Wild Chaga grows naturally in the northern climatic zones where birch makes up the primary tree species. *Even though Chaga is commonly referred to as a mushroom, it is actually a sterile conk or canker, a hardened mass of woody tissue with an amorphous shape and dark pigmented outer layer. It has been estimated that Chaga consists of only 10% Inonotus obliquus mycelium. Being a tree pathogen, Inonotus mycelium slowly grows throughout the tree trunk, causing decay and ultimately death. The canker/conk we call chaga, is a manifestation of this fungal disease. For hundreds of years Chaga has been wildcrafted and utilized by the people of northern Europe and Russia.
Birch trees contain precursor compounds such as the triterpenoid betulin. Chaga draws betulin and other precursors directly from the birch tree and turns them into inotodiol, trametenolic acid and betulinic acid. Chaga needs the tree-bound precursors to synthesize the triterpenoids for which it is famous.
Commonly referred to as a mushroom, chaga is actually a hard sterile conk that is a canker disease on birch trees.
There are many mushroom products on the market but are you getting a true medicinal mushroom extract? We have carefully sourced these extract powders from Nammex, the leading medicinal mushroom company and we bring them to you at a reasonable price. Our certified organic mushroom extract powders are made from whole fruiting bodies (not mycelium grown on grain).
What is the difference between a 1:1 extract and more concentrated extracts?
A one to one extract starts with a finely milled mushroom powder. This powder is extracted for 3 hours in hot water at 90° – 100° C. After this extraction, much of the water is evaporated to produce a concentrated fluid. This fluid still contains the mushroom powder. At this time the powder-filled fluid is sent to the spray drier which creates a fine powder. The final product is a fine mushroom powder that has been pre-digested by the water extraction. The most important part of this process is the fact that the raw material is never separated from the extraction fluid. This means that nothing from the original mushroom is lost or discarded.
When making a more concentrated extract, a coarsely ground raw material is used. This coarse raw material is extracted three times with hot water to make certain all of the important components are fully drawn out of the raw material. With some mushrooms like Reishi and Chaga, an extra step involving a one time alcohol extraction is added. At the end of the process the raw material is discarded and considered spent. The liquid is then concentrated to the specific extract ratio. The concentrated fluid is now sent to the spray drier and dried to a fine powder. We understand that mushrooms contain both soluble and insoluble beta-glucans. The majority of these beta-glucans are insoluble and can be considered fiber. Water extraction will remove the soluble beta-glucans and most other nutritional compounds from the fiber. Research has shown that the immunologically active compounds are the soluble beta-glucans.
When we leave the fiber in the 1:1 extract, the insoluble beta-glucan plus the soluble beta-glucans will show the total amount of beta-glucans for the particular mushroom species in our testing. We think this insoluble beta-glucan still provides some benefit even though the concentration level of the extract is low. In fact, the extraction process coupled with the finely ground powder breaks down many of the bonds that often prevent full utilization of mushrooms.
When we produce our concentrated extracts, the mushroom fiber is filtered out and the insoluble beta-glucans are discarded. This means these concentrated extracts will contain only the soluble beta-glucans, the most active ones. It also means that the beta-glucan number will be lower than the 1:1 extracts. The increased amount of raw materials needed to extract only the soluble beta-glucans produces an extract of greater strength and also allows for smaller amounts to be consumed for supplementation.