Chaga Mushroom Guide

Comprehensive and Complete Guide to Chaga Mushrooms


Chaga and HIV/AIDS

Chaga is a type of parasitic fungus that grows on the trunk of birch trees. This mushroom enters through a wound in the tree and lives off its nutrients. The growth cycle takes around 20 years, at the end of which the mushroom falls to the ground or is harvested for consumption. Shortly thereafter, the birch tree also dies, its nutrients having been completely depleted by the chaga mushroom.

There are studies that show that the substances that make birch trees white are one of the rich sources of nutrients for chaga mushrooms. These studies have cautiously linked this compound to the treatment of serious diseases like cancer, herpes and AIDS. This white powdery substance known as Betulin is on the outer bark of birch trees. It has been proven to help wounds heal faster and reduce inflammation. Betulinic acid, one of the active components of chaga mushroom is continuously being tested against cancer and other debilitating diseases.

Betulin is also reported to be able to hold down the number of microbes in a given area. For instance, the surrounding air in birch forests has only about 400 microbes per 1 cubic meter. This is much lower than the standard number of microbes in hospital operating rooms. Additionally, it was found that the bactericides of the white part of birch trees were able to eliminate pathogens associated with TB, diphtheria and typhoid fever. As a matter of interest, the white bark of birch trees remains white even when the tree is completely rotted.

Chaga for HIV/AIDS
Since Chaga lives and grows on the nutrients of birch trees, they can acquire all the powerful chemical compounds that are effective against all types of pathogens. One of these substances, betulinic acid, has been tested as a skin cancer treatment for more than 10 years. Betulin, together with other Chaga substances and derivatives, is continuously being tested for its effectiveness in treating HIV – the virus that causes AIDS, and the RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) that causes pneumonia and severe cold-like symptoms.

Chaga Substances That Can Help HIV/AIDS Patients
Aside from betulinic acid, Chaga also contains many phytochemicals, flavinoids, phenols and other nutrients that can help strengthen the immune system of HIV and AIDS patients. These substances can also alleviate the symptoms of diseases that may plague the patient as he battles this health condition. Some of the more notable chemical substances are:

• Lanosterol – a study conducted by Dr. Kirsti Kahlos and her team at the University of Helsinki validated the immuno-modulating impact of Lanosterol-linked triterpenes, making it effective for flu-vaccination and also for anti-tumor applications.
• Polysaccharides/beta glucans – these are mushroom carbohydrates that will enhance brain function, boost liver function and increase energy.
• Phytosterols such as inotodiol and lanosterol – these are plant sterols and stanols that are effective in lowering cholesterol.
• Melanin – this substance is responsible for giving Chaga the highest antioxidant levels of all natural foods.
• Other chemical compounds such as streptozotocin, Inonotus obliquus alcohol, a variety of triterpenes, Trametes acid, folic acid derivatives, varnillic acid, syringic acid, etc.
• There are studies conducted in Japan which have confirmed Chaga’s antiviral activity by inhibiting the protease enzyme of HIV-1.
• All these active components function collectively as antioxidant, antitumoral and antiviral agents for improving the human immune system. This will help the patient effectively fight infection from all kinds of pathogenic microbes.

Results of Specific Tests on Chaga’s Effect on HIV/AIDS
Here are some of the specific results of tests conducted at the Institute of Pharmacy, Ernst-Mortiz-Arndt University, Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Strasse 17, 17387 Greifswald, Germany. Water soluble lignins isolated from Inonotus obliguus, or Chaga mushrooms showed the following actions:

• It inhibited HIV protease with an IC 50 value of 2.5 µg ml.
• It showed HIV activities for mycelial culture medium of L. edodes (LEM) and water soluble lignin in LEM.
• HIV-induced cytopathic effect was completely prevented by sulfated lentinan from L. edodes.
• Aside from immunostimulation, polysaccharides-proteins enhanced antiviral activity and inhibited the binding of HIV-1 and reversed the transcript activities of viruses.

Of the patients who participated in the tests, 85% reported an increase in their sense of well-being in connection with the symptoms and secondary diseases caused by HIV. Twenty patients showed an increase of 1.4 to 1.8 times in the value of their original CD4+ cell counts.

These are by no means the only positive results. There are more which are not included here because of limited space. But the fact is clear: Chaga mushroom and its derivatives can be used as an adjunct for the treatment of those who are suffering from HIV/AIDS.

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