The power of chaga mushrooms - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

Chaga is of course not a herb, but a fungus. It is believed to have many adaptogenic properties that benefit health and wellbeing but is a first recommendation for improving immunity and as a powerful antioxidant...

stock chaga SMLL

Although these fungi are often referred to as “chaga mushrooms,” botanists are not sure if they actually are a true mushroom. Culinary mushrooms are composed of soft plant fiber and are typically umbrella shaped, with gills on the underside. In contrast, chaga are more closely related to woody bracket fungi (2).

Until recently, Chaga was virtually unknown in most of the world, with the exception of Russia and a few countries in South East Asia (mainly Korea, China and Japan) (1). Chaga sclerotia are found on trees over 40 years of age and have a symbiotic relationship with the
birches on which they grow. They have been seen to often help to heal the trees! If you insert chaga into a dying tree, frequently, that birch will recover! (2)

The benefits of Chaga

Research has shown that the fungus has a positive effect on the central nervous system and metabolic processes, and boosts immunity to infections. Hot water extracts were found to greatly alleviate the suffering in cancer patients, relieve pain and improve appetite (3).

Other reseach on chaga is showing it:

  • Provides as many as seven antioxidant compounds 
  • Stimulates chemical messengers such as interleukins and tumor necrosis factor alpha
  • Increases levels of infection-fighting cells such as macrophages 
  • Reduces excessive levels of inflammation4 and inhibits the inflammatory cascade 
  • Lowers levels of antibodies associated with intense allergic reactions (IgE)
  • Prevents the breakdown of cell walls
  • Inhibits the Epstein-Barr virus (in test tube research)
  • Improves the immune profile in inflammatory colitis (in an animal study) (all attributed to reference link 4)

McDowells Product

McDowells stocks Evolution Botanicals Chaga. Their Chaga is an 11:1 dual extract grown on living birch trees. Only mature Chaga is harvested and their Chaga is certified USDA organic.

It contains the fruiting body of the mushroom, which contains the highest quantity of active medicinal compounds. Some manufacturers add the mushroom mycelium to the product as a filler, this is the root system of the mushroom (called hyphae) and has less medicinally active compounds. Their product is free from all fillers. 

Evolution Botanicals Chaga is grown in the pristine Birch Forests of Siberia (a remote forested area larger then Australia!). Sourcing herbs from their native environment as we have done is also called Di Tao and is said to imbue greater potency to the herbs, Siberian Chaga is considered superior to other varieties.

(1) Immuno-stimulating and anti-cancer effects of the endo-polysaccharide of Chaga.
2) Healing powers of Chaga
3) Chaga – The Facts
4) Research on Chaga Compiled by Nancy Faass, MSW, MPH

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McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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