Its immune-supporting potential
A shared property of all mushrooms is said to be immune-modulation: research has been investigating their potential to help balance our natural defense against diseases for many decades.
In particular water-soluble beta-glucans have triggered the interest of scientists: in the EU several health-claims based on beta-glucans have been ratified in the past years by the EFSA. Beta-glucans are supporting a well-balanced immune function and might help to create an good balance between the good and the bad types of cholesterol.
When properly extracted, Chaga has good levels of beta-glucan. In basic hot water extracts these levels are only 3 – 8%, though. Oriveda’s Chaga can rightfully claim the highest percentage of beta-glucan ever measured in a Chaga supplement. See the quality control page for the most recent test results.
Given that our immune system is the core of our health this is very important – allergies, infections, auto-immune diseases and many old-age problems are all immune related. Also see our dedicated article about the immune system.
Two terms are worth mentioning here: adaptogenic(helping our body to adapt to the never-ending assaults on our health) and BRM(a natural Biological Response Modifier – helps to normalize the body’s natural defense mechanisms without any side effects). These terms are keywords when describing these mushrooms. They do not cure or heal directly, but they help the body to perform at its best.
Its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral potential
This is of course linked to Chaga’s immune-supporting potential. Responsible are most likely the beta-glucans found in Chaga. Polyphenols also might play a role.
Harmful micro-organisms, bacteria and viruses should be neutralized by the immune system before they can cause infections and inflammations. Existing infections etc. will last considerably shorter if the immune system is functioning at its peak level.
Betulinic acid(an important ingredient of Chaga) is currently being researched in several countries for its anti-HIV potential. Unfortunately betulinic acid has a very low ‘bio-availability’; the body has trouble absorbing it. The often seen claims that ‘Chaga contains a bioavailable form of betulinic acid’ are unfortunately unfounded. For additional information visit our resources page.
Oriveda’s Chaga contains over 20 % of beta-glucan and over 2 % of betulinic acid.
Its anti-ulcer, anti-gastritis properties
In folk medicine Chaga was traditonally used to battle gastritis and related gastro-intestinal problems.
Again, the immune-supporting potential of Chaga plays an important role here, but betulinic acid and the phytosterols present in Chaga might also be important.
Stress e.g. can have a devastating effect on the metabolism, and is known to contribute to the development of ulcers because of its negative effect on the immune system. Most ulcers are caused by bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori. A well-functioning immune system will be able to deal with this pathogen.
Its potential as an anti-cancer adjuvant
Chaga is used often in combination with standard cancer treatments such as chemo-therapy and radiation. There are indications suggesting it can neutralize in whole or in part the devastating effects these treatments have on our immune system.
If these claims are justified Chaga might aid in preventing metastasis (cancer cells traveling through the bloodstream should be neutralized by the immune system before they can cause harm). Chaga might be able to significantly contribute to the quality of life during and after treatment this way.
Betulinic acid / phytosterols have also been linked to anti-cancer properties; these compounds are only present in dual extracted Chaga because they are not water-soluble.
Its anti-oxidant properties, revitalizing, anti-aging potential
Our ORIVEDA extract includes the sclerotium ( the black outside layer ) of the Chaga conk. This is important, because this sclerotium contains a massive amount of a specific fungi-melanin, giving our extract a very high level of anti-oxidants. The percentage of polyphenols is a good indicator – melanin is a polyphenolic derivative.
Research has linked anti-oxidants to DNA-regenerating and re-vitalizing properties. Assuming this is justified, the whole body will benefit from this; your organs will function better and because of this you will look and feel better.
Antioxidant power is often expressed in an ORAC-value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity).The ORAC-value Certificate of Analysis (COA) issued by Brunswick Labs indicates 146,700 µmole TE p/100 grams, putting Oriveda’s Chaga extract in the top 10 of anti-oxidants right away. As far as we know it’s also the highest level ever found in a Chaga product. The ORAC COA is available on request.
Check this graph for a comparison with other ‘super-foods’.
The potential effect on cholesterol-levels and the cardiovascular system
In vitro research suggested betulinic acid (a compound unique to Chaga) to be able to break down ‘bad’ cholesterol. Unfortunately betulinic acid has a very low ‘bio-availability’; the body has trouble absorbing it. The often seen claims that ‘Chaga contains a bioavailable form of betulinic acid’ are unfounded, although there are theories that a synergetic effect is taking place.
The beta-glucans in Chaga have a positive effect on the balance between good and bad cholesterol; as said before in the EU such health claims have been ratified by the EFSA. A healthy balance between LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol helps with high blood pressure and supports a healthy cardio-vascular system: less plaque, stronger arteries.
Oriveda Chaga contains ≥ 2 % of betulinic acid and ≥ 20 % of bioactive beta-glucans.
The potential effect on psoriasis symptoms
Psoriasis is basically an auto-immune disease. In the early 70s a case study was performed in the USSR, investigating the effect of a traditional Chaga preparation (Befungin ®) on psoriasis symptoms. We have translated this case study into English.
The full article is available for download in our ‘resources‘ section.
Side effects and safety
Chaga extracts have no noteworthy side effects at all. The lack of side effects is due to the fact that Chaga extracts work mainly in an indirect way: as a natural BRM (a Biological Response Modifier – stimulating the body’s natural defense mechanisms).
There is no potential disturbance of the body’s chemical and hormonal balance. This makes mushroom extracts ideal dietary supplements for everybody.
The only contra-indications are immune-suppressing drugs (the type you will use after getting a transplant e.g.). Never use mushroom extracts together with this type of medication – the immune-modulating potential might neutralize its workings.
There are also reports that Chaga extracts might increase the risk of hypoglycemia(blood sugar levels that fall too low) in people that are sensitive to that, such as those taking diabetes medicines like insulin. Taking it together with some sugar-containing beverage such as fresh juice will help. Another benefit of fresh juice is the presence of vitamin C. Vitamin C improves the absorption of beta-glucan in the gut.
Inonotus obliquus, Chaga, immune support, cholesterol, anti-oxidant
Why ORIVeDA ‘s Chaga ?
Scientific research uses in general extracted, highly purified mushroom powder to investigate the therapeutic potential of these mushrooms. Research found that the immunological effects of mushroom extracts are up to 10 times higher when compared against non-extracted powders.
ORIVeDA’s powdered extracts are comparable in both composition and quality, so the research results you read about you can also expect from our extracts. (This encapsulated product is identical to the loose extract powder sold separetly)
ORIVeDA Chaga contains guaranteed levels of the main bioactive compounds. Click here to see our authorized ‘Supplement Facts‘ label.In Chaga those ingredients are mainly beta-glucans, polyphenols (anti-oxidants), betulinic acid and other terpenes and sterols. We guarantee the presence and the percentage of these components. For the most recent test reports visit the quality control page.
According to research* the average amount of beta-glucans in Chaga is around 10-14% when properly extracted.
Oriveda’s Chaga extract contains significantly more: over 20 % of beta-glucan. (All beta-glucans are polysaccharides, but not all polysaccharides are beta-glucans!).
This high percentage is possible because we use advanced purification techniques, removing useless matter such as wood from the raw Chaga. Most people don’t know that only ± 10% of the Chaga conk is actually ‘mushroom’, the rest is mainly useless wood.**
By removing the ‘non-Chaga’ matter the potency increases significantly.
Recommended dosage is 3 caps p/day – but also see our FAQ. A leaflet with detailed instructions and background is included with every order.
The Certificates of Analysis are available on the quality control page so you can easily verify our claims.
Extracted using a combination of hot water (for beta-glucan / polyphenols) and ethanol extraction (for sterols, betulinic acid and other terpenoids, etc.). The final product contains no traces of alcohol.
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- • 180 v-caps @ 300 mg
- (2 months regular use)
- • • wild-harvested • •
- > 3.50 % triterpene
- > 2.40 % betulinic acid
- > 20 % beta-glucan
- > 3.70 % polyphenols
- • • dual extracted • •
- ISO 9001:2008
- ISO 22000:2005
- and also
- USDA organic (EcoCert)