Chaga is a mushroom that commonly grows in northern regions on birch, alder and
beech trees. Because of its close association with birch trees, it is often referred
to as the 'birch mushroom'. Unlike most mushrooms, chaga is a polypore, a fungus
with pores instead of gills. It has the outward appearance of a black, irregular,
cracked mass, grows on tree trunks and is most often sterile. It is not cultivated
but rather wild-crafted. Because of its irregular size and the way it is harvested,
chaga is generally sold as dried, cut pieces of varying size.
The most recent and definitive analytical work on chaga has been performed by
Dr. Kirsti Kahlos, a pharmacognycist at the School of Pharmacy, University of
Helsinki, Finland. Kahlos and her colleagues found a wide variety of active triterpenes.
Of those, the most active was specified as inotodiol. They also found the compound
betulin, which is translocated from the birch host into the fungus. Other researchers
have found active polysaccharides, a common occurrence in most medicinal mushrooms.
regarding the effects of chaga have centered around its common folk uses. It has
been used for centuries in Russia as a cancer cure, often stomach and lung cancer,
as well as for common stomach ailments such as gastritis, ulcers and general pain.
Water decoctions have even been used in colonics for lower bowel problems. Since
1955, a refined extract has been manufactured and sold in Russia and Eastern Europe
for the treatment of stomach and intestinal diseases.
Scientific research has confirmed some of the primary folk uses. Kahlos and others
have found significant anti-cancer activity against specific tumor systems. Kahlos
also found activity against specific influenza viruses. Chaga has shown anti-inflammatory
activity which it is believed could be responsible for some of its benefits to
the stomach and bowels.
It will take more
research to find definitive answers to the action of chaga. But considering its
folk use and the active compounds elucidated by scientific researchers, we believe
that it has positive health potential. For this reason, we have developed a standardized
chaga extract. If you are interested, we would be happy to send you more detailed
information about chaga.
is an unique product that is only available from NAMMEX!