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Chaga Mushroom Extract Powder

Model: Polysaccharides 30% UV

Chaga Mushroom Extract Powder
Chinese Name: Bai Hua Rong 
Latin NameInonotus obliquus (Ach. ex Pers.) Pilat.
Derivation of nameObliquus means "slanted" or "oblique."   
SynonymsBoletus obliquus Ach. ex Pers.Polyporus obliquus (Ach. ex Pers.) Fr.; Poria obliqua (Ach. ex Pers.) P. Karst   
Common names: Clinker polypore, birch conk, birch
canker polypore, chaga, Inonotus obliquus; Phaeoporus obliquus; Fuscoporia obliquus.
Phylum:  Basidiomycota
Order:  Hymenochaetales 
Family:  Hymenochaetaceae 
Occurrence on wood substrate:  Parasitic; sterile conk made of compacted hyphae forming almost exclusively on trunks of living birch (Betula) species; conks found year-round.  
Active ingredients: Polysaccharides
Specification: Polysaccharides 10-30%, 1-2% triterpenoid, 10:1, 20:1.
Test Method: UV&TLC
Appearance: Brownish fine powder 
Particle size: 100% pass 80 mesh
Main Function: Stimulate Immune System and Anti-Cancer

Inonotus obliquus, commonly known as chaga mushroom (a Latinisation of the Russian term 'чага'), is a fungus inHymenochaetaceae family. It is parasitic on birch and other trees. The sterile conk is irregularly formed and has the appearance of burnt charcoal. It is not the fruiting body of the fungus, but a mass of mycelium, mostly black due to the presence of massive amounts of melanin. The fertile fruiting body can be found very rarely as a resupinate (crustose) fungus on or near the clinker, usually appearing after the host tree is dead. Inonotus obliquus grows in birch forests of Russia, Korea, North-eastern China, Eastern and Northern Europe, northern areas of the United States, in the North Carolina mountains and in Canada. 

Chaga has been used as a folk remedy in Russia and Siberia since the 16th century. According to the Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, "no clinical trials have been conducted to assess chaga's safety and efficacy for disease prevention or for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes". They caution that the mushroom extract can interact with other drugs.

Laboratory studies on extract of chaga mushroom has indicated possible future potential in cancer therapy, as an antioxidant, in immunotherapy, and as an anti-inflammatory. Chemical analysis shows that chaga mushroom contains a range of secondary metabolites, including phenolic compounds such as melanins, and lanostane-type triterpenes, which include a small percentage of betulinic acid. 

Traditional and Modern Preparation of Chaga Mushroom
Chaga is traditionally grated into a fine powder and used to brew a beverage resembling coffee or tea. For medicinal use, an extraction process is needed to make at least some of the bio-active components bioavailable. These bio-actives are found in the mostly indigestible chitin cell walls of the chaga. Humans lack the enzyme chitinase, so cannot fully digest raw mushrooms or their derivatives, and the digestive process works too fast for the stomach acid to take effect. Scientific studies and research are in general also based on highly concentrated extracts, and traditional Russian usage is also based on a form of hot-water extraction (by preparing zavarka).

Currently, three extraction processes are used, each with a different outcome.
Hot water extraction is the most common and the cheapest method. It can be compared to the traditional tea-making process. All water-soluble components will be present in the resulting extract. Water-insoluble components, such as phytosterols, betulinic acid and betulin, will be absent. Several extraction rounds combined with modern pharmaceutical techniques can result in high levels of polysaccharides, up to almost 60%. The ß-D-glucans, the bio-active part of these polysaccharides, might add up to ±20 %. Polyphenolic components are water-solubles and will also be present.
Ethanol or methanol extraction isolates the water-insoluble components, betulinic acid, betulin and the phytosterols. This extraction process is in general used as a second step after hot-water extraction, since ethanol alone will not break down chitin effectively - heat is essential.

Fermentation is the most time-consuming, so is the most expensive; this method is not used very often. Because fermentation methods are not standardized (many types of bacteria and fungi can be used in the process), the outcome is also not standardized.

Extracts with a therapeutic value usually combine two methods, usually hot water and ethanol extraction. This will result in all bioactive components being present. Cheap, mass-produced extracts are in general hot water, low percentage (4-20%) polysaccharide extracts with limited therapeutic value. The information on the supplements' label will usually reveal inclusion or exclusion of components. However, the majority of mushroom dietary supplements that are sold are non-extracted, being the cheapest option. To achieve at least some therapeutic effects the consumer has to make a tea from it.

Composition Analysis
Raw Chaga mushroom’s composition include:
Water 13.2%
Proteins 2.40%
Lipids 2.40%
Ash 10.1%
Carbohydrates 71.9 % (lignin 32.6%; beta-glucans 12.0%)
Ergosterol 35.3 mg %
K 2.98%
Na 0.02%
Ca 0.06%
Mn ± 110 ppm
The total energy is 159.4 kcal/100 g
In biochemistry carbohydrates are synonymous with saccharides (sugars) – of which there are 4 groups. One of these groups are the polysaccharides. These are large macromolecules. There are two types, storage polysaccharides and structural polysaccharides.
 

The cell-walls of fungi/mushrooms are mainly built from chitin, the hardest all-natural material on earth. Locked in the chitin cell-walls are the bioactives that make Chaga such a powerful medicinal mushroom. An extraction process is needed to make them bioavailable since humans cannot digest chitin and absorb the nutritions inside. The most important components found in those cell-walls are probably the Beta-D-Glucans. Medicinal mushroom derived Beta-Glucans are notable for their ability to modulate the immune system. 

Phyto-sterols are powerful therapeutic ingredients; of the phyto-sterols present in Chaga 45% is lanosterol, 25% inotodiol and the remaining 30% consists of ergosterol, fecosterol and several others. In vivo and in vitro research showed a direct anti-cancer effect of both lanosterol and inotodiol. Lanosterol also has an anti-viral effect.

Betulin and betulinic acid are two components unique to Chaga – it derives them from the birches on which it grows. Betulin and betulinic acid are powerful therapeutic agents that are currently being researched for their anti-viral action (i.p. anti-HIV) and their anti-cancer action (in both cases animal tests showed great potential). They also have cholesterol-lowering effects; a recent report found them to be able to break down cholesterol in the bloodstream, instead of just preventing its absorption.

Beneficial health properties of chaga mushrooms
Chaga is a primary adaptogen, cancer fighter, immune system modulator, anti-tumor agent, gastrointestinal tonifier, longevity tonic and genoprotective agent (DNA-shielding).

Chaga’s purifying, detoxifying and healing properties have been known in Russia for centuries. People in Siberia still brew and drink chaga instead of black tea or coffee. Russian scientists have noticed that in areas where people regularly drink chaga tea, the rate of cancerous diseases among local folk have been much lower than in other regions and illnesses connected with stomach are almost unknown there. Many people in Siberia who drink chaga daily, usually live very long and healthy lives, some even over 100 years.

Chaga mushrooms contain: polysaccharides, alkalines, phyto-nutrients, organic acids and many important minerals and micro-elements such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, chromium and others. Various substances found in chaga possess powerful anticancer and anti-tumor properties. Many anticancer properties are now being attributed to beta glucans and melanin. Chaga has a high level of melanin that protects DNA and fights radiation by activating the pineal gland.

According to the Russian Medical Academy, chaga mushrooms
1. have a positive effect against lung and liver cancer
2. calm the nervous system
3. are proven to positively affect various stomach diseases and ulcers
4. stimulate the immune system
5. help to reduce blood sugar and fight diabetes

In Russia, chaga was approved for public use against cancer by the Medical Academy of Science in Moscow in 1955. Therefore Russian scientists are very confident about the healing properties of chaga, because numerous studies and clinical trials have been conducted in this country since then.

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