- Authors: Christopher and Dana VanDeCar (Owners and Founders of Optimally Organic)
- Editor: Gabriel Ricard
- Webmaster: Xavier Clapin-Pépin
If you are searching for the best raw wild-crafted chaga mushroom, you can find what you’re looking for at Optimally Organic! Our Chaga Mushrooms are grown and harvested in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner. They come to you from the pristine conditions of high forested mountains.
Our raw wild-crafted chaga mushrooms are bioactive, alive and are never heated or irradiated. With either of our Chaga mushroom products, keep in mind that we do not use chemicals, additives or preservatives.
Where Do Chaga Mushrooms Come From?
As you consider the benefits of chaga mushrooms, it reminds us again of the remarkable nurturing potential and power of our planet. Our chaga mushrooms come from two distinct, ideal locations. The birthing place for Canadian chaga can be found in the high mountains. The extreme weather conditions in the Siberian mountains gives us Siberian Chaga. While it is true that the chaga mushroom requires a pristine environment in which to thrive, it is also true that we are talking about something that Can be grown under intense conditions. In a broad sense, it is the frigid winters and chaste environment of the mountains that creates perfect climate and atmosphere conditions for chaga mushrooms.
Regardless of which Chaga you choose, you can be certain you’re getting something loaded with invaluable ingredients. The only thing that varies across the different chaga mushroom types is the value of the nutrient dense, bioactive ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity):
- Canadian Chaga, 50,000 ORAC
- Siberian Chaga, 60,000 ORAC
Aside from chocolate, it’s the second most anti-oxidant rich food on the planet. Chaga is also packed with high levels of naturally occurring Vitamin B complex. It’s rich in more than 215 phytonutrients, beta glucans, saponins, amino acids, belulinic acid, and other raw food based soluble minerals. The body can benefit from these things in a variety of different ways.
Chaga Mushroom is not a newcomer to the healthy-lifestyle world stage. It is one of nature's oldest medicinal herbs. Chaga, often called “The King of All Mushrooms,” has been attracting the attention of people all over the world for its multipurpose uses. Since ancient times, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners have used Chaga for several crucial reasons. The more you learn about those reasons, the easier it will be to appreciate what chaga mushrooms can do for you. Tens of million Americans suffer from a variety of environmental lifestyle factors including chemical exposure, pollution, drug therapy, malnutrition, smoking, secondary smoke, radiation and stress.
The Source of Chaga Mushroom Nutrients
Chaga Mushrooms extract their nutrients from living birch trees, rather than the soil! Pay particular attention to the amazing properties of betulin or betulinic acid. This is a chemical isolated from birch trees, which researchers have been studying to determine its potential use as a chemotherapy agent.
Optimally Organic’s Raw Chaga Mushroom contains a significant amount of betulinic acid in a form which can be easily and orally consumed. There are a host of other properties, including a full spectrum of immune-stimulating phytochemicals. These can be found in other medicinal mushrooms like maitake and shiitake mushroom.
After more than 40 years of research, over 1,400 modern scientific publications conclude that the components of Chaga Mushroom help remedy a myriad of common health conditions.
Chaga Mushroom was approved for public use by the Medical Academy of Science, Moscow in 1955. The Soviet research on Siberian Chaga Mushroom determined that its potent mixture of Adaptogens make it beneficial for overall health!
Let’s dig deeper into the potential Chaga mushroom health benefits:
- Benefits metabolic health
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- High levels of anti-oxidants
- Supports cellular regeneration
- Antibacterial and antiviral properties
- Aids in digestion
- ORAC levels near 60,000
- Abundance of B Vitamins
- 215 Phytonutrients
- Anti-Aging properties
The best method of drawing nutrients from chaga mushrooms is achieved by low heat water extraction. This technique requires no alcohol base or high heat. The strongest of the chaga mushroom types can be found in the form of our loose/ground chaga mushroom. For an added treat, consider adding raw chaga mushrooms to your next smoothie.
One of the best ways to incorporate Chaga Mushroom as a supplement is to use it in a beverage. Believe it or not, but these mushrooms can make for a delicious tea or coffee. Imagine a caffeine-free energy boost with no bitter aftertaste!
Chaga Mushroom Recommendations
Keep in mind that water extraction is ideal for obtaining maximum chaga mushroom benefits. You will also want to remember that you do not boil or microwave chaga mushroom. Chaga mushrooms ultimately work best when combined with a good diet, but that doesn’t mean they can’t produce good results under less-than-stellar conditions. You may also want to avoid strong spices. We would also strongly suggest combining the benefits of chaga mushrooms with the benefits of fulvic ionic minerals.
Do not give to babies or young children!
What Is Chaga Mushroom?
Chaga won’t win any awards for its appearance. In fact, the rather unpleasant Chaga mushroom appearance may even cause you to take a step back. This fungal parasite is found on birch trees, and almost looks as if it’s an alien trying to escape from the inside of the tree. Chaga is black, crusty and hard. Since it can eventually kill its host tree, it’s nickname is “tree cancer.”
Centuries ago, people were just as intrigued and curious about this bursting tumor-looking blemish and began to test its medicinal properties. Never forget: When it comes to healthful properties of something, appearances aren’t everything! Some of the ugliest things you can find in nature can carry the biggest potential to help you feel your best.
While it usually acts as a parasite on birch and beech trees, chaga mushrooms have been discovered on other trees, including the chestnut tree.
After dwelling secretly inside its host for several years, the black conk erupts, breaking through the bark. The mushroom resides inside the tree’s cambium, which is the outer layer of a growing tree’s cells. After the Chaga conk matures, a pore-producing sheath forms sideway. Many more spores drop to the ground, which are quickly devoured by beetles and flies. This is the mechanism for spreading spores to the other trees in the vicinity. The approximation of the number of host birch trees of Chaga parasites range from 1 in 20, to 1 in 15,000. This discrepancy is rather easy to explain; only when the Chaga mushroom forces its way to the outer world is it visible. We simply cannot estimate how widespread the Chaga infection is with concrete accuracy.
In today’s world, the market for Chaga is bursting. Companies across the globe are capitalizing on this mushroom as a nutritional supplement, as Chaga has a worldwide reputation as a medicinal mushroom.
Chaga Mushroom Facts
Another good thing to keep in mind is that chaga mushrooms are quite high in antioxidants. These are powerful compounds that defend healthy cells by fighting the ravaging free radicals. It’s these free radicals that can demolish cells, and negatively affect the capacity of a cell’s DNA structure.
Literally thousands of antioxidants have been discovered and identified. Two of the most common ones are vitamin C and vitamin E. Research on antioxidants has focused primarily how they protect cells from free radical damage.
Research On Chaga Mushrooms
In 2004, researchers in Korean made a fascinating discovery. They reported that human cells which were pretreated with a hot water extract of Chaga conk had a 40 percent reduction in DNA fragmentation when compared with the positive control (Park et al., 2004).
These types of promising results sparked further research across the globe. Three years later in 2007, at the University of Bradford, U.K., medical research scientists embarked upon another interesting study involving Chaga and a group of patients. They studied the antioxidative effects of a room temperature water-ethanol extract of cultured Chaga mycelium on the DNA of 40 patients. Twenty were healthy individuals, and the other 20 had irritable bowel disease (IBD). They concluded:
“Chaga supplementation resulted in a 54.9% reduction of H2 O2 induced DNA damage within the patient group and 34.9% within the control group. Conclusively, Chaga extract reduces oxidative stress in lymphocytes from IBD patients and also healthy individuals when challenged in vitro. Thus, Chaga extract could be a possible and valuable supplement to inhibit oxidative stress in general.""
Chaga Mushroom Shopping
One problem that has emerged with the explosive Chaga market occurs when nonprofessional companies savagely chop Chaga from the trunk of trees.
Trees that are closest to roads and hiking trails have been stripped of Chaga. Profit-driven commercial harvesters cause serious damage to these trees. This exposes digested wood to fungus-loving insects, which can accelerate the spread of diseases borne by insects.
Not many studies have been conducted to determine the long-term effect Chaga harvesting will have on the ecosystem. But if people continue to remove Chaga, beetles and other insects view it as a free lunch. The fact that this can create an ideal breeding ground for a communicable disease leaves us with the threat of a potentially hazardous downstream impact.
How To Cultivate Chaga Mushrooms
One viable solution to overharvesting Chaga is cultivation. Chaga mycelium can easily be grown using eco-friendly, effective techniques that are already used in the mushroom industry. Initially, the color of Chaga mycelium is off-white, but it deepens as it ages. By the time the growth is mature, it is brown. Early analysis of this mycelium reveals that the antioxidants in the controlled environments are similar to that of wild-harvested Chaga.
Many believe that as Chaga continues to receive global acceptance, more researchers should invest more time in studying potential as a vault of new medicines.
What About Chaga Mushroom Side Effects?
To be clear: Chaga mushrooms are safe for virtually all to consume. However, there are still certain possibilities to be understand. Consuming chaga mushrooms may increase the effects of anticoagulant medications such as aspirin and warfarin. This can elevate your risk for bleeding and bruising. Those with auto-immune disease should consult with a healthcare professional prior to ingesting chaga mushrooms.
Chaga mushrooms should not be used when taking intravenous applications of glucose and penicillin. If you are pregnant or lactating, consult your healthcare provider prior to taking. Be sure to store chaga unopened, or opened in a cool, dark and dry place."