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CHAGA: King of the medicinal mushrooms

Hail to the King!

An introduction to chaga Chaga is a remarkable medicinal mushroom that grows in living trees. It grows most abundantly in nearly all species of birch found in the circumpolar temperate forests of Earth’s northern hemisphere. As a food-herb and nutriment, chaga is a premier herbal adaptogen (a metabolic regulator that increases an organism’s ability to adapt to environmental factors and resist stress), cancer fighter, immune-system modulator, anti-tumour agent, gastrointestinal (digestive) tonifier, longevity tonic, and a genoprotective (DNA-shielding) agent.

A mainstay of traditional Siberian shamanism and healing, chaga has long been considered “king of the mushrooms.” It continues to be highly regarded in Siberia (where chaga is used as a nutritional medicine and tonic) as an external treatment for the skin—in tea and wetted-poultice form, as an inhaled medicine (chagasmoke), and as a fire starter (kindling). Chaga is recognized across Asia and is now rapidly gaining renown in Europe and North America.

Chaga is impressive in appearance and effect. You can tell people about its power and character, yet few can truly understand it until they experience it: the foamy, yellow-orange, dense chaga core; the scorched outer ridges; and the nutritionally rich, hardened layering found on the inner mushroom in between.

 In essence, chaga makes wood edible for humans. And what kind of wood? Primarily, it is the powerful medicinal wood of birch trees, chaga’s preferred host. The rich tonics in birch bark are improved, concentrated, and delivered in an edible form by this superherb. Chaga is part of the order of mushrooms known as Hymenochaetales, the members of which can affect dead wood and living trees. Like the highly acclaimed medicinal Polyporales (reishi, Ganoderma spp., Fomitopsis spp., Grifola frondosa, Trametes versicolor, etc.), some of the Hymenochaetales (notably chaga and Phellinus spp.) are considered to be members of a group of “medicinal mushrooms” because they have compounds that positively influence the immune system, joints and nervous system of mammals, including humans.

Medicinal mushrooms have super tonic and adaptogenic properties that allow you to consistently (even multiple times daily) ingest their nutrient-medicines that strengthen immunity; help fight allergies, asthma, and cancer; improve core vitality; and confer many other valuable gifts. For example, the fabled queen of the medicinal mushrooms, reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), helps support a healthy immune system, heart, lungs, and kidneys; lowers elevated blood pressure; and assists with rejuvenating brain and connective tissue—all while fighting allergies. The medicinal mushroom cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) fights fatigue, improves endurance, and increases both lung capacity and primordial life-force energy—what the Taoists call jing (which is a different energy from energy-flow chi, also spelled qi).

The king of the medicinal mushrooms, however, is chaga (Inonotus obliquus). This royal moniker comes down to us from traditional Siberian shamans, who crowned chaga the most powerful member of the mycelium kingdom. Chaga constitutes perhaps the greatest storehouse of medicinal healing properties of any single mushroom—or any herb, for that matter.

Chaga’s unique healing powers

 Chaga is composed of a dense configuration of antioxidant pigments, distinguishing it from other medicinal mushrooms. Like other superherbs, such as Astragalus membranaceus and Gynostemma pentaphyllum, chaga helps to reduce the workload of the immune system as a whole. Nearly every type of superherb has a different content of saponins and polysaccharides, with each combination helping to boost the activity of our immune cells in different ways—polysaccharide beta glucans molecules match up with a specific type of cell in the immune system, each promoting a different immune response.

Various substances found in chaga possess powerful anti-cancer and anti-tumour properties. Many of chaga’s anti-cancer properties are now being attributed to beta glucans and melanin, as well as to its other vitality- and longevity-inducing medicinal properties. Beta glucans are scientifically recognized as one of the richest, most important forms of healing polysaccharides. Their discovery in the mycelium (netted, brainlike fungal structure) and in the fruiting bodies of medicinal mushrooms has provided insight on the chemistry of how medicinal mushrooms work to heal the human body.

The efficacy of beta glucans is only one of the mechanisms by which chaga acts to resist cancer. In addition to the beta glucans’ polysaccharide superpowers, chaga has notably high levels of the DNA-protective antioxidant known as melanin, which fights radiation by activating the pineal gland. Chaga’s phytonutrients have an ability to inhibit nuclear factor kappa B—a compound known to cause healthy cells to mutate or self-destruct. The anti-cancer medicinal compounds betulin, betulinic acid, lupeol, and related triterpenes are also found in chaga. Anecdotal evidence from Russia associates the consistent intake of chaga with resistance to all cancers, all of which make chaga an excellent adjunctive superherb to support any cancer-fighting protocol.

The myriad benefits of this alkaline, medicinal tree mushroom can be gained in various forms: drying wild chaga to make teas; eating it fresh, or eating it dried; and make special alcohol and alchemical extracts from it.

Basically, there are benefits to every type of chaga product. We see this reflected across chaga literature and research worldwide. In a Russian atlas of medicinal plants, chaga is recommended as a tea, extract, or nastoika (tincture) for malignancies. Dried wild chaga powder, simply eaten as food, appears to have healing effects on the digestive tract. In MycoMedicinals, An Informational Treatise on Mushrooms, fungal pioneer Paul Stamets summarizes the many unique uses for medicinal mushrooms in all possible forms (hot-water extraction, methanol, ethanol, and freeze-dried mycelium powder, etc.), all validated by scientific literature.

The available information indicates that not only the tea, extract, and alcohol tincture of wild chaga have unique and valuable healing properties, but also that commercially available chaga mycelium powder (grown on a grain medium, not harvested in the wild) has great healing properties as well.

Chaga safety

Chaga tea and chaga mycelium are safe and important health-food products for all ages (1 to 101+ years of age) and all stages of life, including pregnancy. Barring rare tree-mushroom allergies, pregnant women can take chaga tea and chaga mycelium daily during their entire pregnancy.

To date, no side effects or toxicity of chaga have been reported.

Luckily for all of us, chaga has already been classified by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “food.” Chaga has been granted GRAS status (Generally Recognized as Safe) from the World Health Organization. It’s legal for distribution in the European Union and is classified as a medicinal mushroom by the World Trade Organization.  

 

 

 

 

 

                                                             

 

 

 

Hail to the King!

An introduction to chaga Chaga is a remarkable medicinal mushroom that grows in living trees. It grows most abundantly in nearly all species of birch found in the circumpolar temperate forests of Earth’s northern hemisphere. As a food-herb and nutriment, chaga is a premier herbal adaptogen (a metabolic regulator that increases an organism’s ability to adapt to environmental factors and resist stress), cancer fighter, immune-system modulator, anti-tumour agent, gastrointestinal (digestive) tonifier, longevity tonic, and a genoprotective (DNA-shielding) agent.

A mainstay of traditional Siberian shamanism and healing, chaga has long been considered “king of the mushrooms.” It continues to be highly regarded in Siberia (where chaga is used as a nutritional medicine and tonic) as an external treatment for the skin—in tea and wetted-poultice form, as an inhaled medicine (chagasmoke), and as a fire starter (kindling). Chaga is recognized across Asia and is now rapidly gaining renown in Europe and North America.

Chaga is impressive in appearance and effect. You can tell people about its power and character, yet few can truly understand it until they experience it: the foamy, yellow-orange, dense chaga core; the scorched outer ridges; and the nutritionally rich, hardened layering found on the inner mushroom in between.

 In essence, chaga makes wood edible for humans. And what kind of wood? Primarily, it is the powerful medicinal wood of birch trees, chaga’s preferred host. The rich tonics in birch bark are improved, concentrated, and delivered in an edible form by this superherb. Chaga is part of the order of mushrooms known as Hymenochaetales, the members of which can affect dead wood and living trees. Like the highly acclaimed medicinal Polyporales (reishi, Ganoderma spp., Fomitopsis spp., Grifola frondosa, Trametes versicolor, etc.), some of the Hymenochaetales (notably chaga and Phellinus spp.) are considered to be members of a group of “medicinal mushrooms” because they have compounds that positively influence the immune system, joints and nervous system of mammals, including humans.

Medicinal mushrooms have super tonic and adaptogenic properties that allow you to consistently (even multiple times daily) ingest their nutrient-medicines that strengthen immunity; help fight allergies, asthma, and cancer; improve core vitality; and confer many other valuable gifts. For example, the fabled queen of the medicinal mushrooms, reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), helps support a healthy immune system, heart, lungs, and kidneys; lowers elevated blood pressure; and assists with rejuvenating brain and connective tissue—all while fighting allergies. The medicinal mushroom cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) fights fatigue, improves endurance, and increases both lung capacity and primordial life-force energy—what the Taoists call jing (which is a different energy from energy-flow chi, also spelled qi).

The king of the medicinal mushrooms, however, is chaga (Inonotus obliquus). This royal moniker comes down to us from traditional Siberian shamans, who crowned chaga the most powerful member of the mycelium kingdom. Chaga constitutes perhaps the greatest storehouse of medicinal healing properties of any single mushroom—or any herb, for that matter.

Chaga’s unique healing powers

 Chaga is composed of a dense configuration of antioxidant pigments, distinguishing it from other medicinal mushrooms. Like other superherbs, such as Astragalus membranaceus and Gynostemma pentaphyllum, chaga helps to reduce the workload of the immune system as a whole. Nearly every type of superherb has a different content of saponins and polysaccharides, with each combination helping to boost the activity of our immune cells in different ways—polysaccharide beta glucans molecules match up with a specific type of cell in the immune system, each promoting a different immune response.

Various substances found in chaga possess powerful anti-cancer and anti-tumour properties. Many of chaga’s anti-cancer properties are now being attributed to beta glucans and melanin, as well as to its other vitality- and longevity-inducing medicinal properties. Beta glucans are scientifically recognized as one of the richest, most important forms of healing polysaccharides. Their discovery in the mycelium (netted, brainlike fungal structure) and in the fruiting bodies of medicinal mushrooms has provided insight on the chemistry of how medicinal mushrooms work to heal the human body.

The efficacy of beta glucans is only one of the mechanisms by which chaga acts to resist cancer. In addition to the beta glucans’ polysaccharide superpowers, chaga has notably high levels of the DNA-protective antioxidant known as melanin, which fights radiation by activating the pineal gland. Chaga’s phytonutrients have an ability to inhibit nuclear factor kappa B—a compound known to cause healthy cells to mutate or self-destruct. The anti-cancer medicinal compounds betulin, betulinic acid, lupeol, and related triterpenes are also found in chaga. Anecdotal evidence from Russia associates the consistent intake of chaga with resistance to all cancers, all of which make chaga an excellent adjunctive superherb to support any cancer-fighting protocol.

The myriad benefits of this alkaline, medicinal tree mushroom can be gained in various forms: drying wild chaga to make teas; eating it fresh, or eating it dried; and make special alcohol and alchemical extracts from it.

Basically, there are benefits to every type of chaga product. We see this reflected across chaga literature and research worldwide. In a Russian atlas of medicinal plants, chaga is recommended as a tea, extract, or nastoika (tincture) for malignancies. Dried wild chaga powder, simply eaten as food, appears to have healing effects on the digestive tract. In MycoMedicinals, An Informational Treatise on Mushrooms, fungal pioneer Paul Stamets summarizes the many unique uses for medicinal mushrooms in all possible forms (hot-water extraction, methanol, ethanol, and freeze-dried mycelium powder, etc.), all validated by scientific literature.

The available information indicates that not only the tea, extract, and alcohol tincture of wild chaga have unique and valuable healing properties, but also that commercially available chaga mycelium powder (grown on a grain medium, not harvested in the wild) has great healing properties as well.

Chaga safety

Chaga tea and chaga mycelium are safe and important health-food products for all ages (1 to 101+ years of age) and all stages of life, including pregnancy. Barring rare tree-mushroom allergies, pregnant women can take chaga tea and chaga mycelium daily during their entire pregnancy.

To date, no side effects or toxicity of chaga have been reported.

Luckily for all of us, chaga has already been classified by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “food.” Chaga has been granted GRAS status (Generally Recognized as Safe) from the World Health Organization. It’s legal for distribution in the European Union and is classified as a medicinal mushroom by the World Trade Organization.  

 

 

 

 

 

                                                             

 

 

 

 

What is so special about Chaga?

05/07/2013

Auto-Didactic

Its main active ingredients are a special type of carbohydrates – ( the so-called polysaccharides ), and betulinic acid, a compound only found in Chaga mushrooms.

Apart from these but definitely worth mentioning are several phytosterols ( mainly lanosterol and inotodiol ) and a very high amount of melanin, a natural anti-oxidant that gives this fungus its black color and is responsible for Chaga having one of the highest levels of anti-oxidants found in natural foods.

Polysaccharides

Polysaccharides are common in all medicinal mushrooms. Scientific research showed that specific polysaccharides have the power to balance and normalize our immune system. How they do that exactly is still not fully understood by science.

The most important mushroom polysaccharides are (1>3)(1>6) beta-d-glucans, complex macro-molecules. Their function is that of a Biological Response Modifier (BRM). They help our body to get healthy and to stay healthy, by stimulating and supporting our immune system. Chaga, like most medicinal mushrooms, does not fight a specific disease or symptom, but it helps the body to heal itself and to stay healthy by triggering the existing immune functions. That’s why we can state that Chaga has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and detoxing qualities. It is the perfect supplement for people looking to prevent diseases, but also for people under stress: mental, physical and environmental stress are all very taxing on the immune system. And with age the immune system also starts to become less effective. For elderly people Chaga is an excellent prophylactic.

Betulinic acid

The betulinic acid that Chaga derives from the birches on which it grows give this mushroom additional therapeutic qualities. First and foremost: it breaks down excessive ‘bad’ cholesterol in the bloodstream, without any side effects. The effect is purely normalizing.

Apart from that, lab research showed betulinic acid being able to kill cancer cells without affecting healthy cells – a mechanism that is not yet fully understood by science but that appears to work as follows: cancer cells have a different ph-value than healthy cells and somehow the betulinic acid is able to use this property to trigger apoptosis (natural cell death) in these cells, without affecting healthy cells, actually without any side effects at all. Medical science is aware of this property and has been researching this since the 50s. A major problem is that betulin / betulinic acid is poorly absorbed by humans. However, some online sources state the Chaga fungus converts the betulin into a more digestible form of betulinic acid. We have not been able to find a source for this claim, though. In Russia an anti-cancer medicine based on Chaga was developed in the 1950s and it’s still in use under the name Befungin.

Add this to the immune balancing properties of the beta-glucans and you have a potent anti-cancer agent: not only does it fight cancer itself but it also supports standard treatments like chemo and radiation by neutralizing the nasty side effects these treatments have on the immune system.

And as if all this is not enough the phytosterols (of which lanosterol takes 45%, inotodiol 25% and the remaining 30% consists of ergosterol, fecosterol, episterol et.al.) present in Chaga were also found to possess strong anti-cancer qualities. The existing synergy between these components (beta-glucans, betulinic acid, phytosterols) make Chaga one of the most potent health supplements available.

But let’s not overlook another potent property: Chaga’s anti-oxidant qualities. The melanin component protects the mushroom against the harsh environment (extreme cold, UV radiation e.g.) in which it has to survive. The chemical components (mainly poly-phenols) of this melanin were found to have DNA-regenerating and protective properties. One could say it’s a type of natural anti-rust. A way to determine the level of this activity is to determine the so-called ORAC-level (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). ORIVeDA Chaga was found to have one of the highest levels ever found in natural foods. This adds anti-aging and revitalizing properties to the already impressive list of Chaga’s qualities. In addition several research articles also pointed out Chaga’s anti-ulcer and anti-gastritis capacities.

Summarizing:

immune balancing
anti-inflammatory
anti-gastritis / anti-ulcer
anti-viral
normalizes cholesterol levels
detoxing
anti-aging
anti-cancer
suppresses the side effects of powerful pharmaceuticals
anti-oxidant


Siberian Chaga – A Truly Superior Protective Herb

By Ron Teeguarden
©2012 by Ron Teeguarden

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus (persoon) Pilat) is a highly prized tonic mushroom (fungal mass). It is said to have many beneficial health functions, especially as an immune modulating tonic agent. It is found growing wild in old birch forests throughout the colder regions of the northern hemisphere, and has been well documented in Northern Asia and Northern Europe. Chaga has long been used in traditional Siberian, Korean, Chinese, north European and Scandinavian herbalism, especially Russian herbalism. Chaga has also been found in northern forests of America. The highest form or “superior grade” Chaga can only be found in locations with harsh wintery conditions where the temperature drops below minus (-) 40 degrees C. That is very cold. Premium Chaga is now being collected from the vast forests of Russian Siberia, where it grows abundantly. Ideal conditions exist in the pre-polar, northern, central and Arctic Urals as well as the Caucasus Mountains. This Chaga is referred to as “Siberian Chaga.”

Chaga is comprised of two visually distinguishable parts: a black part (outside) and an orange part (inside). These are generally classified as the fruiting body and sclerotium, respectively. Chaga does not produce an extended “fruiting body” (“mushroom”) like that of Reishi mushroom. Typically Chaga is a blackish irregular shape, or “sclerotial conk.” The “black” (very dark brown) skin (or “fruiting body”) is rich in melanin. It takes about 10—15 years of parasitism to become large enough to be called “Chaga.” From this age on, the fungus can be used for tonic and medicinal preparations. Some commercial growers of Chaga in Myanmar can “grow” Chaga to a pretty large size in just a few years, but it has weak biological activity. Chaga is a “slow growth fungus” and requires the years of growth to attain a certain maturity and biological complexity. Recently, many reports have been published concerning the health promoting functions of Chaga, including protection of DNA damage from oxidative stress, and anti-inflammatory activity throughout the body.

 Chaga is collected wild, from remote, pristine black birch forests in the Kama River Basin of arctic Siberia, considered the premier source in the world for Chaga (Di Tao), and all Chaga mushrooms  are at least 20 years old at the time of collection. It has been well established that Chaga older than 20 years has both superior chemistry and superior benefit to human consumers. Siberian Chaga has been used for at least six hundred years in Russia, according to records, and probably much longer. It is considered to be a virtually miraculous herb by indigenous Siberians. There have been attempts at cultivating Chaga, but the results have so far been disappointing to pharmaceutical companies. Attempts for culturing this fungus axenically (under sterile conditions) have all resulted in a reduced production of bioactive metabolites. Wild Chaga is the way to go at this time.

There’s Plenty of Chaga Science

You don’t have to understand (or even read) all of the following science to appreciate the fact that there is currently a lot of research being conducted on Chaga.

Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) has long been used as a folk medicine due to its numerous biological functions such as antibacterial, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidative activities. Recently, a large amount of research has been, and continues to be done, on Inonotus obliquus (Chaga).

Russian and Scandinavian scientists had conducted most of the scientific research on this powerful herb in the last century. More recently however, Japanese, Korean and Chinese researchers are doing much of the scientific heavy lifting. Traditionally, Asian herbalists believed that Chaga “preserves youthfulness, promotes health, and promotes longevity.” Because of its potent protective qualities and high degree of safety, it is designated as a “superior herb.” It is categorized as a Qi tonic, like Reishi mushroom. It is also considered to be a superb Kidney tonic and cleanser. It is also used as a remedial herb every place that it is collected.

Chaga contains a multitude of active constituents and cofactors, many of which are currently being investigated for their potential health benefits.

Research has supported the folk evidence that Chaga possesses potent immune supporting actions. Chaga is a rich source of β-glucans, especially 1-3-β-glucans, polysaccharides that are quintessential nutrients for the immune system. These polysaccharides have strong anti-inflammatory and immune balancing properties, enhancing the body’s ability to produce natural killer (NK) cells to battle infections. These polysaccharides are considered to be the primary active constituents of Chaga, at least from an immunological perspective. And upon ingestion, a range of secondary metabolites are produced, many of which are highly active as potent immune modulators. Chaga Polysaccharides effectively promote macrophage (white blood cell) activation through the MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways, suggesting that Chaga Polysaccharides help regulate the immune response. The effectiveness of Chaga as an antiviral agent (as tested on West Nile virus and Herpes Simplex type 2 virus) has been shown to be dose dependent on the quantity of Chaga Polysaccharides present or their concentration. The antiviral results proved Chaga to be a very potent antiviral agent (rendering the viruses “completely inhibited.” This is why Chaga Polysaccharides content is not less than 30%.

Chaga is a VERY powerful antioxidant. Two natural antioxidants, named inonotusin A and B have been isolated from the methanolic (alcohol) extract of the outer layer of Chaga, together with a molecule named DBL (3,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde). More about DBL in a moment. Studies indicate that Chaga is a potent free radical scavenger, far stronger than any other popular dietary antioxidant, including blueberries, goji, resveratrol and acai. Chaga contains a range of important active constituents including the polysaccharides described above (at least 30% Chaga Polysaccharides by analysis in this product – these polysaccharides have powerful immunological and antioxidant activity), phenolic compounds (powerful antioxidant and antiviral compounds), and many lanostane triterpenoids (an important constituent of Chaga is inotodial).

Chaga produces massive amounts of high molecular weight phenolic pigments that have been categorized as melanins. This melanin “complex” is released to the surface of Chaga. Melanin is a potent antioxidant pigment that is present and needed throughout the human body, and has a wide range of health benefits. It has been demonstrated that this Chaga Melanin has strong genoprotective (DNA/gene protective) effects.

The antioxidant activity of the hot water extract (decoction) of Chaga has been precisely compared with those of other medicinal fungi (Agaricus blazei Mycelia, Ganoderma lucidum and Phellinus linteus) by Japanese researchers, showing that Chaga has the strongest antioxidant activity among the fungi examined in terms of both superoxide and hydroxyl radicals scavenging activities.

Recently, many research groups have begun identification of active small (low-molecular weight) compounds in medicinal mushrooms, with a focus on the yellow polyphenol pigments, which are composed of a styrylpyrone class of compounds. Chaga has been shown to produce a large amount of these styrylpyrone-type polyphenol pigments that exhibit various biological activities, including anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic, anti-platelet aggregation, anti-diabetic, anti-dementia and anti-viral effects. Styrylpyrone pigments in mushrooms are thought to have a role similar to that of flavonoids in plants. The inner part of the Chaga mushroom is orange due to the large quantity of these styrylpyrone-type polyphenol pigments. These styrylpyrone-type polyphenols contribute very significantly to Chaga’s extremely potent antioxidant activity.

The compounds with the most potent antiviral activities in Chaga have been determined to be the phenolic compounds. The phenolic compounds are among the most potent antioxidants in Chaga as well.

Many of you already know about the transcription factor known as nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kB), a molecule in all human cells that mediates virtually ALL disease, inflammation and death in humans. The suppression of this chemical is generally regarded as a means of reducing chronic and acute inflammation, degenerative and other kinds of disease, and to prolonging life. A Chaga-component known as DBL (3,4-dihydroxybenzalacetone) is a polyphenol derived Chaga. Chaga is used in Russian folk medicine to treat tumors, so investigators are exploring its mechanism of action. Because most genes involved in inflammation, anti-apoptosis (the blocking of natural cell death), and in cell proliferation — all of which are hallmarks cancer — are regulated by NF-kB, researchers postulated that DBL activity is mediated via modulation of the NF-kappaB activation pathway. They investigated the effects of DBL on NF-kB activation. They found that DBL suppressed NF-kB activation by a wide variety of inflammatory agents, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin-1beta, epidermal growth factor, lipopolysaccharide and others. The suppression was cell type independent and inhibited both inducible and constitutive NF-kappaB activation. DBL inhibits I-kappa-B-alpha-kinase activity, I-kappa-B-alpha phosphorylation and degradation, p65 phosphorylation, and translocation, all of which are involved in NF-kB activation. DBL also suppressed the expression of TNF-induced and NF-kappaB-regulated proliferative, antiapoptotic, and metastatic gene products. These effects correlated with suppression of TNF-induced invasion. Together, these results indicate that DBL inhibits NF-kB activation and NF-kB-regulated gene expression. That’s a good thing!

Researchers have recently reported in an international research journal (2011) at least one mechanism by which Chaga modulates immune responses is through secretion of Th1/Th2 cytokines (bioactive chemicals) in immune cells, and that Chaga regulates antigen-specific antibody production. This modulatory effect is responsible for Chaga’s “double-direction” adaptogenic effect on the immune response. This activity is very similar to the same activities long noted in Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma).

The Chinese variety of Chaga has been studied for its impact on influenza, and though it is not the same species as Siberian Chaga, it is VERY similar compositionally and is considered interchangeable (though perhaps slightly less potent than the Siberian variety). It has been shown that this herb has a potent impact on how the body reacts to the influenza virus. In China, it is listed as one of the five primary “anti-influenza virus mushrooms.” The influenza virus infection is recognized by the human innate immune system through the two genetic pathways (toll-like receptor & and retinoic acid inducible gene I).These two recognition pathways both lead to the activation of type I interferons and resistance to infection. Chaga (and Reishi mushroom) contain selenium, iron and zinc in large concentrations while chromium, manganese, copper and magnesium were found in lower concentrations. Analysis of serum trace element composition in lab animals showed that these anti-influenza virus mushrooms increase serum trace mineral content significantly — but only when consuming the whole mushroom extract (obtaining all active constituents simultaneously as opposed to consuming the trace elements as independent nutrients). The trace elements, and in particular selenium (which is greatly increased in the serum of the test animals – more than doubling that of control levels), present in these mushrooms play a direct or indirect role in their influenza fighting nature. They appear to provide prophylactic protection against influenza infection via stimulation of host innate immune response.

Chaga, like several other important tonic herbs, is a rich source of the trace element zinc. Zinc is an essential nutrient required for cell growth, differentiation and survival. Its deficiency causes immunodeficiency and many other health problems. Zinc is a critically important constituent of SOD, our most important innate antioxidant.

Chaga has apparent antimutagenic actions.

Safety

Chaga’s safety has been well established. It is non-toxic. It may be used as a daily tonic in moderate amounts. Chaga has been widely used in Japan, and the Japanese government carefully monitors adverse reaction reports. As of May 2011, in spite of the widespread popular use of this herb, there have been no adverse reaction reports in Japan.

Chaga has traditionally been consumed as a hot tea, and the benefits associated with Chaga are based primarily (almost exclusively) on the cooked decoction or extract of Chaga. So mild cooking is considered appropriate for Chaga. Cooking produces metabolites that are believed to provide biological activity

Chaga’s ability to increase PPARγ transcriptional activities indicates that it may be strong metabolic regulator. Chaga has been used traditionally to treat diabetes.

 

 

Chaga Superfood is one of the highest food antioxidants in the world!

Chaga (Scientific Name: Inonotus Obliquus)

Chaga is the most powerful sought after mushroom on earth. It’s one of the highest, if not the highest, antioxidants in the world and it’s documented extensively for having numerous health benefits, but it’s publicized mostly as an anti-cancer.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radical damage can lead to cancer. Antioxidants interact with and stabilize free radicals and prevent some of the damage free radicals might otherwise cause. Examples of antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamins A, C and E and other substances. Beta-carotene is found in many foods that are orange in color, including Chaga.

Anti-Cancer

Betulinic acid, a constituent of Chaga, is cytotoxic and triggers apoptosis through a direct effect on the mitochondria of cancer cells. Other apoptosis-inducing factors result in cleavage of caspases and nuclear fragmentation. Like many medicinal mushrooms, Chaga is rich in beta glucans, which have immunomodulating activities. Beta glucans bind to Complement Receptor 3 (CR3) that allows the immune cells to recognize cancer cells as “non-self” A hot water extract of Chaga exhibited inhibitory and proapoptotic actions against colon cancer cell proliferation via up-regulation of Bax and caspase-3 and down-regulation of Bcl-2. For more information on betulinic acid, please go to our Science & Research Tab and read the following Elsevier Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters on New ionic derivatives of betulinic acid as highly potent anti-cancer agents, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Developing Novel Derivatives of Betulinic Acid for Fighting HIV.

In addition to being used as an anti-cancer, Chaga has demonstrated anti-HIV, antibacterial, anti-malarial, anti-inflammatory and anthelmintic properties. Chaga is also antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial and anti-Candida. Chaga is an immune system modulator as well as an adaptogen and has the highest level of superoxide dismutase or (SOD) detected in any food or herb in the world.

Anti-HIV

In 2005, published in The Pharmacological Potential of Mushrooms by Ulrike Lindequist et al., Water-soluble lignins isolated from Chaga, inhibited HIV protease with an IC 50 value of 2.5 mg ml_1. . Immunostimulation, other effects of the polysaccharide–protein complexes contribute to the antiviral activity, e.g. inhibition of binding of HIV-1 gp120 to immobilized CD4 receptor and of reverse transcriptase activity of viruses. Inhibition of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase was caused by velutin, a ribosome inactivating protein from Flammulina velutipes (M. A. Curtis: Fr.) P. Karst., as well. A total of 85% of responders reported an increased sense of well-being with regard to various symptoms and secondary diseases caused by HIV. Twenty patients showed an increase in CD4þ cell counts to 1.4–1.8 times and eight patients a decrease to 0.8–0.5 times.

Antibacterial

Chaga kills or inhibits growth or replication by destroying or suppressing reproduction of bacteria. The following are some properties in Chaga that are antibacterial: Betulinic Acid, copper, flavonoids, inotodiol, lanosterol, magnesium, melanin, pantothenic acid, phytonutrients, polysaccharides, saponins, selenium, sterols, tripeptides, triterpenes and zinc.

Anti-Malarial

There are many active constituents in Chaga that make it antimalarial, but the main biological activities are betulinic acid, saponins and triterpenes.

Anti-Inflammatory

The anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties of Chaga are thought to be the inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). An extract of Chaga reduced the oxidative stress in lymphocytes from patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Anthelmintic Properties

There are many active constituents in Chaga that make it anthelmintic, but the main biological activities are betulinic acid, saponins and triterpenes.

Antiviral

There are many active constituents in Chaga that make it antiviral, but the main biological activities are betulinic acid, saponins and triterpenes.

Antifungal

The following properties make Chaga an antifungal: beta glucans, betulinic acid, copper, enzymes, flavonoids, lanosterol, manganese, magnesium, pantothenic acid, phenols, polysaccharides, saponins, selenium, sterols, trametenolic acid, triterpenes, triterpenoids and zinc.

Antimicrobial

Antimicrobial properties in Chaga are amino acids, betulinic acid, chitin, copper, enzymes, flavonoids, inotodiols, lanosterol, manganese, magnesium, melanin, phenols, phytonutrients, polysaccharides, potassium, saponins, selenium, sterols, trametenolic acid, tripeptides, triterpenes, triterpenoids, vanillin and zinc.

Anti-Candida

Chaga promotes and protects the functions of the liver which busily processes Candida toxins.

Chaga has properties that help to lower cholesterol, inflammation and blood pressure levels through sterols and triterpenes. Chaga contains B and D vitamins and lots of protein which promote relief from stress, depression and fatigue which Candida sufferers deal with.

Immune System Modulator

Chaga has potent immune supporting properties. Chaga is a rich source of beta glucans, and polysaccharides that are essential nutrients for the immune system. These polysaccharides have strong anti-inflammatory and immune balancing properties, enhancing the body’s ability to produce natural killer (NK) cells to battle infections. These polysaccharides are considered to be the primary active constituents of Chaga, at least from an immunological perspective. Upon ingestion, a range of secondary metabolites are produced, many of which are highly active as potent immune modulators. Chaga polysaccharides effectively promote macrophage (white blood cell) activation through the MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways, suggesting that Chaga polysaccharides help regulate the immune response of the body.

Adaptogen

Chaga is an adaptogen, which means its compounds increase the body's ability to adapt to stress, fatigue, anxiety and changing situations.

Superoxide Dismutase (SOD)

Chaga has the highest level of superoxide dismutase or (SOD) detected in any food or herb in the world! Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is an enzyme that repairs cells and reduces the damage done to them by superoxide, the most common free radical in the body. SOD is found in both the dermis and the epidermis, and is key to the production of healthy fibroblasts (skin-building cells).

Studies have shown that SOD acts as both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in the body, neutralizing the free radicals that can lead to wrinkles and precancerous cell changes. Researchers are currently studying the potential of superoxide dismutase as an anti-aging treatment, since it is now known that SOD levels drop while free radical levels increase as we age.

Superoxide Dismutase helps the body use zinc, copper, and manganese. There are two types of SOD: copper/zinc (Cu/Zn) SOD and manganese (Mn) SOD. Each type of SOD plays a different role in keeping cells healthy. Cu/Zn SOD protects the cells’ cytoplasm, and Mn SOD protects their mitochondria from free radical damage.

Superoxide Dismutase has also been used to treat arthritis, prostate problems, corneal ulcers, burn injuries, inflammatory diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, and long-term damage from exposure to smoke and radiation, and to prevent side effects of cancer drugs. In its topical form, it may help to reduce facial wrinkles, scar tissue, heal wounds and burns, lighten dark or hyperpigmentation, and protect against harmful UV rays.

Active Constituents of Chaga

The active constituents of Chaga are thought to be a combination of Amino Acids, Beta Glucans, Betulinic Acid, Calcium, Chloride, Copper, Dietary Fiber, Enzymes, Flavonoids, Germanium, Inotodiols, Iron, Lanosterol, Manganese, Magnesium, Melanin, Pantothenic Acid, Phenols, Phosphorus, Phytonutrients, Polysaccharides, Potassium, Saponins, Selenium, Sodium, Sterols, Trametenolic Acid, Tripeptides, Triterpenes, Triterpenoids, Vanillic Acid, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin D2 (Ergosterol), Vitamin K and Zinc.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life. When proteins are digested or broken down, amino acids are left. The human body needs a number of amino acids to:

• Break down food • Grow • Repair body tissue • Perform many other body functions

Beta Glucans

Beta glucans are used for high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. Beta glucans are also used to boost the immune system in people whose body defenses have been weakened by conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, or physical and emotional stress; or by treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy. Beta glucans are also used for colds (common cold), flu (influenza), H1N1 (swine) flu, allergies, hepatitis, Lyme disease, asthma, ear infections, aging, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

Betulinic Acid

Betulinic acid is a natural pentacyclic lupane-type triterpene that is found in Chaga, as well as other various plants, including birch trees. This compound and its derivatives possess many favorable biological properties such as anti-cancer, anti-HIV-1 (human immunodeficiency virus type-1), antibacterial, anti-malarial, anti-inflammatory, and anthelmintic activities. Betulinic acid was initially known for its high cytotoxicity against human melanoma cancer cells, but later studies also suggest this compound being a broad inhibitor of other cancerous tumors including aneuroectodermal tumors (such as neuroblastoma, medulloblastoma, glioblastoma and Ewing’s sarcoma), brain-tumors, human gliomas, leukemia, human colon carcinoma and human prostate adenocarcinoma, head and neck squamous carcinoma cells, lung, colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer.

Calcium

One of the most abundant minerals in the human body, calcium accounts for approximately 1.5% of total body weight. Bones and teeth house 99% of the calcium in the body, while the remaining 1% is distributed in other areas.

Calcium is best known for its role in maintaining the strength and density of bones. In a process known as bone mineralization, calcium and phosphorus join to form calcium phosphate. Calcium phosphate is a major component of the mineral complex (called hydroxyapatite) that gives structure and strength to bones.

Calcium also plays a role in many physiological activities not related to bones including blood clotting, nerve conduction, muscle contraction, regulation of enzyme activity, and cell membrane function. Because these physiological activities are essential to life, the body utilizes complex regulatory systems to tightly control the amount of calcium in the blood so that calcium is available for these activities. As a result, when dietary intake of calcium is too low to maintain normal blood levels of calcium, the body will draw on calcium stores in the bones to maintain normal blood concentrations, which, after many years, can lead to osteoporosis.

Chloride

Chloride is one of the most important electrolytes in the blood. It helps keep the amount of fluid inside and outside of your cells in balance. It also helps maintain proper blood volume, blood pressure, and pH of your body fluids.

Copper

Copper is a natural element that is an essential micronutrient to ensure the well-being of all aerobic life forms. It plays a vital part in the development and performance of the human nervous and cardiovascular systems, as well as the skin, bone, immune and reproductive systems, including gene transcription. Copper can also inhibit the growth of microbes, thus providing a measure of protection against harmful germs and bacteria in many environments. Copper has been found useful for its healing powers—largely due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties—in the treatment of wounds and skin diseases. Present in our bodies from conception, copper helps form a developing infant’s heart, skeletal and nervous systems, as well as arteries and blood vessels. Copper continues to play a vital role as we age – keeping our hair and skin in good condition while repairing and maintaining connective tissue in our hearts and arteries. It also facilitates absorption and utilization of iron and enables cells to use the energy present in carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber intake provides many health benefits. However, average fiber intakes for US children and adults are less than half of the recommended levels. Individuals with high intakes of dietary fiber appear to be at significantly lower risk for developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Increasing fiber intake lowers blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels. Increased intake of soluble fiber improves glycemia and insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic and diabetic individuals. Fiber supplementation in obese individuals significantly enhances weight loss. Increased fiber intake benefits a number of gastrointestinal disorders including the following: gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal ulcer, diverticulitis, constipation, and hemorrhoids. Prebiotic fibers appear to enhance immune function. Dietary fiber intake provides similar benefits for children as for adults.

Enzymes

Enzymes are energized protein molecules found in all living cells. They catalyze and regulate all biochemical reactions that occur within the human body. They are also instrumental in digestion. They break down proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fiber making it possible to benefit from the nutrients found in those foods while removing the toxins. Enzymes turn the food we eat into energy and unlock this energy for use in the body. Their presence and strength can be determined by improved blood and immune system functions.

Flavonoids

Flavonoids are polyphenols abundantly found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. They are a diverse group of phytochemicals, exceeding four thousand in number. From human nutrition perspective, flavonoids are important components of a healthy diet because of their antioxidant activity. Nevertheless, the antioxidant potency and specific effect of flavonoids in promoting human health varies depending on the flavonoid type (chemical, physical, and structural properties). Among the potent antioxidant flavonoid types are quercetin, catechins and xanthohumol. Flavonoid science is a research area rapidly gaining deeper insight on the health benefit and chemical property of flavonoids.

Beneficial effects of flavonoids on human health are partly explained by their antioxidant activity. Because of the antioxidative property, it is suggested that flavonoids may delay or prevent the onset of diseases (such as cancer) induced by free radicals. They also inhibit low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation by free radicals. Flavonoids have been reported to have negative correlation with incidence of coronary heart disease. Furthermore, flavonoids have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, and vasodilatory effect. They also inhibit platelet aggregation.

Germanium

Nutritionally, the natural element germanium has been known to aid in the prevention of cancer and AIDS. Certain compounds of germanium have toxic effects against certain bacteria. In its organic form, germanium is being hailed as one of the greatest new developments in the nutritional treatment of cancer. The estimated daily intake for germanium is 1 mg. Germanium has been reported to improve the immune system, boost the body's oxygen supply, make a person feel more energetic, and destroy damaging free radicals. Germanium also protects against radiation.

Organic germanium is a biological-response modifier. This means it enables the body to change its response to tumors, which has therapeutic benefits. Germanium does not directly attack cancer cells, but stimulates the body's immune system, making it effective in the treatment of cancer as well as other degenerative diseases.

A number of human cancer trials have been conducted with organic germanium. A summary of Phase I and Phase II human clinical trials reveals that orally administered organic germanium induces interferon production, restores previously impaired immune response, and has shown extremely low toxicity.

Inotodiol

Inotodiol and trametenolic acid are considered to be the main bioactive compounds of the fruiting body of the mushroom. These compounds show various biological activities, including anti-tumour, anti-viral, hypoglycaemic, anti-oxidant and cyto-protective. Inotodiol has shown activity against influenza (flu) viruses A and B and various cancer cells. Inotodiols extracted from Chaga exhibit anti-tumor properties, destroying Walker 256 Carcinosarcoma cancer cells and MCF-7 human adenocarcinoma mammary cells. Institutional studies at the University of Tokyo, Japan have determined the effective destruction of certain cancerous carcinosarcomas and mammary adenocarcinomas.

Iron

Iron is a mineral essential for life. It is present in every living cell and is necessary for the production of hemoglobin (primary component of red blood cells), myoglobin (major protein of muscle cells), and certain enzymes. Iron, along with calcium, are the two major deficiencies of American women (one of the reasons due to menstruation and bleeding), and this deficiency can cause weakness, inability to concentrate, the susceptibility to infection, impaired performance, and in general, ill health. Other people at risk of iron deficiency include dieters, vegetarians and athletes. Calcium and copper must be present for iron to function properly, and ascorbic acid (vitamin c) enhances absorption. Iron is necessary for proper metabolization of B vitamins.

Lanosterol

Lanosterols exhibit strong cytotoxicity towards carcinoma cells. It’s also an anti-bacterial, lowers cholesterol and reduces candida.

Manganese

Manganese is a mineral and trace element that plays many essential roles in the body. It aids in the metabolism of food, normal functioning of the nervous system, in the formation of the thyroxine hormone for the thyroid gland, and in the production of sex hormones. Manganese works as an antioxidant to help prevent cancer and heart disease.

Manganese helps activate enzymes needed for use of biotin, B-1 (thiamin), and vitamin C. It's important for the formation of thyroxine, the main hormone of the thyroid gland. Manganese is essential for proper digestion and the metabolization of proteins. Manganese also plays an important role in digestion and utilization of food, reproduction, normal bone structure, and normal functioning of the central nervous system.

Magnesium

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood, but the body works very hard to keep blood levels of magnesium constant.

The crucial health benefits of magnesium include solving or preventing osteoporosis, heart attacks, hypertension, constipation, migraines, leg cramps, kidney stones, gallstones and more. Magnesium is an essential part of the alternative health approaches of alternative medicine.

Melanin

Melanin is a natural substance that gives color (pigment) to hair, skin, and the iris of the eye. It is produced by cells in the skin called melanocytes. Melanin also helps protect the skin from the sun. Increased melanin protects those who have it from short-term damage from the sun, as well as the long-term signs of aging, such as age spots, deep wrinkles and rough texture. Free radicals have been implicated as the cause of widespread damage to human cells. Melanin plays a role in free scavenging radicals and preventing skin damage they can cause. It affects the delicately designed lipids that hold moisture in the stratum corneum. This is the outermost layer of the epidermis. If the skin loses its moisture, it becomes rigid and cracks.

Pantothenic Acid

The health benefits of Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid include alleviation of conditions like asthma, hair loss, allergies, stress and anxiety, respiratory disorders and heart problems. Also, it helps to improve immunity, osteoarthritis, ageing signs, resistance to various types of infections, physical growth, and diabetes and skin disorders. Vitamin B5 is widely known to be an obstacle to serious mental states like stress and anxiety. A customary diet must contain recommended amount of Vitamin B5 to ensure good health and proper functioning of each body part. It performs wide variety of functions in our body, starting from production of neurotransmitter in brain to fabrication of steroids to extraction of fats, proteins and other vital nutrients. In a nutshell, the essence of Vitamin B5 pats every important aspect of keeping a good health.

Phenols

Phenols are compounds found in a wide variety of foods ranging from Chaga to olive oil to green tea and almonds. The antioxidant and antibacterial properties of phenols benefit a wide variety of diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s Disease. Phenols are thought to be the primary health benefit of olive oil consumption, with benefits seen for breast cell health, bone health, and cholesterol health.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body and 85% of it is found in the bones. The rest of the body's phosphorus is found in the blood, the fluid around and in cells, and in various organs like the heart, kidneys, brain, and muscles, where it is involved in many critical functions. Its main purpose is for building strong bones and teeth, but this mineral is used by practically every cell in the body.

Phosphorus is involved in virtually all physiological chemical reactions in the body, and calcium and Vitamin D are essential to proper functioning of the phosphorus. This mineral protects and strengthens cell membranes, assists other nutrients, hormones, and chemicals in their bodily processes, and is necessary for normal bone and tooth structure. Phosphorus is needed for healthy nerve impulses, normal kidney functioning, and the utilization of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and for energy production. Phosphorus is a component of DNA and RNA and serves in the preparation of glucose for energy formation.

Phytonutrients

Apart from the major food principles like protein, carbohydrates, and fats, large number of food items we consume consists of invaluable components in them known as phytonutrients or plant derived chemical substances. Although their caloric value is insignificant, inclusion in our diet in adequate levels is imperative since the potential benefits in terms of direct contribution to health promotion and disease prevention are enormous.

Studies have found that certain chemicals other than nutritional principles in them have anti-mutagenic, free radical scavenging and immunity boosting functions, which help promote health and prevent diseases, over and above their nutritive value. Phytonutrients are present abundantly in the plant world.

Examples include:

1. Anti-oxidants 2. Phyto-sterols (plant sterols) 3. Non-digestible carbohydrates such as tannins, pectin, cellulose and mucilage 4. Natural acids 5. Enzymes and lecithin.

Polysaccharides

Polysaccharides have many chains and must be broken down into smaller portions before they can be fully digested. Although polysaccharides are a form of sugar, many of their food sources rarely taste sweet.

Polysaccharides are important in the prevention of degenerative type diseases. These include cardiovascular disease and diabetes type 2. Tea action is related to the poly-phenols and polysaccharides parts of tea.

Polysaccharides can also act as an anticoagulant. It reduces the stickiness of platelets making it harder for them to build up in artery walls. They have anti-thrombotic effects and blood lipids are reduced. HDL cholesterol may be raised while LDL levels are decreased.

Polysaccharides help to regulate immune function with T and B lymphocyte activation. It promotes Interferon, a white cell medium and tumor necrosis (death).

Tea polysaccharides have the following effects. They lower blood pressure and increase coronary artery capacity. Blood sugar levels are reduced which is a benefit in treating Diabetics. There is improved Beta cell function in the pancreas, as well as anti-diabetic properties. Anti-radiation effects may be noted, and free radicals can be all but eliminated. There is anti-viral activity, and it improves blood reproduction and maintenance.

Potassium

Potassium, the third most abundant mineral in human body, is the synonym for health insurer. It contains the qualities for maintaining a high level of human well-being and a cheerful lifestyle. There is no way one should overlook the inclusion of potassium in routine diet plan. Apart from acting as an electrolyte, this mineral is required for keeping heart, brain, kidney, muscle tissues and other important organs of human body in good condition. Potassium chloride is the main variety of this mineral amongst others. It works in association with sodium to perform a number of critical body tasks.

The health benefits of potassium include stroke, blood pressure, anxiety and stress, muscular strength, metabolism, heart and kidney disorders, water balance, electrolytic functions, nervous system and other general health benefits of potassium.

Saponins

Saponins are a group of chemicals with detergent-like properties that plants produce to help them resist microbial pathogens such as fungi.

Saponins may reduce elevated cholesterol levels by forming complexes with cholesterol and bile acids, which prevents them from being absorbed through your small intestines. The cholesterol and bile complexes are excreted in the stool, which lowers cholesterol levels in the blood and liver.

Saponins may decrease your risk of cancer. A 2004 study published in "Journal of Medicinal Food" says colon, breast, uterine and prostate cancer rates are lower in countries where inhabitants consume large amounts of legumes. This may be due to the immune system modulating effects of saponins that increase anti-tumor activity in your body. The stimulation of bile acid secretion in the intestinal tract, and antioxidant activity may also contribute to a reduced risk of cancer.

Antioxidants prevent cell damage by protecting lipids from free radical oxidation reactions. Saponins prevent oxidation of cholesterol in the colon, which may also help to reduce colon damage and the risk of cancer. They also prevent degeneration of DNA and protect cell proteins from free radical damage.

Saponins may stimulate the immune system, and according to the 2004 article referenced earlier, they are used as adjuvants in vaccines and oral intakes of saponins have been used to help treat retroviral infection. They stimulate antibody production, inhibit viruses, and induce the response by lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that fight infection.

Selenium

Selenium is a trace element found in soil and is required to maintain good health in trace amounts.

Selenium aids in many of the metabolic pathways and may help treat prostate cancer; ongoing research is exploring the relationship between low selenium levels and coronary heart disease.

Selenium also benefits the skin during healing following burn injuries. Shampoo with selenium may alleviate dandruff problems. For skin care, selenium’s antioxidant properties regenerate vitamins E and C, thereby decreasing the aging of skin.

Major benefits of selenium have been found to improve the immune system against bacterial and viral infections, against cancer cells and herpes virus, cold sores, and shingles. One of the major nutritional benefits of selenium is increasing the HDL cholesterol to LDL cholesterol for a healthy heart.

Sodium

Sodium occurs naturally in most foods. The most common form of sodium is sodium chloride, which is table salt. Sodium is an element that the body needs to function properly. The body uses sodium to regulate blood pressure and blood volume. Sodium is also critical for the functioning of muscles and nerves.

Sterols

Plant sterols and stanols are naturally occurring substances found in plants. Research has shown that plant sterols/stanols included with a heart healthy eating plan may reduce your risk for heart disease. The sterols/stanols work by blocking the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine. This lowers the low density cholesterol known as the 'bad' cholesterol (LDL ) by 6-15%, without lowering the good cholesterol known as the high density cholesterol ( HDL). Clinical research trials have documented safety and effectiveness for use by the entire family. Plant stanols/sterols do not interfere with cholesterol lowering medications.

Trametenolic Acid

Inotodiol and trametenolic acid are considered to be the main bioactive compounds of the fruiting body of the mushroom. These compounds show various biological activities, including anti-tumour, anti-viral, hypoglycaemic, anti-oxidant and cyto-protective.

Tripeptides

A tripeptide is a type of peptide that is formed when amino acids link together in a specific order. Each tripeptide contains three different amino acids. These amino acids are joined by a peptide bond, which is a chemical bond that occurs between two molecules. A common tripeptide is isoleucine-proline-proline, also called the milk peptide, which is responsible for keeping blood pressure low and stable.

The main function of tripeptides is cell communication. They also contribute to body functions such as blood pressure regulation and thyroid function. As tripeptides age, however, communication signals may start to deteriorate, which can cause signs of aging and other health issues.

Another type of tripeptide is glutathione which is an anti-oxidant that can be critical in protecting healthy cells from free radicals in the body. Free radicals can cause cell damage that is linked to the development of cancer cells. Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) is a tripeptide responsible for regulating the release of hormones in the thyroid.

Tripeptides have become popular with cosmetic companies who are creating anti-aging products. Since the body uses tripeptides for communication, anti-aging proponents believe that topical forms of tripeptides can boost skin function and reverse damage to the skin. This essentially gives cells back their youth and prevents improper cell communication in the skin. Anti-aging product manufactures claim that tripetides used in these products improve the skin’s appearance, making it smooth and soft.

Tripeptide-3 and tripeptide-1 are the common ingredients used in these products, and are believed to stimulate skin cells and produce more collagen. Due to the fact that tripeptides usually are not cheap to produce, consumers typically can expect to pay larger sums for products with these active ingredients.

Triterpenes

Triterpenes are found in all living organisms: plants, animals, humans. Triterpenes are precursors to steroids – in order to produce steroids, the organism, whether plant or animal produces triterpenes. Naturally occurring precursors to steroids and naturally occurring steroids are the plant and animal worlds’ way of managing inflammation, safely and naturally. Triterpenes belong to a large group of compounds arranged in a four or five ring configuration of 30 carbons with several oxygens attached. Triterpenes are assembled from a C5 isoprene unit through the cytosolic mevalonate pathway to make a C30 compound and are steroidal in nature. Cholesterol is one example of a triterpene. Phytosterols and phytoecdysteroids are also triterpenes. The triterpenes are subdivided into some 20 groups, depending on their particular structures. Though all terpenoid compounds have bioactivity in mammals, it is the triterpenes that are most important to the adaptogenic effect found in plants such as Chaga, ginseng or Eleutherococcus senticosus.

Triterpenoids

Triterpenoid saponins are triterpenes which belong to the group of saponin compounds.

Triterpenoids Display Single Agent Anti-tumor Activity in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Small B Cell Lymphoma.

Vanillic Acid

Vanillic acid is a benzoic acid derivative used as a flavoring agent. It is an oxidized form of vanillin produced during the conversion of vanillin to ferulic acid. The highest quantity of vanillic acid in plants has been found in the roots of Angelica sinensis, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Various studies have provided evidence of the effectiveness of vanillic acid in the management of immune or inflammatory responses. For instance, vanillic acid enhanced the activity of human lymphocyte proliferation and secretion of interferon-gamma in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Another study has shown that vanillic acid has a hepatoprotective effect through its suppressive action on immune-mediated liver inflammation in concanavalin A-induced liver injury. However, it remains to be determined whether vanillic acid has an anti-colitic effect.

A study on was done to determine whether vanillic acid has beneficial effects against dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced ulcerative colitis. The results showed that vanillic acid reduced the severity of the clinical signs of DSS-induced colitis, including weight loss and shortening of colon length, and the disease activity index. The results of this study showed that vanillic acid significantly suppressed the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and the activation of transcription nuclear factor-B p65 in DSS treated colon tissues. In addition, we observed that the plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-6 were higher in the DSS-treated group than in the control group, but these increased levels were reduced by the administration of vanillic acid. Taken together, these findings suggest that vanillic acid has a beneficial effect on DSS-induced ulcerative colitis, thereby indicating its usefulness in the regulation of chronic intestinal inflammation.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) is a vitamin that is required by your body to turn carbohydrates into a form of energy usable within your cells.

Thiamine is also used for digestive problems including poor appetite, ulcerative colitis, and ongoing diarrhea.

Thiamine is also used for AIDS and boosting the immune system, diabetic pain, heart disease, alcoholism, aging, a type of brain damage called cerebellar syndrome, canker sores, vision problems such as cataracts and glaucoma, motion sickness, and improving athletic performance. Other uses include preventing cervical cancer and progression of kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Some people use thiamine for maintaining a positive mental attitude; enhancing learning abilities; increasing energy; fighting stress; and preventing memory loss, including Alzheimer's disease.

Healthcare providers give thiamine shots for a memory disorder called Wernicke's encephalopathy syndrome, other thiamine deficiency syndromes in critically ill people, alcohol withdrawal, and coma.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is manufactured in the body by the intestinal flora and is easily absorbed, although very small quantities are stored, so there is a constant need for this vitamin. It is required by the body to use oxygen and the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids, and carbohydrates. Riboflavin is further needed to activate vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), helps to create niacin and assists the adrenal gland. It may be used for red blood cell formation, antibody production, cell respiration, and growth. Riboflavin is used for preventing low levels of riboflavin (riboflavin deficiency), cervical cancer, and migraineheadaches. It is also used for treating riboflavin deficiency, acne, muscle cramps, burning feet syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, and blood disorders such as congenital methemoglobinemia and red blood cell aplasia. Some people use riboflavin for eye conditions including eye fatigue, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Other uses include increasing energy levels; boosting immune system function; maintaining healthy hair, skin, mucous membranes, and nails; slowing aging; boosting athletic performance; promoting healthy reproductive function; canker sores; memory loss, including Alzheimer's disease; ulcers; burns; alcoholism; liver disease; sickle cellanemia; and treating lactic acidosis brought on by treatment with a class of AIDS medications called NRTI drugs.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Niacin also called nicotinic acid, niacinamide or nicotinic acid and referred to as vitamin B 3, which can be manufactured by the body. Niacin is derived from two compounds - nicotinic acid and niacinamide. Vitamin B3 is required for cell respiration, helps in the release of energy and metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, proper circulation and healthy skin, functioning of the nervous system, and normal secretion of bile and stomach fluids. It is used in the synthesis of sex hormones, treating schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, and a memory-enhancer.

Vitamin D2 (Ergosterol)

Ergosterol is a biological precursor (a provitamin) to vitamin D2. It is turned into viosterol by ultraviolet light, and is then converted into ergocalciferol, a form of vitamin D also known as D2 or D2.[1] For this reason, when yeast (such as brewer's yeast) and fungi (such as mushrooms), are exposed to ultraviolet light, significant amounts of vitamin D2 are produced.

Because ergosterol is present in cell membranes of fungi yet absent in those of animals, it is a useful target for antifungal drugs. Ergosterol is also present in the cell membranes of some protists, such as trypanosomes. The three major human diseases caused by trypanosomatids are; African trypanosomiasis (Sleeping Sickness, caused by Trypanosoma brucei), South American trypanosomiasis (Chagas Disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi), and leishmaniasis (a set of trypanosomal diseases caused by various species of Leishmania). This is the basis for the use of some antifungals against West African sleeping sickness.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, so your body stores it in fat tissue and the liver. What can high-vitamin K foods do for you?

• Allow your blood to clot normally • Help protect your bones from fracture • Help prevent postmenopausal bone loss • Help prevent calcification of your arteries • Provide possible protection against liver and prostate cancer

Zinc

Zinc is a metal. It is called an “essential trace element” because very small amounts of zinc are necessary for human health.

Zinc is used for treatment and prevention of zinc deficiency and its consequences, including stunted growth and acute diarrhea in children, and slow wound healing.

It is also used for boosting the immune system, treating the common cold and recurrent ear infections, and preventing lower respiratory infections. It is also used for malaria and other diseases caused by parasites.

Some people use zinc for an eye disease called macular degeneration, for night blindness, and for cataracts. It is also used for asthma; diabetes; high blood pressure; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); and skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne.

Other uses include treating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), blunted sense of taste (hypogeusia), ringing in the ears (tinnitus), severe head injuries, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, Hansen’s disease, ulcerative colitis, peptic ulcers and promoting weight gain in people with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa.

Some people use zinc for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), male infertility, erectile dysfunction (ED), weak bones (osteoporosis), rheumatoid arthritis, and muscle cramps associated with liver disease. It is also used for sickle cell disease and inherited disorders such as acrodermatitis enteropathica, thalassemia, and Wilson’s disease.

Some athletes use zinc for improving athletic performance and strength.

Zinc is also applied to the skin for treating acne, aging skin, herpes simplex infections, and to speed wound healing.

The following are purported uses of the Chaga Mushroom:

• Anti-aging

• Anti-allergic

• Anti-bacterial

• Anti-Cancer

• Anti-genotoxicity

• Anti-inflammatory

• Anti-microbial

• Anti-mutagenic

• Anti-oxidant

• Anti-tumor

• Anti-viral

• Arthritis

• Asthma

• Bacterial Diseases

• Blood Pressure High (Hypertension)

• Blood Pressure Low (Hypotension)

• Blood Purification

• Bronchitis

• Candidiasis (yeast)

• Cardio-Vascular

• Crohn’s Disease (CD)

• Diabetes

• Fungal Growth

• Gastritis

• Heart Disease

• Hepatoprotective

• HIV

• Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

• Immune Support / Enhancer

• Influenza

• Intestinal Worms

• Kidney Tonic

• Lower Cholesterol

• Liver / Hepatitis

• Pain Relief

• Parasites

• Parotid gland

• Pulmonary Diseases

• Skin Ailments

• Stomach Ailments

• Stomach Disease

• Tuberculosis

• Ulcerative Colitis (UC)


 

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Chaga Mountain Inc, is registered with the FDA as a food facility, registration #14642599378, as required by 21 CFR Part 1, Subpart H, and the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. The FDA Registration of Food Facilities.