Sunday, December 7, 2008

What is Chaga?

What is chaga

It is a parasitic fungus on Birch trees. The sterile conk is irregularly formed and has the appearance of burnt charcoal. It grows in birch forests of Russia, Korea, Eastern Europe, Northern areas of the United States and in the North Carolina mountains.

Chaga takes 5 to 7 years to grow, is very rare and cannot be farmed

Highest orac score

There is no argument that antioxidants are crucial for one’s health. Yet chaga has the highest ORAC score ever recorded in any natural food! Testing of Siberian chaga has shown that chaga has the highest ORAC score recorded in any natural food: 1,104 ORAC units per gram. This is more than 6 times as powerful as açaí berries, more than 10 times the antioxidant power of pomegranate and 46 times higher than blueberries. This means that Siberian chaga has far greater capacity to wipe out free radicals in your system.

Medicinal uses

Since the 16th century, there are records of chaga mushroom being used in folk medicine and the botanical medicine of the Eastern European countries as a remedy for cancer, gastritis, ulcers, and tuberculosis of the bones.

In 1958, scientific studies in Finland and Russia found Chaga provided an epochal effect in breast cancer, liver cancer, uterine cancer, and gastric cancer, as well as in hypertension and diabetes.

Herbalist David Winston maintains that it is the strongest anti-cancer medicinal mushroom. The antimutagenic action of the molecules found in the white part of birch bark where chaga feeds inhibits free-radical oxidation and also induces the production of interferons, which helps induce DNA repair.

The anti-cancer properties of betulin or betulinic acid, a chemical isolated from chaga, is now being studied for use as a chemotherapeutic agent. Chaga contains large amounts of betulinic acid in a form that can be ingested orally, and it also contains the full spectrum of immune-stimulating phytochemicals found in other medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, cordyceps, and maitake.

An adaptogen

Chaga is a premier adaptogen. Adaptogens are natural substances, found in certain plants, that increase the human body's natural resistance to physical and emotional stress, fatigue, depression and organic illness.

The concept of adaptogens was identified by Nikolai Lazarev in the early 1940’s, and later more closely defined by his protégé, Dr. Israel I. Brekhman and I. V. Dardymov. According to their criteria, which are still generally accepted today, adaptogens:

Show some nonspecific protective effect, increasing bodily resistance to physically, chemically, or biologically noxious agents or factors;

Have a normalizing influence on a pathologic state, independent of the nature of that state; and

Are non-toxic, have no side effects, and do not disturb normal body functions

In closing

By consuming chaga know that you are consuming the highest antioxidant food on the planet which will be detoxifying your body, boosting your immune system, decreasing inflammation, and also helping your body adapt to the myriad of stresses that if faces every moment of every day.

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