Getting to Know Your Mushroom Extracts: Fruiting Body Vs Mycelium

Nestled in beautiful Cumberland, BC, Harmonic Arts is a family-owned plant medicine company dedicated to supporting the health of people and the planet. Guided by their passion for herbal medicine, clinical herbalists Yarrow and Angela Willard lead our team in developing innovative herbal formulas to nurture you on your path to wellness.

Functional mushrooms are quickly becoming popular for their vast array of health benefits, and for good reason. Because not all mushroom supplements are created equally, it’s helpful to understand what stages of fungal growth offer the most therapeutic support in order to reap the benefits of medicinal mushrooms.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the use of medicinal mushrooms dates back over 2,000 years. Fruiting body mushrooms, such as Ling-Zhi, are seen as invaluable medicine and are often enjoyed to boost vitality and overall well-being while supporting a wide spectrum of health imbalances.

Starting with the basics, there are three stages of the mushroom life cycle:

Much like a seed, a spore is the first stage of the mushroom life cycle. Once a spore lands on a favourable substrate, it germinates and begins to sprout hypha, which are the microscopic roots of the fungi.

Once hyphae grow and connect, they begin to form a mycelium- the vegetative part of the fungus.
Consisting of thread-like branches, the mycelium accesses resources and grows within its environment, sending nutrients upwards to form a fruiting body.

Fruiting Body

The fruiting body of the fungus is typically what is referred to as the ‘mushroom’- the visible part of the fungus. It’s the reproductive part of the fungi that pops up to produce spores and continue the organism’s life cycle. ⁠Think of it this way: the fruiting body is the lemon, while mycelium is the lemon tree. ⁠


Today, most scientific studies use nutritious fruiting body mushrooms, not mycelium, to test and validate medicinal properties. ⁠

At Harmonic Arts we primarily use the fruiting body of mushrooms in our concentrated mushroom powders, and we have incorporated both mycelium and fruiting body in our tinctures to our customers another option with a few different properties. We work exclusively with the world’s 5 most researched mushrooms: Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Reishi, and Turkey Tail.

Our Certified Organic mushrooms are harvested when fruiting bodies have reached full size and are releasing spores. To ensure potency with batch, each lot that arrives at our facility requires an industry-standard Certificate of Analysis, as well as 3rd party testing from Canadian labs to guarantee optimal bioavailability. Harmonic Arts’ Concentrated Mushroom Powders guarantee 30%+ polysaccharide content, and are easy to add to coffee, tea and smoothies!

Click here to learn more about Harmonic Arts’ mushroom sourcing practices and explore the benefits of the world’s top 5 mushrooms.

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