×

      The Best Mushroom Capsule Supplement Brands

      Medicinal mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine, and until recently, products were relatively hard to come by. We go into detail about that here.

      However, as studies and research have continued, the Western world has started to adopt its use, and more companies are trying to capture a share of the market.

      Our team at Remeday is focused on furthering the research on medicinal mushrooms, educating consumers about the potential benefits, and helping them through the buying process so they know they are purchasing a reputable product.

      The top mushroom capsule brands are:

      To understand why these brands are our most recommended, let's first dive into what makes them so great. There are several categories we examined when identifying the best mushroom capsule brands. 

      mushroom capsules and powder on a table

      What to look for in a mushroom capsule product

      In general, you’ll want to look at:

      Let’s dive into each of these qualifiers in more detail. 

      >>>> You can hop to our top picks by clicking here. 

      Understanding mushroom extracts for capsules

      Well, the first thing we need to discuss is the difference between mushroom powder and mushroom powder extract.

      The “medicinal” properties, which are the most heavily researched and studied compounds, of mushrooms are its polysaccharides (beta-glucans) and terpenoids.

      But, if you were to just eat these mushrooms raw, you wouldn’t get all of the benefits from these compounds!

      Sure, eating mushrooms is nutritionally beneficial, but our bodies can’t break down the tough cell walls of fungi to access these specific beneficial compounds.

      So, mushrooms go through either one or two extraction methods: hot water and alcohol.

      1. Hot water extraction

      Hot water extraction is used because polysaccharides are only water soluble.

      When we didn’t have the technology we have today, mushrooms were notoriously used in teas and steeping in hot water helped these compounds become more bioavailable.

      Now, we have the technology to do it at a large scale.

      2. Alcohol extraction

      Alcohol extraction is used because terpenoids are only alcohol soluble.

      Hot water extraction may be done by itself, or both would be done which many will refer to as a “double extraction”.

      The mushrooms are now in liquid extract form and are then dried and made into a powdered extract, with the medicinal properties bioavailable and already broken down so that our bodies can absorb them.

      The reason why we point this out is that there are other products out there that just sell mushroom powder.

      This is essentially dried up, raw mushrooms, that are ground into a fine powder.

      Again, while it may have some nutritional value, the beneficial compounds of polysaccharides and terpenoids will not be able to be absorbed by the body.

      Take a look below:

       

      Mushroom extract

      Mushroom powder

      Uses hot water or alcohol extraction - or both methods - to extract medicinal compounds

      Raw or cooked mushrooms that are dried and consumed in powder form

      Generally accepted as the best format to receive functional and medicinal benefits

      Generally accepted as the best way to get nutritional benefits

      The goal is to make medicinal properties more bioavailable

      Medicinal properties are not bioavailable due to the body’s inability to digest chitin - the tough exterior of the mushroom

      So, for the purpose of this article and the best mushroom capsule brands, we’ll be looking into those that use powdered extract.

      In order to determine the best brands, we take the following criteria into consideration.

      dried mushrooms on a cutting board

       

      Mycelium vs fruiting body in mushroom capsules

      You’re going to find products that list themselves as 100% fruiting body, mycelium, or full spectrum (both fruiting body and mycelium).

      Mycelium - the root-like system that supports the fruiting body, or mushroom cap. It grows, breaks down, and absorbs the nutrients in the soil. As it continues to grow and expand, it extends outwards and eventually creates the fruiting body (described below).

      Fruiting Body - When you look at a mushroom that’s growing in the wild, this is what you see. Think about buying mushrooms at the store and using them to cook. You’re buying the fruiting body. It’s the cap/top of the mushroom. It’s a result of the mushroom reaching maturity. It’s gone through the growth process and can now be extracted.

      Full-Spectrum - You’ll see this or sometimes “whole mushroom/fungi” used for product descriptors. It’s more of a marketing term. Full-spectrum is the belief that the whole mushroom should be used in the product, incorporating both the root system (mycelium) to the top/cap (fruiting body).

      >>>> You can hop to our top picks by clicking here. 

      Why knowing your mushroom source is important:

      There is a lot of debate when it comes to which product is best. Should companies use “100% whole fruiting body”? Should they use “full-spectrum”...? And as you can imagine, the advocates out there for 100% fruiting body mushrooms do, in fact, sell 100% fruiting body mushrooms. And the companies out there that advocate for “full-spectrum” products - of course - sell full-spectrum products.

      Which leads the consumer to believe anything that their marketing wants us to believe.

      So here’s the real answer:

      It depends…to a degree.

      In general, 100% fruiting body extracts are going to be regarded as the best products.

      …But please continue reading:

      The issue regarding mycelium is that companies have figured out that they can grow mycelium on grain, rice, or oats. It’s quicker and cheaper. What happens is that they are quickly growing and harvesting the mycelium, pawning it off as a mushroom product, and in reality, it’s not really mushrooms at all. Instead, you’re getting mostly the starch from grain/oat/rice. Not really what you wanted, right?

      You should be wary of products that only have an ingredient list that says “mycelium on grain” or “myceliated brown rice” or “myceliated oats”, etc.

      Now, there are full-spectrum products that use the mycelium and fruiting body. This could mean that they are allowing the mycelium to mature, the fruiting body to become present, and thus, harvesting the entire mushroom. The company should provide information on this and disclose their process willingly!

      mycelium vs fruiting body graphic

      And for the record, mycelium isn’t bad – Quite the opposite.

      Mycelium from mushrooms has a lot of the beneficial compounds that the fruiting body does, and depending on the species, could be even better in terms of quantity/percentage.

      Unfortunately, mycelium, to some degree, has received a bad name because of companies that are strictly trying to cut costs and mislead consumers.

      So here is the general rule of thumb when it comes to which product is best:

      LOOK AT THE COMPANY PROFILE AND LAB TESTS!

      Does the company use fillers? Do they have 3rd party tests for the beneficial compounds (polysaccharides/terpenoids)? Do they state their cultivation process?

      That’s how you sift through the best brands.

      We do a deep-dive into the products. In general, we look for 100% fruiting body products as well as full-spectrum products that provide the necessary documentation, including harvesting methods and lab testing.

      Looking for more? Check out this guide to mycelium vs fruiting body here

       

      Beta-glucan percentages

      Beta-glucan structure graphic

      Also seen as beta-d glucans, beta-glucans are soluble fibers that, in this case, come from the cell walls in fungi/mushrooms.

      They are one of the most studied compounds found in medicinal mushrooms and often the primary reason for each species purported benefits. Fungal beta-glucans can have an extremely positive impact on the immune system. They are immunomodulators, which means they can help/support overactive and underactive immune systems.

      It is crucial that each product you buy should list the percentage of them. Medicinal mushrooms aren’t fully “medicinal” unless these compounds are present AND bioavailable.

      We want to see companies list the percentage of beta-glucans and the corresponding lab tests to support these claims.

      Confused about what beta-glucans are? Check out this easy guide

       

      Mushroom extraction process for capsules

      As discussed in the beginning of this article, we want to see which extraction process has been done. Extraction is needed because the most beneficial, medicinal properties of mushrooms (polysaccharides - beta glucans, and terpenoids) are not bioavailable if you were to eat the mushroom raw.

      Hot Water Extraction - The most common form and necessary for polysaccharides and beta glucans, as they are only water soluble.

      Alcohol Extraction - Soaked in alcohol because triterpenoids are only alcohol soluble.

      Double Extract - The use of both extraction processes.

      Triple Extraction - We’ve seen this appearing recently. Companies first ferment the mushrooms in order to make the Polysaccharides, Triterpenoids, and Alkaloids, more bioavailable. Then they proceed with the hot water and alcohol extraction methods.

      Ideally, we want to see (at the very least) a hot water extraction. We prefer to see an alcohol extraction as well, but not by itself. It would likely be part of a double or triple extraction.

      We put together a complete guide to mushroom extraction here

      closeup of mushroom blend capsules

       

      Third-party lab tests or COAs

      The proof is always in the tests! If the company doesn’t post their lab results directly on site, you should be asking questions.

      What are they hiding? Why don’t they have tests available? If they’re making claims about beta-glucan content but can’t back it up, be wary.

      This is one, if not the most crucial part of our evaluation. Whether it’s 100% fruiting body or if they use both fruiting body and mycelium…whether they do a double or triple extraction…whether the products are grown domestically or in China…

      Unless they can provide proof of their claims, they won’t get our vote. It’s as simple as that.

      We want lab tests to reveal polysaccharide (specifically beta-glucan percentage) and terpenoids. We’re also looking at the general product safety results like heavy metals, pesticides, etc.

       

      Consumer reviews

      This separates the good from the great. We comb through product reviews before making our final decision and ranking the best products to showcase to our visitors.

      While reviews on a company’s owned website are important, we like to look on amazon and other marketplaces, where it is harder to control who leaves reviews. This gives a much more, unbiased look into customer satisfaction.

       

      Honorable criteria

      We also look into the background of each company, the owners, their education, experience, and complete product offerings.

      We reviewed companies that offer a full line of capsule products and specifically chose their “blends” which feature an assortment of medicinal mushrooms, rather than just one.

       


      The Best Mushroom Capsule Brands

      1) FreshCap - Ultimate Mushroom Complex (Thrive 6)

      Source Type: 100% Fruiting Body

      Beta Glucans: >29%

      Extraction Process: Dual Extract (Hot Water + Alcohol)

      COA/Analysis: Listed directly on site

      FreshCap Ultimate Mushroom Complex (Thrive 6) - 1FreshCap Ultimate Mushroom Complex (Thrive 6) - 2

      Customer Reviews: Great reviews on their site. We also confirmed their reviews on Amazon.

      FreshCap Ultimate Mushroom Complex (Thrive 6) - Review

      Final Thoughts:

      Pros: There is a lot to love about FreshCap. They are in the business of educating and teaching others about medicinal mushrooms. For that, we love them. Of course, any company selling a product should be taken with a grain of salt, but overall, FreshCap delivers on all accounts. Great reviews, they describe their harvesting and extraction process, and provide full lab test results directly on their site. They offer a full line of capsule products. The most popular capsule product is their Ultimate Mushroom Complex (Thrive 6), which is a blend of Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Cordyceps, Maitake, and Chaga. They also offer all of these as individual products if you’re looking for one in particular.

      Cons: Nothing glaring. Some products don’t have as many reviews as their Ultimate Mushroom Complex, but overall, a solid company.

       


      2) Real Mushrooms ​​5 Defenders Organic Mushroom Blend Capsules

      Source Type: 100% Fruiting Body

      Beta Glucans: >20%

      Extraction Process: Dual Extract (Hot Water + Alcohol)

      COA/Analysis: No Listing Directly on their Site. You have to inquire.

      Customer Reviews:

      Reviews on their site were strong. We went to Amazon to confirm.

      Real Mushrooms 5 Defenders Organic Mushroom Blend Capsules - Reviews

      Final Thoughts:

      Pros: Real Mushrooms offers a great mushroom extract in capsules. It comes highly reviewed. The parent company, Nammex, is very well known and Jeff (owner) has over 40 years of experience, working directly with mushroom cultivators in China. They have a high beta-glucan content, use no fillers, are certified organic, and go through extensive testing. They also have a nice knowledge bank on their site and welcome consumers to ask them questions. They have a solid product line and offer individual species of mushrooms in capsule form as well.

      Cons: We wished they posted their COA’s/3rd Party Tests directly on product pages.

       


      3) Mushroom Revival Mushroom Mix Daily 10 Capsules

      Source Type: 100% Fruiting Body

      Beta Glucans: 28.6%

      Extraction Process: Dual Extract (Hot Water + Alcohol)

      COA/Analysis: Listed directly on site.

      Mushroom Revival Mix Daily 10 Capsules - 1Mushroom Revival Mix Daily 10 Capsules - 2Mushroom Revival Mix Daily 10 Capsules - 3

      Customer Reviews: Not many for this product on site and they don’t have a strong Amazon presence, however, their other products have a solid amount of reviews.

      Final Thoughts:

      Pros: The company checks off all the necessary boxes in terms of product quality, lab testing, and transparency. They also offer a great educational podcast and you can tell that they are knowledgeable about the industry and are looking to teach people more. For that, we applaud them!

      Cons: The company lacks a substantial amount of reviews across all products, but they are relatively new (Founded in 2018). They also have little presence on Amazon, which isn’t a bad thing, but we always enjoy an unbiased, centralized market, where reviews and customer questions can be seen publicly.


       

      We wish you the best of luck on identifying a mushroom capsule brand that aligns with your needs. See a brand that's missing? Contact us to let us know! 

      mushroom map and directory cta


      Hi, we're Remeday!

      When we dove head-first into the fascinating world of mushrooms, we hit a wall of misinformation and deceptive marketing. It has been our goal to preserve the history and future of mushrooms as medicine by providing you with an unbiased, trusted source into all facets of fungi. But we've only just scratched the surface. Learn along with us by subscribing to our newsletter: The MorningMush. We always welcome your thoughts and feedback.

      Mush love,

      🍄 The Remeday Team

      Subscribe to the Morning Mush!

      The one-stop shop for product reviews, news, and information surrounding the world of mushrooms. (Don't worry, we only send you the important stuff. We hate spammy emails, too.)

      © 2022 Remeday LLC, 36 Maplewood Ave, Portsmouth, NH, 03801, USA