Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus Obliquus)
The A, B, C’s Of Good Health and Longevity
C) Chromogenic Complex (DNA and Cellular Protection – Longevity)
Some trees live as long as 10,000 years or more. Thus, they are the most powerful living beings in the world. Concentrating this power, Chaga contains numerous:
* Antioxidants: Chaga is second only to cacao in antioxidants of any whole food or herb in the world (excluding powders)
* B vitamins, flavonoids, phenols, minerals, and enzymes.
* High in copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc, and iron.
* Chromogenic Complex (DNA and Cellular) is highly protective for all tissues and is only found in chaga. “40 percent reduction of DNA mutation.”
* Higher levels of cell-protective antioxidants than other medicinal mushrooms.
* Superoxide Dismutase (SOD): Halts oxidation, especially the toxicity of a free radical known as Singlet Oxygen. This is the type of oxygen which is responsible for oxidizing and damaging the tissues, which results in aging.
* Protects against and kills cancer
* Helps protect against prostate, breast, ovarian, cervical, lung, stomach, spleen, brain and thymus cancers… and also leukemia, melanoma, and lymphoma.
* Anti-HIV 1: Disrupts assembly and budding of the HIV-1 virus and viral fusion to the cell membrane.
* Polysaccharides (beta glucans, protein-bound xylogalactoglucans, etc.)
* Melanin: Chaga is the best source of this nutrient found in Nature.
* Betulin, betulinic acid, and lupeol
* Trace Minerals: Contains antimony, barium, bismuth, boron, chromium, copper, germanium, manganese, selenium, and zinc
* Major Minerals: Contains calcium, cesium (highly alkaline), iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, rubidium (highly alkaline), silicon, and sulfur
* Vitamins: B2, D2
** Chaga’s Nutrients: Data from research conducted at facilities all over the world, indicates that Chaga contains a full assortment of nutrients.
**** CLINICAL SUMMARY: Main Therapeutic Applications ****
– Anti-viral (anti-disease)
– Anti-oxidant (DNA, Cellular protection – Longevity)
* Key Component – Betulinic acid derivatives
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is a mushroom that grows, over a long period of time, in cold environments around the world. Though it grows naturally in the northernmost parts of the United States, it is relatively uncommon in its use as a healing plant.
In Europe, however, it has been used as a folk medicine for many years. Research shows that, in reality (and like many fungi), Chaga is not a medicine as much as it is a preventative measure – the unique properties of Chaga make it ideal when used as a general supplement to a healthy lifestyle, as it supports the body and fends off disease.
NOTE: Tree mushroom allergies are rare and Chaga is generally considered hypo-allergenic.
“King of Plants”
“Mushroom of Immortality”
“Diamond of the Forest”
“King of Herbs”
“King of Mushrooms”
“A Russian State Secret”
— And Modern Science Calls it “The
Most Powerful Antioxidant Yet Found!”
Known by the Siberians as the “Mushroom of Immortality,” this vibrant growth has been used by humans to support health for thousands of years.
The Japanese call it “The Diamond of the Forest,” while the Chinese deem it “King of Plants.” For the Chinese that is saying a lot, since they have an immense history with countless plants.
Rather than soft like a mushroom, chaga is hard, almost as hard as wood. It is unique, nothing like common mushrooms. In fact, chaga is the most nutritionally dense of all tree growths.
Despite this exceptional status, most Americans are unaware of it.
To survive in harsh climates, chaga concentrates natural compounds for its protection, and that is why it is so powerful. To strengthen the tree, as well as heal, it makes potent phytochemicals, including sterols, phenols, and enzymes.
Researchers have inoculated sick trees with chaga to strengthen them. People benefit by consuming these forest-source phytochemicals and nutrients.
* Nutrient dense
Chaga is powerful, because it contains the nutrients—the force of actual trees. Because of their special, biologically potent substances, trees live long, far longer than herbs. Some trees live as long as 10,000 years or more. Thus, they are the most powerful living beings in the world. Concentrating this power, chaga contains numerous B vitamins, flavonoids, phenols, minerals, and enzymes.
It is also one of the world’s densest sources of pantothenic acid, and this vitamin is needed by the adrenal glands as well as digestive organs. It also contains riboflavin and niacin in significant amounts. In particular, it is highly rich in special phenols which are pigment-like. These phenolic compounds are known as chromogenic complex. Chaga can be up to 30% chromogenic complex by weight.
The chromogenic complex is highly protective for all tissues and is only found in chaga. In the cream base this chromogenic complex is hightly protective of the skin. Rubbed on the skin it even helps people develop a tan, because it contains the pigment melanin, the same pigment responsible for dark-colored skin. Chaga contains wild-source minerals and is particularly high in copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc, and iron.
Yet, its most potent ingredient is a special substance known as superoxide dismutase (SOD). This is an enzyme with great potency. Its function is to halt oxidation, especially the toxicity of a free radical known as singlet oxygen. This is the type of oxygen which is responsible for oxidizing and damaging the tissues, which results in aging.
It is the same oxygen which rusts a nail. SOD blocks this damage by quenching the singlet oxygen free radical. The SOD content per gram of chaga is exceedingly high and accounts for many of its historical powers.
Ancient Chinese regarded it as a longevity factor
Yet, here is the main thing you need to know. Chaga is a health food which supports the entire system. The Siberians drink it daily. This is why they are long-lived. The chaga drinker lives 85 to 100 years, while the non chaga-drinking person, the Inuit, lives only about 50 years.
This proves that natural phytochemicals, the ones found in chaga, do make a difference. Yet, there is more traditional use that offers evidence. Ancient Chinese regarded it as a longevity factor, which is why they deemed it the most complete of all growths. Japanese and Koreans use it regularly, and look how powerful they are today. In much of Siberia, Russia, and Eastern Europe it is an essential beverage.
While the U.S. government restricts medical claims, here is what can be said: chaga has been used as an essential whole food supplement for many years by Russia’s long-lived peasants, as well as long-lived villagers of Japan and Korea.
These village people consume it as a daily beverage. They prefer it over common drinks such as tea and coffee. Because of its cleansing properties, in primitive Siberia the chaga drink was known as “soup water,” although its taste is a pleasant combination of tea and coffee.
Chaga is validated by Moscow’s Medical Academy of Science
In his book The Cancer Ward Alexander Solzhenitzyn wrote about the health benefits of chaga. His character in the novel took it with positive results. Regardless, chaga was then validated by Moscow’s Medical Academy of Science, 1955, and was extensively used by the public.
It is one of Russia’s state secrets for power and strength and was heavily used by champion Russian athletes, who defeated all others, including the best teams America could offer. So, the Russians, Siberians, Poles, Romanians, Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese all use it.
This alone shows the importance for Americans regarding this essential whole food. Here is what the Russians discovered. They determined that certain plants help your body fight the effects of stress and disease. They called these plants adaptogens.
They discovered that chaga is the most potent adaptogen known. This is why it is the basis for the fight against premature aging and for prevention of serious diseases. Now you too can experience the health benefits of wild chaga, the plant responsible for the exceptional health and long life of the Siberian tribes-people.
Wild chaga was found to be the most powerful adaptogen
Since the 1950s the government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), in conjunction with approximately 1,200 prominent scientists, conducted over 3,000 experiments involving 500,000 people to study the effects of adaptogens. An adaptogen is a substance which modifies the human body’s response to stress. The results of these studies were a protected Soviet secret for 40 years.
The Soviet government commanded athletes, astronauts and other Soviet elite to take adaptogens on a daily basis to improve physical and mental work capacity. One of these adaptogens was chaga. In fact, of all these adaptogens, chaga was found to be the most powerful. It is now believed that up to 80% of all diseases are mainly due to stress.
Chaga is available in several forms, including: liquid drops, tea’s, pills, caplet’s, capsule’s, powder, etc.
“King of Herbs,”
“Mushroom of Immortality,”
“Diamond of the Forest,”
“King of Plants,” says it all!
The Chinese Single This Out as the “King of Plants”
— And Modern Science Calls it the
Most Powerful Antioxidant Yet Found
It’s nearly as hard as wood, resembles a lump of coal, and has the highest antioxidant value of any food on earth, as measured by the ORAC scale.
The Japanese call it the “Diamond of the Forest”… the Siberians have bestowed on it the dual accolades of “Gift from God” and the “Mushroom of Immortality”… and the Chinese dub it the “King of Plants” (despite their centuries-long love affair with an amazing number of medicinal plants).
Still, most Americans have never heard of it. In fact, many would associate it with the name of an infection called Chagas disease, not a source of “immortality”…keep reading for more. . .
* It’s a Mushroom — Not a Disease!
Actually, the chaga I’m talking about has nothing at all to do with Chagas disease, which is named for a Dr. Chagas and is caused by a nasty microbe.
Chaga is a non-toxic, parasitic medicinal mushroom with anti-cancer properties. It grows in birch forests in harsh northern latitudes — the kinds of places we associate with freezing to death fast, not “immortality.”
In China, Siberia, Finland, Japan, and Poland, ancient and native peoples have long known about the benefits of chaga.
Older Asians use it for healthy natural balance. It is thought to support the life force or life energy they call chi (also spelled qi and pronounced “chee”). They believe consuming this mushroom extends youthfulness, prolongs life, and enhances immunity.
To get more scientific, chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is unusual among mushrooms. Instead of gills or caps, the chaga has pores. And inside, it’s a brownish-yellow cork-like mass with beige veins. Its use has been documented in the oldest surviving official list of medicinal substances — the Chinese book Sennong Ben Cao Jing, which is 2300 years old.
Call it folk medicine or traditional medicine if you will, but modern science suggests the ancients were on to an amazing secret.
* A wealth of phytonutrients in one food
Chaga’s potency may be directly linked to the harshness of the climate it grows in. Some people believe its properties arise from the trees it grows on, mostly birch.
Researchers have even inoculated sick trees with it, to make them healthy again. So what might it be able to do for you?
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.
One of the biggest claims made for chaga is that it’s rich in a special substance called superoxide dismutase (SOD), which is available from very few sources.
SOD is a very potent enzyme that can stop oxidation in its tracks — especially the most dangerous type of free radical, called singlet oxygen, that causes rapid aging. (This is the same oxygen that makes nails rusty.)
Your body can make its own SOD — but by about the age of 30 your own levels may drop substantially. (Learn more about SOD in Issue #92.)
Chaga contains extremely high levels of SOD (about 10,000 to 20,000 active SOD units per gram). Generally, SOD taken by mouth is destroyed by stomach acid and the nutrient doesn’t make it into the blood and tissues, but chaga’s advocates believe the mushroom does deliver SOD to the body.
Besides SOD, chaga is the richest known source of polysaccharides, botulin and betulinic acid — and delivers them in a whole-food, bioavailable form.
* 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.
** Protects against and kills cancer
Chaga is a natural cancer fighter — possibly thanks to betulinic acid. It prevents cancer from developing, and kills cancer cells without collateral damage to your healthy cells.
It is thought to work by indirectly activating various immune responses to cancer in your body that help kill cancer cells.
* Chaga is also rich in beta glucans, which help support your immune system. Beta glucans allow your immune cells to identify cancer cells and deformed cells as “non-self”.1 This enables the immune cells to go on the attack against them. Under normal circumstances, cancer cells are coated with a protein that masks them to immune cells, so the immune system has trouble identifying them.
* Chaga is known to help protect against prostate, breast, ovarian, cervical, lung, stomach, spleen, brain and thymus cancers… and also leukemia, melanoma, and lymphoma. I’d call it an all-around cancer preventative.
* Research in Seoul, South Korea2 found that chaga protects your cells from DNA mutations in the face of oxidative stress. In fact, chaga-treated cells experienced a whopping 40 percent reduction of DNA mutation, versus untreated cells.
* The Japanese discovered that chaga offers higher levels of cell-protective antioxidants than other medicinal mushrooms in their study.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t eat a variety of medicinal mushrooms. You can discover more about the health benefits of beta glucans, which we reported on in Issue #177 and about the merits of maitake mushrooms in Issue #220.
As you probably know, radiation exposure can do irreparable DNA damage. But some research indicates that chaga can reduce radiation-related toxicity.
And wouldn’t you know… Big Pharma wants in the game, now that these anti-cancer properties have come to light. Chaga is now being studied for use as a chemotherapy agent. Someday they’ll probably introduce an “approved” version of chaga, at a very high price.
* 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.
** Two warnings before you use chaga
Chaga has been used without problems for thousands of years.
But given today’s culture where millions are on pharmaceutical drugs, you should be aware of two possible drug interactions. If you’re not on these drugs, everything we’ve found suggests clear sailing.
** Chaga magnifies the effects of anti-clotting drugs like aspirin and warfarin (so-called blood thinners). So if you’re on those, consult with your doctor before using chaga. A wide range of supplements are blood thinners, including fish oil and digestive enzymes, so this is not a big deal.
If your doctor is cooperative, he should be willing to let you reduce or possibly even eliminate the pharmaceutical blood thinner because the natural supplement will do the job.
** Chaga also interacts with diabetes medications like insulin. It thereby raises your risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and could send your blood sugar levels into free fall.
What’s the best form of chaga?
(There are many choices)
* Chaga is bitter, so it’s a bit tricky to find a way to enjoy it. But here are some ideas for you.
Use raw chaga drops under your tongue.
Enjoy a chaga birch bark tea. There are some that include milk and cinnamon. You can even enhance it with a teaspoon of raw honey and organic chocolate powder or a small square of organic chocolate bar.
Some people enjoy adding chai tea to their chaga.
Chaga is available as a face or body cream.
Take it as a supplement, preferably made from mushrooms harvested the natural way and not lab-grown.
* Attempts to cultivate chaga reportedly yield a product that’s doesn’t have the same biological composition as the wild product.
The original chaga is truly wild — and free of chemicals and solvents.
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus mushroom) Information
Wild Chaga Inonotus obliquus mushroom
Japanese name – Kabanoanatake
Chinese name – Bai Hua Rong
English name – Chaga
I. obliquus grows widely in the forests of Eastern Europe and Russia on several trees, including birch, alder and spruce, where it appears as a sterile growth or conk on the trunk of the tree. The fruiting body is reported to be found growing nearby but is extremely rare in nature.
Traditionally only the I. obliquus growing on birch trees was used, as a tea in the treatment of cancers including inoperable breast cancer, hip, gastric, parotid, pulmonary, stomach, skin, rectal and Hodgkins disease1 and I. obliquus is recorded as a miraculous cure for cancer in Solzhenitsyn’s semi-autobiographical 1967 novel, the “Cancer Ward”.
The wisdom of using birch grown I. obliquus is supported by the finding that one of its key components is the triterpene betulinic acid, which occurs naturally in a number of plants but primarily in the bark of the white birch (Betula pubescens – seen as the tree of life and fertility in many Eastern European and Siberian myths) from which it gets its name. I. obliquus growing on the birch trees takes up high concentrations of betulinic acid from the bark of the trees, making it and its derivatives available in an absorbable form.
Betulinic acid has been shown to induce mitochondrial apoptosis in different cancer cell lines and inhibit the enzyme topoisomerase2, which is essential for the unwinding and winding of the DNA strands in cell replication. In addition it possesses anti-retroviral, anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is currently being developed as an anti-cancer agent through the Rapid Access to Intervention Development program of the US National Cancer Institute and is also a major contributor to the anti-cancer action of mistletoe4.
Other important components of I. obliquus include polysaccharides and sterols. Its high phenolic content gives it exceptional antioxidant properties and a melanin complex has also been identified as having significant antioxidant and genoprotective properties 5,6.
Widely used in Poland and Russia as a folk remedy against cancer7, I. obliquus is now attracting increasing interest among practitioners with its combination of immune supporting polysaccharides and components with direct anti-cancer activity, especially betulinic acid derivatives.
In vitro studies on betulinic acid have shown it to be highly effective against a wide variety of cancer cells: human melanoma, neuroectodermal (neuroblastoma, medulloblastoma, Ewing’s sarcoma” and malignant brain tumours, ovarian cancer, human leukaemia HL-60 cells and malignant head and neck squamous cell cancers, including those derived from therapy-resistant and refractory tumours.
However, it was found to have no effect on epithelial tumours, such as breast cancer, colon cancer, small cell lung cancer and renal cell cancer as well as T-cell leukaemia cells. Its anti-tumour activity has been related to its direct effects on mitochondria and induction of apoptosis, irrespective of cells p53 status10.
Clinically betulinic acid’s action against brain cancer cells is particularly interesting and it is noteworthy that in one study it exerted cytotoxic activity against primary tumour cells cultured from patients in 4 of 4 medulloblastoma-tumour samples tested and in 20 of 24 glioblastoma-tumour samples11.
It also shows great promise in combination with radiotherapy, exhibiting a strictly additive mode of growth inhibition in combination with radiation in human melanoma cells in one study and acting as a radiosensitizer in head and neck squamous cell cancers in another12,13.
In vivo studies confirm its anti-cancer action as well as a complete absence of systemic toxicity in rodents8.
ANTI-VIRAL – I. obliquus has traditionally been used to treat a number of viral conditions and betulinic acid analogs have been shown to disrupt assembly and budding of the HIV-1 virus and viral fusion to the cell membrane9.
Main Therapeutic Applications – Cancer, Anti-viral, antioxidant
Key Component – Betulinic acid derivatives
What is Chaga? Learn Why It’s a Top Superfood Mushroom
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WHERE TO FIND AND HARVEST CHAGA !
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How To Make Chaga Tea – Inonotus obliquus
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