Chaga Mushroom and Health

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Health Benefits of Chaga Mushrooms

Like so many of its natural counter-parts the health benefits of the Chaga Mushroom, or Inonutus Obliquus, have been known for thousands of years.  A 5,300 year-old “Ice Man” mummy discovered in 1991 wore two walnut-sized pieced of Chaga drilled through the middle and tied to his wrists.  Known in ancient China and Russia as the “King of Herbs”, Eastern Europeans have been using Chaga mushrooms medicinally since the 16th Century.  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s acclaimed novel, Cancer Ward, published in 1968, features a protagonist whose cancer is cured by Chaga Mushrooms. (This fictional account is believed to be autobiographical in nature). Cancer Ward’s success brought Chaga to the attention of the Western world.

Chaga is a dark brown/black mushroom that closely resembles charcoal. It is found on Birch and other trees in Northern Siberia, Northern Japan, Northern Canada and the Northeastern US.  Beneath the tough exterior is a softer deep brown/yellow ‘meat’ which contains the bulk of the medicinal qualities. Its taste and smell are earthy, woodsy and some say resembles mild vanilla.

Chaga’s many health benefits include the prevention and treatment for an impressive amount and array of conditions and diseases:  various types of cancer, tumours (both malignant and non), respiratory infections and asthma, depression, various gastro-intestinal disorders, viral infections, skin lesions, injury, fatigue and irritability.

Among its various medicinal elements Chaga contains beta glucans, antioxidants and melanin. Beta glucans are potent immune system boosters and assist with diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, influenza, and viral infections. Chaga’s antioxidant levels may be the highest yet ever discovered, approximately 50 times that of blueberries. Melanin can be difficult to find in nature, but Chaga possesses a rich amount to assist with skin cancers and other skin conditions. Both the Ancient Chinese and Russians believed applying Chaga cream to the skin gave them fresher, younger looking skin, thus earning it the nickname “Mushroom of Immortality”.

Over 1300 scientific publications have published research on the Chaga mushroom and its medicinal ingredients. In fact, the World Health Organization has announced that a study in Australia demonstrated the mushrooms’ efficacy in treating cancer.  A search of PubMed reveals a number of Chaga studies in relation to its ability to fight cancer as well as other conditions.  For example, a 2011 Korean study of its immunity-boosting and antibody production in mice concludes, “We suggest that IO (Chaga mushroom) modulates immune responses through secretion of Th1/Th2 cytokines in immune cells and regulates antigen-specific antibody production.”1 The conclusions of the majority of studies are just as positive.

Chaga is usually ingested as a tea or coffee, a tincture, supplement or powder.  Its mild taste means it can be added to virtually any food or drink without affecting the flavour.  A cream can also be created for use as a topical treatment.

1.PubMed.   Inonotus obliquus extracts suppress antigen-specific IgE production through the modulation of Th1/Th2 cytokines in ovalbumin-sensitized mice. Ko SK, Jin M, Pyo MY. Source: Lab of Hygienic Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women’s University, 52 Hyochangwon-gil, Youngsan-ku, Seoul 140-742, Republic of Korea.

13 Comments

  • Crystal Wynd says:

    Is this Chaga you are selling wild or cultivated?
    Thank you.

    • Jason says:

      Currently, we utilize lab cultivated strains so that we can maximize the potency and eliminate contaminating microbes present in wild-craft strains (contamination by microbes when wild-crafted is not desirable when people are taking mushrooms for serious health conditions).

      Purica mushrooms are grown to full maturation on certified organic and kosher plant materials and trace mineral mixes so that you are assured that you are getting very high levels of active ingredients (polysaccharides, triterpenes, peptides, aminos, even vitamin D3). We then utilize a technology called jet milling to micronize the entire life cycle of the mushroom into a very tiny particle size that liberates all the constituents into a completely absorbable suspension. Our mushrooms maintain the profile that you find in nature, except with optimized levels of ALL the active constituents, and there is no need to irradiate them as there is no microbial contamination.

      We still love wild chaga, and may incorporate a mixed product in the future if the strains are provided free from microbial contamination.

  • Rick says:

    Great blog post. I’ve been drinking this shake for the past 3 months:

    -Half chaga tea+half vanilla almond milk
    -raw organic cacao
    -Organic Peanut butter
    -Grated coconut
    -One banana
    -a handful of nuts
    -oats

    It taste like reese chocolate bar and there’s no sugar!

    Rick from http://chaga.ca

  • Nina says:

    when do you take this and can you take it with other supplements? also i read that bleeding and bruising is a side effect and not to take with asperine or blood thinners, what about alcohol? it also thins out the blood?

    • Purica says:

      Yes, you can take this with other natural supplements. PURICA mushrooms are micronized and full spectrum — so could be considered more like a whole food or superfood. We have never experienced any contraindications such as the ones you are referring to. However we always recommend that you consult with a health care practitioner if you have concerns and are taking prescription medication, diabetes or anticoagulant medications.

  • Slava says:

    Hi, I got this product for my mom. She was taking one capsule a day and for about 20 days she had a stomach ache. When she stopped taking it the pain went away. My question is if stomach ache is a common side effect and what could have caused it? My mom is also on an iron medication but she does not get stomach ache from it alone. Thank you!

    • Purica says:

      Hello!

      Thank you for your question. This is a very popular product that we sell and this is not a common or known side effect of Chaga. But as it is a food there is always a possibility of a sensitivity. If you are sure it’s the Chaga I would not recommend continuing to take it. Thank you agian.

      Purica

  • diane dixon says:

    I have just purchased the Chaga capsules from my local health food store and they have a very strong rancid odour .The best before date is Nov. 2018 ?

    • Purica says:

      Thank you for your question! The Chaga we sell is the whole Mycelia and Fruiting body and it does have a strong scent to it but I can assure you it is not rancid. All of our mushrooms products are fully tested for quality and purity before being released for sale.

  • David Derouin says:

    I’ve been creating 2x extracts and Chaga creams for months it’s truly an amazing mushroom. My question is all research I’ve done doesn’t show much benefit to Chaga in pill form since it’s not actually extracted before it’s consumed. Your stomach acids destroy any extraction possibilities from my research so I have not created a pill form for my clients I would love to be guided to any research or info you could provide on its benefits! Thank you David Derouin Mycota Standards llc

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