performance mushroom guide.

a mushroom boom & bastardization

mushrooms have been around for a long time. the greeks labeled mushrooms as “food for the gods” and hippocrates, circa 450bc, classified mushrooms as a potent anti-inflammatory. there are countless examples of mushrooms being recognized for their medicinal properties throughout history. performance mushrooms are becoming very popular in modern holistic health and western medicine for their and ability to calm stress response, reduce inflammation, promote neurogenesis and plasticity, strengthen beneficial gut flora, support the immune system, fight pathogens, increase sustainable energy and much more. by now, you can find therapeutic mushroom products on the shelves of most grocery stores, online retailers, amazon, etc. the growing interest in mushroom products is a good sign that more people are discovering holistic health and performance.

like most natural remedies that go mainstream, the mushroom industry is experiencing major authenticity and quality inconsistiencies as the market is flooded with products that test very low in beta-glucan and active compounds that give mushrooms their healing and high performance properties. while the booming popularity of performance mushrooms is bringing mainstream attention to these healing enigmas, the bastardization of quality and authenticity makes it difficult to find a product that still packs the therapeutic benefits found in nature. if you’re interested in the benefits of mushrooms, you should know what you’re getting.

some pretty impressive mushrooms.

chaga mushroom.

inflammation. oxidative stress. gut health.

chaga, the mushroom of immortality, is one of the most anti-oxidant rich superfoods on the planet, topping the orac scale at approx. 140,000 and contains over 200 phytonutrients. chaga is used in functional medicine to boost immune system, reduce inflammation and mitigate oxidative stress. chaga is shown to strengthen beneficial cytokins while reducing damaging cytokins such as TNF-a (tumor necrosis factor - alpha). this immunomodulating effect improves the body’s ability to fight pathogens while reducing the damaging effects of acute and chronic inflammation. chaga’s high fiber and anti-oxidant properties are especially helpful in improving conditions of the gut.

roots apothecary chaga fruiting body extract.   >20% beta-d-glucan <2% starch

reishi mushroom.

immune support. stress. liver + kidneys. overall wellbeing.

similar to chaga, reishi is very diverse in benefit with high anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and immune boosting properties. reishi is considered an adaptogen for its ability to calm the fight or flight response, strengthening resilience in both physically and mentally stressful situations.
reishi is additionally known for its potential benefits to the kidneys and liver by reducing inflammation and reducing erosion of the nephron outer membrane (decreasing kidney permeability).

reishi’s immune supporting properties are well rounded, including promoting the innate immune function, humoral immunity, and cellular immunity. in particular, reishi extract may improve the function of B and T lymphocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages, and natural killer cells.

roots apothecary reishi fruiting body extract.   >30% beta-d-glucan <5% starch

lion's mane mushroom.

focus + clarity. neuroplasticity. mood. inflammation. brain health.

lion’s mane is one of the most mainstream and popular mushrooms on the market. shown to stimulate neuro plasticity, memory, focus and overall brain health, lion’s mane contains two special compounds that can stimulate the growth of brain cells: hericenones and erinacine.
in addition, animal studies have found that lion’s mane extract can improve the functioning of the hippocampus, a region of the brain responsible for processing memories and emotional responses. this may explain the effects of lion’s mane on improved mood, decreasing resistance to new habit forming and influence on depression. lion’s mane may also help prevent neuron damage caused by amyloid-beta plaques, which is an area of interest for alzheimer's and dementia therapy.

roots apothecary lion's mane fruiting body extract.   >25% beta-d-glucan <5% starch

cordyceps mushroom.

physical + mental endurance. inflammation.

cordyceps is known for supporting mental and physical performance and is especially popular in the athlete community. this mushroom (which is technically not a mushroom) supports healthy adrenal function while increasing ATP and VO2 (peak oxygen uptake during exercise). cordyceps is highly recognized for helping improve acute and chronic fatigue and is often paired with lion’s mane to promote creative focus. studies have associated cordyceps supplementation with increasing activity of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) making it a powerful anti-oxidant as well.

roots apothecary cordyceps fruiting body extract.   >25% beta-d-glucan <5% starch

turkey tail mushroom.

immune system. gut health.

turkey tail is packed with anti-oxidants, immunomodulating and anti-inflammation compounds like the flavonoid quercetin which promotes the release of immunoprotective proteins, while inhibiting the release of pro-inflammatory enzymes which helps bring the inflammatory response into balance. turkey tail also contains krestin (PSK) and polysaccharide peptide (PSP) which give turkey tail additional immune supporting and anti-inflammatiory properties. PSK promotes immunity to toxins, regulates the immune response and activates macrophages, which protect your body against harmful bacteria and consume dead cells.

turkey tail has demonstrated ability to promote a health guy microbiome which is also tremendously impactful on holistic immune respone. a test-tube study found that turkey tail extract increased populations of beneficial bacteria like bifidobacterium and lactobacillus while reducing potentially harmful bacteria, such as clostridium and staphylococcus.

roots apothecary turkey tail fruiting body extract.   >30% beta-d-glucan <2% starch

roots mushroom products.

adaptive cacao.

holistic & complete.

1600mg fruiting body mushroom extract / serving. 1x concentrations.

our most well rounded and complete of all roots products, serving the mind-body's many highly dependent systems like stress response, digestion, inflammation, mood, cognitive performance and immune system. the adaptive cacao is made with 1x mushroom extracts that retain most beneficial compounds found in fresh mushroom while harnessing the improving digestibility and absorption of an extract. 1x mushrooms are high in beta-glucan, pre-biotic fiber and trace minerals and are more well rounded in benefit than higher concentration extracts.

the adaptive cacao is also packed with anti-oxidant rich raw peruvian cacao, mineral rich himalayan salt, neuro-protective mct and adaptogenic ashwagandha. acacia fiber and agave inulin are powerful prebiotics that help strengthen your good, low inflammatory microbiome. as your good microbiome strengthens, the bad bacteria gets weaker. the more we learn about optimal health and performance, the more we understand the importance of healing your gut through a balanced microbiome.

adaptive honey.

focused & specific.

1000mg fruiting body mushroom extract / serving. 8x-10x concentrations.

our adaptive honey is highly specialized with 8x-10x mushroom extracts that concentrate active compounds unique to each mushroom for a more targeted benefit. for example, lion's mane is known for supporting mental clarity, cognitive performance, neurogenesis, neuroplasticity and overall brain health. 1x lion's mane delivers these benefits with a variety of overlapping benefits with other mushrooms like stress reduction, digestion support and moderating inflammation. 8x lion's mane concentrates the active compounds that deliver a more powerful benefit of focus, clarity, neuroplasticity, neurogenesis and overall brain health.

Mushroom Extract - Reishi

mushroom extract powders.

simple & versatile.

1000mg fruiting body mushroom extract / serving. 1:1 + 8x-10x concentrations.

roots mushroom extract powders are blended with 1x and 8x-10x concentrations. harness the wide spectrum benefits of 1x mushroom extracts and the focused power of 8x-10x concentrations. mushroom powders are for those who like making their own stacks and the versatility of using a powder in just about anything. this is also the most cost effective way to supplement with a specific mushroom. if you’re wanting the most holistic and well rounded benefits of mushrooms, you should get the adaptive cacao. if you want the flexibility of making your own mushroom ratios and routines, get the powders.


reading product labels.

.edu mushroom product label reading  

an unnecessarily long video on the importance of label reading on mushroom products. there's some really good information here if you can muscle through some redundant information. if you have 20mins to invest, it's worth a listen. otherwise, all the info in this video is explained below.


fruiting body vs mycelium biomass

make sure the ingredient deck clearly defines fruiting body on each mushroom. this is the most important consideration when choosing a product. fruiting body if fruiting body is not specified, you should assume it’s mycelium. it’s possible the maker is using fruiting body and doesn’t specify. if you’re really interested in a product that doesn’t specify, give them a call and ask. if you’re wanting a mycelium product, make sure its priced significantly (2x-3x) lower than similar fruiting body products for the same milligramage. the entire next page is dedicated to explaining the importance of this.

example:
reishi mushroom. - this does not tell you what part of the mushroom you're getting. this could be mycelium.
reishi mushroom fruiting body. - this clearly defines a fruiting body is used.

therapeutic milligramage.

mushrooms in the ingredient deck wont tell you how much you’re getting. make sure the product specifies strength somewhere. for best results, 1,000mg+ fruiting body mushroom / serving is a good strength to ensure therapeutic action. many products listing mushrooms on the front label contain less than 250mg mushrooms / serving which will deliver low therapeutic action.

extract vs powder

this is much less important than ensuring fruiting body and milligramage, but extracts are generally more potent. extract just means its gone through a hot water infusion to break down the cell walls to make active compounds more available for absorption.

in short.

if the ingredient deck of a product clearly indicates fruiting body mushroom extract with total mushroom milligramage 1000mg + / serving, then you probably have an authentic product that will deliver on the therapeutic potential of performance mushrooms.

"mushrooms that test high in polysaccharide and low in beta-glucan are basically exotic potatoes".

beta-d-glucan is a type of polysaccharide found in mushrooms that give them powerful inflammatory and immune modulating properties. many performance mushroom benefits stem from their beta-d-glucan content. however, these compounds are only found in therapeutic levels in the fruiting body. mycelium biomass is high in polysaccharide content from the starch substrate it's grown on, but low in beta-glucan content. many products will show polysaccharide content as a measure of potency, but this means nothing since polysaccharides are the most common carbohydrate found in food. you need to see beta-glucan content specifically to know the therapeutic potency of a mushroom / product. you want a mushroom that's high in beta-glucan (>15%) and low in starch (<5%) to know it's a legit fruiting body extract.

a deeper dive into mushroom

a little picture of a mushroom to help visualize the following explanation. (example of oat substrate method)

fruiting body - contains 2x-3x higher concentrations of beta-glucans and active compounds. contains no grain substrate.

mycelium biomass - an inseparable block of oat substrate and mycelium network. contains 30%-70% oats and 30% - 80% mycelium. the entire block is processed for product making and is significantly weaker in beta glucan and active compounds than the fruiting body.


understanding fruiting body vs mycelium biomass.

this is important.

to grow a mushroom, spores are injected into substrate (material that mushrooms will grow on, like soil, grains, or wood pulp to name a few). spores grow into hyphe and join each other to create a mycelium network that expands through the substrate and extracts nutrients. when a strong mycelium network is established, a fruiting body will grow from the surface to spread more spores. when you think of mushrooms, you’re picturing the fruiting body stem and cap. while mycelium is a brilliant network and the living organism of the mushroom, it contains far less beta glucan and active compounds than the fruiting body. if you buy a product that uses mycelium, you’re probably purchasing more grain filler than mushroom.

most commercial mushroom growers use a grain substrate. as mycelium expands, it attaches and becomes inseparable from the grain to create one product called “mycelium biomass”. there’s a big problem with this. how much mycelium and how much grain is in the biomass? this varies widely and depends entirely on the grower. if mycelium biomass is pulled for product making as soon as mycelium expands through the grain, you will get far more grain than mycelium. if the grower allows this process to continue, the amount of mycelium will increase. however, even at its strongest, mycelium biomass will contain anywhere between 30%-40% grain. mycelium pulled early for faster product making may have anywhere from 40%-70% grain content. this means 1000mg reishi mushroom (for example) in the form of mycelium biomass can be anywhere from 300mg - 700mg grain. depending on the price, you may tremendously over pay for this product and you definitely wont receive the therapeutic potential of reishi mushroom. here’s the ultimate problem, the product label will probably just say “1000mg reishi mushroom” without any indicator of whether its mycelium or fruiting body. if it’s mycelium, you probably wont be informed about how much pure mycelium you’re getting and how much grain you’re getting in that 1000mg serving.

most growers use oat substrate because oats are high in fiber and have measurable amounts of beta glucans. since beta-glucan content is a common and relatively accurate measure of mushroom potency, growing on oats can make lab tests and nutrition charts for mycelium products look stronger.

why would anyone sell a product that’s mostly grain filler and let you believe it’s a highly therapeutic mushroom product? the answer is the same across all industries, they either don’t know or don't care. both answers a part of the same problem. a product maker selling reishi mushroom can source mycelium biomass for about $25 or they can buy the same amount of fruiting body mushroom for $75. mycelium is much cheaper, faster to grow, easier to get and can be called “reishi mushroom” on a product label. if you’re an individual or company that's primarily incentivised by making money on a trending health product, you will probably opt for the cheaper and easier to source reishi mycelium biomass. there are plenty of companies out there using authentic reishi fruiting body and labeling products transparently, but there are arguably more that are not. as a consumer, you need to know the difference.

there are reputable companies selling appropriately priced mycelium biomass and clearly indicating it’s mycelium. mycelium biomass has health benefits if grown by a reputable company and priced at 2x-3x multiples less than fruiting body extracts.