Integrity Database

Consumer brands typically don’t end up in the USDA Organic Integrity database because the brands themselves don’t apply to the certifying bodies for organic certification. It’s the facilities where the end products are produced that need to apply to be organically certified.

The facility producing the final product will add the brand’s products to their organic certificate annex which lists all the organic products for any brand that the facility produces. This means that the brand itself would not show up in the integrity database when you search for it, only the facility would.

In our case, we use North American Seasonings to produce our pouch products. They create the finished products and are certified by Washington State Department of Agriculture. You will find North American Seasonings in the USDA Organic Integrity database with our products listed.

Does Vitamin C with mushroom increase bioavailability of active compounds?

While this claim is widely repeated across the internet, we’ve seen no science to support it. If you’ve come across something related to this and would like us to comment on it, please send it over.

With that said, here is the most up-to-date insight we have on this topic. Medicinal mushrooms are commonly referenced to have better bioavailability and absorption when taken in combination with Vitamin C. In a literature review, a lot of the popular references cite a few papers being recycled in forums and blogs.

The first is study is an in-vitro human prostate cell study, showing the possible potentiating effects vitamin C has with a Maitake standardized extract (1). This study does show an increase in cytotoxic cell death in cell culture studies. However, the translation to human studies has yet to be proven. The second in-vitro study used a maitake extract combined with Vitamin C. The results showed synergistic effects resulting in apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma cells (atypical liver cells) (4). A third cell study showed an increase in apoptosis (cancer cell death) using maitake and vitamin C. The study showed a possible synergy here with vitamin C and medicinal mushroom actions (3). A final renal cell carcinoma in-vitro study showed synergy to induce apoptosis between a maitake extract and Vitamin C (5).

A human study showed no increase in bioavailability of triterpenoids found in reishi by adding 2.5 grams of vitamin C to the dosing schedule. This study unlike the cell studies was a randomized human trial with 12 participants (2).

There are quite a few cell studies showing the synergy of medicinal mushroom extracts with Vitamin C to induce apoptosis. One human study shows no increased bioavailability or absorption of Vitamin C. Based on the current evidence Vitamin C seems to have some positive impacts on cell study outcomes but has no human data to support this. This is not to deny the impacts adequate Vitamin C consumption has on the body.


  1. Fullerton, S. A., Samadi, A. A., Tortorelis, D. G., Choudhury, M. S., Mallouh, C., Tazaki, H., & Konno, S. (2000). Induction of apoptosis in human prostatic cancer cells with beta-glucan (Maitake mushroom polysaccharide). Molecular urology, 4(1), 7–13.
  2. Tawasri, P., Ampasavate, C., Tharatha, S., Chiranthanut, N., & Teekachunhatean, S. (2016). Effect of Oral Coadministration of Ascorbic Acid with Ling Zhi Preparation on Pharmacokinetics of Ganoderic Acid A in Healthy Male Subjects: A Randomized Crossover Study. BioMed research international, 2016, 2819862.
  3. Duan, L., Wu, X. L., Zhao, F., Zeng, R., & Yang, K. H. (2017). Induction Effect to Apoptosis by Maitake Polysaccharide: Synergistic Effect of Its Combination With Vitamin C in Neuroglioma Cell. Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine, 22(4), 667–674.
  4. Zhao, F., Wang, Y. F., Song, L., Jin, J. X., Zhang, Y. Q., Gan, H. Y., & Yang, K. H. (2017). Synergistic Apoptotic Effect of D-Fraction From Grifola frondosa and Vitamin C on Hepatocellular Carcinoma SMMC-7721 Cells. Integrative cancer therapies, 16(2), 205–214.

Alexander, B., Fishman, A. I., Eshghi, M., Choudhury, M., & Konno, S. (2013). Induction of cell death in renal cell carcinoma with combination of D-fraction and vitamin C. Integrative cancer therapies, 12(5), 442–448.

What are your mushrooms grown on?

The majority of medicinal mushrooms are grown on sawdust. This sawdust is a byproduct from local sawmills. Mushrooms are great at recycling waste materials and this is a perfect example. Sawdust that might normally be thrown away or burned, can be used to grow mushrooms.

One exception to this is reishi, which is grown on individual hardwood logs in the ground. These logs come from locally sourced beech wood. See here for more info on the logs used for growing reishi.

Mushrooms - Health

What is the nutritional breakdown of mushrooms?

Generally speaking, mushrooms are roughly 25% protein, 58% carbohydrates and 3% fat. The rest is vitamins and minerals. 1 gram would be around 3-4 calories.

What is the optimal way to take your products?

The optimal way to use our product is whatever way is the most convenient for you. This could be with hot water, coffee, tea, smoothie, shake, yogurt, bone broth, etc.

Is it best to take medicinal mushrooms on an empty stomach or with food?

We have not seen any research to indicate one way over the other. We all respond differently to medicinal mushrooms so find the method that works best for you. Some might find they respond better mixing it with food where as others might respond better on an empty stomach.

Can I take all the medicinal mushrooms at once?

You are more than welcome to mix 5 Defenders with Reishi 415, Chaga, Lions Mane and Cordyceps-M in your coffee, tea, juice, smoothie, yogurt etc. There are some studies that suggest a synergy when you consume various medicinal mushrooms at once making them even more potent and effective.

Our general recommendation is not to exceed 3-5 servings per day unless you have direction from a health practitioner.

Are mushrooms safe to take during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, it is imperative to understand that every women responds differently to adaptogen use. It would be best to consult your healthcare physician and proceed with caution on this topic.

How many calories in a serving of 1 gram?

There are 3 to 4 calories in a serving of 1 gram or 1000 mg.

Capsule Products

Why do the capsules contain other ingredients?

Natural ingredients don’t always flow smoothly through processing equipment and capsule manufacturers need to utilize other ingredients in order to fill capsules. It is common practise for encapsulation facilities to require the use of other ingredients.

We have worked closely with our encapsulation partners to make sure that only what is added is absolutely necessary to create the capsules.

How much of the 500mg capsule is other ingredients?

None of the 500mg is other ingredients. Every capsule still has 500mg of organic mushroom extract powder. The other ingredients are in small amounts on top of that 500mg. Other ingredients are required to be listed from biggest amount to smallest. If you look at our labels, the capsule itself (Hypromellose) is the biggest component of the other ingredients with everything following in incrementally smaller amounts.

What is the difference between capsule and powder?

The capsules contain 500 mg per capsule of medicinal mushroom. 2 capsules = 1000 mg of medicinal mushroom extract, which is equivalent to 1/2 tsp serving of the mushroom powder. In terms of potency and efficacy, both the capsules and powders are equally effective at delivering.

The capsules are great for travel purposes, where as the powder can be great added to recipes or mixed in coffee, tea, bone broth to change up the flavor profile and lend more the full mushroom experience. In the end, you can’t go wrong here. It all depends on what you prefer.

What is the capsule made from?

The capsule is made from hypromellose, which is vegetable based cellulose.

Why aren't the capsules USDA Organic?

Because the capsules themselves aren’t certified organic, we cannot get USDA Organic status. You will notice that the majority of capsule based supplements are not USDA Organic and this is the reason why. When certified organic capsules become more readily available, we will be looking into utilizing them.

All of our mushroom ingredients inside the capsule are still USDA Certified Organic and the ingredients are noted as organic in the Supplement Facts panel.

What is Microcrystalline Cellulose?

Microcrystalline Cellulose is used to ensure each capsule is full with minimal air pockets. It is a naturally occurring glucose based polymer that is derived from wood cellulose.

What is Magnesium Stearate?

Magnesium Stearate is derived from vegetable based non-GMO stearic acid. It is used as a flow agent to ensure the powder flows into the capsules evenly and doesn’t stick to the machinery.

You can find more info about Magnesium Stearate and Stearic Acid here.

What is Stearic Acid?

Stearic acid is a vegetable based non-GMO fatty acid. It is used as a flow agent to ensure the powder flows into the capsules evenly and doesn’t stick to the machinery.

You can find more info about Magnesium Stearate and Stearic Acid here.

What is the vegetable source of your stearic acid?

The vegetable source of the stearic acid we use is derived from sustainable palm oil.

Health Practitioner Accounts

How do I sign up for an account?

You may apply for an account here. Accounts will be granted only to verified health practitioner. Documentation may be required for approval.

Applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis.

Please do not apply multiple times. If you have not heard from us, contact us directly.

Why doesn't my discount show up?

Your discount will only show up if you are logged into your verified purchasing account.

To login into your account, sign in here.

Reishi 415

Why is this product so bitter?

To give you further details about the bitterness of Reishi 415, the bitterness comes from the beneficial triterpene compounds. These compounds give reishi its bitter flavor. These compounds are found in the mushroom and our product is extracted exclusively from the mushroom (fruiting body).

You want a reishi product to be bitter. If a reishi product is not bitter, start asking questions.

Many so-called reishi products do not taste bitter and this is a perfect indicator of the product not containing any detectable amounts of the beneficial triterpene compounds. This is either due to inferior extraction or the product not being made from the mushroom.

What is the concentration ratios of your extract?

We use an 8:1 dual extract, meaning 8 kilos of ground up reishi mushroom makes 1 kilo of our extract powder.

What part of the reishi mushroom is used for the extraction?

We strictly use the cap of the reishi mushroom for extraction.

Is this made from red reishi?

Yes. This is made from Ganoderma lucidum, now known as Ganoderma lingzhi which is red reishi.

Ganoderma lingzhi is now the official name of Chinese reishi. It use to be known as Ganoderma lucidum but recent research using DNA sequencing has shown that lucidum is actually the European variety.
This becomes confusing because the majority of the Ganoderma research has been done on the Chinese reishi, then lucidum, now known as lingzhi. The research will still say lucidum though it now applies to lingzhi, not the European lucidum.
Many products using Chinese reishi are still calling their products lucidum but if you send them off for DNA analysis they would come back showing lingzhi. The commerce side of reishi and not caught up to the scientific side yet and many consumers know of lucidum but don’t know of lingzhi even though the products are still the same but the naming convention is now different.
Nammex, our supplier, labels this product as “Ganoderma lucidum (Ganoderma lingzhi)”. We decided to be correct in the current proper species identification of our reishi product which is the true Chinese reishi.

Is your reishi mushrooms grown on duanwood?

“Duanwood” is not a specific type of wood but actually a trademarked term by Dragon Herbs. They have done a great job promoting “Duanwood Reishi” as being top quality.

But what does it really mean?

According to their website: “Duanwood means “original wood.” The Reishi is grown on logs cut wild from the forest. The logs are from the same trees that Reishi grows on in the wild, producing the most potent Reishi.”

So Duanwood actually means reishi grown on wood logs and the vast majority of reishi grown in China already is log grown. Reishi grows on different species of hardwood trees so the actual wood log used will vary.

Our reishi mushrooms are grown on locally sourced beech wood.

Wouldn't growing reishi on wood contribute to deforestation?

Deforestation is the conversion of forest land to non-forest land.

The wood used for growing reishi is coming from tree farms which are continuously harvested and replanted. This is not deforestation.

The thing to remember with China is that they’ve had civilizations there for thousands of years. Much of China has been harvested many times over. What might look like wild foliage over there is almost certainly planted.

In much of our travels through China we pass miles and miles of planted bamboo and hardwood lots. These areas are continuously harvested and replanted.

This is by no means similar to common contributors to deforestation like sugarcane, palm oil, rice, corn and meat where the forests are removed for the production of these crops.

What do I do if the bitterness is too much for me?

Here are some suggestions:
  • Mix the reishi w/raw honey or local maple syrup and top it off with spices like ceylon cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or ginger
  • Consider taking less throughout the day
  • Add the reishi with other foods/liquids to mask the intensity
  • Consider opting for the capsule version instead
Here are a few recipes to consider trying:

5 Defenders

What mushrooms are contained in this product?

5 Defenders contains the following extracts:

  • 8:1 Organic Chaga Sclerotium Extract (hot water / alcohol extract)
  • 8:1 Organic Maitake Mushroom Extract (hot water extract)
  • 15:1 Organic Reishi Mushroom Extract (hot water / alcohol extract)
  • 8:1 Organic Shiitake Mushroom Extract (hot water extract)
  • 8:1 Organic Turkey Tail Mushroom Extract (hot water extract)


Why do you use Cordyceps militaris and not Cordyceps sinensis like the majority of other products?

Authentic Cordyceps (O. sinensis), the caterpillar fungus, the one everyone sees in pictures (the dead caterpillar with the blade-like fruiting body growing from it) is actually the most expensive mushroom in the world; upwards of $40,000/Kg. With such a price tag there is absolutely no way authentic cordyceps (O. sinensis) could be used in an affordable supplement product.

Cultivation of authentic fruiting bodies has previously been impossible and only recently has China figured out how to cultivate Cordyceps sinensis to produce a fruiting body. That being said, the price is still much too high for commercial supplements, leaving only mycelium available for commercial products.

Anything from China is typically a product called Cs-4 which is a 100% pure mycelium product made via liquid fermentation.

Anything produced in the U.S. is mycelium on grain, which ends up being very high in starch due to the nature of Cordyceps mycelium which grows very slowly leaving a high amount of residual grain in the final product.

At Real Mushrooms we take a different approach. We use Cordyceps militaris because fruiting bodies can be cultivated. This allows us to use 100% organically certified fruiting bodies for our Cordyceps-M extract powder. We do not deviate from our ethos of offering 100% fruiting body products with high beta-glucan levels and next to no starch.

If you’d like to learn more about how Cordyceps relates to supplements, read: Cordyceps and Supplements: Past and Present.

Is this made from the caterpillar fungus and does it contain bugs?

See the answer above and this product contains no bugs.

Lions Mane Extract

I've read that the mycelium is better than the mushroom?

There is still a lot of conflicting data around the NGF compounds in lion’s mane.

The two groups of compounds commonly cited are hericenones and erinacines. Hericenones are in the mushroom and erinacines are in the mycelium.

The issue with focusing on hericenones and erinacines is that we know of no reliable lab that can measure these compounds. So regardless of what any product might say in their marketing there is no way to verify any claims for these compounds.

For erinacines in the mycelium, this is all based on pure mycelium research. Almost all lions mane mycelium products are myceliated grain. This is apples to oranges. Myceliated grain has shown very low levels of the primary actives like beta-glucans so more abstract compounds like erinacines will likely occur in undetectable amounts.

With our Lion’s Mane extract, nothing is removed during the extraction process so even though it is a hot water extract, it will still contain all the non-water soluble compounds.

It’s important to remember that the only three clinical trials are using the whole mushroom:

These used un-extracted lions mane mushroom powder. As our product is extracted and still contains the entire mushrooms, it would be consistent with these studies with added bioavailability from being extracted.

Until a reliable lab can measure hericenones and erinacines, we are confident with staying consistent with the existing clinical data.

Are you able to measure the hericenones and erinacines?

Currently it is not possible to measure these compounds but we are looking into ways to do so.

Chaga Extract

Why do you say chaga sclerotium and not chaga mushroom?

While Chaga is commonly referred to as a mushroom, the part of the chaga that is wild harvested is actually not a mushroom but a sclerotium. A sclerotium is a hardened, dense mass of mycelium. Chaga is unique in that it is not pure mycelium like other sclerotia’s (poria, polyporus) as much of the mass is actually wood fiber which comes from the tree is grows on.

Is wild chaga harvesting sustainable?

While many claim otherwise, from the data that we’ve seen it definitely looks to be sustainable.

The only sustainability report that we’ve found was done in Russia, who is a large exporter of chaga. It showed that chaga could easily sustain existing demand for the foreseeable future.

It also estimated that 20% of all birch forest in Russia are infected with chaga.

The Finnish Forest Research Institute has said that anywhere from 6-30% of birch forests in Sweden and Finland are infected with chaga.

Our own personally take is that chaga is definitely sustainable as there are vast birch forests all across the northern hemisphere. The problem being that harvesters will have to go further and further into the woods to find chaga which will further increase the price of raw chaga. At some time, there may be a tipping point where chaga will become too expensive for supplements which will curb demand well before there is any worry about over-harvesting.

Is chaga in symbiosis with the tree it grows on?

This is a common misconception.

Chaga is classified as a tree disease in British Columbia. It infects the host tree, typically birch, and slowly consumes it. At some point in the future, the tree will die due to chaga weakening it from the inside. This might be 5 years or 20 years but eventually it will happen.

This is similar to the majority of medicinal mushrooms as they consume organic matter for food.

Is it true that chaga is super rare?

There’s an internet myth that chaga is only found on 1 to every 10,000-20,000 birch trees (<0.01%). The source of this information seems to stem from an issue of Mycophile magazine from 2006 which stated: “according to one chaga product site, only one birch tree in 15,000 bears chaga”. Safe to say, this figure is purely anecdotal.

One report out of Russia stated that 20% of all birch trees are infected with chaga. The Finnish Forest Research Institute has said that anywhere from 6-30% of birch forests in Sweden and Finland are infected with chaga. Given this data, I would assume Canada to contain similar levels. This is a multiple magnitude difference than the estimates above and is based on actual data from reputable sources.

Do I need to be worried about chaga and oxalates?

This often gets asked in reference to this paper. The women in this paper was taking around 10 grams per day which we do not recommend on any of our products without consulting your health practitioner. The paper does not say whether it was raw chaga or an extract powder and it is also the only reported case we’ve come across.

Research data that we’ve seen in regards to oxalates and chaga, shows anywhere from 2-10% oxalates. Extraction may lower oxalate levels like it does when cooking food.

There are also many foods which will have higher amounts of oxalates than chaga on a per serving basis. As an example, a bowl of cereal may have as much or more oxalates than a serving of chaga. Another example is if you are a big kale or spinach eater.

If you are on a low oxalate diet, you should discuss chaga with your health practitioner prior to consumption.

Chaga and ORAC values

While there are many sources that suggest that Chaga contains a high ORAC score (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). This ORAC value is misleading and not backed by sound research. This is why we do not test our Chaga for its ORAC value. See this article from the US Department of Agriculture:

Where do you get your chaga from?

All of our chaga is harvested from the forests in Siberia.

Turkey Tail Extract

What is PSK?

PSK stands for Polysaccharide-K. This is a medical grade product out of Japan that is derived from turkey tail. It is approved for use in Japan as an adjunct therapy with chemotherapy.

What is PSP?

PSP stands for Polysaccharide-peptide. This is a medical grade product out of China that is derived from turkey tail. It is approved for use in China as an adjunct therapy with chemotherapy.

Mushroom D2

Is Mushroom D2 synthetic or naturally derived?

It is nature derived. We use organic Agaricus mushroom (button mushroom), which has been exposed to UV light bringing the vitamin D content up to over 40,000 IU per gram.

How do mushrooms produce vitamin D?

Mushrooms contain a fungal sterol called ergosterol. When mushrooms (agaricus, shiitake, oyster, etc) are exposed to UV light, they convert ergosterol (provitamin D2) to Vitamin D2.

Why is Shiitake hot water extracted and Agaricus Bisporus isn’t?

The Agaricus mushroom powder doesn’t need to be extracted in order to increase the Vitamin D2 content.

Isn’t Vitamin D3 better than Vitamin D2?

If you wish to increase your vitamin D levels quickly, Vitamin D3 can do this quicker but if you are taking Vitamin D every day then it doesn’t matter what form you are taking. See more info on our Mushroom Vitamin D article.

What is the source of Citric Acid in Mushroom D2?

We use citric acid as a processing aid in creating our Vitamin Mushroom Powder for Mushroom D2. The citric acid used in production is Citric Acid Anhydrous and is approved processing material for organic production.
Citric acid is a naturally occurring fruit acid, produced commercially by microbial fermentation of a carbohydrate substrate. Citric acid is one of the most widely used organic acid and pH-control agents in foods/beverages, pharmaceuticals, and other applications.
Citric acid anhydrous occurs as colorless crystals or in a white, crystalline powder with a dominant acidic taste. It’s soluble in water, freely soluble in ethanol (96 %), and sparingly soluble in ether.
Citric acid anhydrous is non-toxic and has low reactivity. It’s chemically stable if stored at ambient temperatures. Citric acid anhydrous is biodegradable and can be disposed of with regular waste or sewage.

Mushroom D2Z

What does Mushroom D2Z stand for?

It stands for mushrooms, Vitamin D2 and Zinc. This blend is a combination of reishi mushroom and chaga extracts with Vitamin D, and zinc.

What form of zinc is in your Mushroom D2Z?

We use Zinc bisglycinate which is chelated.

How much zinc is contained in Mushroom D2Z?

There is 30 mg of zinc per serving.

Why did you choose Zinc bisglycinate over other forms of Zinc?

We choose this form of zinc base upon the latest research which has demonstrated greater bio-availability and has been shown to be more easily absorbed. 


This form of zinc is unique because it seems to be well-tolerated for most individuals. This helps lessen the chances of unwanted side effects like diarrhea and constipation which can be common when consuming mineral supplements.


The “bisglyicinate” means it’s made up of one zinc molecule bound to two molecules of the amino acid called glycine. This form is unique b/c it does not compete with other minerals in the digestive tract. Thus, making it effective at raising blood levels of zinc.


Here are some studies for reference:

What is the source of Vitamin D in this product?

We use Agaricus bisporus mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light to enhance the Vitamin D content. When we expose our organic mushroom powder to UV-B light, ergosterol, the natural mushroom sterol is turned into ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2). Unlike the chemical processing necessary to turn animal-sourced lanolin into D3, our vitamin D2 is simply exposed to light, a gentle and natural process much like sunlight itself. Mushrooms also contain trace amounts of Vitamin D4 which is unique to mushrooms (


Studies have shown that daily administration of D2 is as effective as D3 in raising vitamin D blood serum levels.

How much Vitamin D is in Mushroom D2Z?

There is 2000 IU of Vitamin D (ergocalciferol) per serving.

How much Reishi and Chaga is contained in this blend?

There is 215mg each of Reishi mushroom extract powder and Chaga extract powder.

Will zinc supplementation cause copper deficiency?

What is the source of Citric Acid in Mushroom D2Z?

We use citric acid as a processing aid in creating our Vitamin Mushroom Powder for Mushroom D2Z. The citric acid used in production is Citric Acid Anhydrous and is approved processing material for organic production.
Citric acid is a naturally occurring fruit acid, produced commercially by microbial fermentation of a carbohydrate substrate. Citric acid is one of the most widely used organic acid and pH-control agents in foods/beverages, pharmaceuticals, and other applications.
Citric acid anhydrous occurs as colorless crystals or in a white, crystalline powder with a dominant acidic taste. It’s soluble in water, freely soluble in ethanol (96 %), and sparingly soluble in ether.
Citric acid anhydrous is non-toxic and has low reactivity. It’s chemically stable if stored at ambient temperatures. Citric acid anhydrous is biodegradable and can be disposed of with regular waste or sewage.


What is Tremella Mushroom?

Tremella mushroom is famous for its use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It’s commonly known as the “white jelly fungus” or “snow ear.” Tremella is used in a variety of food applications like soups/stews and various desserts. Tremella supports the lung meridian in TCM.

What are the health benefits of Tremella?

This mushroom is known to support cardiovascular health thanks in part to its ability to support healthy cholesterol levels in the body. Tremella is famous for its skin beauty benefits by maintaining skin moisture/elasticity and offering protection from the everyday elements our skin is commonly exposed to.

Tremella mushroom is an ingredient in a Chinese formula known as Yin Mi Pian which is used for chemotherapy support.

How is your Tremella extracted?

It’s a 1:1 hot water extract of Tremella mushrooms.

How does Tremella compare Hyaluronic Acid?

To begin, what is Hyaluronic Acid (HA)? 


This particular acid is a clear, viscous substance that is naturally occurring in the body. As we age, our levels of HA tend to decline. We tend to find the highest concentrations in our skin, connective tissue, and eyes. The sole purpose of HA is to maintain water/hydration. Thus, keeping your tissues well lubricated and moist.


What makes Tremella so unique is that it naturally contains these hydrating qualities without being synthetic like most HA supplements on the market tend to be.


Do you have any studies/resources showcasing the efficacy of Tremella with regard to skin health?


What is Ergothioneine?

Ergothioneine is a sulfur amino acid and antioxidant primarily found throughout the body that we can only obtain through food, with mushrooms and fungi being the highest source.

What mushrooms are contained in Ergo+?

Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms, apart from containing beneficial beta-glucans, contain some of the highest amounts of ergothioneine.

Medicinal mushrooms like white button mushroom and other species contain some but not as high of amounts as the above species.

How much L-ergothioneine is contained in this extract blend?

There is at least 5 mg which is isolated from yeast plus the natural ergothioneine in the shiitake and oyster mushroom extracts.

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