Chaga is one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods on the planet. This is why it’s often referred to as the ‘OG’ King of mushrooms. The Health Benefits of Chaga Mushrooms are many; it’s one of the highest antioxidant foods you can find. Chaga looks like burnt charcoal or an oversized roasted marshmallow. It grows on Birch trees and can take up to 30 years to mature. The black, cracked outside shell is known as the sclerotium, a dense black mass of mycelia growing outside of Birch trees.
Where is it found?
Many major Northern climate dynasties have used Chaga for health and healing. It grows everywhere from the northern parts of China, Russia, and Finland and Canada and in the upper northeast United States, including Minnesota and Michigan.
Benefits of Chaga Medicinal Mushroom
The Chaga Mushroom is considered an anti-aging compound. It’s also why it’s a key ingredient in our popular Longevity stack.
Our bodies are continuously damaged by free radicals. High levels of antioxidants found in Chaga mushrooms counter the damage done to us by free radicals. One of Chaga’s most important characteristics is superoxide dismutase; an enzyme which forms a critical defence against oxidative stress in the body. It can also reduce inflammation and help prevent pre-cancerous changes within cells. Our body’s natural superoxide dismutase levels decline as we age, leaving us more vulnerable to the damage free radicals can do. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that Chaga exhibits can play a role in slowing the aging process by protecting our cells and supporting them to function optimally.
A 2016 Study shows the positive effects Chaga can have on longevity, the decline in motor and cognitive function as well as it’s anti-cancer effects:
According to this 2016 study: Cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The extracts of Inonotus obliquus (Chaga mushroom) demonstrate potent anti-tumour activities and have been used to treat cancer in several countries.
This 2009 study found that triterpenes, the compounds found in Chaga and some other mushrooms, cause tumour cells to selfdestruct. Unlike other cancer treatments, however, Chaga does not appear to harm healthy cells.
Immune system support:
Cytokines are the immune system’s chemical messengers. They are proteins that play a vital role in stimulating white blood cells, which are the immune system’s first line of defence against a range of illnesses.
Research on mice suggests that Chaga may help regulate cytokines’ production, supporting the immune system by assisting cells in communicating with one another. This could help fight infections, from minor colds to life-threatening illnesses.
This 2011 study shows the positive effect Chaga has on the immune system.
Recovery is fast becoming a vital aspect of all professional sports. Whether it’s an ice bath, sauna, sleep or supplements. Recovery and inflammation are on the tips of the worlds peak-performers.
Chaga’s role in regulating cytokine production may also help control inflammation- vital for recovery from the most strenuous training. This also points to a role for chaga in fighting autoimmune conditions and possibly some other diseases.
Recent studies like this one: suggests that some conditions that are not considered inflammatory, including depression, maybe partly due to chronic inflammation.
Lower blood pressure
Research suggests that oxidative stress is a contributing factor for high blood pressurePeople with high blood pressure are more prone to heart attacks strokes, and other cardiovascular health issues. Chaga’s antioxidants could have a potential role in lowering blood pressure and preventing poor cardiovascular health.
Vitamins and minerals
As for vitamins and minerals, Chaga mushrooms are rich in B-complex vitamins, vitamin D and several minerals, including potassium, zinc, iron, calcium and magnesium. Chaga mushrooms are also a great source of dietary fibre- something that is now recognised and linked to a wide array of health benefits.
The climate in Australia isn’t conducive to growing this strain of medicinal mushrooms, so we are very careful sourcing ours from Canada’s pristine mountains. Our Chaga is wildforaged and free from any heavy metals and pesticides. It’s then dual-extracted in the flawless environment that is Byron Bay- Australia. You’ll note the thick, dark colour of our Chaga compared to other less-potent extracts on the market. That’s because our unique dual-extraction process takes anywhere from four-six weeks and we are very careful in sourcing the highest quality Chaga on the market- Just as nature intended. Nothing we make comes from China where productions standards can be lower for growing medicinal mushrooms on a large scale. One of the motivations for setting up ‘Shroomunity’ was the plethora of cheap Chinese mushrooms that have flooded the Australian and US markets.
Used in the east for centuries, the Western world is just starting to realise the benefits of Cordyceps mushroom extract. From artists enhancing their creativity to athletes in the UFC, enhancing their performance, Cordyceps is fast becoming known as the most potent, non-banned substance for improving performance.
Backed by science, the list of benefits includes, (but is not limited to):
Mitochondria are often referred to as the powerhouses of the cell. They help turn the energy we take from food into energy that the cell can use.
Present in nearly all types of human cell, mitochondria are vital to our survival. They generate the majority of our adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of the cell. This 2010 Pubmed study showed the protective effects on mitochondria of polysaccharides from cultivated fruiting bodies of Cordyceps.
ATP and athletic performance, then, are closely related. ATP provides the energy your body needs for muscle contractions, blood circulation and cardiac function, and generally fuels the body for whatever function it may be performing. A 2016 study: showed a three-week supplementation period with cordyceps significantly improved tolerance to high-intensity exercise, suggesting the potential for more significant benefits with longer-term supplementation.
Studies have shown medicinal mushroom extracts contain anti-aging properties. Several studies have found that Cordyceps increase antioxidants in aged mice:
Antioxidants are molecules that fight cell damage by neutralising free radicals, which can otherwise contribute to disease and ageing.
One study found that mice that given Cordyceps lived several months longer than mice given a placebo:
Many of our clients have reported an improvement to their sex life after taking our Cordyceps mushroom extract. Cordyceps offers a natural and powerful alternative to libido-enhancing pharmaceutical drugs, proven in many studies and used by various cultures worldwide to treat male impotence, improve erectile function, sperm production and stamina, and increase sexual desire in both men and women. This is why we also include Cordyceps in our ‘SEX’ stack.
Studies have shown many Neuroprotective and therapeutic effect of Cordyceps. We’ve found our medicinal mushroom extract can help generate a state-of-flow lasting anywhere from 2-4 hours. It’s why we include artists, financial traders and academics to the growing list of our customer base.
It’s not only about how hard you can work, but how well you can recover. Although some inflammation is good, too much can lead to diseases like heart disease and cancer. Research has shown that when human cells are exposed to Cordyceps, special proteins that increase inflammation in the body become suppressed:
This not only helps recovery but could be responsible for reducing a slew of problems associated with excessive inflammation.
Our Cordyceps Mushroom extract is the highest quality on the market. Due to lowproduction standards associated with medicinal mushrooms sourced from China, we have been very particular in sourcing from the highest quality producers possible. Our Cordyceps are grown in the US, are 100% organic, non-GMO and vegan friendly, and free from any pesticides, insecticides and heavy-metals. We then subject them to a monthlong, dual extraction process that pulls out all the goodies like polysaccharides and adaptogenic terpenes. And we do that right here in the pristine conditions of Byron Bay.
Known as the “OG, King of Medicinal Mushrooms,” It’s a very slow-growing mushroom that primarily grows on the bark of birch trees in cold climates such as Siberia, Northern Canada, Russia, Northern Europe, Korea and Alaska.
As it grows, it gets its nutrients from its host, the birch tree and because it’s slow-growing, it has lots of time to concentrate the phytonutrients into its flesh.
Health Benefits of Chaga Mushrooms
Chaga is one of the highest antioxidant foods on the planet. A modern lifestyle exposes us to many pollutants which damage and create free-radicals within our bodies. The build-up of free-radicals accelerates the ageing process. In theory, supplying the body with more antioxidants could slow the ageing process, or even reverse visible signs of ageing.
Benefits of antioxidants
There is an array of health benefits associated with antioxidants besides its anti-ageing properties. A Nutr Res Pract. 2010 Study found that Chaga could slow the growth of lung, breast, and cervical cancer cells in a petri dish. The same study also found that Chaga could slow the growth of tumours in mice.
A 2009 PubMed study found that triterpenes, the compounds found in Chaga and some other mushrooms, cause tumour cells to self-destruct. Unlike other cancer treatments, however, Chaga does not appear to harm healthy cells.
The Chaga mushrooms medicinal compounds also translate to great skin. Modern life contributes to inefficiencies in SOD (Superoxide Diamatuse) which could cause skin discolouration and wrinkles. Fortunately, Chaga has some of the highest amounts of SOD which helps to treat skin cells to prevent such a scenario from happening.
What makes Chaga so effective in skin health is its ability to strengthen resiliency to damaging irritants found in nature, as well as reduce skin sensitivity.
Some research on mice suggests that Chaga may help regulate the production of cytokines, supporting the immune system by assisting cells in communicating with one another. This could help fight infections, from minor colds to life-threatening illnesses.
The importance of vitamin D has become apparent since the pandemic. Like all mushrooms, Chaga produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Mushrooms are the only non-animal life form that can help humans get this essential nutrient.
Chaga’s role in reducing inflammation is via its role in regulating cytokine (specialized proteins) production. Chaga has the most robust antioxidant activity when compared against three other common medicinal mushrooms that also fight oxidation. By reducing oxidation, a general driver of inflammation, inflammation, in turn, is reduced.
By reducing an overactivated immune response, Chaga mushroom can limit harmful inflammation. One way it does this is by decreasing the expression of NF-kB a molecule that activates an inflammatory response
Other nutrients found in Chaga:
Betulin and betulinic acid (triterpenes)
We grow most of our medicinal Mushrooms in the pristine environment of Byron Bay Australia. Unfortunately, the climate here is not conducive to Chaga. Our Chaga is sourced from Canada. It is wild-foraged, sustainably and ethically harvested, free from any heavy metals or chemicals. We then dual-extract using our unique, month-long extraction process to draw out all the potent medicinal compounds. The result is a powerful, potent and bioavailable sub-lingual tincture. Our Chaga mushroom is available to buy online from shroomunity.com.
One reason for starting Shroomunity was the distinct lack of quality medicinal mushroom products on the market. Most Australian companies import cheap powder from China which is usually spray-dried and sub-standard. You can buy a kilo of dried lions mane from China from around $40. The same organic, Australian grown Lions Mane will set you back $500!! In this case, you get what you pay for! So what are the production features in our Medicinal Mushroom extracts?
Organic, Byron Bay grown.
We grow our mushrooms in Eureka, located in the hinterland of Byron Bay where the air, water and local environment are pristine. They are organic and free from any insecticides and pesticides.
The Northern Rivers terrain also provides excellent conditions for wild-foraging Reishi, Turkey Tail and Lions Mane, which you’ll also find in our Medicinal Mushroom extracts. We are keen foragers and many of the strains we grow ourselves are cultured from strains we have found wild-foraging around Byron Bay.
Dual-Extracted Medicinal Mushrooms.
This is the most bioavailable form to consume medicinal mushrooms.
After ethically harvesting each mushroom, they are then dried naturally, before leaving to soak for 4-6 weeks in premium alcohol. This pulls out the fat-soluble compounds like triterpenes. We then remove the mushrooms and boil them in spring water for 3-4 hours- this draws out the water-soluble compounds like polysaccharides which contain beta-glucans. The water and Alcohol are then joined together to form the ‘dual-extract.’
Not only is Alcohol important for pulling out fat-soluble compounds, Alcohol is the most prominent tincture medium due to the fast pace of sublingual dosing, which means absorption underneath the tongue. The tissue beneath the tongue has an ample amount of capillaries. This allows chemicals to enter the bloodstream more quickly. So you’re getting the full dose straight into your system. Beware of mushroom powders and alcohol-free tinctures: You’re only getting a fraction of the benefits!
Another reason to support dual-extraction is a mushrooms fungal cell wall is made up of chitin, which is the same tough substance that crustaceans make their shells from. Our bodies typically lack the chitinase enzyme to digest chitin so much of the mushrooms we eat as food end up as insoluble fibre which is a great food for our gut but the compounds we want end up locked inside this chitin cell wall.
This is where mushroom extraction comes into play. By using common extraction techniques, we can break down this chitin and give our bodies easier access to the essential compounds.
Our extracts also do not contain any grains or starch, which usually comes from extracting bags of grain-spawn.
Not only is this the most bioavailable form to consume shrooms, but it’s also the most functional. Squirt under your tongue and hold for a minute before swallowing. Or, add to your favourite beverage, whether it’s coffee, tea, juice or smoothie. You won’t have any powdery residue left at the bottom!
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