Medicinal Mushroom extracts are an incredible tool for improving your and your pet’s health. Now that they have become more popular, the market is flooded with options, and it’s tough to know what’s right for your pet. Here we will break down the differences between mushroom extract products, including mushroom extract tinctures vs powders, and clear the air as to what’s what when it comes to this incredible health tool.


mushroom extract tincture spagyric mushroom extract MycoDog mushroom extracts for dogs

Simply put, a mushroom extract is a concentrated and purified form of medicinal mushrooms.

While most medicinal mushrooms can be consumed whole, their medicinal properties must be extracted to yield the most significant benefits.

Depending on the mushroom, different extraction methods will be used. Specific mushrooms require specific extraction methods (boiling in water multiple times, using solvents like alcohol, etc.), so it’s essential to know whether your mushroom brand uses the proper technique for each mushroom.

During this process, the critical compounds are extracted from the mushrooms; thus, the term “extract” describes the final product. This makes it so the body can better absorb the compounds since humans and animals usually lack the necessary enzymes to break down the cell walls of mushrooms, which is called chitin. Just like we put herbs in boiling water to make tea, we must do the same with mushrooms to get the herb's medicinal properties out of the plant cell walls. Without extraction, most plants are just food, and their medicinal properties are minimal.

Think of dandelion in a salad; it’s a delicious green, but eating a salad with dandelion will not cleanse your liver. This is especially true for our dogs and cats, who completely lack the enzyme cellulase that breaks down plant cells. MycoDog mushrooms for dogs are meticulously extracted through a unique triple-extraction process. This includes a primary ethanol extraction using Organic Cane Alcohol, (another process evaporates the alcohol so it’s pet safe), followed by a hydro extraction with distilled water, before finally carefully extracting the fungi’s mineral salts, which is imbibed into the tincture. The result? A powerful mushroom tincture, known as a Spagyric Tincture.


Although spagyric tinctures have been around for thousands of years, they have recently come back into the limelight due to more research proving their benefits and people simply seeing the difference these tinctures make. But what exactly is this unique type of tincture?

First, let’s clarify how most extracts are made. Simple herbal tinctures are made by soaking plant material in alcohol for a few weeks. The alcohol extracts medicinal compounds into the liquid, which becomes the tincture. The leftover plant material is then discarded. Simple tinctures contain only water and alcohol-soluble compounds.

mushroom extract tincture spagyric mushroom extract MycoDog Vitality mushroom extract and adaptogen blend

Unlike simple tinctures, spagyric tinctures are the only type that genuinely incorporates the whole plant but in a way that makes every aspect of the plant absorbable and valuable.

Spagyric tinctures go beyond a standard extraction method protocol and take it a few steps further. In creating spagyric tinctures, the leftover plant material is utilized to extract and incorporate the mineral aspects of the plant, thus enhancing the medicinal properties and creating a more potent and holistic remedy.

Various parts of plants simply cannot be pulled out via standard extraction methods, so the use of spagyric practices is crucial for getting everything out of the plant, almost like stripping the barrier off of all the unique chemical compounds so that we can get the whole plant’s benefits without struggling to absorb them.

Regarding mushrooms and adaptogenic herbs, spagyric tinctures are the gold standard and the best way to get the most out of these unique plants and fungi. Speaking of the gold standard, it’s worth mentioning again that all MycoDog tinctures are spagyric!

They are the only spagyric mushroom extract tincture for pets currently on the market - this is one of the main reasons why MycoDog mushroom extract tinctures outperform all others. They use the best sourcing, formulation, and processing methods available, creating a perfectly harmonious, synergistic, and efficacious product for your dog or cat. I'm happy to be able to offer it to the pet guardians who come into my shop.

Here's what spagyricist Jason Scott said about spagyric tinctures,


"When something is prepared in the spagyric method, it's considered to kind of 'age like a fine wine' and really kind of gets better over time."



Depending on your chosen brand, you may be getting a ground-up mushroom powder with no extraction method (raw) or one with extraction methods used. There is no regulation on labeling these products, so asking questions is critical.

Ideally, mushroom extract powders are not simply ground-up and dried mushrooms. The mushrooms must go through an extraction process first, in order to be an actual mushroom extract powder, and not just a mushroom powder.

Once the mushrooms have grown to the desired maturity, they are usually boiled in water first; then, sometimes, a solvent like ethanol is used to further pull the compounds out of the mushrooms that have all the incredible medicinal properties.

Using both water and a solvent is known as a “dual extract.” By using both water and alcohol, you get both the water-soluble and the non-water-soluble compounds out of the mushroom and into a more bioavailable form. However, as noted, not all mushrooms require both processes.

Another process is used to get a dried powder, usually spray drying. This creates an end product that is in powder form. Just as we do not like using too many processes on our food, the same can be said for supplements. The additional step of drying mushrooms is another process, and you want to stay as close to nature as possible while getting the most out of the product. This also creates a lower-cost product since nothing else is added to stabilize the product.

Powdered mushroom extracts are more like a functional food than a medicine. They have fantastic prebiotic properties to help the microbiome and contain many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Still, their active ingredients (beta glucans, alpha glucans, triterpenes) may not yield as strong of a result due to having to be digested before they are available to the body. Depending on your dog’s need, this can be the deciding factor between choosing a powdered extract over a liquid extract and vice versa.



A mushroom extract tincture is a liquid form of mushroom extract. This means no drying process is added. Depending on the mushroom, extraction methods can vary, as mentioned above. If done correctly, the extraction methods will break down the chitin and concentrate the medicinal compounds to levels much higher than powders.

Many mushroom extract tinctures for pets do not use proper extraction methods or are just powdered extracts reconstructed with water added, yielding a low potency end product. Ideally, your liquid extract should be thick and viscous in consistency. If it is clear and watery, or appears muddy like a powder is in it, this is a sign of a poor quality product.

In addition, look for triple-extracted products, like MycoDog’s spagyric triple extractions from the fruiting body of wild-harvested mushrooms, ensuring all the compounds are pulled out of the product and ready to be absorbed by your pet.



This can be a tricky question because both powders and liquids can be beneficial. Additionally, it can depend on the quality of the tincture and the powder. However, if we focus on what packs the most medicinal value and power for our aging, sick, or stressed pets, where medicinal potency is the critical value, liquid mushroom extracts, particularly triple-extractions, are the best your pet can get.

Mushroom extract tinctures vs powders comparing liquid mushroom extracts and powder mushroom extracts

Mushroom extract liquid tinctures have a higher potency per serving than powders, and are quickly absorbed via the mucous membranes. This gets the active compounds into the bloodstream faster and without stress to the liver or gut. Giving an extract orally will get the most important medicinal compounds in the body faster and with less product needing to be used.

This is opposed to powders, which must be broken down via the GI tract and pass through the liver. This results in a lower-end absorption rate, just like how hemp is more potent when given trans-mucosally vs. being put in food or given as a treat.

Even though mushroom extract powders contain the whole mushroom, which might sound great, it’s not necessarily, especially when dealing with a medical issue and needing the medicinal benefits over all else. The fibrous cell walls and other non-medicinal compounds are still in the powder, meaning the dose required for therapeutic effect is significantly larger than a liquid extract.

If you choose to use a mushroom powder for dogs, ask your manufacturer questions about how they extract in order to get the chitin cell walls to break, and medicinal compounds to thus be released.

For serious ailments like cancer, huge doses of powder are required to reach a therapeutic dosage, which can make administering the amount of product needed next to impossible, creating a muddy mess in the bowl.

Additionally, powdered mushrooms have the risk of product degradation. If the humidity is too high, mushroom powders can clump and become even more cumbersome to use. Since liquid extracts encapsulate the mushroom, there is no risk of oxidation or clumping.

However, we don’t want to completely dismiss powdered mushroom extracts. As long as they are manufactured and formulated correctly, they are a fantastic addition to your pet’s bowl. If you’re looking for more of a functional food with some medicinal benefits, powdered mushroom extracts are an excellent choice and probably one of the best functional foods that exist.



A high quality mushroom extract tincture is the clear winner if you seek the most potent and bioavailable option between tinctures vs powders. Liquid extracts are absorbed via the mucous membranes before getting into the gut, meaning the stomach's acidic environment will not destroy a large amount of product before it becomes useful (bioavailable) to the body.

Since MycoDog is primarily focused on dealing with acute and chronic disease states that require a high therapeutic dose, liquid extracts are what they choose to focus their attention on, in terms of manufacturing.

In addition, since liquids yield more active ingredients like beta-glucans per serving, this puts less strain on the body to absorb and use the extract.

Just listen to what mycoalchemist, Jason Scott, has to say on the matter during the Mushrooms for Dogs episode on Your Natural Dog Podcast:


“Tinctures are oftentimes much more bioavailable as they absorb through the mucus membranes, instead of like a powder, similar to a food, when you ingest it, it still has to be metabolized through the liver, and kind of digested like a normal food before it can make it into the bloodstream, whereas tinctures are oftentimes going to go right through the mucus membrane and that’s why a lot of people suggest taking things sublingually, obviously its a little trickier with a dog, but even if you swallow a tincture, it's going to be mostly absorbed before it makes it down into the gut.”

So the data is pretty clear: if you’re looking for the most potent combination of medicinal compounds in a mushroom supplement for dogs, the right mushroom extract tincture can potentially offer more than a powdered extract, but spagyric tinctures are the most potent and bioavailable option!

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