CAP Classroom: Foundational Fungi


The CAP classroom was created with the intention of diving deep. A place to share the knowledge of our most trusted teachers; a forum for them to talk at length about the subjects they've dedicated their lives to. Today that learning comes from Tonya Papanikolov, founder and creator of Rainbo Mushrooms, a tincture line that celebrates the transformational power of the mushroom kingdom. Tonya's life was forever changed when she was introduced to the Reishi Mushroom and since then, she's been on a mission to share her learnings. And with mushrooms that encourage sleep, boost libido, uplevel athletic performance and increase immunity her teachings are a welcome one. Meet Tonya, your new Mushroom Matriarch.

What are medicinal mushrooms?

Medicinal mushrooms are specific fungi that have medicinal value due to the presence of of biologically active compounds that are capable of influencing our physiological processes!


What is the best way to introduce mushrooms into your daily routine?

Making a habit and ritual is highly recommended as it’s enjoyable and encourages consistency so that you don’t forget to take them. My daily routine is to take my mushrooms in the morning with my tea, matcha or water.

Before a run or work out I like to take a few ml of Cordyceps straight under the tongue!

Before bedtime I like to take Reishi with my magnesium and other supplements.


Here is how we recommend taking Rainbo mushroom tinctures:

Straight under the tongue!

In a glass of water

In lemon water

In your morning beverage: coffee, tea, matcha


What is your favorite mushroom?

Currently, Reishi and Lion’s Mane. 


How have mushrooms helped you heal? 

In more ways than I can name! Reishi mushroom had a profound impact on my health after one of my holistic practitioners recommended I take therapeutic dosages of it to support my liver, digestion, adrenals and stress. 


Why did you create a tincture instead of a pill or powder? How are they different?

I created dual extract tinctures because they are potent, bioavailable, easy to take and have a fast absorption rate with absorption starting in the mucous membranes of the mouth.


How often do you recommend using your tinctures for optimal health? 

Every day! Mushrooms work subtly and over time to improve resilience, the immune system and our ability to cope with stress to name a few.


What is your favorite mushroom for anxiety?

Reishi is a great mushroom for stress and anxiety. It’s a safe and powerful adaptatogen that is effective at helping the body adapt to stress, is an antioxidant, supports the immune system and liver.


What do you love most about working with mushrooms? 

Everything. I’m constantly inspired, learning and in awe of mushrooms and their vast applications for human and planetary health.

I also love that working with mushrooms brings me closer to nature.


Are mushrooms and adaptogens okay to use during pregnancy?

There currently isn’t enough research available to conclude mushroom extracts are safe or not safe to ingest by pregnant or breastfeeding women. Rainbo tinctures are made with 30% alcohol, and so that is something to keep in mind as well. Check out our glycerine-based 11:11 tincture for an alcohol-free version! However, we always recommend pregnant and breastfeeding humans consult their doctor or holistic practitioners to help determine if mushrooms and adaptogens are okay for them.


What are the benefits of each Rainbo blend? 

11:11 daily multi-mushroom, strengthens immunity, whole system support, builds resilience against chronic disease

REISHI adaptogenic effects help the body cope with stress, support sleep, calm, decrease inflammation

LION'S MANE mental clarity, focus, memory, protection from neurodegenerative disease, supports a healthy microbiome

CORDYCEPS stabilize stress, boosts cellular energy, may enhance athletic performance, libido support

CHAGA  highest content of antioxidants, protection against oxidative stress, slows cellular aging, immune system support

TURKEY TAIL - powerful immunomodulating polysaccharides, immune support, prebiotic compounds that support gut health, source of antioxidants


Where does eating mushrooms come in? Are you still getting the benefits from eating them rather than supplementing with a tincture?

Eating mushrooms hopefully comes in often! Culinary/edible mushrooms are nutritious and delicious. They're some of the most expensive gourmet wild foods on the market. Culinary mushrooms are a great source of fiber, protein, B vitamins, copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc, selenium and glutathione, and vitamin D. So when you're eating mushrooms you're absolutely getting these nutritional benefits. 

A few culinary mushrooms are also medicinal mushrooms like Lion's Mane, Shiitake and Oyster - so if you're eating these instead of taking them in supplement form, I'm sure you're still accessing some of the beta glucans which will support gut health and immunity. However the dosage (how much mushroom you'd have to eat), absorption rate and bioavailability is questionable and hasn't been studied. The clinical research that we see on mushrooms comes from mushroom extract specifically, which is much more potent and higher functional doses than you would get from eating mushrooms.   



1 cup rolled oats 

½ cup buckwheat flour (or almond flour, you can experiment!) 

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

½ cup coconut oil

½ teaspoon maple syrup

¼ cup ice water



4 cups mushrooms: king oyster, chanterelles, oyster, shiitake, enoki, etc.

1-2 T avocado oil

1 small onion

2 cloves garlic

1 T Thyme

Salt + pepper



  • In a blender or food processor, pulse rolled oats until they turn into a flour.
  • In a mixing bowl, add oat flour, buckwheat flour, sea salt and mix to combine.
  • Add maple syrup, coconut oil and slowly add a splash of ice cold water. Combine with fingertips and add more water. Mix with fingers slowly and methodically until well combined but don't over process or over-knead. Form dough into a disc, wrap in cloth and set in fridge for at least 30 mins.
  • Chop onions, garlic and mushrooms to prepare for pan frying. 
  • Oil pan with avocado oil or oil of choice and sauté onions and garlic for a few minutes before adding mushrooms. Add more oil or a splash of water as necessary or to your liking.
  • Add thyme and mix in. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook mushrooms 3/4 way through, they will finish cooking in the oven. Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the dough.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • After at least 30 mins, remove dough from fridge and get an oven baking sheet ready. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon baking sheet.
  • Place dough on paper/silicon in the center of the baking sheet and begin to press out dough with roller or with base of the hand/palm and fingers. Continue to spread out dough, evening it out. Roll out dough into a circle (ish) and to about 1/8 inch thickness.
  • Add mushroom filling into the center of the circle and fold the edges of your dough up and around the mushroom filling. Seal off any open holes by pinching dough together.
  • Place in oven and bake for 30-35 mins until the crust is golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove, let it cool a bit, slice and enjoy!

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