Here at Multiverse we believe in using our platform to educate our users about our products, but also about mushrooms in general so you know what’s going into your body. In a recent article published by Paleo f(x), Jeff Clinton outlined the medicinal functions of mushrooms (and there are over 126 of them!) as well as warning against grain starch in mushroom supplements. Here’s what you need to know.

Mushrooms go through three different stages of growth: spore, mycelium, and mushroom. While traditionally only mushrooms have been used medicinally, more companies are claiming that their products that contain mycelium and spores have medicinal properties.

Reishi mushrooms are grown in China specifically for the spores, but it’s important to note that unfortunately, research supports that unprocessed spores have been shown to have no medicinal properties. They pass directly through our digestive system with no impact.

The mushrooms you’re probably most familiar with are reishi, shiitake, maitake, cordyceps, lion’s mane, chaga, and turkey tail. (To learn more about chaga mushrooms specifically, click the link to our blog post!) Mushrooms themselves have been used for ages in Traditional Chinese Medicine, but have just recently begun to take the spotlight in the western health world.

Where to watch for grains is with mycelium products. Mycelium is typically grown in a process known as liquid fermentation. After the process of fermentation is over in 3-6 days, what is left is 100% pure mycelium. Thankfully, there is research that supports that pure mycelium does have some medicinal properties similar to fully grown mushrooms. One of the most popular kinds is Cordyceps Cs-4 because of its similar properties to the Caterpillar Fungus (Cordyceps sinensis). The research agrees that Cs-4 has anti-inflammatory properties, however many companies use this research to justify the growing of mycelium on grain; companies will then say that the grain is consumed by the mycelium, although this is not really true.

In an experiment conducted by Nammex in 2015 and another experiment done by the team at Paleo f(x) found that in fact mushroom mycelium is not consuming all the grain substrate and a majority of it is ending up in the final products.

Here’s why grains in mushrooms are an issue. Mushrooms harvested from the wild have the highest levels of potency in active ingredients, but harvesting ALL of the mushrooms from the wild is not economically feasible. This is why many people have turned to growing them “artificially,” but this also means that the potency of their beneficial properties is decreasing. With the addition of grains into the product, your supplement ends up containing virtually no mushroom and isn’t that effective anymore. So how do you know if your product contains grains?

If the marketing label says any of these keywords, it’s likely that the product is made using mycelium on grain.

  • Full Spectrum
  • Made in the USA
  • Mycelium
  • Myceliated brown rice
  • Mycelial biomass

Do your own testing!

But you can use a simple iodine starch test to confirm if there’s grain in the product. Mix 1/4 of a teaspoon of product, 3 tablespoons of water, and 10 drops of standard iodine tincture. If the mixture turns purple or black, it confirms the presence of grain starch in the product.

Mushrooms have amazing medicinal properties and Multiverse is dedicated to presenting the best products to everyone. You can rest easy knowing that all of our products are filled with Fung-YES and none of the Fung-NOs. For more in-depth information on our products look at our "About Us" page and if you would like a longer explanation of some of the topics above check out the article from Paleo f(x).