Bioavailable: Deconstructing the Buzzword

Bioavailable: Deconstructing the Buzzword

Words tend to lose weight when they’re overused or thrown around carelessly – that is, without sufficient respect for their actual meanings. We see this often in the alternative health realm (and certainly beyond), which has a profoundly cheapening effect on language, both when it comes to legitimate claims being made and the potential disillusionment of those on the receiving end of such claims. One such buzzword is “bioavailable,” and it’s an especially important one to us because it plays a major, direct role in determining the efficacy of herbal medicine and nutritional supplements. 


“Bioavailable” refers to the proportion of a substance that is able to be absorbed and used by the body. In the context of nutrients or medicines, bioavailability measures how much of the substance enters the bloodstream and becomes available for physiological processes or therapeutic effects after it's been ingested. Different forms or preparations of a substance can greatly affect its bioavailability, which is why there is such a range when it comes to the efficacy of seemingly comparable products. 


When it comes to herbal medicine, it is not only how the herbs are prepared, but also how they are grown, gathered, dried, and stored that determine their bioavailability. Di Tao is a concept that refers to the superiority of herbs and mushrooms sourced from their “spiritual homeland,” understanding that habitat and growing conditions play a crucial role in activating the constituents of an herb. For example, you can expect a big difference in efficacy from a mushroom that’s cultivated its own resilience and life force by adapting to cold winters, learning to thrive in high altitudes, and exclusive exposure to pure, living waters. It simply won’t compare to a mushroom grown indoors, on grain housed in a plastic bag, receiving city water, and dependent upon artificial light. We source our herbs from their spiritual homelands, where they are honored and intimately tended according to traditions that rarely exist elsewhere. 


While all of the steps prior to preparation are crucial preconditions for bioavailability, ensuring that there are sufficient and diverse nutrients to potentiate in the first place, the importance of the extraction process itself can’t be overstated. Our bodies can only translate certain types of nutrients from organic substances when there are indigestible “walls” or enzymes that naturally occur. Everything we share with you is pre-extracted, whether that’s the “cracked cell” wall processing required for Reishi Spores or Pine Pollen for proper absorption, or the levigation technology utilized for our Pearl Powder so that it’s easily assimilable. Most medicinal mushrooms are also woody, rigid polypores that must be extracted to become bioavailable; if they are simply ground up into powders, the chitin that fortifies the fungal cells will exit our bodies with the medicinal compounds still intact. So, when you see a ratio like “10:1,” it indicates that 10g of the raw material is concentrated into 1g of the herb in a potentizing extraction process. 



The tonic herbs we are honored to share with you have a rich tradition of use, which includes those aforementioned growing, gathering, drying, storage, and preparation methods. We humbly seek to uplift these traditions – whether through our diligent sourcing protocols or by making them available to you so that they can be carried on, prized for the bioavailability and felt efficacy that they so expertly deliver.