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The Magic of Mushrooms: Part 1 - Chaga

Updated: Jul 19



We are excited to finally announce the release of our first new addition to our capsule range, a blend of Himalayan Shilajit extract combined with four of the world's most beneficial medicinal mushrooms. Each of the ingredients included in our Altai Mountain Shilajit Mushroom Blend have been specifically selected for their vast range of health benefits. We have scoured the planet to find supreme quality extracts of Chaga, Lion's Mane, Cordyceps and Reishi. All of these medicinal mushrooms have been used in holistic healing cultures for thousands of years from the shamanic rituals in a wintery Siberian taiga to the towering mountains of ancient China, for preventing and treating illness and disease, increasing longevity, boosting the immune system and improving cognitive function among many others.



Let's dive in and take a look at each of the mushrooms, what qualities they possess and what health benefits they provide, starting with the birch dwelling Chaga.


Chaga (inonotus obliquus)



Native to the Circumboreal region of the Northern Hemisphere, Chaga is a fungi that can be found growing in Birch forests. Its appearance is rather ugly, an irregular shaped conk which resembles burnt coal. It is usually black in colour due to the high amounts of melanin. Known as the 'intelligent mushroom', due to the number of benefits is has stored with it, Chaga can grow in cold, harsh conditions. It’s very tough and durable and has been used medicinally in Siberia and across Asia to boost immunity and fend off illness and is commonly ground and prepared in a tea. It is high in minerals and antioxidants including:


Copper

Zinc

Potassium

Calcium

Iron

Selenium

Phytosterols

Protocatechuic acid

Polysaccharides

Triterpenes

Botulin

Ergosterol peroxide

P-hydroxybenzoic acids


These chemicals have been extracted from chaga for use in the development of anti-oxidising treatments and cancer treatments. Phytosterols and Triterpenes amongst the Ergosterol peroxide are the forerunners for alleviating mutations in the body such as tumours. Phydroxybenzoic acid can be used to restore balance within the blood and helps the flow of circulation in the blood stream improving vital organs and the lymph nodes.


Amongst other adaptogens used for therapeutic aid and not like other fungi, due it’s flavour chaga goes well with hot chocolate or rich drinks. The taste of chaga is similar to vanillin found in vanilla beans, earthy and slightly bitter.




Health Benefits of Chaga include:


1. Fights Cancer Cells


Since Russian Doctor Sergey N. Maslennikov first researched the effects of chaga tea, locally known as 'Peasant's Tea', and its ability to seemingly prevent any cancers from the poorest of the town's people, there has been plenty of research into the potential of chaga showing the ability to not only eradicate cancer cells but prevent them. Most of the modern clinical trials have been done on mice but the studies show positive results in suppressing growth of cancer cells and tumours. Plenty are calling for further scientific research into the potential use of chaga to naturally prevent and treat the dreaded c word.


"In tumor-bearing mice, 60% tumor reduction was observed"


https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405844016301773


"These findings provide experimental evidence supporting the potential application of I. obliquus (chaga) in lung cancer treatment and reveal the molecular basis underlying its cytotoxic activity against human lung cancer cells."

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S037887411831403X



2. Improves Immune System


As mentioned above, Chaga is chock full of anti-oxidants, minerals and compounds that will all help to effectively reduce stresses within the body, remove toxicity and free radicals and help to build a strong and combative immune system.


3. Heart Health


Chaga has been shown not only to lower LDL cholesterol (bad), a major contributor to heart disease, but also directly increases HDL cholesterol (good), which researchers believe is due to the high amount of anti-oxidants present in Chaga. Studies also show how Chaga can help to relieve a high blood pressure, all contributing to better cardiovascular performance.


4. Prevention of Diabetes


In the South African Journal of Botany published in 2019, a study was carried out showing the effects of various types of mushroom and their influence on reducing the symptoms of diabetes. While some showed no signs of improvement, the Chaga mushroom showed to have the most beneficial impact in reducing both alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase, enzymes linked with type 2 diabetes.


"All of the investigated mushroom species inhibited α-glucosidase with 'Inonotus obliquus' (Chaga) as the most potent inhibitor among studied species"


https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254629917314205



5. Gut Health


One of Chaga's earliest recorded uses was to treat stomach ulcers and gastritis. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing swelling and agitation ultimately inhibiting pain in the area and enhances the bodies ability to battle unwanted bacteria in the gut. Chaga has also been shown to relieve symptoms of IBS.


There are many potential benefits in supplementing chaga into your daily routine, whether you add it to tea or coffee, smoothies or now alongside a host of other fantastic fungi and of course, shilajit, Chaga is an essential addition to any holistic stack.




Altai Mountain Shilajit Mushroom Blend - an all natural combination of four adaptogenic mushrooms and Himalayan Shilajit Extract is now available at our online store here.




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