Chaga mushroom extract and its many benefitial applications.
Growing throughout hardwood forests in the Northern Hemisphere (North America, Northern Europe), Inonotus obliquus has been respected in holistic healing practices for its useful wellness properties.
It is one of the healthiest natural substances known to man. It has been used by indigenous Siberians for 1000s of years to improve their health and longevity, and even as a medicine for all kinds of diseases and conditions.
Some of the known benefits :
Boosts immune system function
Promotes healthy cell growth & regeneration
Improves bone & skin health
Improves liver function and detoxification (goodbye hangovers!)
Promotes digestive health and gut flora balance
Detoxes heavy metals and chemicals from the body, relieving arthritis and allergy symptoms.
Western science has only recently begun to validate what the ancients have known about this powerful medicinal fungus. Now we know that it contains over 170 different biologically-active compounds - including all 8 essential amino acids – and more than 60% active betulinic acid , which is currently being studied as a potential anti-cancer agent.
A mushroom, or technically a sclerotium, typically growing on hardwood trees -- birch in particular as its most common host. Inonotus obliquus goes by many names, from cinder conk to black mass.
More commonly, however, it is known as the Chaga mushroom or fungi. Often utilized in the form of an alcohol-based tonic or tincture, this unique and seemingly exotic fungus is utilized in many of the same ways today, as it has been throughout history. It is sought after and highly revered as the "King" of medicinal fungus.
The health advantages of this fungus are vast, with its most prominent use being medicinal tea. Over the last few centuries, two primary removal techniques have been used for it, with each providing various results and health benefits.
Hot Water Extraction
Hot water extraction is the most common and the most efficient technique, comparable to a traditional tea or coffee making process, allowing the substance to steep in the boiling water, thus releasing both its nutrients and facilitating its ingestion.
Ideally, one should prevent boiling it alone, as too often as it may result in the bioactive beta-glucans disintegrating and only partially softening the chitinous skin of the mushroom.
The disadvantage to this approach is that it often leads to damage of the naturally occurring phytonutrients and vitamins within it.
Water-insoluble parts, such as phytosterols, betulinic acid as well as betulin, will certainly be lacking in hot water removal.
Alcohol removal making use of Ethanol & methanol isolates the water-insoluble elements-- betulinic acid, betulin, and phytosterols. This extraction method is most often utilized as a second follow-up step to the aforementioned hot water extraction. Ethanol alone will not break down chitin sufficiently since high heat is necessary to soften it. Most removal methods make use of 190-proof ethyl alcohol, which is high-proof alcohol readily available over the counter, and extremely safe for human consumption. It's also the only edible solvent that can efficiently remove the non-water-soluble compounds found within the plant.
Taking into consideration the amount of extract resulting from this removal process is very small, the amount of alcohol consumed when ingesting the tonic is relatively negligible.
Known research has shown that its extract has resulted in the slowing down of growth, and further death, of a variety of cancer cells. Other independent studies have suggested that it may be valuable in the future production of anticancer medications. Although these studies show promising and fruitful results, further analysis on human subjects is necessary to identify the general effects of utilizing the fungus to eliminate or protect against cancer growth within human cells.
Both portions of the extraction methods explained above-- from water and ethanol removal-- are then blended to guarantee the full range of the spore's properties are obtained, allowing it to then be processed into a wide range of products from tinctures, tonics, capsules, and powders.
Why should I take chaga extract for inflammation and immune system?
The chaga mushroom extract has been long used as a folk remedy for inflammation and infections, including the common cold.
A new study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food suggests that taking a hot-water extract from this fungus does indeed have anti-inflammatory effects.
In addition, even though it hasn't been studied much yet, there is evidence that taking chaga extract can also bolster your immune system.
What are the benefits of this extract for skin?
For starters, chaga mushrooms have powerful antioxidant properties to help protect you from free radicals known to contribute to wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Scientists believe these healthful compounds may also reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis by blocking inflammatory chemicals called cytokines.
What are the quality levels of the extract organic, wildcrafted ...
As with any dietary supplement, the quality of chaga extract you choose is extremely important. Because hot-water extracts are often used in supplements, it is especially paramount that only the highest-quality dried mushroom be used.
What is a credible supplier for this extract?
It's also important to make sure you purchase your extract from a reputable source. This will help protect you against potential adulteration or contamination of fungi products.
Since counterfeiters tend to target supplements believed to have high market value (including chaga), there are some companies selling diluted forms of the fungus, even when customers are paying top dollar for pure extract.
Be sure to source suppliers who can provide documentation for their products' authenticity and safety when it comes to possible contamination with heavy metals and other potential contaminants.
What are the side affects of taking chaga extract daily for too long?
Chaga mushrooms can also help support your immune health, making it easier to fight off colds and flus before they start. They even contain melanin, which acts like our skin's own natural sunblock.