As with many things internet based, a lot of information is copied and pasted, has a dash of creative license, a sprinkling of Chinese whispers and boom you have a new superfood or a superherb. When we select our products we look for the most effective and the very best quality. So we research, then research some more, and provide all of that research here, so that you can make up your own mind.
ANTI-OXIDANT (ADAPTING TO STRESS)
Chaga has been classified as an ADAPTOGEN which science suggests is any product than when consumed helps the body adapt to stress, anti-oxidants play an important role when preventing the body from oxidising and thus put under more stress. The anti-oxidant profile of Chaga has been widely studied, Chaga’s anti-oxidants (polysaccharides) are responsible for most of its attributed health benefits, protection against radiation is one of those studied, others are shown below. These polysacharides have actually been show in a number of separate studies to increase when subjected to low levels of radiation.
Another anti-oxidant in large quantities in Chaga are melanins — high molecular weight phenolic (anti-oxidant) pigments — responsible for the dark colour on the surface (fruiting body) of the Chaga. Melanin is present in small amounts in the human body and is needed to facilitate a wide range of health benefits, notably the synthesis of vitamin D and the protection against UV rays via our largest organ the skin, helping us look healthier on the outside as well as the inside. Melanin has also been shown to protect DNA—DNA being the building blocks of the body and its functions—when the DNA is compromised it has potential to be more susceptible to disease. (5, 8, 9, 14, 15, 18)
IMMUNE HEALTH (ORGANS)
Various studies have demonstrated Chaga has potent immune supporting actions, not surprising with their rich source of polysaccharides, because they have strong immune balancing properties, enhancing the body’s ability to produce ‘natural killer (NK) cells’ it makes them a perfect nutrient for the immune system. To top that, when Chaga is ingested, a range of secondary metabolites are produced, many of which have been shown to have the potential to be highly active as potent immune modulators.
Studies suggest that due to its high levels of polysaccharides, Chaga may be used as an agent to fight and/or suppress the spread of various types of cancers, including lymphoma, lung, colon and cervical cancers, whether through alcohol extractions, water extractions or isolated compounds. It's no wonder that in 1955 the Russian anti-cancer council listed a Chaga extract for use as an adjunct treatment to chemotherapy. And another well know Russian, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) a novelist, historian and winner of the Nobel Prize, published the book "The Cancer Ward” in 1968, in which he speaks about "the tea from the birch tree mushroom", its healing components and potential benefits to cancer patients, crediting Chaga with curing his Cancer. Obviously Chaga is not a miracle drug and there are lots of factors to Cancers spread, from genes to our environments and what we eat, but by boosting our bodies immune system to help fight any disease it can only be positive - every little helps.
Other immune supporting compounds found in Chaga are ergosterol peroxide and trametenolic, which in Chaga have also been linked to helping prevent the growth of cancer cells. (1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 16, 17, 20, 21)
Chaga has been used traditionally as an anti-inflammatory, but science has also confirmed its use. Chronic inflammation is rampant in the 21st century and is directly related to pain, and can be the catalyst for many other health issues, and in some cases leading to depression, which makes Chaga one of the most significant tonic ‘herbs’ (super-foods) we have access to. Ergosterol peroxide and trametenolic have been shown to provide some of the anti-inflammatory effects that Chaga provides when consumed. (18, 21)
When extracted with water Chaga has been found to help prevent a virus's ability to fuse with cells (membrane fusion) and shown to be the case with the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which would suggest that for other viruses that attack the body in the same way, it could have the same preventative effects. (6, 13)
COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE (MEMORY)
Oxidative stress is implicated as a cause for various neuro degenerative diseases, Parkinsons being one of those. Due to Chagas adaptogenic effects, studies have shown that it has the potential to help reduce oxidation of the cells responsible for causing these types of degenerative diseases. (12)
CIRCULATORY (SUGARS and CHOLESTEROL)
Consuming Chaga, similarly to Reishi, has also been shown to aid in managing cholesterol by lowering LDL and increasing HDL, as well as decreasing blood sugar, proving that this could be beneficial for those suffering from Diabetes. (