Chaga 101: Types of chaga applications:
1. Raw fine powder When added in its raw form to food or drink it acts as a digestive support. When raw chaga is steeped in very hot water it acts as an immune support and utilizes all of the water-soluble nutrients. White flecks of birch bark can be seen in the powder and is an excellent nutritional additive. The fine particles of chaga can be filtered with a very tightly knit filter or one can allow the particles to float to the bottom of the cup without the need for a filter. Plants love the leftover chaga grounds!
2. Raw ground powder The particle size of this chaga is similar to ground coffee and is larger than fine powder so it cannot be ingested raw. This must be steeped with very hot water to extract the water-soluble nutrients. One can make their own alcohol extraction with this type of chaga to extract the non-water soluble nutrients. This type of tea is rich with the important melanin and betulin-containing black crust and nutrient-rich birch bark fibers.
3. Extracted powder This application is water dissolvable and is added directly to food or liquid without the need for steeping. This is a hot water extracted powder high beta-glucan, an important polysaccharide. This is the quickest and easiest application to use chaga if one does not want to take the time to steep it. This is our only chaga product that is not harvested here in Maine USA.
4. Extract liquid Raw chaga has undergone a double extraction with hot water and alcohol through a long process. In this method all of the water-soluble and non-water soluble nutrients have been extracted. This preparation contains the important nutrient, betulin, that is only extracted with alcohol. Only a small dose is needed and can be ingested directly or added to any food or drink. Many people use this liquid extract along with any of the chaga teas that are for steeping.
Our chaga is grown 100% on birch trees in the wild and not cultivated or grown on rice or wood shavings.
Chaga (chemical name is Inonotus Obliquus) is a slow-growing wild mushroom that is found mainly on birch trees in select cold regions of the world, including our Western Maine Mountain region of North America near the Canadian border.
The mushroom absorbs nutrients from the birch for many years. When the tree eventually dies the fungus then falls off and the spores are released into the air. The airborne spores then land on another host tree that has a deep bark injury to begin the process again. Chaga is wild harvested after it has sustained a growth of 10-35 plus years. Laboratory cultivating of this mushroom is being done by a handful of companies world-wide. However, the entire broad spectrum of the nutrient’s composition has not been able to be replicated in a commercial setting. Cultivated chaga does not grow the important black outer crust as it does in the wild. The schlerotia or black crust is where the most desired nutrient, betulin/betulinic acid is processed and stored. The outer black crust is where melanin is also stored. Melanin is highly anti-aging as it is an extremely rich antioxidant. Our chaga is 100% grown on birch trees in the wild ensuring the full potency of the chaga as nature intended. We also use sustainable harvesting practices to help reduce the future risk of over harvesting.
Chaga is odorless, tasteless and dark brown in color. When an alcohol extract is made the taste of the alcohol will be present. It may be taken with any liquid. The alcohol contained in the extract has important functions. It acts as a natural preservative and allows highly beneficial nutrients, such as betulin and betulinic acid, to be able to be absorbed when it is ingested. In a hot water extraction process alone this nutrient will not be able to be utilized by the body because of its low solubility. Betulin/betulinic acid is perhaps the most important nutrient found in chaga. Betulin is found in the white portion of the birch bark. When chaga is cultivated and grown on grain, rice, or wood shavings, and not grown in the wild, chaga will not contain the valuable betulin component. For maximum benefit, chaga needs to feed directly on a live birch tree.
Alcohol extraction is a more time consuming and costly process, and one that many companies choose not to do, thereby reducing the cost of the product. Unfortunately, the chaga is at a greatly reduced nutrient capacity without the double extraction process.
Due to its extremely high level of phytonutrients (an astounding 200+ types of antioxidants), scientific research of chaga demonstrates an amazing host of benefits.
Chaga contains all of the following nutrients:
Antioxidants: Chaga Protects the body from “free radical” damage which destroys cells and damages tissue, leading to the effects of aging and associated diseases. Chaga contains the highest known amount of antioxidants in nature. Its ORAC value (a measure of antioxidant potency) is extremely high, even in comparison to other known high antioxidants.
Betulin and betulinic acid: Chaga is the ONLY mushroom to have this highly prized nutrient. Betulin is not present in cultivated chaga.
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) Chaga contains up to 50 times more enzymes than CoQ10, vitamins, juices, fruits etc. This highly acclaimed enzyme helps keep cell membranes healthy and supple, making it highly effective for skin health and in skin preparations.
Vitamin B1, B2, and B3: Helps convert carbohydrates into energy. Vitamin B3 has been receiving much national attention for the research that has been conducted on this vitamin. Medical research has shown the positive influence that Vitamin B3 has on skin health.
Polysaccharides: Includes beta glucans that help maintain a healthy immune system.
Amino acids: Contains 15 types including glycine, aspartic, and glutamic acids predominantly, plus 12 others in lesser amounts
Ergosterol: A precursor of Vitamin D2
Flavonoids: Powerful antioxidants Including flavones, flavonols, anthocyanins, catechols, triterpene, sterols, lignin, plus others
Melanin: The black pigment of the chaga helps support healthy DNA. It Also helps protect against free radical damage that ages bodies.
Elements: The breakdown of elements in chaga in order of highest to lowest; carbon, potassium, hydrogen, nitrogen (is of a protein nature in chaga), magnesium, calcium, chlorine, phosphorus, sodium, rubidium, sulfur, and manganese.
Trace minerals: iron, copper, zinc, selenium, iodine, plus others
High in dietary fiber
Low in calories
Disclaimer: We make no claim that chaga can cure or heal cancer or other diseases. We recommend that you do your own research and become your own authority. The FDA will not allow any supplement manufacturer to discuss/post any medicinal properties of herbs/mushrooms because we are then making medical claims. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to post any medical scientific research results of chaga as most of them are done in regards to illnesses/diseases. There is scientific research that has been conducted on chaga that you will be able to find on the internet.
We are selective as to where our chaga is harvested and we are very conscientious to use sustainable harvesting practices. We are pleased to find that the chaga that we had harvested previously is regenerating as we follow proper harvesting guidelines.
Our processing facility is registered with the FDA, registration #18195837554.
My Berry Organics/Maine Chaga has been inspected and licensed by the State Of Maine as a food manufacturer, license #2-31452.
Precautions: Do not take if you are on immunosuppressive drugs, anticoagulants or are allergic to mushrooms. Chaga use and dosage has not been scientifically determined for use by children and pregnant or lactating women.
*Maine Chaga Extract is not gluten-free as we use grain alcohol in our process.