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The Magic Elixir: Functional Mushroom Extract

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Deep in the forests of the Americas, Asia, and Europe, grow six very important mushrooms. Wielding a bounty of medicinal compounds, these mushrooms have improved health and wellness in Eastern medicine for centuries. 

More recently, the scientific community has become interested in learning exactly how they’ve been able to do this and have worked to develop ways to pull out these “magical” nutrients and put them in a concentrated liquid form for our consumption.

Take a journey with us as we introduce each one to you:

1.       Agaricus- These little white mushrooms are native to Brazil. They are full of immune-boosting and potentially cancer-fighting properties.

2.      Maitake- They grow throughout North America. Maitake sprouts at the base of trees. It may boost your immune system, improve heart health, and balance blood sugar levels.

3.       Reishi- These are primarily found in Asia. They have been used for thousands of years in China and Japan to treat many illnesses. They may improve sleep, boost immunity, and help fight cancer. Reishimushrooms have the potential to reduce fatigue, depression, promote heart health, and assist with blood sugar control.

4.       Shitake- These gourmet mushrooms originated in East Asia and may improve heart health, boost immunity, help fight cancer, and more.

5.       Lion’s Mane- a striking mushroom with long white strings that resemble a lion's mane, can be found in Asia, Europe, and parts of Northern America. Along with immune-boosting potential, they have also shown neuro-protective properties. They may improve mild symptoms of depression and anxiety and help fight dementia.

6.       Turkey Tail- carries this name because it literally looks like a turkey’s tail. These mushrooms have been used for hundreds of years in Asia to fight infections, lung diseases, and cancers.

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Picture by Timothy Dykes courtesy of UpSlash

How do these mushrooms work their magic?

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the science and explore 6 ways mushrooms are known to affect the body.

1.    Immune System Support 

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Rich in Beta-glucans and vitamin D, each of these mushrooms contain a host of molecules that can improve a person’s immune system by many pathways.  They help to activate the body’s natural disease-fighting cells, collectively known as our white blood cells, so they can work to identify foreign cells that cause damage and illness in our bodies. They then alert an army of natural killer cells to attack and destroy the foreign cells before they can make us sick. Studies have even shown the potential for mushrooms to help in the fight against COVID-19.

2.       Heart Health

Agaricus and Shitake mushrooms may reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Cholesterol is one of the components of plaque that builds up in the body’s arteries, leading to cardiovascular diseases and increased blood pressure. Consuming mushrooms that may lower cholesterol could improve heart health and reduce your risk of a heart attack.

3.       Blood Sugar Control

A comprehensive medical review shows that Agaricus, Maitake, Reishi, and Lion’s Mane may help with blood sugar control in three ways.

• First, they contain compounds, called beta-glucans, which improve the body’s ability to properly transport sugar from our blood into the tissues where it is crucial for energy production and overall health. In people with type 2 diabetes, the body has difficulty getting blood sugar into the tissues where it is needed, also known as insulin resistance. Through many biological pathways, these mushrooms may help improve the efficiency with which the body is able to use sugar for energy or properly store it until it’s needed. 

• Second, these mushrooms are rich in water soluble fibers which can slow down food digestion and help control the rate of sugar absorption from the stomach and intestines after a meal. In other words, they can improve the glycemic index of a meal, helping you to maintain a more stable blood sugar level.

• Third, mushrooms contain unique forms of Vitamin D that promote the expression of certain genes that help the body distribute sugar to the tissues and maintain a balanced blood sugar level.

4.       Cancer Support

Medical professionals in China use mushrooms to boost immune systems in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. This allows the body to handle the side effects of cancer treatment more readily.

 Mushrooms can potentially reduce cancer incidence since they are high in antioxidants, which help protect against free radicals (the primary cause of increased aging and mutation in cells). They also activate the immune system to target and kill cancer cells found in the body.

5.       Gut Health

Lion’s mane and turkey tail may help with digestive health. A critical review shows these mushrooms are packed full of prebiotics. Prebiotics are good bacteria that live in the body’s stomach and intestines. They help to break down food, boost immunity, and reduce inflammation. Mushrooms give you the correct type of bacteria to improve your digestive health.

6.       Brain Health

Reishi and lion’s mane may improve symptoms of fatigue, mild depression, and anxiety. They have been shown to rebuild the brain's communication pathways, improve brain function, and may reduce memory loss. Mushrooms even have the potential to relieve symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia and assist in nervous system trauma recovery.


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Why Mushroom Liquid Extract vs Mushroom Powder?

An extract is a preparation containing the active ingredients of a substance in concentrated form. There are several ways to extract the components of the mushroom, but the best extracts use 100% fruiting bodies (the reproductive portion of the fungi) because this is where all the best stuff is stored. Using only fruiting bodies ensures that the end supplement is of a higher quality, offering glyconutrients in the most abundance. Now we can look at dry vs liquid processing methods to see which is preferable.

Dry powders are formed by slowly dehydrating mushrooms and then pulverizing them to create a powder. This method, while very popular, unfortunately keeps many of the beneficial molecules bound to a compound called chitin in a way that makes them hard to digest and thus renders them ineffective in our bodies. Dry powders also tend to contain a higher concentration of cytotoxic compounds, along with other mild toxins that are undesirable. 

Liquid botanical extraction draws out the mushroom’s healthy elements in higher concentration and dislodges chitin so you have a form that our bodies can absorb more easily. Toxins are typically eliminated and/or destroyed during liquid processing. 

Liquid botanical extraction is a superior method because it provides better control over which elements remain in the final product, yields higher numbers of beneficial compounds and Beta-Glucans, and is more easily digested and absorbed. 


Mushrooms offer many health benefits. To understand and maximize the effects that mushrooms can have on our health, the scientific and medical communities have conducted massive amounts of research. While there is still much to learn, the consumption of the six mushrooms listed above can help to provide immune, cardiovascular, neuroprotective, digestive support and more. Consuming concentrated liquid-based extracts of the fruiting bodies of mushrooms is a great way to amplify the beneficial effects.


If you have read this full article you’re probably interested in learning how you can incorporate mushroom extract into your daily routine. In an attempt to help people maximize the benefits that they can get out of their morning cup of coffee or tea, Smart Owl Coffee, an organic, health supplement-infused coffee company, has launched a sister company, called Smart OWLchemy, creating wellness focused coffee/tea enhancing products. Designed to have a very mild, pleasant taste that is compatible with any coffee, tea, or other favorite drink, this innovative line of products is made with only the finest, science-backed ingredients. 

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Smart OWLchemy RED DROPS combine all of the magic of the six mushrooms listed above using a patented, serial extraction method, allowing us to achieve one of the most potent, non-alcohol, extracts available today. Maximizing beneficial compounds, but without the bogus taste, is as easy as squirting one dropper full into your drink 1-3 times per day. The generous 2oz bottle holds approximately 60 servings and will get you on your way to living smarter and healthier.

Our extraction utilizes 100% fruiting bodies and our mushrooms are all Organically Grown, Ethically Wild Harvested, or Selectively Cultivated.

All Smart Owlchemy products are FDA cGMP inspected, Gluten-free, Kosher, Vegan compliant, and made in the US. Each batch is third-party tested to assure quality and consistency.

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Obviously, our number one priority is for you to be healthy and happy! For this reason, Smart Owl Coffee offers a no questions asked, 100% moneyback guarantee on all of our coffees and products.




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*Disclaimer- The use of any mushroom product or consuming mushrooms does not replace the advice of medical experts. Before using any new product,please consult your healthcare provider.

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