Skip to main content

The use of medicinal mushrooms in animal health continues to be a hot topic. But not all products deliver on their lofty promises. Here’s how to choose those that do.

Medicinal mushrooms hold some of the most potent immune-supporting compounds available to health practitioners. This is hardly a secret, with more and more veterinarians embracing mushrooms as part of their patients’ wellness journeys. Perhaps lesser known, however, is the fact that not all parts of the mushroom are equal in their concentration or bioavailability of therapeutic compounds. 

Sourced and processed correctly, medicinal mushrooms are a powerful aid to an animal’s optimal immune function. Medicinal mushrooms can also provide effective support to patients with diseases such as: 

  • Allergies 
  • Autoimmune disorders 
  • Respiratory disease 
  • Digestive disorders 
  • Neurologic disease 
  • Cancer 

The current animal health supplement market is flooded with medicinal mu-shroom products, making it difficult 

to determine which are the most potent and effective. Here’s what to consider: 


To start with, it is important to make a distinction between supplements that are produced from mycelium versus the fruiting body of the mushroom. 


Products derived from mushroom mycelium can contain therapeutic compounds but they are often present in much lower quantities than are found in the fruiting body of the mushroom. 

Mycelium-derived products also usually have a growing medium (usually grains) incorporated into the product. This dilutes the concentration of the mushroom’s most bioactive therapeutic compounds, such as beta-d-Glucan, other important polysaccharides, fatty acids, and amino acids. 


By ensuring we use a product made from the fruiting bodies of mushrooms, we can be confident that the most important bioactive therapeutic compounds are present in their highest concentrations. 


The next step is to determine how the therapeutic compounds are accessed. It is critical to look for products in which hot water extraction is the processing method: 

Hot water extraction breaks down the chitin cell wall of the mushroom, allowing all the potent bioactive compounds to be extracted. 

When combined with an alcohol extraction (also called double extraction), other important compounds that are not water-soluble — such as the triterpenoids from Reishi and Chaga — can also be liberated. 


ThorneVet’s Mushroom Medley, for-mulated using the organic medicinal mushrooms Reishi, Cordyceps, Turkey Tail, Chaga and Maitake, checks all the boxes to ensure the highest concentration of therapeutic bioactive compounds: 

  •  Sourced from the fruiting body 
  • Processed using double extraction 
  • Formulation potency verified by third-party testing to ensure beta-glucan content is greater than 20%. 

This attention to detail makes Thorne Vet’s Mushroom Medley a potent tool for veterinarians treating a wide variety of conditions and diseases in which vigorous support of the animal’s imm-une function is key. 


Dr. Keith Weingardt, a graduate of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, and Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, has started successful integrative veterinary practices in San Diego, CA, and Portland, OR. A dedicated herbalist, he currently consults for ThorneVet, specializing in product development and continuing education.