Chaga has been a part of traditional folklore medicine for centuries in regions like Russia, Poland and China.  What we call Chaga is actually not a mushroom at all. It is a polypore parasitic fungus created conk, otherwise known as a perennial canker or a sterile conk, that forms after a hardwood tree has been infected by the parasitic fungus Inonotus Obliquus. As a parasite, I. Obliquus has a one-sided relationship with its host tree. Its enzymes cause the simultaneous decay of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, which are the three main biological constituents that make up the wood of trees, from the heartwood of the living tree. The breakdown of the heartwood weakens the trees infrastructure, allowing for the emergence and the first traces of what we call “Chaga”. The dark, charcoal color conk is made up primarily of wood lignan’s and mycelium. Chaga could be seen as a sector in the life cycle of a parasitic fungi that eventually, kills its host tree.

"Diamond of The Forest" Health Benefits


There are a variety of cultures spread all over the world that conclude through anecdotal and cultural practices the touted health benefits of Chaga. But more than that, science has now proved many of these healing and rejuvenating properties to be very real and applicable.

Close examination of the chemical make- up of Chaga reveal a diverse array of different bioactive metabolites, over 200 of them. These include triterpenes, ergosterol and ergosterol peroxide, melanin's, benzoic acid derivatives, and polysaccharides just to name a few. Chaga contains several triterpenes, most notably betulinic acid, and it's precursor betulin. Betulinic acid has shown promising anti- oxidant, anti- ulcer, anti- gastritis, and immunomodulator effects. Polysaccharides are large molecules made up of many simple sugars. The most important and potent polysaccharides found present in Chaga are known as beta glucans. Beta- glucans found in certain fungi like Chaga have attained much attention for their many health benefits such as immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective, and antioxidant activities.

As humans we need oxygen to live. Without it, the powerhouse of our cells would be unable to produce the chemical energy so desperately needed to fuel biological processes in the body. The process by which the ATP form of energy is produced is known as oxidative phosphorylation, and although the action of oxidative phosphorylation is obligatory, it may also be damaging as it is possible of producing cell damaging free radicals.  Various factors are known to cause the production of free radicals such as stress, diet and environmental factors. This sort of imbalance is known as oxidative stress, and oxidative stress is known to be involved in aging and age related ailments and conditions. In the case of oxidative imbalance, the most desirable substance would be anti- oxidants, which assist in combating free radicals. Chaga produces an array of metabolites that impressively act to scavenge for free radicals. In fact, the metabolites in Chaga can protect DNA from being damaged by oxidative stress. 

Multiple animal studies suggest that Chaga may be able to support imbalanced blood sugar levels. Investigators have found that feeding mice Chaga extract for three weeks enabled better maintenance of healthy blood glucose levels, total cholesterol, triglycerides and low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Most notably, the researchers found that feeding the mice Chaga supported healthy pancreatic tissue in the mice. The pancreas is the organ that secretes insulin, the chemical compound that helps regulate blood sugar levels. 


Real Mushrooms


Real Mushrooms is a top leading brand of organic mushroom extracts in the North American market, with the driven purpose of providing the mass public with high quality medicinal mushroom extracts. Real Mushrooms put emphasis on the term “real” because is has been brought to our attention that lots, if not most of the so called “mushroom” products that are made available on the market, especially online, do not contain the mushroom fruiting body but the mycelium that is grown on grains.

Manifested through family relations, Real Mushrooms first began after a deep discussion between Skye Chilton, the founder of Real Mushrooms, and his father Jeff Chilton. The Chilton family is deeply imbedded in the sector of mushroom cultivation. Jeff Chilton is a foundational figure in the mushroom market of North America as Jeff was one of the first to bring mushroom extracts to the North American market and organized the first organic mushroom growers workshop in China back in 1996. He has over 40 years of mushroom growing experience and is also the founder of Nammex, the leading suppler brand of organic mushroom extract ingredients to supplement companies in North America. Since 1989 Nammex has pioneered the development and manufacture of mushroom extracts for the health and wellness industry.  Jeff and Skye Chilton has the vision of creating an authentic mushroom brand that people can trust will provide them with the essence of nature.

Real Mushrooms takes pride in what they are and in what they have to offer. Quality ingredients should always be the most desirable as they should obviously promote greater efficacy and safety. At The Garden In The Jungle we have learned that not all  mushroom products are made alike. We’ve learned that the mushroom market of North America is dominated by products that rarely contain the actual fruiting body that is the mushroom, or these products are never actually made with any part of the fruiting body at all but instead contain mycelium that is grown on grain. These products are commonly marketed as “mushroom” products yet they contain no mushrooms at all. To make matters worse, at times, the grains are not even separated from the mycelium and so the products are mainly the grain that the mycelium is growing on. This kind of marketing technique and business model is a big finger to mushroom lovers and enthusiasts everywhere. Very few of the important medicinal compounds found in these mushroom fruiting bodies remain in these products since the bulk of the product is grain. This thievery of not just our pockets but of our health and development. 

A Better Source For Real Mushrooms

Mushrooms have a rich history in the past time of China. The cultivation of mushrooms for culinary and medicinal purposes dates back over thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Some of the most revered species of mushrooms that can be considered foundational to Traditional Chinese Medicine such as the Reishi, shiitake, cordyceps and turkey tail mushrooms have long been used with traditional herbs to treat a variety of ailments like insomnia, fatigue, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Over time, as the many years went by, the Chinese developed an instinctive expertise in mushroom cultivation compared to the rest of the world. China grows a wide variety of medicinal mushrooms at a scale that can’t be replicated in North America. 

We take pride in being in association with Real Mushrooms, just as they take pride in providing genuine mushroom extracts of the highest quality. They use, exclusively, the mushroom fruiting body in all of their products. No mycelium and no grains. All of the extracts provided by Real Mushrooms are from the leading supplier of organic mushroom extracts, the aforementioned Nammex. With over 40 years of mushroom growing experience, Nammex was one of the first companies to bring organic mushroom extracts to North America. Their ingredients go through rigorous quality control and are tested twice for heavy metals, agricultural chemicals and microbial contamination to ensure that they meet all standards for dietary supplements of this kind. All of their extracts are made from certified organic mushroom fruiting bodies, organically grown or wildcrafted from the mountainous regions of China.  

Mushroom cultivation for health product ventures in North American when compared to China, has proved to be not very economical for the producer. Mushrooms used for dietary supplements are rarely grown in North America because it is too expensive. In actuality, China is the leading supplier of mushrooms worldwide and supplies over 85% of the worlds mushrooms. China is one of the very few paces where you can get 100% organic mushroom fruiting body extracts that can be sold at an affordable price. This is a big reason why its noteworthy to keep in mind that any mushroom products made in the United States are typically not made from mushrooms but mycelium.

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