The Majority of Medicinal Mushrooms on the market these days are grown indoors and contain a large percentage of the mycelium AND a large percentage of the growing medium (starch/grain/oats). Many are also not extracted/just ground up (which means indigestible with limited bio availability)
Let’s start with Chaga:
Chaga is a mushroom that grows naturally on birch threes and is known to contain polysaccharides, polyphenols and other bio active compounds. A large part of the polysaccharides are beta-glucans which are own to have immunomodulating bio-activities. It is shown though research that only wild growing Chaga contains the necessary bioactive compounds which provides for the health effect.In the last few years, some suppliers have taken to produce Chaga mycelium on grains indoor and are presenting this as chaga product with similar health effects as the natural chaga. Indoor grown chaga extract contains only a fraction of the active compounds and bio activity compared to the whole chaga extracts. Instead of the bioactive polysaccharides the indoor Chaga contains lot of starch. Wild-crafted chaga has a hard outer sclerotium shell, which contains a high concentration polyphenolic fraction which has extremely high antioxidative properties. Sclerotium is completely missing from all indoor chaga. The indoor Chaga contains to a large extent starch, and much less beta-glucans and other useful polysaccharides as wild grown chaga.
While the companies who grow Chaga indoor claim that there are beneficial constituents, and while they might be correct there will be polysacchrides, alpha and beta glucans, the quality of the source is still an issue. Even lab grown meat will have nutrients, but is that what you want to feed yourself?
CHAGA GROWING IN THE WILD
CHAGA GROWING INDOORS
Things to keep in mind…
When it comes to medicinal mushrooms, most companies would rather use greenwashing terms like 'organic' and 'locally sourced' than say 'indoor grown on grain, mostly starch, mycelium product'.
Many of us are quick to assume if we see the term 'organic' on any product that it is superior to a similar product without the 'organic' certification. When it comes to medicinal mushrooms this is not the case. If you are concerned about heavy metals, please refer to the FAQ page where I have all of my third party lab results for you to see.
If you see "mycelial biomass cultured on organic oats"you are not getting a therapeutic product.
If you are buying a product in hopes of getting health benefits, you need to understand if that is even an option with the variety of botanical and extraction method you have chosen. Just because it is on a shelf in a store does NOT mean you will receive benefits.