Chaga Chaga Chaga Chaga….MUSHROOM!

I like to think that I have fairly good intuition.  Before Zumba blew up the gym class scene it began as a simple VHS tape in the 90’s created by Alberto “Beto” Perez.  The VHS consisted of more traditional music and basic steps from a variety of latino dance styles.  That’s when I got hooked to it until it exploded into a craze and forgot its roots.  Similarly, when I purchase a new CD I typically hear my favorite songs aired on the radio within two months.  There have been several instances over the years where I saw a particular product pr program and within a year it was mainstream.  I’m never the first to get to it but it’s neat to see things I’m interested in develop over time.  I imagine and hope that Krav Maga will become more popular among the right crowd.
Recently a fungus was brought to my attention that I think may be getting some more attention (I may be wrong, I’ve been known to do that periodically).  It already has quite a popular following to begin with and has been used by Russians, Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans for centuries.  During one of my sales trips in Maine I stayed with my grandparents.  My grampy pulled out a newspaper article about a mushroom called Chaga.  After reading the article he purchased some powdered product and brewed it into his coffee.  He claimed that he was having more energy.  Before I jump onto the chaga train I thought I’d look into it more.  Newspaper articles are great but I prefer scientific evidence; the media doesn’t always get the facts straight.

I began my research by looking at the sites that deal with mushrooms.  Biased, sure, but it’s a place to start.  From there I examined the claims made from these sites using the research from databases (free databases as I have no access to those fancy ones).  This is what I found:


The Chaga mushroom

500_chaga_fungus_plus_50g_a_grade

Scientific NameInonotus obliquus

Nicknames:        “Gift from God”  and “Mushroom of Immortality” (Siberia)

“The Diamond of the Forest” (Japan)

“King of Plants” (China)

Description:  This is a parasitic mushroom found on the trunks of decaying birch trees, typically north of 45 degrees north latitude.

Benefits: 

  • Nutrient Dense
    • B Vitamins
    • flavonoids
    • phenols(chromogenic complex) (up tp 30% by weight)
    • Minerals (Copper, potassium, manganese, Zinc, iron, calcium)
    • pantothenic acid (needed by adrenal glands and digestive organs)
    • riboflavin and niacin
    • SOD superoxide dismutase
      • (halt oxidation quenches singlet oxygen free radical (10000-20000active units/g)
      • (typical SOD pill has 200-2000).
      • SOD helps body use copper, zinc, manganese (has been used to treat arthritis, prostate issues, ulcers, burns, inflammatory disease, ibd,)
    • Anti-Cancer:
      • Betulinic acid – triggers apoptosis through direct effect on mitochondria of cancer cells.
      • Beta glucans: bind to complement receptor 3 (CR3) to allow immune cells to recognize cancer cells as “non self”
    • Anti HIV
      • 2005 Ulrich Lindequist
    • Antibacterial
    • anti-malarial
    • anti-inflamatory

Unfortunately my lack of access to scientific data limits my ability to analyze the evidence.   Although I do have some articles for you to read below, they hardly scratch the surface.  There is a plethora of documents available on the expensive scientific databases.   I can only wish I had the time and money to access these.

Have you heard of chaga?  What are your thoughts?

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About sscribner07

I am outgoing, motivated, quirky and energetic. Fitness and nutrition is a passion yet I have a serious sweet tooth.
This entry was posted in Biochemistry, Food, Health and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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