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  •  • ›   Mushroom supplements - which brand is the best ?

    If you do a basic search on the internet for a particular medicinal mushroom supplement, you get a lot of options, with prices ranging from a few dollars per bottle to a few dollars per capsule. What to choose ?

    Jeff Chilton, President of Nammex, an American producer of mushroom products recently published a White Paper (Feb. 2015) emphasizing the need for quality control and quality awareness in the niche of mushroom products. There is too much misinformation and deception going on, and it is expanding exponentially.

    This not only hurts the mushroom business in the long run but it might also keep many people from trying and benefitting from the remarkable therapeutic potential a well-produced and well-processed medicinal mushroom can offer. They are losing faith after having wasted their money on therapeutically useless products (and the majority really is useless, unfortunately !).
    You can download and read that White Paper here(pdf). We fully support its message, and what we write below has the same goal - to help the consumer to buy something that is therapeutically useful.

    If you know what to look for making an objective valuation is actually not that difficult. Below we’ll explain what to look for, with a more detailed explanation at the bottom.

    Rule of thumb: choosing a mushroom supplement is best done using the specifications of the bioavailable bioactives present in the product. Read the official 'supplement facts' label.

    • First and most important: make sure to choose an EXTRACT. Raw or dried-and-powdered mushrooms are mostly indigestible for humans. Non-extracted mushrooms will only stimulate your bowel movements, rich in fibers as they are.
    • If available, choose a ‘dual extract’. Dual extracts went through a multistep extraction process, making both water-soluble and non-watersoluble bioactives bioavailable. This is also known as a ‘full-spectrum’ extract.
    • Avoid products with additives and fillers. There are products with over 75% of useless dextrin!!
    • Validate all this by studying the official ‘supplement facts’ label. if you do not see a specification of the bioactives -as a minimum polysaccharides should be specified- it is most likely no extract and therefore you have no clue what you are getting for your money in terms of bioavailable bioactives.
      Ignore the website statements - one can write whatever they want on a website, but not on a ‘supplement facts’ label. Very often bioactives that are mentioned on the webpage are not listed on the label. Some sellers describe the effects and constituents of an extract while selling just powder. The problem, however, is the bioavailability of their product.
    • By comparing these specifications and the prices it is easy to make a good valuation.

      Product A: 10% polysaccharides; 60 capsules @ 500mg; $ 10. 50 mg polysaccharides p/capsule
      Product B: 30% polysaccharides; 60 capsules @ 400mg; $ 20. 120 mg polysaccharides p/capsule

      Product B is obviously the best value for money. Spend $ 20 on product A and you still have less polysaccharides than in product B.

    • Beware: alcohol or waterbased tinctures are not extracts. Unlike herbs mushrooms will not release their bioactives in therapeutic doses when soaked in water or alcohol. These products NEVER specify the active ingredients and do not deliver therapeutic effects. All traditional use and all scientific reseach is based on some form of extraction, not tinctures.
    • ’10:1 extract’ without any further specification is a deceiving statement. This is a description of a concentrate, not an extract. This terminology stems from phytotherapy, where drying and powdering a herb concentrates its potency. This does not work the same way with mushrooms. Mushrooms have a chitin structure, not cellulose. We cannot digest chitin.


  •  • ›   Why should I use your products ? What about all those medicines ?

    Indeed, there is a pill for almost everything, and in general they more or less do what is expected of them. But there are plenty of complex medical problems that are not easy to solve, like cancer, eczema, psoriasis, migraine.. often because medical science does not fully understand what exactly is causing the problem. So they just fight the symptoms, based on their speculations about the cause.

    Apart from that, more and more viruses and other pathogenic organisms have become resistant against synthetic antibiotics. Causing doctors to prescribe more and more powerful cures like prednisone or broad-spectrum antibiotics for what often is only a 'simple' ailment. More often than not these power-pharmaceuticals have severe side effects, and besides that, how long will it take before those pathogens become resistant to them as well ?

    Pharmaceuticals often work as follows: the exact profile of the enemy ( a virus or other pathogen ) has been established and a chemical substance has been tailor-designed to deal with that. But… as soon as the enemy changes a bit ( and these pathogens are true living organisms with the ability to change and adapt, often very fast ) the chemical agent becomes useless: its outlined enemy does no longer exist and it cannot adapt to the new situation.

    Natural products can. With a few exceptions, we are only selling so-called 'adaptogens'. These are without doubt the most powerful of all natural healers. They tune and balance the body as a whole, instead of dealing with isolated events.

    • - An adaptogen is non-toxic and non-habit forming.
    • - An adaptogen aids in normalization of the body chemistries.
    • - An adaptogen increases your body's ability to cope with physical stress, emotional stress, stress related imbalance and environmental pollution and their after effects.
    • - An adaptogen works in a synergistic manner stimulating your body's own ability to fight off illness before it sets in, in direct contrast to modern drugs which attack 'specific' disease symptoms after you are thoroughly sick.
    • - An adaptogen works not only when you take it, but for a sustained period of time and becomes increasingly active the more your body needs it.

    So, they do not work in a static way like most pharmaceuticals, but are dynamic, only getting into gear when it is needed and only to the extent that is needed. And they can adapt to the ever-changing enemy.

    These adaptogenic properties (like immune balancing) are still not fully understood by science. Please have a look at our 'resources' page, where you'll find a large collection of scientific publications about this and related subject matter. We are also preparing a small PDF with an in-depth analysis of adaptogens. Register for our newsletter and stay informed about this and other developments.

  •  • ›   Why do I need immune support ?

    Improving and maintaining your immune system is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. A layman's introduction to how our immune system works you can read here.

    First, some facts:

    - Research has shown that stress can have a negative effect on the immune system.
    - The immune function declines when we age; this already starts around our 35th birthday.

    Some examples:

    • "Ulcers are caused by stress" was an accepted concept for decades. Now we know ulcers are in general caused by the Helicobacter Pylori, a nasty bacteria most people carry with them without knowing it. Due to stress the immune function might be affected and the bacteria is no longer kept at bay. An ulcer can develop and, according to some experts, even stomach cancer might develop in due time.

    • The change of seasons is a stress-factor for many. When temperatures drop people do get the flu, catch a cold, develop e.g. seasonal eczema, etc. This is all caused by an unbalanced, weakened immune function, and not just because you forgot your hat or scarf.

    • People with an urban life-style (poor quality of sleep and food, a more polluted environment, mental stressors, etc) are according to statistics in general less healthy.

    • It is a fact that already at the age of 35 our immune system starts getting sloppy, and after 50 there is a steady and strong decline of our immune function. Biologically speaking, we're supposed to make room for the next generation at that age. This is a key cause of many old-age related diseases. Combined with other stressors (and in general we cannot take our pick - these just happen) it is obvious this can have a lasting negative effect on the quality of life.

    • Medical treatments can have a negative effect on the immune function. The best examples are probably chemo and radiation therapy, both of which can destroy our immune system completely. By using specific immune boosters doctors are trying compensate, but unpleasant side effects do happen and it is difficult to achieve the desired effect. Secondary infections are very common. This can be called a 'chemical stressor'.

    This is where mushroom extracts are excelling. They normalize the immune function without side effects. In other words, they can often completely compensate the negative effects stress (of whatever nature) and age can have on our health and well-being, by restoring the balance.

    This property is called 'adaptogenic'. For an in-depth explanation, see the next FAQ, below.

  •  • ›   Have the claims made been confirmed by research ?

    Yes. During the past decades a tremendous amount of research was undertaken to verify the claims made by herbalists and traditional systems, like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. In general, the outcome was very positve or promising, at least. No wonder - if it wouldn't work at all, people would have stopped using it centuries ago.

    There is a special journal dedicated to the mushrooms, e.g.: International Journal for Medicinal Mushrooms.

    This link will show you an overview of recent publications dealing with the Agaricus blazei.

    This link and also this one gives an overview of recent scientific research about Chaga.

    Mumijo / Shilajit is a mythical substance referred to as 'Nectar of the Gods' in the Ayurveda (3000 years old) and Central-Asian folk medicine. Aristoteles mentioned it, 400 years B.C., and even wrote some instructions regarding its use.

    This alone already made it worthwhile to investigate: what was true and what was pure myth ? In particular in India and Russia a lot of research was done, with positive and often surprising outcomes.

    Herbal medicine is as old as humanity itself. Medicinal-philosophical systems have been developed like the Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, both 1000s of years old, each with its own point of view, the core of which is restoring the balance between the body's elements. Then there is pure folk medicine, in general based on simple trial and error, often after observing animals and their behaviour when sick or wounded. Medicinal herbs and mushrooms are the core of all these approaches. Modern western medicine as we know it today started about 150 years ago. The first drugs were herbal-based and the first antibiotics ( like penicilline ) were derived from fungi. Until today science still does not know exactly what makes an aspirine work, but that it works is clear.

    Still, despite all the positive results there is a lot of bias, in particular in the West.

    Please also have a look at our 'resources' page, where you'll find a large collection of scientific publications about this and related subject matter.

  •  • ›   What are the side effects of these natural products ?

    Our mushrooms extracts have no side effects and can be used safely by everyone, even when you happen to be allergic to mushrooms. Chitin is the allergen in mushrooms, but mushroom extracts no longer contain chitin. However, immuno-modulating substances should be used with extreme care or avoided completely in organ-transplant patients utilizing immuno-suppressive agents. Chaga is known to affect the blood sugar level, so people that are susceptible to this should be aware of this and adjust the dosage. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also be cautious, as no research has been done on the effect of adaptogenic mushrooms on their situation. Better to stay on the safe side and refrain from using it.

    Our herbs in general have no side effects either, unless you happen to be one of those few that are allergic to a specific plant or component of a plant. Please read the leaflet that is included with every order for details.

    As for Mumijo, there are no known side effects, but there are some contradicting reports about using it when you have kidney stones or when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Some sources state it has a positive effect in those cases, whereas others say exactly the opposite. To be on the safe side, we recommend to be cautious in these instances and not to take Mumijo internally. Do not use Mumijo together with alcohol, it will kill a lot of its healing potential.

  •  • ›   Are your products safe ?

    Our mushrooms are processed in a state-of-the-art specialised pharmaceutical factory, fully certified according to ISO 9001:2008, GMP for pharmaceutical products, en HACCP. These are the most strict international standards. The cultivated mushrooms are free from pesticides and GMO's. Also check the mushroom section of these FAQ for additional info.

    The majority of our herbs were collected on the Plateau Lago-Naki (see picture) in the Republic Adygea. A rural area, 40% is covered with centuries-old forest. The selection and processing is done by a trained and certified pharmacologist, specializing in phytotherapy and already the third generation in her family dealing with this.

    Plateau Lago-Naki

    Mumijo is a rare natural product, found between 1000-5000 m above sea level in remote mountain areas. For many centuries it has been collected on the mountains, cleaned from grasses and stones and then used, as is. Both literature research and personal experience have not shown any negative side effects. It is perfectly safe to use, both internally and externally.

  •  • ›   What is that: 'adaptogen' ?

    With a few exceptions, we are only selling so-called 'adaptogens'. These are without doubt the most powerful of all natural healers. They tune and balance the body as a whole, instead of dealing with isolated events.

    • - An adaptogen is non-toxic and non-habit forming.
    • - An adaptogen aids in normalization of the body chemistries.
    • - An adaptogen increases your body's ability to cope with physical stress, emotional stress, stress related imbalance and environmental pollution and their after effects.
    • - An adaptogen works in a synergistic manner increasing your body's own ability to fight off illness before it sets in, in direct contrast to modern drugs which attack 'specific' disease symptoms after you are thoroughly sick.
    • - An adaptogen works not only when you take it, but for a sustained period of time and becomes increasingly active the more your body needs it.

    So, they do not work in a static way like most pharmaceuticals, but are dynamic, only getting into gear when it is needed and only to the extent that is needed. And they can adapt to the ever-changing enemy.

    These adaptogenic properties (like immune balancing) are still not fully understood by science. Please have a look at our 'resources' page, where you'll find a large collection of scientific publications about this and related subject matter. We are also preparing a small PDF with an in-depth analysis of adaptogens. Register for our newsletter and stay informed about this and other developments.

  •  • ›  ORIVeDA extracts: what is the difference with other suppliers?

    • We offer true dual extracted products, with a detailed breakdown of the bio-actives on the official supplement facts label. See this link for a detailed explanation of why extraction is essential for mushroom products. Also see What ratio are your mushroom extracts? )

    • Our mushroom extracts are 100% pure. Many suppliers are e.g. adding starch, dextrin or malt-dextrin (these are all non-bio-active polysaccharides) to increase the percentage of polysaccharides in their products. Also non-mushroom triterpenes and nucleosides, the major bio-actives in Reishi and Cordyceps, are often added during the production process. Rice powder is also fairly common, used to increase the weight and to prevent cakeing of the extract powder.

    • We offer the best value-for-money in the world. Google and you'll get instant confirmation. This is one of the reasons we have customers in over 60 countries (April 2013).

    • Our prices are often lower and the quality is higher - again, the value for money...
    Several sellers are benefitting from consumers that do mix up price and value; but a higher price does not automatically indicate a better quality or better value. We've seen e.g. Chaga products being sold for over $ 3 per capsule, with a beta-glucan percentage of barely 4% and zero betulinic acid. Our Chaga extract has 18-21% of beta-glucans (meaning: over 39% of polysaccharides are beta-glucans) and 1.5 - 2.5 % of betulinic acid. The price per capsule is ± $ 0.36.

    • No other producer can rightfully claim an identical or better percentage of actives. The capsules and the clear indication of what they contain on the supplement facts label make administration very efficient. Our Certificates of Analysis are available on request, to verify all statements we make. We have the most detailed supplement-facts labels in the industry; nothing is kept vague.

    • We have unmatched levels of bioactives in our extracts, and we can guarantee the bioavailability of these bioactives: 100%. This is due to the fact that our producer is a combination of a pharmaceutical production- and mushroom research-center, where extracts for injections and i.v. administration are also being produced. These extracts require a purity level of at least 99%.

    • Our extracts are the only ones on the market that are fully certified according to ISO9001:2008, HACCP and GMP. (also check: Why is certification important? ) This assures the safety and pharmaceutical quality of the products and the justness of their descriptions.

  •  • ›  How can a consumer be sure he's buying a therapeutically effective mushroom product ?

    • Choose a genuine extract. Non-extracted mushroom products (incl. bio-mass products and tinctures) have a very low bio-availability - we cannot digest them properly so the therapeutic effect is questionable. See this link for a detailed explanation. Also see What ratio are your mushroom extracts? )

    • Verify the product claims from the website on the supplement facts label first - it is unlawful to exaggerate or lie on that label. There should be a breakdown of at least the polysaccharides (percentage) but preferably also of the beta-glucans. Not all polysaccharides are beta-glucans.

    Apart from that, several producers are adding e.g. therapeutically useless starch, dextrin or malt-dextrin during the production process to increase the polysaccharide percentage. It is not required to list these seperately on the label - these are also polysaccharides. However, this can be tested easily: open a capsule and mix the extract powder with a bit of cold water to make a liquid solution. Then add a few drops of iodine. If the solution changes color (blue, red) it contains non-mushroom polysaccharides. Percentages of up to 30% are not uncommon. Rice powder is also added often to increase the weight and to prevent cakeing of the extract powder.

    • If a producer is marketing his product as a 10:1 extract (or whatever ratio) but does not specify e.g. polysaccharides/beta-glucans on the supplement facts label this might mean it's just dried and powdered mushroom, non-extracted. (also check: What ratio are your mushroom extracts ?). Testing for polysacharides is very easy and cheap, so logic says there's no reason to keep it vague or leave it out, unless the outcome is of course unfavourable.

    • If you want more details we recommend to ask the online seller for a Certificate of Analysis (COA), issued by the producer and/or a third party lab. Some US producers simply write their own COA, but it is obvious this has no value. A COA will list the active ingredients and the contaminants, like heavy metals. The statements should match with the product's supplement facts label.

    Also read the next FAQ: Why is certification important?

  •  • ›  I want to make my own mushroom-based tea. Is that a good idea ?

    Many people like DIY mushroom products, such as Chaga tea and Reishi tea. They assume they save money that way, have the same or even a better result as with pre-prepared products like what we sell and on top of that have a lot of fun while preparing it and sharing the results with their friends.

    We can of course give you our subjective opinion about this but instead we prefer to give you the objective facts. Read and judge for yourself.

    The HongKong Consumer Council put traditional Reishi tea to the test (Choice magazine #286, August 15, 2000). They compared a home-made Reishi tea with a professionally produced extract, using a laboratory.
    The study team used 15 grams of dried red Reishi slices and boiled them in 300 cc (about one bowl) of water for an hour. Their lab analysis showed that the amount of polysaccharides extracted was about 0.076 grams ( ± 0.5%), so the study concluded that this boiling method by the consumer is not only labor intensive, but also much more expensive and clearly less effective than consuming ready-made industrially processed Reishi products, which can contain up to 50% polysaccharides (and which do include the beta-glucans - the main immune balancer in Reishi).

    A more recent example is provided by a Canadian seller of Chaga chunks and Chaga tea. He sent his Chaga products to a local test lab to find out which one was the best for his customers in terms of therapeutic effectivity. His focus was on the anti-oxidant potential; which is associated with the polyphenolic content in Chaga.

    According to the lab report the best results were achieved when boiling powdered raw Chaga for 4 hours. The amount of polyphenols was ± 30,000 GAEmg/kg. This seems like a big number until it is being compared to the ORIVeDA Chaga extract: ± 102,000 GAEmg/kg (Brunswick Labs report) which is over 3 x more.

    Apart from that, the bioavailable polysaccharides were only ± 3 - 4% whereas over 50% is the standard for the ORIVeDA extract. The reason is a technical one: prolonged boiling simmering destroys the long molecular chains of the bio-active polysaccharides over time, unless it is done under high pressure. See this report for a description of the process.

    And of course water extracts never contain triterpenes (these are non-water soluble) such as betulinic acid (Chaga) or ganoderic acids (Reishi) so both the synergy (between all mushroom constituents) is gone and a direct therapeutic effect of the triterpenes is not possible. On top of that DIY products made from wild-harvested mushrooms can contain contamination (heavy metals in particular) and since they are not tested these will end up in your body, where they will accumulate over time.

    You can download the report from the Canadian website and verify for yourself what the outcome was. In case that link goes dead, here is an archived copy of the report.

    A dual extract is the best choice for anybody looking for a product with therapeutic qualities. Check the label (ignore the website) for a breakdown of the active ingredients: polysaccharides, beta-glucans and triterpenes should all be listed, ideally.

    The conclusion is obvious: making mushroom tea (DIY extraction) is time consuming, way more expensive (purchasing a raw product and boiling it for hours is costly) and it will never yield bio-actives in therapeutic quantities. But it is of course much more fun!

    Our very detailed test reports are available on request

  •  • ›   Why is certification important?

    Oriveda mushroom extracts are the only ones in the world that are fully certified. This is important, because it means that you, as a customer, have the guarantee the products are 100% safe, pure, free of dangerous substances and are described accurately, without exaggeration.

    Mushrooms can be contaminated with heavy metals and pesticides, both of which they easily absorb. These contamination levels have to be listed in a so-called Certificate of Analysis (COA), that has to be presented to the authorities during e.g. the import/export process. If the product to-be-imported does not comply with the international safety standards, it will be confiscated by the authorities and destroyed.

    A decade ago several problems were reported with mushroom products imported from China, the worlds biggest producer of mushrooms. Since then the import regulations became more strict and the fear of contaminated Chinese products is no longer justified. But we still recommend to always ask for a COA before buying expensive supplements, even when they are recommended by a guy in a white coat on TV - after all, it's about your health and well-being.

    Oriveda extracts were produced in compliance with not just the basic GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice - a series of general principles that must be observed during manufacturing) but also HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control points - a program used in the food industry to identify potential food safety hazards) and ISO 9001:2008 (an extension of the HACCP policy).

    In short, these safety standards demand extensive quality control during all phases of the production process, including pre- and post-production. Clean rooms and in-house laboratory testing facilities are required, e.g., and external auditors keep track of everything to prevent tampering or sloppiness.
    Certificates of Analysis (COA) should accompany every production batch and have to show accurate and factual information about the active ingredients and the contamination levels in the product. This goes beyond a basic 'supplement facts' label.

    You might find out that many sellers will refuse to show you a COA. They might even use phrases like 'it contains proprietary / confidential information' to justify this.
    This is nonsense.
    The COA of a mushroom extract only shows you contamination levels and levels of active ingredients, plus the way these have been determined. Nothing to be secretive about. Unless the COA reveals contamination or insignificant levels of actives, of course.

    There are also analytical labs that will produce analytical certificates on demand, according to the clients ideal COA, without actually testing the product. This is a fraudulent scheme known as 'dry labbing'. A recent episode of the NBC Dateline program (broadcasted March 18th, 2012) unveiled the fraudulent actions of Atlas Bioscience, who failed to report deadly arsenic levels in a sample, among other things. Atlas Bioscience happens to show up often in the mushroom supplement business - so if you bump into a producer showing you COA's of Atlas Bioscience to underline the quality of their products, you might want to reconsider.

    Our COA's are .

  •  • ›   Are your mushrooms organic ?

    Yes. But, although our manufacturer does have the USDA Organic certificate, issued by EcoCert SA, please take notice that 'organic' is not defined by law or regulations the FDA enforces. Despite the good intentions it is used mostly as an effective marketing tool. One should not consider it a quality indicator at all in the case of medicinal mushrooms - further down we'll explain why.

    • Our Chaga is wild-harvested; such a product can never have the 'organic' label because it did not grow in a controlled environment.

    • Our PSP-50, Lion's Mane mycelium and our Cordyceps CS-4 are all mycellium products and are being cultivated in bioreactors (stainless steel lab-tanks), the most controlled environment imaginable; completely sterile. These are 'organic'.

    • Reishi, ABM and Lion's Mane fruiting bodies are cultivated in accordance with both the USDA-organic and theinternational GACP regulations. GACP regulations have been developed specifically for cultivating medicinal plants. It is more valuable than a USDA certificate in our opinion. The GACP standard is more strict and is internationally enforced instead of only local. This certificate is also not abused as a marketing instrument by supplement and 'superfood' producers.

    • Abused, indeed. The majority of the mushroom supplement sellers using the USDA certificate as a marketing tool have only that to market - a mushroom product with the USDA stamp. But, please take notice, an 'organically grown' mushroom can still contain significant amounts of heavy metals and microbial contamination, which mushrooms tend to accumulate from the soil and the environment. Unless they have a full Certificate of Analysis showing the both contamination and the active ingredients these products can not be trusted. Remember how the Fukushima fall-out covered over half of the US ? Those deposits (mainly heavy metals, both radio-active and otherwise) are everywhere and mushrooms accumulate these.

    • As said before, 'organic' is NOT a good quality indicator for medicinal mushrooms; as it only focuses on things that should NOT be present in the product (traces of pesticides and fertilizers, e.g.) instead of focussing on the things that ARE PRESENT in the product (bioavailable bioactives, microbial and heavy metal contamination, e.g.). In the end these compounds determine the usability and therapeutic potency of the product.

    • We offer a full Certificate of Analysis, issued by an independent FDA-approved lab, that tells the consumer exactly what's in the product, instead of playing their emotions by emphasizing only the 'organic' aspect. Just ask and we'll send you a copy.

  •  • ›   Why don't you put your Certificates online ?

    • We have done so in the past, but found out certain individuals -most likely competitors- were tampering with the documents, changing the numbers and probably sharing them on social networks to make our products look bad and unreliable. Others replaced our name with their own, to fuel their sales.

    • We offer the CoAs only. They are digitally watermarked, so we can always trace a potential abuser.

  •  • ›   Why extracts instead of fresh or dried mushrooms ?

    The term 'extract' is often used quite loosely - dried and powdered mushrooms are often also advertised as 'mushroom extract'. Hot-water extraction is the minimum that is needed to free some active ingredients from the cell-walls in which they are contained. These cells are made of chitin, an indigestible substance for humans. Most of the active components will simply pass through your body without a trace if you choose the cheap 'extracts'.

    Our stomachs work too fast to break down chitin and most people lack the enzyme chitinase, which is essential for digesting chitin.

    Read this excellent explanation on the supplement-facts blog.
    Extraction tanks

    We are using a state-of-the-art hot-water / ethanol extraction and distillation process to get rid of the useless chitin and set all the bio-active ingredients free. The final product has a constant pharmaceutical level of quality.
    Also read: Why is certification important?

  •  • ›   Why do you only sell extracts in capsules and not powder or tinctures ?

    This question is asked often.
    • Capsules make dosing much easier - you know exactly how much you take and what is in it.

    • We are selling highly concentrated extracts. A side effect of highly concentrated extracts is that they are very hydroscopic, meaning they attract and absorb moisture easily. Loose powder is difficult to keep damp-free, so if no precautions are taken (using e.g. a desiccant or some additive) the powder will soon start cakeing or develop lumps. In itself this is no problem: the therapeutic effect is not affected, but it is impossible to sell like that.

    In fact, the described effect can also be called an indication of quality: extracts with a low percentage of extracted polysaccharides will stay relatively free from these problems and non-extracted mushroom powder or biomass will have none of these problems.

    Alcohol tinctures are very effective with herbs, but not with mushrooms. Alcohol does not break down chitin, the main structural ingredient of fungi cells. The main bio-actives of mushrooms (beta-glucans) are water-solubles, not alcohol-solubles. Some alcohol-soluble constituents will dissolve in the alcohol, but the percentages are very low. If you pay attention you'll notice mushroom tinctures never list the bio-active ingredients on their supplement facts label, because these are entirely unpredictable and in general below the level of detection. At least 99% of the tincture is just alcohol and the therapeutic potency is minimal, if any.
    "Structured' water tinctures are entirely useless - soaking mushroom powder in water for a long time ("structured water" is not a scientific term but a marketing term) will not release any water-soluble constituents. These are locked in the chitin cell walls and can only be set free by heat (hot water).

    In May 2013 we did a test run with Chaga extract powder, sold in bags of 100 grams each. (Of all extracts Chaga is the least susceptible to cakeing.) Our Korean customers in particular are used to Chaga in powder form, since the sale of dietary supplements in capsule-form in Korea is prohibited. Because it worked without problems we decided to add Chaga extract powder permanently to our line-up.

  •  • ›   What ratio are your mushroom extracts: 8:1 ? 10:1?

    These ratios are used by some sellers to underline the 'potency' of their products.

    Using ratio's such as these as a quality indicator actually stems from herbal practice: a dried herb (± 10:1) is more potent than the fresh one in general - this is applicable even to kitchen herbs! Many Chinese producers are actually in the herbal business and added mushrooms as an extra source of income in the past years. They are also using the same processing and quality indicators for mushrooms, but this is completely wrong because mushrooms are not -structurally speaking- cellulose based (like herbs) but have a chitinous structure. Chitin needs specific processing -involving heat or enzymes/fermentation- to release the bioactives - see elsewhere in these FAQ.
    Using a ratio-indicator with mushrooms is deceiving, because it only indicates a decrease in volume / weight (which one is never specified, somehow), and in itself reveals nothing about chemical compostion or bio-availability - the consumer still has no clue if the product is in fact therapeutically useful.
    Mushrooms contain a lot of water, up to 90% (e.g. Agaricus blazei fruiting bodies). Drying and pulverizing them will already decrease the volume and the weight significantly; completely dry ABM powder is already meeting the 10:1 ratio; 90% water has been removed, 10% dry matter is left. But no extraction of bio-actives took place and their bio-availability is still very low.
    The bottom line: a ratio-indicator in itself means nothing. This statement should be backed up by a detailed breakdown of bio-actives on the supplement facts label to have any meaning.

    The only thing that is worth looking for for a consumer is the information on the supplement label (it is prohibited by law to lie or use deceiving phrasing on this label): the exact percentages of bio-actives like polysaccharides and/or beta-glucans should be there.
    If not, avoid it - the therapeutic potency is probably questionable. Testing for e.g. polysaccharides is easy and cheap - so why not do it unless the outcome is not what you want ?

    As an example, have a look at the image below. The most powerful extract is the dual extract (hot water/ethanol) on the right. It has twice the volume of the hot water-only extract. So volume-wise the hot water extract might be 14:1 and the dual extract only 7:1, but to draw the conclusion the 14:1 extract is the most potent one would be wrong.

    A basic hot water extract (freeze dried) and a full spectrum dual extract (spray dried). The dual extract’s particle size is much smaller but the total volume is larger. Smaller particles means better absorption and solubility, which improves bio-availability and therefore therapeutic effect.

  •  • ›   Are your mushroom extracts safe ?

    Our Agaricus blazei mushrooms are being cultivated in greenhouses located in a rural area, without polluting industry or traffic nearby. No pesticides are used.

    Chaga cannot be cultivated without losing a lot of its properties. Our Chaga is harvested in the coldest region of Siberia (around Lake Baikal), where no industry or agriculture worth mentioning takes place, since the population density is very low. No pollution and clean groundwater. Chaga's purity can be guaranteed. Also see: Chaga, Fukushima, radioactivity

    Both Cordyceps and Coriolus PSP are grown in sterile laboratory tanks, since not the fruiting body is used, but the mycelia, the hidden 'roots' of the mushrooms which were found to contain the most potent medicinal components. This process is 100% controlled. Another benefit of this so-called 'deep layer cultivation' is that the final product will be 100% mushroom, not 50 - 60 % substrate as is the case when cultivating it on grains or rice, which is cheap and standard in e.g the US and EU.

    All mushrooms are processed in a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical factory, fully certified according to ISO 9001:2008, GMP for pharmaceutical products, en HACCP. These are the most strict international standards. Also read: Why is certification important? Our COA's wil prove the purity - available upon request.

  •  • ›   What are polysaccharides and Beta-glucans ?

    Polysaccharides are a type of complex carbohydrates. They contain the main active ingredients of most medicinal mushrooms and other fungi, the beta-glucans.

    So, beta-glucans are a specific type of polysaccharides.

    The most important ones are the (1>3)(1>6) Beta-D-glucans. According to scientific research these are responsible for the adaptogenic, immune balancing effect of medicinal mushrooms. The precise mechanism behind this is still not fully understood by science.

    Mushroom beta-glucans are classified as BRM's - natural Biological Response Modifiers - meaning they can activate the natural defense mechanisms in the body when needed. So the effect is mainly indirect, which is also the reason there are no side effects as when using chemical agents, which always unbalance the body's natural chemical balance, often leading to more use of medication.

    Mushroom beta-glucans should not be mixed up with beta-glucans from yeast or barley - they have a more complex structure and are a league of their own.

    A brief summary of an article can be found here.

  •  • ›   What is the 'chromogenic complex' (related to Chaga)?

    On several websites offering Chaga extract the phrase ‘Chromogenic complex’ is used as a quality marker. How to value this quality marker ?

    Summarizing in brief: the chromogenic complex is a concept that was used until the early 1950s to roughly determine the composition of e.g. Chaga. In the case of Chaga it was (and officially still is - Russia only) used a a quality marker. In the 1950s it was replaced by spectrografic analysis (except in Russia), which is much more precise and allows far more detailed analysis.

    Scientific research in the past decades has since then revealed a lot about the bioactive ingredients of medicinal mushrooms such as Chaga. We now know that the main active ingredients are beta-glucans, terpenes, sterols and their derivatives.

    The drawback of using the 'chromogenic complex' as a quality marker is that it reveals nothing about the chemical composition, it is far too crude for scientific use. In fact nobody knows exactly what is in it, although it is believed(!) to be mainly polyphenols.

    See, as an example, the opening paragraph of this Russian journal - (Translated from Khimiko-Farmatsevticheskii Zhurnal, Vol. 44, No. 3, pp. 35 – 37, March, 2010) where the ‘chromogenic complex’ is described as ‘ a vague concept with no definition of its chemical composition’ and products and protocols based on that are described as 'severely out of date’ and ‘not respond(ing) to current requirements'.

    Scientific research does not use ‘chromogenic complex’ as a starting point, only spectrografic analysis and other, even more advanced methods such as HPLC. After all, their goal is to find the exact bioactives responsible for a therapeutic effect.

    We are addressing this issue more in depth in our extensive ‘Chaga - The Facts’ monograph. Have a look if you want to know additional details.

  •  • ›   What is that: 'adaptogen' ?

    With a few exceptions, we are only selling so-called 'adaptogens'. These are without doubt the most powerful of all natural healers. They tune and balance the body as a whole, instead of dealing with isolated events.

    • - An adaptogen is non-toxic and non-habit forming.
    • - An adaptogen aids in normalization of the body chemistries.
    • - An adaptogen increases your body's ability to cope with physical stress, emotional stress, stress related imbalance and environmental pollution and their after effects.
    • - An adaptogen works in a synergistic manner increasing your body's own ability to fight off illness before it sets in, in direct contrast to modern drugs which attack 'specific' disease symptoms after you are thoroughly sick.
    • - An adaptogen works not only when you take it, but for a sustained period of time and becomes increasingly active the more your body needs it.

    So, they do not work in a static way like most pharmaceuticals, but are dynamic, only getting into gear when it is needed and only to the extent that is needed. And they can adapt to the ever-changing enemy.

    These adaptogenic properties (like immune balancing) are still not fully understood by science. Please have a look at our 'resources' page, where you'll find a large collection of scientific publications about this and related subject matter. We are also preparing a small PDF with an in-depth analysis of adaptogens. Register for our newsletter and stay informed about this and other developments.

  •  • ›   Is it true Chaga can help people suffering from psoriasis ?

    Yes. Psoriasis is basically an auto-immune disease. Chaga is in the core an immune-modulator.
    In the early 70s a case study was performed in the USSR, investigating the effect of a traditional Chaga preparation (Befungin ®) on psoriasis. The outcome was excellent.

    Befungin ® is a Russian preparation based on Chaga, originating from the 50s. Modern Chaga extracts are much more powerful and more easy to administer. Three times two capsules of the Oriveda extract per day will do. After the first results are obvious, one can experiment with the dosage and find the perfect balance. After all, every person is different.

    The article is in the PubMed database, but it is in Russian. We have translated this article into English - you can download it here.

  •  • ›   Chaga, Fukushima, radioactivity... should we worry ?

    Chaga is known to absorb radioactive contamination very easily.

    There are rumors being spread on the internet by an American Chaga producer stating that Siberian Chaga is contaminated with radioactivity due to the Fukushima disaster, early 2011. This company is marketing its cultivated Chaga as the only reliable alternative.
    We can assure you that these statements are complete nonsense, just marketing talk without any backup.

    First of all, in Russia it is standard to test for radionuclides such as Caesium-137 and Strontium-90. (See this example of a Russian COA).

    Second, most people are probably not aware of the strict EU-customs procedures during import. We were informed that American, Japanese and Canadian Chaga is currently stopped at EU customs quite often, but not Siberian Chaga. We will explain how this is possible.

    Third, the jetstream and ocean streams are moving away from the East Coast of Japan towards the Pacific Ocean and the US. Hawaii was e.g. hit by radiation three months after the disaster took place (over 3 times the normal radiation levels) and the American West Coast was hit shortly afterwards. In North-East China (close to East Russia) however radiation levels increased only 1/100.0000th of the normal level. And Irkutsk (source of ORIVeDA Chaga) is still 2000 miles away from those spots.

    Look at this official depiction of the fallout deposition (computer modeling, updated with environmental samples), shortly after the event happened.

    Dark blue means zero deposition. Irkutsk is just visible, top left. As you can see a large part of the US and Canada has been affected badly. Based on this (and the EU customs reports) our advice is therefore to avoid Japanese, American and Canadian Chaga (and other culivated mushrooms) completely. Siberian Chaga is now more then ever the best choice of Chaga.

    Another thing is that cultivated Chaga has completely different properties than wild-harvested Chaga and therefore cannot claim any of the effects found during research. No betulin, different sterols... for further background, have a look at this article or this extensive monograph (scroll all the way down to 'The future of Chaga').

  •  • ›   How can I measure and administer Mumijo / Shilajit easily ?

    Since Mumijo is a sticky paste it can be quite difficult to manipulate and to dose accurately.

    We do recommend to make a 30% water solution right away - 30% Mumijo with 70% of boiled clean water. This solution has an unlimited shelf life, just like the raw paste. Put the required amount of water (for 25 grams 58.5 ml) in the plastic container with Mumijo and leave it overnight. It will dissolve to a mayo-like consistency. Stir to ensure proper dissolving. You can also freeze the Mumijo; like when preparing 50 grams. The plastic container is too small to hold 50 grams AND 117 ml of water. Freeze the Mumijo, remove the plastic container and put the frozen Mumijo in a glass jar. Add the water required and leave overnight.

    The solution should be kept in a well-closed container in a dark, cool spot, like in the refrigerator. A more extensive explanation including detailed measuring schemes are in the enclosed leaflet.

    For accurate administration use a set of kitchen measuring spoons - 1/4 of a teaspoon = 1.25 ml of solution, the daily dose for an adult with a body weight of 80-90 kgs.

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  • We had our Chaga extract analyzed for its actual Beta-Glucan content
    over 20 % (1>3)(1>6) Beta-D-Glucans
    RINP International, Inc. CA (2017)

  • Our Maitake Grifolan extract contains
    over 30 % (1>3)(1>6) Beta-D-Glucans and offers optimal value for money
    RINP International, Inc. CA (2015)

  • Only extracts can claim good medicinal properties; non-extracted powders or tinctures have a very low bioavailability.
    A combination of hot water and ethanol extraction is the best: all medicinal components will become bioavailable

  • We had our Coriolus PSP extract analyzed for
    its poly-peptide content: over 20 % !!
    RINP International, Inc. CA (2017)

  • Chaga has an amazing anti-oxidant power once it has been extracted
    Oriveda's Chaga extract has an SOD-value of 719,500 TE units p/100grams - Brunswick Labs. MA (2013)

  • We had our ABM extract analyzed for its actual Beta-Glucan content
    ± 40 % (1>3)(1>6) Beta-D-Glucans
    RINP International, Inc. CA (2017)

  • We had our Reishi Primo extract analyzed for its actual Beta-Glucan content
    over 40 % (1>3)(1>6) Beta-D-Glucans
    RINP International, Inc. CA (2017)

Oriveda is a 100% online business. : or call +31648238437 (Holland).

All messages are treated as confidential. Your data will not be stored and will never be shared with others.

ORIVeDA is a registered brand name of Oriveda bv, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a member of the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce since 01-1997 (nr. 66136016).

Apart from some specialized items like rare adaptogenic herbs and Shilajit • Mumijo we in particular focus on selling well-researched medicinal mushroom extracts of superior quality.

Our business model is transparent and pragmatic, focused on providing our customers with the best possible products, value-for-money and service. We are serving customers in over 75 countries.

Entirely in line with our business model we only use -verifiable !-  facts to present our premium extracts to our customers.

For a brief overview of these facts just click here.

• A lot of the research on which our products' reputation is built is available and can be downloaded for free from the resources-section of our site.

• We ship to all countries in the world, except warzones. Shipping is always free for website orders, worldwide. We usually ship orders the same day.

• We offer maximum personal service: we are online 7 days a week and your questions will be answered in great detail. Those questions are important: they help us develop new ideas and products. Keep them coming!

• Our newsletter (2 - 3 times p/year) is offering more than just updates and marketing. We often include complete monographs related to our product-line and include discounts for subscribers. Register today!

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free shipping worldwide

We have customers in over 75 countries. We will ship to all countries in the world, except warzones.

All website orders, national and international, are shipped for free using priority-airmail, which is safe and fast.

Only for Australia, Russia, Malaysia, Israel, Indonesia, all South- and Central-American countries and some countries from Eastern Europe we insist that our customers choose registered shipping (which includes tracking) on the checkout page. The postal service can be unpredictable in these countries and orders sometimes spend over a month in transfer, if not registered and tracked.

Orders will be shipped the same day they're received, if possible. If you want you can add registered and insured shipping (including tracking) at an extra cost during the checkout procedure. As said, for Australia and a few other countries this is mandatory. We do not accept orders from these countries unless the order includes 'registered shipping'.

We can also provide express delivery (2 - 5 working days via FedEx Express) to 16 non-EU countries. The costs vary between $ 20 to $ 30 for orders up to 500 grams (4 items), depending on your location. Details are on the checkout page. Orders that are over 500 grams - () for a quote if you're interested.

Shipments to EU countries usually arrive within 4 - 10 working days; international shipments usually arrive within 8 - 10 working days. Due to clearance procedures they can occasionally take up to 20 working days to arrive.
In case you haven't received your order after 15 working days please () and we will investigate. Do NOT open a Paypal case, but contact us directly.

In case an item is out of stock you will be informed ASAP. You have the option to wait or we can refund you straight away.

If the product is not what you expected or it got damaged during transport, please do .

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Wholesale prices

You are eligible for a quantity discount when you order more than 10 items, mix 'n match. Only Grifolan, the 120 + 180 capsules bags and the 60 grams bags with Chaga extract powder are eligible. You can also buy capsules and powder in bulk (MOQ: 1 kilo).

Mumijo • Shilajit and the herbs are excluded.
for details and the price list.

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