With the intense popularity surrounding mushroom supplements, there is a growing number of brands. Host Defense is one such brand, offering a large range of mushroom options. The Host Defense supplements claim to be the number one bestselling mushroom product in the US, on account of the brand’s formation a decade ago.
In this Host Defense review, we cover everything you need to know about this brand. Is it worth spending your money on? Let’s find out.
Host Defense Highlights
Host Defense Pros
- The brand has over ten years of experience.
- All of the pricing is reasonable.
- There’s a vast range of products.
Host Defense Cons
- The extracts are all mycelium-based, which many experts consider weaker.
- The milligram amount is not listed clearly when shopping.
- Sometimes the website is tricky to navigate – for example, the ‘Description’ tab isn’t apparent when you want to read about an item.
Who Are Host Defense?
Host Defense is an old hand in the mushroom supplements industry. It began selling its products ten years ago, long before the boom in mushroom-related products.
The brand was founded by Paul Stamets, who has been involved in the mushroom world since the 1980s. He began developing his Fungi Perfecti® formula way back then – a formula that Host Defense still uses today.
Based in the USA, this company creates mycelium-based extracts. For those not in the know, the mycelium is the part of the fungus that exists below ground. The visible parts of the mushroom are the ‘fruiting bodies.’ There is a lot of debate surrounding whether the mycelium or fruiting bodies are better for supplements.
The brand’s mission is to help bees, trees, people, and the planet.
Many brands say that the fruiting bodies are better. However, with so much debate in the industry, it’s impossible to say for sure. And with this brand being around for so long, they must be doing something right.
What’s more, Host Defense is partnered with the Department of Entomology at Washington State University, using mycelium-based extracts to support the health of bee populations.
The brand’s mission is to help bees, trees, people, and the planet by spreading knowledge and creating high-quality products. We love that this is their aim, so we were excited to try the products and see how they measured up.
Host Defense Reviews
You don’t get to be the number one brand (or even claim that title) without a loyal customer base. The Host Defense supplements have certainly earned their reputation, with numerous positive reviews online.
On Amazon, 87% of the reviews were five-star at the time of writing. There are incredibly few reviews that are negative. Still, the negative reviews date pretty far back, which shows the company is not deleting them.
It’s worth noting that the negative reviews tend to describe heart palpitations. A lot of them mention interactions with medicines the user was already taking; this is why it’s vital to check with your doctor before taking supplements. If you have a pre-existing condition – particularly one concerning the heart and cardiovascular system – it may be best to avoid these products.
Beyond Amazon, Host Defense has excellent reviews on Influenster and Review Meta. These independent reviews are overwhelmingly positive, showing this is a brand that thousands of people trust.
Host Defense Products
Host Defense has a large variety of mushroom products on its site. Customers can shop by intended purpose (Longevity, Mind & Memory, Energy & Exercise, etc.) or by product type.
Below, we review the products so you can see what’s best for you.
Host Defense Capsules
The Host Defense mushroom capsules contain freeze-dried mushroom mycelium blended with mature fruiting bodies. The exact blend depends on the formula. The great news is that the products are certified organic and non-GMO.
The capsules themselves are made from pullulan, making them vegetarian; they are also gluten-free and preservative-free.
There are eighteen capsule types on offer. This includes specific species like lion’s mane and chaga, or blends like Brain, Breathe, and Liver, formulated for specific effects. Each one comes in varying bottle sizes, ranging from 30 capsules to 120.
You could spend a while browsing the site to find the right option for you, so make sure you set some time aside.
Cost: $19.95 – $59.95
Host Defense Powders
Powders are a more versatile product that can be added to any routine. The options from Host Defense are all made using freeze-dried mycelium; the freeze-drying supposedly preserves vital nutrients.
Mushroom powder isn’t to everyone’s liking because it can taste strange. However, Host Defense ensures that the taste is as mild as possible. Plus, there may be added herbs and spices to make them edible. The powders can be dissolved in hot or cold drinks; smoothies or coffees seem to work best at masking the flavors.
Again, there are plenty of options to choose from. The range includes Complete Calm, Greens, Brain Energy, and more; there are also individual species like turkey tail.
The powders come in tubs of varying sizes, so make sure to check how much you’re buying.
Cost: $22.46 – $29.95
Host Defense Mycoshield Sprays
The Mycosheild Sprays are a product unique to Host Defense. The company claims that this item is ideal for rapid absorption immune support, though we advise being wary of claims that your immune system can be boosted in an instant.
The Mycoshield Spray is designed for oral use. It comes in several refreshing flavors: Peppermint, Cinnamon, Licorice, Citrus, and Winter Mist. These make it a lot easier to stomach mushroom extracts.
Host Defense has designed this product to be easily carried on the go for mushroom use at any time. The special blend contains agarikon, red reishi, chaga, birch polypore, and turkey tail. You can also get it in different bottle sizes.
We love this unique product and think it’s an excellent addition to the range.
Cost: $9.95 – $37.95
Host Defense Extracts
The ‘extracts’ collection refers to liquid extracts, sort of like tinctures. They contain the same organic mycelium as the other products, produced using double and triple extraction methods.
The mushroom extract collection is very similar to the rest of the range, only in a slightly different format. Host Defense recommends consuming them alone (in the same way as other tinctures) or adding them to a drink like water.
The boxes are quite helpful because they describe what each extract is for. For example, the box of chaga extract says, ‘antioxidant and DNA support.’ This can make it easier to shop and find what you need.
Cost: $19.95 – $37.95
Host Defense Syrup
The Host Defense mushroom syrup blends an elderberry syrup with all the extracts used in the other products. For this item, Host Defense uses a blend of reishi, chaga, and turkey tail, packing 333mg of each mushroom extract into each serving.
There is only one option for this syrup, called Elderberry Plus. Each bottle contains 4 fluid ounces (120ml). This is a great, pleasant-tasting option for daily use, but it’s worth noting that each serving contains 5g of sugar.
Host Defense Teas
Not only are the Host Defense teas delicious and packed with mushrooms, but they’re also eco-friendly. The mushroom tea comes in unbleached, natural tea bags, with recycled boxes printed with plant-based inks.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the products themselves had been removed from the site. It’s unclear why this is the case, but it means we couldn’t review the items properly.
Buy Host Defense Products
You can buy the Host Defense mushroom supplements directly from the brand’s official site, but they are also available from the company’s official Amazon page. A few other unauthorized resellers exist out there, too. However, the official website is a great place to start because it offers a warranty.
The official website is a great place to make your purchase because it offers a warranty.
Customers can return their item for a refund if it is broken or faulty. This is a great layer of reassurance that we usually expect as the bare minimum from brands.
Bottom Line on Host Defense
Host Defense is an excellent brand for those seeking high-quality mushroom supplements. With a decade of experience in the industry, this is a trusted and reputable brand that consumers love. There is also an extensive range of products to choose from, ensuring that there is a consumption method for everyone.
It’s worth noting that the Host Defense mushrooms are made primarily with mycelium extract, which is not considered the best form of fungus extract by many proponents of mushroom supplements.
Nevertheless, these items seem to work great for a variety of users, with thousands of positive reviews online. If you’re looking for mushroom supplements, it could be a great brand to check out.
Final Verdict: 8/10