Chaga Mushroom grows on no other tree but the birch. Chaga mushroom is basically more famous than some celebrities at this point. (no offense to any celebrities less famous than an arctic taiga fungus). The first time I had ever heard of it was in a car on the way to the Telluride Mushroom Festival. A friend in the backseat announced he was hoping that he saw some chaga in a tree. (he was wrong, people commonly mistake regular cankers for chaga conks). Inonotus Obiquus, aka Black Mass, Tinder Conk, Clinker Polypore, Birch Canker, and honestly it has tons of names depending on where in the world you are. If you didn't already know, it's a woody conk-fungus that grows exclusively on birch trees in northern regions throughout the world. We harvest a reasonable amount of chaga with love, 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Some Historical Vignettes: Russian Nobel Prize laureate Alexandr Solzhenitsyn wrote about the medicinal use of Chaga in his semi-autobiographical novel Cancer Ward back in 1968. Cree Healers call chaga Poashkan, or, Wiskakecakomikih. Wisakecak is a mythological being who threw a scab mistaken for a piece of dried meat against a birch tree and tried to ingest it. Chipewyan and Ojibway peoples name for chaga is Cha’a’ihtthi. They would simmer chaga chunks and powder for hours to make tea to treat viral related conditions. The Denesuline' peoples of Northern Saskatchewan had an interesting divination ritual using chaga powder. They laid down two long lines of powdered chaga to represent two related events. Then you would light each line at opposite sides, and whichever side finished burning first would signify which event would become true. This is known to the Dene people as ETSEN DEK “it smells when it’s burning.” The Gitksan of British Columbia know chaga as DIDIHUXW OR DI DIYHUH. Also known by Gitksan elders as MLL’HLW AND TLLUXW. They were said to use chaga’s black coals to relieve rheumatic pain. ‘Take a sliver of the black coal from the crack of the birch tree and burn it for pain in joint inflammation. The Wet'suwet'en of Northwestern British Columbia used chaga for similar purposes and had calling two different names for chaga, DIDIC’AH CI’ISTS’O and TL’EYHTSE. The Chipewyan name is Cha’a’ihtthi. Clifford Cardinal, Assistant Professor in Family Medicine at the University of Alberta is a Cree medicine man. He boils chaga for viral-related conditions, in the form of ingested tea. In the 12th century, Tzar Vladmir Monamakh apparently attributed the disappearance of his lip tumors to a decoction of Chaga mushroom. Our chaga tinctures are double extracted, meaning we use both alcohol and water to extract the bio-active compounds. Some, like betulin, betulinic acid and some polyphenols are only soluble in the alchohol while other compounds can only be extracted in water. The Widely Scientifically Supported Basics: It is shown to be an extremely potent antioxidant. You may think of antioxidant as always being accompanied by scare-quotes in 90's and early 2000's advertisements, but, oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are now widely believed by the research community (though there is still debate) to be a pillar of disease of and aging. So, finding natural sources to mitigate those two things in certain people will actually be a big deal. Chaga is anti-hypertensive (like, dramatically so, if you have low pressure, low platelets, or are on hypertension medication, maybe don't take chaga and talk to a doctor first) Lowers blood sugar. Anti-viral towards herpes simplex type 1, Hepatitis C in ( a 100-fold reduction of viral replication was shown with preventive and theraputic doses (before and during infection)). It has also been shown to have anti-viral actions against HIV in cell cultures. While such studies are clearly not conclusive, they are worthy of significant attention. You will have to ask yourself how much test tube studies can teach us about how certain compounds affect others. Gasoline and pee both kill things in petri dishes, but we don't make tea out of them. Chaga mushroom is considered an adaptogen as it up or down-regulates the expression of various chemicals dependint on the overall state of the body it's acting on. It has been shown to up-regulate useful compounds like super-oxide dismutase and glutathione, and NRF2. Do yourself a favor and research these three compounds as there is massive body of research growing around them and the various foods and conditions that affect their levels in our body ,and, it can just as easily down-regulate harmful levels of compounds like TNF-a (tumor necrosis factor), IL-6 (interleukin), COX-2 (what ibuprofin and turmeric inhibit), IFN-Y (interferon), and IL-4 (another interleukin), TLR2 (toll-like receptor) and TLR4, nuclear-factor-kappa-B (NF-KB) p 65. Miscellaneous Chaga Science for Further Reading: Chaga has shown to have an inhibatory and pro-apoptopic effect on lung, breast, colon, and liver cancer cells. Inotodiol, a compound found in chaga, has shown anti-tumor effects against cervical cancer cells. In animal studies, chaga mushroom has shown anti-allergic, cognition-enhancing, and strong action against oxidative stress in mouse colitis models. One animal study at UAF right here in Fairbanks showed the chaga extended the life of fruit flies where as the blueberry extract did not. A recent study found Chaga polysaccharides improved function of pancreatic beta cells in rats, a preliminary stage in the search for a human hyperglycemic compound. (Diao et al, 2014). A mouse study published in 2015 showed that polysaccharides derived from chaga enabled some mice to swim longer, increasing their liver glycogen stores and decreasing their lactic acid levels (olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is a biological freak of nature and has naturally super-duper-low lactic acid levels compared to other swimmers, for an example.) It has been shown to stimulate some cytokines while inhibiting others. Another animal study showed that kelp grouper fish who were administered chaga mushroom when they were infected with vibrio harvey (a bacteria) showed significant improvement to their over-all hematology and innate immune system response. Chaga was shown to significantly suppress tumors in mice (poor mice). 60% Tumor reduction was shown and in metastatic mice, a 25% reduction in new nodules was shown. We dont harvest very much chaga. We only went through a whopping 20 pounds last year. When we say we harvest sustainably, we actually mean it. Most companies will not tell you of the risks like we mentioned above with the low blood pressure situattubion. In addition to that, chaga 100% contains a significant amount of oxalic acid, ya know, the compound that makes rhubarb leaves "poisonous"? While having chaga in some amounts some of the time, provably no one should drink it every day of their life in large amounts, do so at your own risk. If you have low platelets or low blood pressure, probably don't use chaga or consult with a doctor first. How to use a tincture: a tincture is best taken on or under the tongue, usually 1-2 full droppers per day. Our chaga tinctures have ceylon cinnamon added to them to give the tincture a more agreeable taste. The above is for informational purposes only, this product is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.