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* Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary. Results achieved when using the product may vary from person to person.
What is Chaga Mushroom Extract?
The chaga mushroom, also known as inonotus obliquus, is a fungus in the Hymenochaetaceae family. It grows only on birch trees and is a fungal parasite, extracting nutrients from the birch trees (not from the ground). Because of the mushrooms’ massive amounts of melanin, it looks like a black, cracked mass growing on the birch trees. It has been used as a folk remedy in Russia and Eastern Europe for centuries and grows there in addition to the birch trees of Korea, Northern Europe, northern areas of the United States, in the North Carolina mountains and in Canada. Chaga mushroom extract is made by taking chaga mushrooms and putting them through one of three extraction processes: hot water extraction; ethanol or methanol extraction; or fermentation. Extraction helps make at least some of the bio-active components of the mushroom bioavailable, i.e., digestible for human use and is necessary to do in order to reap the medicinal benefits of the chaga mushroom, because human beings cannot fully digest raw chaga mushrooms.
Effects of Chaga Mushroom Extract
Chaga mushroom extract is sold with the advertisement that it is a powerful antioxidant that provides immune, digestive, detoxification, and respiratory support.* It is sold for its antioxidant properties and in boosting cellular health.
Why should I use Chaga Mushroom Extract?
Anyone who is looking for a new antioxidant (other than using the current “trendy” antioxidants like pomegranates, red wine and dark chocolate, etc.) to support their cellular health might want to consider taking chaga mushroom extract. Chaga mushroom extract has been used as a folk medicine remedy in Russia and Eastern Europe for centuries. The extract is sold primarily to boost immune health.* It is also used widely to help users with healing and managing bone ailments, so those who suffer from “feeling achy” may find this extract helpful.* Chaga mushroom extract has long been used for its promotion of a healthy digestive system, so those who suffer from pre-diabetes, diabetes, and/or irritable bowel syndrome, might consider using this herb.*
Side Effects of Taking Chaga Mushroom Extract
As with any drug or herbal medicine, there is the potential for side effects when someone uses chaga mushroom extract. It is known to interact negatively with intravenous applications of penicillin and glucose. Despite this, it is unclear that taking the chaga mushroom extract as directed produces any undesirable side effects. The mushroom is a fungus, and extracts nutrients from the birch tree. After this, the mushroom goes through an extraction process, which helps humans digest the beneficial/medicinal properties of the mushroom.
It should definitely be noted that some of the extracts contain alcohol, which can produce negative side effects in those who are sensitive to alcohol and in children. Therefore, consumers must be wary of this and not use those chaga mushroom extracts which also contain alcohol. Children, pregnant mothers and mothers who are breastfeeding should not use the alcohol extract version of the chaga mushroom extract, and such individuals should consult a doctor before use of any type of the extract, as studies have not been conducted for use by these groups.
User Reviews of Chaga Mushroom Extract
Users of chaga mushroom extract have given the herb generally positive reviews. All users report an increased sense of well-being and boost in overall general health.* Users of the liquid extract have said that they have an improved “sense of well being” after using the extract. Many report that their headaches have disappeared as well as some of their aches and pains. Users reports boosts of energy and a “sense of balance throughout the day.”* Some report that their immune systems have improved, and that they “didn’t catch the flu and cold like everyone else this Winter.”* Users said that it made them feel younger, improved their skin, boosted their energy and made them wake up “feeling refreshed.”* One reviewer said it healed her husband’s canker sore and that it clears up the cold and flu in her family whenever they use it and increase the dosage.*
History of Chaga Mushroom Extract
Use of chaga mushroom extract for medicinal purposes has been used for centuries in Russia and Siberia. Some claim it has also been used for centuries in China. It is believed that the chaga mushroom is so useful in medicine, because of the amazing healing properties of its host, the birch tree. Virtually all parts of a birch tree have been traditionally used for their healing properties in folk medicine, and the chaga mushroom obtains its nutrients from this healthy tree.
Dosages of Chaga Mushroom Extract
Chaga mushroom extract can be taken in one of several different ways:
It is sold as liquid extract, in a vial with a dropper that can be used to take the extract from the vial and drop the liquid directly into the mouth or in a drink, such as coffee or tea, of ones choosing. The extract will not change the taste of the drink. It has a “tang” to it (because of its alcohol content).
– Chaga Mushroom extract is also sold in capsule form.
– Siberian Chaga Mushroom Extract Powder is sold in 2 ounce bags.
The dose that should be taken of the chaga mushroom extract depends on the individual’s weight and the what they’ll be using the product for. One should check the packaging and consult with a doctor before taking the extract, but, generally, in order to boost the immune system, a 100 pound individual should take 30 drops per day, and a 300 pound individual should take 90 drops per day. For chronic conditions, a 100 pound person should take 60 drops per day, and a 300 pound person should take 180 drops per day.
Research on Chaga Mushroom Extract
No official clinical trials have been conducted using chaga mushroom extract for its beneficial medicinal properties. Chaga mushroom extract should not be used in individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding; who are taking penicillin or glucose; or by children. Its use and side effects have not been studied in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Typical Prices of Chaga Mushroom Extract
Chaga mushroom extract is not particularly inexpensive. The price of the extract depends on where the consumer buys it and in what form the consumer would like to have the extract. Some examples of prices include:
– A 2-ounce vial of Chaga mushroom extract from Opti Mall Life sells on Amazon.com for $19.99 – $24.99, for a one to two month supply of the extract.
– A 2-ounce bag of Chaga mushroom extract powder, “Siberian Chaga Mushroom Extract Powder – Super Antioxidant Boost – Supports the Immune System”, sells on Amazon.com for $22.94 for a one month supply.
Generally, one will pay around $20 – $30 for a one month supply of the extract.
My Personal Review of Caga Mushroom Extract
Overall, I think the chaga mushroom extract has a lot of potential in helping people with their immune, digestive and some other health problems. I don’t believe it is a “cure all” (as some of the reviewers have claimed), but its healing properties should not be dismissed.*
I give this review, because, for one, I am a firm believer in herbal medicine for the cure of health maladies. Herbal medicines generally have less side effects than traditional drugs and often work better than the drugs in curing whatever ailment is presented. I like the history behind the product, that it has been used as a folk medicinal remedy in Russia and Siberia for centuries. This gives it some merit, in my book! As a personal user of essential oils, I do see that some non-traditional and folksy medicinal remedies really do work! I believe in the “science” behind why the chaga mushroom is so healthy – that the birch tree, from where it extracts its nutrients, has many healthful, healing properties. Additionally, most, if not all, of the extract’s user reviews I’ve seen have been very positive.
Final Thoughts about Chaga Mushroom Extract
Used as a folk medicine for centuries, the chaga mushroom extract gets its nutrients from a great, healing tree source – the birch tree – and, although it needs to be studied more, has the potential to become part of a larger treatment scheme for treating chronic conditions and boosting immune and digestive health.