Called the “Gift from God” or perhaps the “King of Herbs,” the Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) has been respected for thousands of years throughout Russia, Korea, Eastern and Northern Europe, Northern United States, N . C . mountains and Canada. Because the 16th century Chaga has been utilized in folk and botanical medicine throughout Eastern Europe. A birch fungus, Chaga grows on living trunks of mature birch trees in cold climates.
The name Chaga (pronounced “cha-ga”) comes from the Russian word for mushroom (czaga) which comes from the term for fungus. In Norway Chaga (kreftkjuke’) results in “cancer polypore” in reference to the fungal appearance and alleged medicinal properties.
Usage of Ganoderma Lucidum Extract in Chinese medicine dates back many thousands of years where locals in the mountain region of Siberia drank Chaga tea daily, inhaled Chaga and used it topically (on the skin). With time its popularity spread to the west of the Urai Mountains and Baltic parts of Eastern Europe.
Medicinal Mushrooms to advertise Health
The International Society for Mushroom Science (ISMS) suggest inside their online article, “Products of medicinal mushrooms as a good source of health supplements,” that mushrooms might be useful as nutraceuticals — food or food items that provide health and medical benefits. “These compounds called ‘mushroom nutriceuticals’ exhibit either medicinal and tonic qualities and also have immense potential as dietary supplements… ” writes ISMS.
Research also suggests mushrooms, cultivated molds, chaga mushroom extract and lichens might have antiviral, antimicrobial, anticancer, antihyperglycemic, cardioprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Medicinal mushrooms are classified into two species: edible or extracted. Chaga is definitely an extracted species. The extraction process is necessary to create a minimum of a few of the active components bioavailable, which is the extent a nutrient (or medication) may be used by the body.
Like all natural materials, whole mushrooms have a great deal of variability in quality and benefit. Single chemicals might have intense responses with that, unwanted side effects.
“Nutriceuticals, which can be extracted products, occupy a middle ground between these extremes and possess shown to be very useful. However, to obtain a top quality and trustworthy item is of paramount importance.” (ISM).
Potential Health And Fitness Benefits of Chaga
Researchers in Japan and China have studied anticancer properties from the polysaccharides present in some mushrooms, including Chaga, and located the effects much like chemotherapy and radiation, only without unwanted effects. Amongst the meepqi beneficial properties in Cordyceps Sinensis Extract, the polysaccharides have been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory and immune balancing properties which may stimulate the body to generate natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells fight infections and battle tumor growth.
In 1958 researchers in Finland and Russia found Chaga may offer anticancer benefits for breast, liver uterine and gastric cancers as well as offer utilization in hypertension and diabetes. The Russian journal Vestnik Dermatologii i Venerologii reported in 1973 about the benefits of Chaga extract for psoriasis.