Discover Why Chaga Has Been Called Diamond of the Forest, Gift From The Gods, and The King of Plants….
- Potent anti-stress adaptogen
- Immune system enhancer
- Powerful liver tonic
- Heart tonic/improves circulation
- Lung/respiratory tonic
- Premier shen tonic/spiritual catalyst
- Offers detox support & protects against oxidative stress, heavy metals & radiation exposure
- DNA protective/cellular regeneration
- Antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, anti-aging, anti-fatigue
Chaga was approved as an anti-cancer drug in Russia way back in 1955.Since that time more research has been done in the West and the East showing that it appears to be one of the best mushrooms for this purpose. Not only did it seem to have cancer fighting effects, but it also reduced the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation when taken in combination with these treatments.
- Reduce Inflammation
- Anti-Cancerous and Tumor Proliferation Reduction
- Anti-Viral (May help with HIV, Influenza and Herpes)
- Reduces DNA Damage
- Immune System Enhancement
- Gastrointestinal Support
- Liver Protective
- Cognitive Enhancement
- Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure Balancing
- Both a Jing and Shen Tonic Herb according to Chinese Medicine
- Superoxide Dismutase (Contains 25 to 50 times SOD as other medicinal mushrooms)
- Betulin and Betulinic Acid
- Polysaccharides including 29+ types of Beta Glucans
- Many Minerals (High in Potassium, Rubidium, Cesium, Zinc, Germanium, Silicon and others. Note that natural cesium is not radioactive and happens to be anti-cancerous and very alkaline.)
- Vitamins B2, B3, K and D2
- Soluble and Insoluble Fibers
Chaga is a dense powerhouse of 215 potent phytonutrients — including B vitamins, flavonoids, phenols, minerals, and enzymes. It contains one of the world's densest sources of pantothenic acid, and high amounts of riboflavin and niacin. Pantothenic acid is especially useful for supporting your adrenal glands and digestive organs.
Chaga is also rich in a set of phenolic compounds called chromogenic complex. Don't let the term scare you. What you need to know is that it protects your tissues and skin. And it's only found in chaga.
Looking for a great natural source of minerals? Chaga shines here too. It is especially high in copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc, and iron.
The Soviets declared chaga a national secret
Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitzyn is credited with informing the West about the health benefits of chaga in his book The Cancer Ward — where his character in the novel took it and was cured.
In the 1950s, chaga was endorsed by Moscow's Medical Academy of Science, and was widely used by their public. During these years, 1,200 of their most prominent scientists conducted more than 3,000 experiments involving 500,000 people to study the effects of adaptogens.
An adaptogen is a substance that has the ability to reduce your body's negative response to stress. Many studies suggest that up to 80 percent of ALL diseases have a root link to stress. So adaptogens can be critical to your health.
The findings from the Soviet research became a protected national secret for 40 years… one of the secrets behind the physical strength and power of people fortunate enough to get chaga, including cosmonauts and other members of the Soviet elite.
Russia fed its elite athletes chaga. And they were famously dominant in international competitions for decades.
A secret of Chinese longevity
Chaga is a health food that can support your entire system.
The ancient Chinese held that it was a longevity factor. That's why they consider it the most complete of all foods.
In much of Siberia, Russia, and Eastern Europe it's considered an essential daily beverage, said to add years to lives of those who use it.
Many Japanese and Koreans reportedly prefer chaga to tea and coffee, because of its cleansing and adaptogenic factors. Some people describe its flavor as between tea and coffee.
Most powerful antioxidant known
The chaga mushroom sits high atop first place on the ORAC scale, a measure of antioxidant levels in your food. Goji berries aren't even close to chaga, yet they get more attention.
Besides being an antioxidant, chaga is known for its anti-cancer, anti-viral, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
There's one other benefit for you, if you're insulin resistant or have type 2 diabetes… Chaga can help normalize your metabolism, which can provide a cascade of other health benefits. (See section on Warnings if you're on diabetic medication.)
Oh… and the Russians managed to formulate a joint cream out of chaga. Tiny microcapsules allow chaga ingredients to easily penetrate the skin and soothe your joints. The topical remedy is said to relieve pain, end muscle spasms, stimulate toxic and salt removal from the joint, and slow cartilage deterioration.
Chaga mushroom (inonotus obliquus) is prevalent throughout the circumpolar region of the northern hemisphere & has been a powerful component in natural medicine and herbal shamanism for many centuries in places like Russia & Siberia, Northern Europe & Canada/North America. It grows primarily on Birch trees and requires extensive sub zero temperatures in order to proliferate successfully. Unlike most other medicinal mushrooms, Chaga is actually the fungal sclerotia rather than the reproductive fruiting body. The sclerotia is a growing mass of fungal cells that stores the reproductive potential of the fungi. As Chaga ages, the nutrient content and concentration of medicinal compounds increases – wild Chaga is generally not considered ready until it is at least 15 years old, although the older the better. Chaga is known as a parasitic fungi but has also been observed engaging in a symbiotic relationship with seemingly healthy host trees for many decades.
The vast Siberian wilderness supports the largest population of wild Chaga in the world – much of which is impossible to harvest due to the lack of infrastructure and sheer inaccessibility, making Siberian Chaga a much more sustainable resource than other more fragile, depleted ecosystems. Some researchers have been experimenting with Chaga cultivation and have managed to control Chagas development so that it becomes quite large in just a few years, but in reality Chaga develops gradually so only truly aged specimens contain a balanced and complete array of beneficial constituents. Until the science catches up with the need for cultivation, wild Chaga sclerotia is a far superior option, although commercial over-harvesting has become a serious issue in many parts of the world due to increased consumer demand and so a conscientious approach is imperative.
The production of the concentrated liquid extract (tincture) of wild Chaga uses up dramatically less natural resources than the powdered extract equivalent. It has a level of high potency and takes effect more quickly too due to the fact that it absorbs directly into the bloodstream via the capillaries underneath the tongue. This kind of sublingual administration completely bypasses the need for digestion and means that Chagas active constituents are in the bloodstream within a couple of minutes.
Chaga is one of the most powerful adaptogens that we know of in the world today. Adaptogens are known as “biological response modifiers” because they have a normalising effect on metabolism and all biological function. Adaptogens never stimulate or suppress activity in the body regardless of circumstances – they literally observe our own, unique inner-terrain in order to see what action is most appropriate. In this way, adaptogens have become widely recognised as one of the most effective long term strategies for dealing with stress and its myriad consequences, not least due to their stabilising effect on the interplay between the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (healing and repair) branches of the nervous system.
There has been a lot of scientific research conducted into the properties of Chaga in Russia, northern Europe as well as China and Japan. New discoveries are being made all the time, much of which validates the age-old folk wisdom surrounding Chaga as a potent health tonic. Before any scientific analysis had taken place, Chaga had an indigenous reputation as a potent anti-aging/longevity medicine offering powerful immune support. Laboratory analysis have illustrated that wild Chaga possesses an abundance of beta glucans and other polysaccharides that have shown to nourish and support the immune system and significantly enhance the activity of all immunological cells. These polysaccharides balance the immune system rather than simply stimulate or suppress it because they plug directly into immune cell receptors and initiate an adaptogenic cycle throughout all levels of the immune system. These long chain polysacchraide sugars also impart a powerful anti-inflammatory action, and they have a somewhat bitter taste that is easily detectable in Chagas unique flavour – which also offers a delicious vanilla overtone!
Chaga is also known as being one of the richest sources of antioxidants found in nature, far exceeding many of the better known antioxidant rich substances like blueberries, acai and resveratrol to name a few. Chaga is a rich source of the free radical scavenger Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD) and also contains incredibly high levels of melanin – a deeply pigmented antioxidant that comprises the dark surface of Chaga and is used abundantly throughout the human body. Melanin has been revealed as a geno-protective nutrient, meaning that it can protect the integrity of DNA and reduce genetic mutations, and is present in large amounts in the skin and eyes and even regulates the function of the pineal gland in the brain.
Chaga also contains a number of triterpene compounds – most notable betulin and betulinic acid – which are present in concentrated amounts in Birch bark. Chaga accumulates and further concentrates these substances from the tree, making them many times more powerful. Analysis of Chagas triterpenes have illustrated pronounced antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, anti parasitic/anti candida as well as anti cancer/anti tumour properties amongst others. These triterpenes actually increase the delivery of oxygen throughout the body making the whole process much more efficient, while at the same time providing immense antioxidant support in order to protect against the oxidative stress that damages the cells and tissues of the body. Chaga is always striving for balance on every level and working towards a state of homeodynamis – the bodys ability to maintain equilibrium under stress, and to be able to change and adapt in order to flourish and thrive.
Chagas impressive assortment of beneficial compounds can be divided into two basic categories – all of Chagas immune enhancing polysaccharides are soluble in hot water whereas all of the triterpene compounds are soluble in strong alcohol. This is why dual extracts are so important, because they contain the full spectrum of Chagas beneficial nutrients and active constituents.
How has chaga traditionally been used?
Several hundred years ago (perhaps several millennia),
it was determined that chaga could be consumed
as a food. The indigenous Siberians would
grind it and put it in stews, soups, and daily beverages.
The Siberians found that, despite their harsh climate,
the regular consumption of chaga prevented
the onset of degenerative disease. They used it to
boost physical stamina and attain long life. It has
been observed by contemporary Russians that in the
districts where chaga was regularly used, there was
In contrast, the Inuit did not use chaga. Interestingly,
the life span of the Inuit, who lived in a climate similar
to that of the Siberians, was only 40 to 50 years
on average, whereas people in the Siberian tribes
routinely lived to be 90 to 110. When we compare
chaga to reishi medicinal mushrooms, we find that
the reishi are beneficial, but they do not have the dramatic
history of promoting longevity associated with
Chaga was also considered a significant medicine by ancient peoples in China, Korea, and Eastern Europe. I know from my travels, and from communication with colleagues, that chaga is used as a therapeutic agent in Siberia, Russia, and other European countries, as well as Korea, Japan, and parts of northern Canada. In Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe, it is considered a cancer cure. Among the Ojibwe of northern Canada, it is regarded as a cure for tumors. In Korea, it is used to fight stress and regulate energy. It has also been used in Europe to cure inflammatory skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema, and it is well known in Eastern Europe for its powers against bronchitis and lung disease. Chaga is supremely healthy for the skin. In a cream made with raw beeswax and spice oils, it has proven highly antiaging, as well as therapeutic for skin disorders. (Incidentally, Im currently working on the development of a study on the use of chaga in the treatment of psoriasis.)
There is a great deal of interest in antioxidants.
Chaga is known for its very high content of superoxide dismutase (SOD), an important enzyme that functions as a powerful antioxidant. SOD performs a vital antiaging function by neutralizing oxygen free radicals, preventing oxidative damage to cells and tissues. In studies, low tissue levels of SOD have been associated with both a decline in overall health and a reduction in life span. SOD occurs naturally in different forms in all human tissues, but levels decline with age, particularly after age 30. The best way to increase SOD levels in the body is with food, since dietary supplements that contain the enzyme may be difficult to absorb. Good sources of SOD include chaga and other medicinal mushrooms, as well as peas, dark leafy greens, nutritional yeast, wheat grass, wheat germ, beef heart, and raw liver.
Although nearly all medicinal mushrooms are rich in SOD, chaga has the highest concentration by far. It is 50 times higher in this potent enzyme than reishi. Chaga provides SOD in a form that can be utilized both topically and internally. SOD has been studied in approximately 900 clinical trials, and the health benefits from its use have been clearly shown. For example, cancer patients undergoing radiation who were given SOD in a form that they could absorb had dramatically better survival, with less toxicity, less scarring, and better wound healing. I believe we dont always have to study everything by conducting research costing thousands (or millions) of dollars. We can look at the existing SOD studies and extrapolate chagas usefulness from them. Chaga is one of the highest sources of SOD known, and, therefore, people are likely to gain some similar benefit from taking it. Plus, this is naturally produced SOD, the divinely synthesized kind, with a biological power unmatched in any other form. You mentioned that chaga and birch have a symbiotic relationship.
Do they also have synergistic properties when used medicinally? A synergy was first reported by Russian researchers in the 1950s, who found that the properties of chaga were enhanced if it was encased in a casket of birch bark. Chaga contains a certain amount of betulin and betulinic acid, which it metabolizes from the birch bark on which it grows. The white component of the birch bark contains an even greater amount of betulin— a waxy substance that protects the tree from water, insects, and so on. Both betulin and betulinic acid are very close in chemical structure to beneficial cholesterol and can serve as precursors to cholesterol in the human body, supporting cell membrane stabilization, healthy hormone production, and other vital functions. To investigate the apparent synergy between these two botanicals, I have sent birch bark to the lab for the first testing on record of its antioxidant capacity by measuring ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) levels. When we evaluated the betulin of the birch bark, we found that the antioxidant capacity was extremely high.
Chaga has an ORAC score of a couple of hundred per gram. When you combine chaga with the betulin-rich birch bark, it comes out with an exceptional ORAC score—higher than 1,700 per gram. The efficacy of these constituents was first studied at the University of Chicago, where they evaluated the bark of birch logs that were being used in the schools wood-burning furnace. Researchers stripped the bark off, extracted the betulinic acid, and evaluated it in animal studies. They found that this substance destroyed melanoma cells in rats. This led the drug companies to develop a semi-synthetic betulinic acid that has never really caught on in the marketplace. There have been a number of other studies of betulinic acid, and it has been found to be a very effective antitumor agent. Betulin and betulinic acid are highenergy plant sterols (a subgroup of steroids) that act as efficient scavengers of free radicals and also slice apart tumor cells. Researchers have found that these compounds also induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cancerous cells. Russian and Korean researchers have indicated that if chaga is ingested with a source of cholesterol, it becomes more bioavailable and therefore more effective. Similarly, birch bark consumed with a food high in cholesterol content, such as raw egg, has greater efficacy.
What are some of the other active ingredients in chaga?
One of the key sterols found in chaga is lanosterol. This is another precursor to human cholesterol, and thus helps the body rebuild cell membranes and supports the endocrine system. Lanosterol also possesses antiviral properties. Another powerful component in chaga is the polysaccharide content, which supports immune function. Chaga contains high levels of 1,3 beta glucan, one of the most potent and healing polysaccharides known. Not only is beta glucan renowned for its role in activating the immune system, but it also reduces blood sugar in people who suffer abnormal blood sugar peaks. Chaga actually contains a vast array of substances that are of value in human nutrition. To gain the greatest benefit, I recommend using wild chaga.
How would a consumer ascertain whether they are getting the wild product or a cultured product?
One can often tell by checking the label. Usually, it will say “standardized mycelial extract” or “mycelial growth.” This indicates a cultured product. If the label states “with wild chaga,” it may contain only about 10 percent wild chaga. The age of the chaga can also have bearing on its quality. Early research by the Siberians found that 15- to 30-year-old chaga had higher levels of SOD and chromogenic complex (a phenolic compound with antioxidant properties) than younger ones. Based on this insight, we suspected that the Canadian material would be the best quality with the highest antioxidant levels, because there are so many 200- to 300-year-old birch trees in Canada. In fact, the best chaga were finding are in the drier climate of central northern Canada, from remote, unpopulated areas. However, any chaga found in nature is going to provide SOD, biological sterols, and valuable enzymes. It will be high in B complex, germanium, and a number of other important nutrients.
Ingredients: Wildcrafted Siberian Chaga – 30% Polysaccharides
Other Ingredients: None
Container Size: 4 oz. | 112 grams
Serving Size: 1/2 teaspoon which is about 2 grams
Serving Per Container: 57
Directions: Add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon(more or less depending on your taste and experience level) to 8 oz of hot water. Mix and enjoy. This powder can also be added to smoothies, juices, and protein shakes. Lastly, you can just eat the powder right from the bag as it is a pure extract and ready to consume as is.