I have come to learn that #nature is full of incredible surprises. Who would ever think that something so phallically bizarre would serve any purpose in benefiting human health? The all-pervasive #CosmicGiggle is perpetually in full force. ✨
#Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is a #medicinalmushroom (technically a medicinal sclerotium) notoriously hailed for two of its medicinal compounds: betulin and its derivative, betulinic acid. Betulin is a triterpene, while betulinic acid is a derivative of a triterpene, known as a triterpenoid.
Betulinic acid has demonstrated anti-bacterial, anti-viral, #antiinflammatory, anti-HIV, anti-malaria, and #antioxidant effects in numerous studies. Its precursor, betulin, has been shown to possess anti-tumor and #anticancer properties. These molecules are concentrated in the outer black portion of the #fungus and can be extracted most effectively for human consumption with non-polar solvents (i.e. alcohol). Additionally, chaga contains a diverse group of molecules known as polysaccharides. These molecules act, among other things, as antioxidants and #immunesystem regulators. Polysaccharides are typically most effectively extracted in hot water.
Chaga is a remarkable sight to view in nature, though it is prone to over-harvesting. When #foraging, do so with the utmost intention while inflicting the least amount of harm. It makes the world a better place for everyone, wouldn't ya say?