Over the past 25 years, numerous researches of the medicinal mushroom health benefits have been studied and published. Medicinal mushrooms produce medically significant metabolites or can be induced to produce such metabolites using biotechnology. Studies demonstrate the pharmacological benefits of medicinal mushrooms, especially for the immune, endocrine and central nervous systems.
There are many types of medicinal mushrooms, including Chaga, Reishi, Shiitake, Cordyceps, and Agaricus Blazei mushrooms. While each of these provides nutritional benefits, Chaga mushroom provides many health benefits you need to improve our wellbeing.
The scientific name for Chaga mushroom is Inonotus obliquus. Chaga scientific studies have been well documented for decades. The research shows that Chaga has unique ability to provide a wide variety of beneficial nutrients, including antioxidants, beta-glucans, polysaccharides, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. Chaga mushroom also absorbs betulinic acid from their host tree. Betulinic acid is a product of betulin, which scientists believe possess potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Chaga is unique among medicinal mushrooms. In addition to its potent immune stimulating properties* Chaga has an extremely high Oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) content.
This assessment is based on Brunswick Labs performing tests that assign supplements an ORAC score as a way to compare properties between different supplements. The ORAC value of the Sayan Siberian chaga extract was much higher than green, black tea or acai extracts.
The high ORAC content properties are attributed to an active compound unique to Chaga mushroom bodies. Siberian Chaga mushroom provides health benefits in the form of antioxidants – a unique quality that sets Chaga mushroom apart from other mushroom supplements. We recommend visit our Chaga antioxidant page for more information.
Chaga mushroom also contain melanin compounds that may help to nourish the skin and hair, and may also protect the skin and hair from the damage that comes from aging and excessive exposure to the sun. Given this broad range of diverse health benefits Chaga is one of the most useful mushroom extracts for general immune support.*
Interesting fact: Chaga research has yielded surprising results – Chaga DNA makeup is 30 percent closer to a human’s than to a plant’s.
Medicinal Mushroom Extract
If you are like most people who rely on Siberian Chaga mushroom extract for the health benefits that mushrooms provide, you want to gain the most out of your supplements by using the highest potency and well studied products available. Most people do not realize, however, that there are two methods of producing Chaga mushroom supplements and that there are significant differences between the two.
Traditional herbal practitioners use mushroom supplements prepared using hot water extraction methods. Researchers have performed many scientific studies on mushroom supplements created through these hot water methods, and are aware of the many health benefits they provide.
Other mushroom supplement companies sell mushrooms prepared and preserved through an extraction method that uses alcohol (alcohol extraction) or unextracted mycelium powder, which manufacturers create by growing mushroom mycelium on sterilized rice. Mushroom supplements created in this fashion present a fraction of the potency in comparison to those made with hot water extracts. Furthermore, scientists done very limited research for mushroom supplements made by alcohol extraction, sometimes also called cold water extraction, nor have traditional herbal practitioners ever included them in their practices.
Only further research can determine whether the alcohol extraction and unextrtaced mycelium powder or medicinal mushroom tinctures provides any health benefit at all.
Before there is official support for health claims made about a dietary supplement, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) requires the scientific community come to a consensus regarding the health benefits of a product. At this time, leaders of the scientific community have not come to any official consensus regarding the immune health benefits of taking mushroom supplements created through alcohol extraction or unextracted mycelium powder.
The only consensus the scientific community does come to is that unextracted mycelium powder contains extremely low and ineffective levels of the compounds that defines a mushroom as “medicinal.”
In other words, some mushroom manufacturers who use alcohol extraction or unextracted mycelium powder may not be operating under full compliance of DSHEA because there is no scientific research or consensus to back this method.
Hot water extracts, like those offered by the supplement professionals at Sayan Health, are the only type of mushroom extracts used by traditional herbal practitioners and studied by scientists. Sayan Health only manufactures and sells extracts made by low pressure hot water extraction method and sublimation phase (drying) transition process, which ensures the maximum preservation of the active compounds in wild harvested Chaga mushroom.
The post-antibiotic world of Western Medicine is now beginning to study, evaluate, and test Chaga for the active compounds underlying its historically understood homeopathic benefits. As with many other natural medicinal foods and herbs, the modern medical and scientific community is coming to understand that dietary supplements like Chaga, offer a complex balance of active compounds, delivery mineral structures, and co-agents, more effective to sustaining a healthy immune balance than isolated compounds synthesized from these natural products.
One of the most important active compounds discovered in Siberian Chaga mushroom are polysaccharides, phenols, variety of triterpenes, sterols and melanin. Recent research is now beginning to demonstrate that these compounds could effectively improve human health.
Below is just a short list of studies which were done for Chaga mushroom:
Melanin complex of the fungus Inonotus obliquus.
Chemical Constituents of Inonotus obliquus.
Immuno-supporting effect of the endo-polysaccharide produced by submerged culture of Inonotus obliquus.
Reversal of the TPA-induced inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication by Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) extracts: effects on MAP kinases
Antioxidant effect of Inonotus obliquus.
Structure determination of inonotsuoxides A and B and in vivo anti-tumor promoting activity of inotodiol from the sclerotia of Inonotus obliquus.
The effect of aqueous extracts from Inonotus obliquus on the mitotic index and enzyme activities.
Antimitotic activity of aqueous extracts of Inonotus obliquus.
Here are few articles which were done on animals:
Giridharan VV, Thandavarayan RA, Konishi T. Amelioration of scopolamine induced cognitive dysfunction and oxidative stress by Inonotus obliquus – a medicinal mushroom. Food Funct. Jun 2011;2(6):320-327.
Yue Z, Xiuhong Z, Shuyan Y, et al. Effect of Inonotus Obliquus Polysaccharides on physical fatigue in mice. J Tradit Chin Med. Aug 2015;35(4):468-472.
Park YM, Won JH, Kim YH, et al. In vivo and in vitro anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effects of the methanol extract of Inonotus obliquus. J Ethnopharmacol. Oct 3 2005;101(1-3):120-128.
If you are interested in learning more about chaga mushroom health benefits we recommend you to conduct your own research. For example you can visit Pubmed (an immense governmental database with links to scientific research articles) and use “Chaga’ or “Inonotus Obliquus” as a search term.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.