Other Common Names
Part Used and Form
Primary Traditional Functions
Adapotenic, immune modulator
Quite by "accident" I discovered for myself how beneficial mushrooms are for me when I was battling Candida. I had previously enjoyed eating mushrooms and was told by people, "experieinced" with helping others regain their health while battling and recovering from Candida, that mushrooms were off limits. Not knowing better, I listened for some years. I got to a point that I began "craving" mushrooms after some years had passed. I decided to start including mushrooms in my diet again and to my amazement I began to regain lost strength and vitality! I began using good quality wild Cordyceps, Reishi and Tremella. Then at one of the herb seminars I was attending, someone started talking about Chaga. Low and behold I thought to myself, "That is what those mushrooms were growing on the birch trees in the woods when I was a little girl!" (I grew up in the northeastern part of the United States.) I went on to learn Chaga is one of the most powerful, adaptogenic mushrooms I can take for my health and sustaining my life.
Revered above Reishi by many in China, some call it the "King of Herbs". See where it stands in the list below.
Top 10 mushrooms by order of importance in traditional Chinese herbalism:
Chaga has life enhancing properties that makes it a very important mushroom to many people. Chaga is used as a tea, powder or applied to the skin for its beneficial properties and balancing the body's immune system. Chaga is highly sought after throughout Asia.
Chaga grows on birch trees. The fungus grows a black perennial woody "conk" and is a true mushroom. The Chaga conk grows with the tree over a 5-7 year period in the harsh Siberian winter climate where temperatures fall to minus 40 degrees centigrade. The mushroom absorbs life sustaining nutrients from the birch tree until the conk flower is fully ripe. This conk flower falls to the forest floor at 20 years, followed shortly by the death of the birch tree completing the cycle.
Chaga contains an extraordinary amount of phyto-nutrients such as b-glucans, also known as polysaccharides that are known to be immune activators. It also contains amino acids, minerals and nucleosides. Chaga has double-direction activity making it a powerful immune modulator, is hypo-allergenic, anti-viral, anti-cancer, adaptogenic, highest source of melanin, highest source of antioxidants (to fight free radicals that damage cells), metabolism modulator, eliminate toxins, stimulates the central nervous system and skin benefits include maintaining skin color and elasticity. The best Chaga grows a meter or higher off the ground because the higher you go in a birth tree, the larger the amount of betulinic acid.
High potency Chaga can only be harvested in the wild. There have been attempts at cultivating Chaga, but the results have so far been disappointing to pharmaceutical companies. Attempts for culturing this fungus under sterile conditions have all resulted in a reduced production of bioactive metabolites proving that Wild Chaga is the way to go. You can't improve on what God makes!
Chaga is documented in the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing journal in 100 BC as "The King of Herbs" and a "Gift from God". Asian culture refers to Chaga as the "Mushroom of Immortality".
As people are waking up and losing faith in the world's health care system and the safety of pharmaceuticals, their search takes them closer to natural methods to take care of their health using herbs. Hundreds of billions of $$$ are spent regularly on pharmaceutical research to find "cures" for sickness and disease, but very little in is spent on health maintenance. The reason being unless pharmaceutical companies can patent new chemical compounds, they have no financial motivation. Guess who funds most of the research? The big pharmaceutical companies. But they can't patent what God has made for us!
Chaga is used in Russian folk medicine to treat tumors. It is a rich source of zinc, selenium, iron, chromium, manganese, copper and magnesium. It has a double direction adaptogenic effect on the immune system similar to the way Reishi modulates the immune system. Chaga has also been studied for its effect on the influenza virus and is listed in China as one of the five primary anti-influenza virus mushrooms.
Scientific studies done in Finland and Russia in 1958 showed that Chaga provides a huge effect on breast cancer, liver cancer, uterine cancer, gastric cancer, hypertension and diabetes. And in 1973 a case srudy of 50 patients was published in Russia on theeffect Chaga has on psoriasis. The outcome had almost a 100% sucess rate. In China and Japan Chaga has astounding effects against cancers with no side effects. Further research shows strong anti-inflammatory and immune balancing properties that stimulates the body to produce natural killer cells. n a 48-patient human clinical trial in Poland in 1957, 10 patients treated with chaga showed a reduction of tumor size, a decrease in pain, a decrease in the intensity and the frequency of hemorrhaging, and a recovery accompanied with better sleep, appetite and feelings of improvement. Most of these patients were females treated with chaga for cancer of the genital organs or breast cancer.
In the west people are using Chaga against diabetes, high choloesterol, high blood pressure (HBP), insomnia, depression, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Chrnnic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), colds, flu, Herpes and HIV/AIDS.
One of the premier tonic herbs of Siberia and China. And it's vegetarian.