CHAGA: Inonotus Obliquus
Known as the ‘mushroom of immortality’, chaga grows on birch trees throughout the circumboreal region of the northern hemisphere. Canada, China, Siberia, and Russia provide excellent climatic conditions to produce an abundance of this potent fungi medicine.
Technically, chaga is a parasite, using the birch tree as a host on which to feed for nutrients. Chaga can live on a host tree for 10-80 years, continually causing decay, until eventually the host tree will perish.
Used in traditional Russian and Chinese herbal medicine for centuries for a range of conditions, chaga carries many names and cultural uses around the world; birch mushroom, birch canker, black mass, clinker, or conk. In Norway, it is called kreftkjuke, which literally translates to “cancer fungus” due to its purported health properties.
Why we love Chaga:
- Canadian connection! Half our team is Canadian and has grown up seeing chaga on her winter walks through birch tree forests.
- The enthusiasm chaga users elude, as if their testimonials are chaga itself trying to expand its user network and spread its spores
- Chaga’s immense immunity-boosting properties for optimal inner health.
Our chaga is dual extracted in in rice alcohol and hot water extract. It is an 8:1 ratio, meaning it takes 8 kilos of dried chaga chunks to make 1 kilo of the chaga powder in our blend. The dual extraction process means it can be ingested hot or cold, without removing any medicinal benefits of the fungi. This is the process to pull the beneficial compounds out of the Chaga mushroom – Beta-D-Glucans, the compound responsible for the immune boosting effects of Chaga.
We’ve provided a summary of our research below. As always, we encourage you to dive into the mycelial web of wisdom and decide for yourself. We also encourage you to speak with your doctor or natural health practitioner if you have any concerns about whether taking chaga is right for you.
Health Benefits of Chaga
While research is ongoing, studies have shown that chaga may provide several health benefits, including:
- -Stimulating and regulating the immune system
- -Reducing inflammation
- -Supporting healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels
Chaga Mushroom is an adaptogen. Adaptogenic plants and mushrooms help to bring the body back into balance and have beneficial effects on the nervous system, immune system, the GI tract, the cardiovascular system and the endocrine system.
By supporting the body and mind in these ways, adaptogens help us to cope with stress, stay healthy during the cold and flu season, fight cancer, and lift us out of the dark depths of depression and adrenal burnout. They have immune-modulating properties that make them helpful in treating auto-immune diseases and have high levels of anti-oxidants that protect cells from damaging free radicals. Adaptogens gently tone and support the body systems over time and need to be taken for a minimum time of two months to develop the full effect of their healing powers.
Chaga is rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, including B-vitamins, vitamin D, magnesium, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc, iron, calcium, and manganese. It’s basically a full throttle multi-vitamin.
Chaga is also extremely high in melanin, a pigment responsible for tanning skin exposed to sunlight. Therefore, chaga may protect the skin from sun damage, skin cancer, wrinkles, or aging. Melanin is also a potent antioxidant with the highest naturally occurring oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) scored of any food.
Chaga is used widely in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Naturopathic Medicine, and by alternative and traditional health practitioners around the world. Chaga is part of the widespread global movement returning to our ancestral roots of natural, prevention-based healing, keeping the body healthy and vital before it gets sick.
Chaga has also been shown to have protective properties against tumors, viruses, allergies, inflammation, and pain. In vitro laboratory students show that chaga mushroom exhibits anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-diabetic, and anti-inflammatory effects. In animal studies, chaga demonstrates cognitive enhancing, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving, anti-diabetic, and anti-cancer properties. (See attached studies below!)
Many contemporary studies boasting the benefits of chaga have been conducted in vitro, or on mice. However, their results are validating what has been believed and practiced within Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries! While there have been no clinical studies on humans (yet) to date, chaga mushrooms have been studied on human cells. Chaga has been shown to kill cancerous cells on human colon cancer cells, cervical cancer cells, brain cancer cells, hepatoma cells, and lung-cancer cells.
There is also ample anecdotal evidence from people using chaga to reassure new users of its efficacy and potency.
Studies are showing the vital role chaga could play in many common diseases and illnesses plaguing human society today; including diabetes, inflammation, high-blood pressure, and cognitive impairment.
This is an essential for your natural health cabinet for strengthening the body’s natural immune defense, and overall wellbeing. It’s safe to use regularly, with only a few counter-indications!
Research shows that you should NOT be taking chaga under the following conditions:
- If you currently taking blood thinners, as chaga mushroom holds natural blood thinning properties, and could be too much on a system already using synthetic blood thinners
- If you’re pregnant, please consult with your doctor or natural health practitioner to see if using chaga is safe for you.
- Consuming chaga should be carefully considered by diabetics who are already taking blood sugar-lowering medications. Chaga mushrooms contains anti-diabetic properties that can lower blood sugar naturally. Therefore, consuming chaga with synthetic blood sugar lowering medication could to dangerous.
Please find number of scientific studies on the benefits of Chaga at the bottom of this post.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. We encourage you to do your own research to see if Chaga is right for you.
Consult a physician if you are pregnant or nursing, have or had a medical condition, or are taking prescription medicine.
- Ethanol extract of Inonotus obliquus (Chaga mushroom) induces G1 cell cycle arrest in HT-29 human colon cancer cells. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4388940/
- Continuous intake of the Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) aqueous extract suppresses cancer progression and maintains body temperature in mice. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4946216/
- Progress on understanding the anticancer mechanisms of medicinal mushroom: inonotus obliquus. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23679238
- Immunomodulatory Activity of the Water Extract from Medicinal Mushroom Inonotus obliquus.- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774877/
- Potential anticancer properties of the water extract of Inonotus [corrected] obliquus by induction of apoptosis in melanoma B16-F10 cells. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19041933
- Anticancer activity of subfractions containing pure compounds of Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) extract in human cancer cells and in Balbc/c mice bearing Sarcoma-180 cells. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2895696/