Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is a fungal parasite found on birch tree. You can easily recognize it because it looks similar to burnt-out rough bark. It grows in birch forests throughout Northern and Eastern Europe, Russia (especially in Siberia) and Korea.
This mushroom is known remedy for thousands of years all over Eurasia. Because of its amazing health properties, it is also known as “Mushroom of Immortality” and the “Gift from God” among many Siberians.
Chaga has few other interesting names in different regions – Chinese people call it the “King of Plants” while Japanese refer to it as the “Diamond of the Forest”. All these names suggest that we are talking about a powerful plant. It is an interesting fact, that you can find Chaga in North America too, but unfortunately, both American native people and modern Americans are not aware of the amazing healing properties of this fungus.
There is a good reason why this mushroom is called the mushroom of immortality. According to several studies, this is the food with the highest level of antioxidants (important substances especially when it comes to fighting free radicals) and the highest level of superoxide dismutase (another highly efficient “cleaner” of free radicals).
In order to understand how Chaga can be so efficient and healthy we should take a look at its constituents – different types of acids – amino, betulinic, pantothenic, trametenolic and vanillic acid; beta glucans, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins – B1, B2, B3, D2, K etc. The list is very long and it is amazing how so many useful ingredients can be found in a mushroom.
Some of these precious biologically active substances can be found only in this plant. Chaga has the ability to absorb all the useful things that come from the nature. It is using the power of trees, which sometimes live for thousands of years. Thanks to its specific parasitic abilities, chaga can transform these substances found in trees into something that people can eat.
Every substance found in Chaga can find its use in the human body. However, most of the healing properties of this incredible fungus come from the betulinic acid.
It is good to point out that chaga can sometimes be found on some other trees (other than birch trees) but only those found on birch trees contain betulinic acid. This acid is known for its antitumor activity especially when it is used together with beta glucans (another compound found in chaga).
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