A True Treasure from Siberia
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is a highly prized tonic fungus (mushroom), long used in traditional Siberian, Korean, Chinese, north European and Scandinavian herbalism. It is found growing wild in old forests throughout the colder regions of Northern Asia and Northern Europe. The ultimate Chaga is believed to come from subarctic Siberian birch forests. Dragon Herbs premium Chaga is collected from remote sub-arctic Siberian forests.
Asian herbalists believe that Siberian Chaga preserves youthfulness, promotes health, and promotes longevity. Because of its potent protective qualities and high degree of safety, it is relegated as a “superior herb.” It is categorized as a Qi tonic, like Reishi mushroom. It is also considered to be a superb Kidney tonic. Russian and Scandinavian scientists have done the most scientific research on this powerful herb in recent years. Siberian Chaga is a very powerful antioxidant. Studies indicate it is a much more potent free radical scavenger than almost all other popular dietary antioxidants, including blueberries and acai. Chaga may be used as a Shen tonic as well, and as an immune modulating (strengthening, balancing, supportive and regulating) tonic of the highest order.
Siberian Chaga contains a range of important active constituents including polysaccharides, phenolic compounds, lanostane triterpenoids and melanin, a pigment that is present and needed throughout the human body, with a wide range of health benefits. Research on Siberian Chaga has demonstrated potent immune supporting actions. Upon ingestion, a range of secondary metabolites are produced, many of which are highly active as potent immune modulators. Chaga is a rich source of 1-3 β–glucans, polysaccharides that are quintessential nutrients for the immune system. These polysaccharides have strong immune balancing properties, enhancing the body’s ability to produce natural killer (NK) cells. At the cellular level, Chaga has been shown to support the response to oxidative molecules that may negatively impact human DNA if not quenched.
Chaga produces large amounts of high molecular weight phenolic pigments that have been categorized as melanins. This melanin “complex” is released to the surface of Chaga. Melanin is a potent antioxidant pigment that is present and needed throughout the human body, and has a wide range of health benefits. It has been demonstrated that this Chaga melanin has strong genoprotective(DNA/gene protective) effects.
The antioxidant activity of the hot water extract of Chaga has been precisely compared with those of other tonic fungi (Agaricus blazei Mycelia, Ganoderma lucidum and Phellinus linteus) by Japanese researchers, showing that Chaga has the strongest antioxidant activity among the fungi examined in terms of both superoxide and hydroxyl radicals scavenging activities.
Siberian Chaga is non–toxic. Chaga’s safety has been well established, and it may be used as a daily tonic herb. Dragon Herbs Wild Siberian Chaga is extracted (concentrated) by a special controlled–temperature, full spectrum extraction technology. Both water and alcohol are used in the extraction and as a result, all bioactive components of the Chaga are present in Dragon Herbs Wild Siberian Chagapowdered extract.
Researchers have recently reported in an international research journal (2011) at least one mechanism by which Chaga modulates immune responses is through secretion of Th1/Th2 cytokines (bioactive chemicals) in immune cells, and that Chaga regulates antigen–specific antibody production. This modulatory effect is responsible for Chaga’s “double–direction” adaptogenic effect on the immune response. This activity is very similar to the same activities long noted in Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma). Because of its double direction adaptogenic activity, Chaga is suitable to all healthy normal individuals seeking a world class tonic to support a wide range of life functions.
Chaga, like several other important tonic herbs, is a rich source of the trace element zinc. Zinc is an essential nutrient required for cell growth, differentiation and survival. Its deficiency may result in immunodeficiency and many other health problems. Zinc is a critically important constituent of SOD, our most important innate antioxidant.
Chaga’s safety has been well established. It is non–toxic. It may be used in moderate amounts as a daily tonic. Chaga has been widely used in Japan, and the Japanese government carefully monitors adverse reaction reports. As of May 2011, in spite of the widespread popular use of this herb, there have been no adverse reaction reports in Japan.
Ron with Buddhist Shi Yan Lin at the Shaolin Temple and his Chaga mushroom altar.
Chaga mushroom altar at the Shaolin Temple.