Called the “Gift from God” or even the “King of Herbs,” the Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) has been respected for centuries throughout Russia, Korea, Eastern and Northern Europe, Northern United States, N . C . mountains and Canada. Considering that 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 phrase for fungus. In Norway Chaga (kreftkjuke’) means “cancer polypore” in reference to the fungal appearance and alleged medicinal properties.
Usage of reishi spore powder in Chinese medicine goes back many thousands of years where locals inside the mountain region of Siberia drank Chaga tea daily, inhaled Chaga and used it topically (on the skin). With time its popularity spread towards the west in the Urai Mountains and Baltic parts of Eastern Europe.
Medicinal Mushrooms to advertise Health
The International Society for Mushroom Science (ISMS) suggest within their online article, “Products of medicinal mushrooms as an excellent source of health supplements,” that mushrooms might be useful as nutraceuticals — food or food products which provide health insurance and medical benefits. “These compounds called ‘mushroom nutriceuticals’ exhibit either medicinal and/or tonic qualities and possess immense potential as nutritional supplements… ” writes ISMS.
Research also suggests mushrooms, cultivated molds, Cordyceps Sinensis Extract and lichens could have antiviral, antimicrobial, anticancer, antihyperglycemic, cardioprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Medicinal mushrooms are classified into two species: edible or extracted. Chaga is surely an extracted species. The extraction process is important to make a minimum of a number of the active components bioavailable, the extent a nutrient (or medication) may be used by the body.
Like several natural materials, whole mushrooms have significant amounts of variability in quality and benefit. Single chemicals can have intense responses with that, unwanted side effects.
“Nutriceuticals, which are extracted products, occupy a middle ground between these extremes and also have shown to be very helpful. However, to obtain a high quality and trustworthy product is of paramount importance.” (ISM).
Potential Health And Fitness Benefits of Chaga
Researchers in Japan and China have studied anticancer properties in the polysaccharides present in some mushrooms, including Chaga, and discovered the results comparable to chemotherapy and radiation, only without negative effects. One of the meepqi beneficial properties in chaga mushroom extract, the polysaccharides have shown to have strong anti-inflammatory and immune balancing properties which can stimulate your body to create 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 along with offer use within hypertension and diabetes. The Russian journal Vestnik Dermatologii i Venerologii reported in 1973 about the benefits of Chaga extract for psoriasis.