Making (mushroom) tinctures

Hi folks,

I’m about to make my fourth batch of Chaga tinctures! Since we can’t culture Chaga in the lab I receive mine from a contact in Sweden, who ethically sources it from the wild forests there.

My procedure is threefold in order to get the most out of the raw material:

  1. Extraction in Vodka (38% alc.)
  2. Hot water extraction (4h in H2O)
  3. Soxhlet extraction (96.4% alc.)

In the end I mix the components to get a solution that contains about 30-35% alc. for storing it long term. This is always a little bit different since the volumes of each fraction varies for each of the runs.
So far I haven’t developed a set recipe to work with. It is the aim of this thread to develop exactly this recipe and improve the product quality.

In the next posts I will go into each of the steps, describing the process more in detail.


Hi, thx for sharing your project. I’m currently making mushroom tinctures too. I was wondering if you can help me with some questions?

So far I collected Trametes versicolor, Formitopsis betulina and Inonotus obliquus near Berlin. Also I use Ganoderma lucidum, which I grew by myself.

  1. Until know I soaked each mushroom batch in a 65 % alkohol solution ( 1 g dried and cut mushroom : 5 ml alcohol, depending on mushroom structure…) in order to extract most of the triterpenes. However I read that you can extract them also in hot water like the water soluble polysaccharides?

2.Decocion / Hot Water extraction: to extract polysaccharides and destroy possible lectines (not shure if lectines are soluble in alcohol or if drying the mushrooms destroys their bioactivity)

Do you use the batch you used in the alcohol extraction or do you use a new dried one? Is it correct that polysaccharides don’t react with alcohol and for that the don’t get damaged or destroyed?

  1. Mix decocion with the alcohol extract down to-25-30 %.

Your step 3 looks really interesting! Why do you use this technic and do you use always the same batch for all three steps?

What do you think of following steps:

  1. Soak dried mushroom overnight in cold water and then make a decocion (4 hours of simmering)
  2. Add pure alcohol (65 %) to the decocion incl. the mushrooms and mix it down to approximately 30 - 50 %, leaving it for 4 weeks.
  3. Then strain it.

I would be happy for any ideas or advices :). By the way, are you living in Berlin? What is your background?

Thx a lot, cheers, Micha

Hi Micha, thank you for asking these interesting questions and thereby also reminding me to update this post!
I will answer as well as I can:

  1. To my knowlege triterpenes are polar, so they are better soluble in polar solvents - such as EtOH. On the other hand, it’s not much more polar than water which leads me to believe a fraction will also accumulate in your decoction.

  • I do my decoction first, in order to hydrate the dried material and at the same time destroy the chitin in the cell wall that the desired compounds are surrounded by. I believe this step increases the effectivity of the extraction.
  • I don’t believe polysaccarides react with ethanol.
  • I use the same raw material for the different parts of my extraction unless I’m impatient and want to be done faster.
  • I found this excerpt in a study on protein stability during drying, I hope it helps to answer your question on drying lectines (which are proteins):
    It has been commonly accepted now that water is essential to the functional folding of most roteins. Therefore, the thermal and dehydration-related stresses occurring in a drying process can partially or completely denature/inactivate some proteins, including their enzymatic function, presumably through the loss of structure.
    (Hanafusa, 1969; Wolkers et al., 1998)
  1. I use a Soxhlet because it automates the process of extraction in a way that I recycle my solvent and at the same time have more cycles of extraction. One thing I learned at university that actually stuck was: it’s more effective to do several extractions in a row with fresh solvent than increasing the volume of the solvent. Meaning, better extract twice with e.g. 500 mL EtOH than once with 1000 mL. The Soxhlet apparatus does just that by evaporating the solvent and recycling in onto my mushroom material. I will go more into this in a new post.

  2. My idea behind the first step is to extract ethanol soluble compunds that might be temperature sensitive, knowing that the extraction is not going to be as efficient as after cooking but wanting to get everything out. Testing of this hypothesis is still pending - I actually want to do a collaboration with my University about this here in Berlin.
    So it might be a complete waste of time and effort. If there is no loss of active compounds during heating your option would be better from my point of view. If there is you would loose maybe some, maybe a lot of compounds. I honestly do not know.

I live in Berlin, I’m currently doing my master’s thesis in bioprocess engineering, working with Aspergillus niger in liquid culture, engineering it’s morphology.


Thank you so much for your remarks! I’m really curious about your experiment and the further details. Please keep me updated ;).

Just came into my mind… how do you extract the triterpenes in the alcohol solution?

For now I think it is a good option to use the material which has soaked in 65% alcohol and make a decocion (distilled water?), additional adding new raw material, simmering together for 4 hours. After that, mixing the decocion with the alcohol solution down to 40 %, maybe adding the two batches and let it sit for another period of time? What do you think?

Super interesting, thanks, Micha!
I was lucky enough to find a chunk of chaga in the wild not far from Berlin - first time I saw it in nature.
On the point of drying - the Chaga I found was very dry/tough already. I let it dry out further (mainly due to lazines ;))

In any case I would be keen to give a tincture ago also, I’ll let you know how I get on!

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Ho Tim, sounds good! I also love the idea. Maybe we can share our experiments one day personally. The first input from phallanx seems to me very interesting. Of course it is more technically but for me it was very useful to go on about making tinctures. I m sure that there will be some interesting outcomes! Sharing is caring :slight_smile: cheers

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Yeah, sounds good to me. I don’t see the need to add additional material though. Probably you already went ahead though - I haven’t been in the forum for a while xD