I’ve talked in regards to the health advantages of medicinal mushrooms in the past and I have to admit I’m turning into a fairly large fan. These superfoods are catching on the US (simply test the shelf at any health meals retailer). One of my favorites is chaga mushrooms, and regardless of the quick identify, the listing of health advantages they include goes on perpetually!
Here’s why I bought courageous sufficient to strive them:
What Is a Chaga Mushroom?
Chaga mushrooms are also called the “gift from God,” “king of herbs,” and “king of medicinal mushrooms.” They develop totally on birch bushes in cooler climates like Russia, Northern Europe, and the Northern US and Canada. Russia, Siberia, and different elements of Asia have used medicinal mushrooms for centuries.
The chaga mushroom seems to be like burnt charcoal or a lump of lava on the skin. On the within, these mushrooms have a rusty coloration that you may see if you break it into items.
Many historical cultures used chaga mushrooms to:
- calm upset stomach and ulcers
- detox the physique
- regulate starvation
- promote readability of pondering
- enhance productiveness
- enhance endurance
- increase the immune system
What’s extra, trendy science is confirming these advantages. As curiosity grows it’s now simpler than ever to discover chaga within the type of dietary supplements, powders, and elixirs… not to point out my most well-liked manner to take it, coffee!
6 Health Benefits of Chaga Mushrooms
Chaga has gained a lot reputation of late due to its many makes use of in varied illnesses and for common health. In addition, latest analysis helps these historical makes use of, solidifying its “royal” standing. Here are a few of its most studied advantages:
1. It’s a Superfood!
Chaga is a powerhouse of necessary vitamins. Look at this spectacular listing:
- vitamin B2
- vitamin D
If that’s not sufficient, chaga additionally incorporates polysaccharides (largely beta-glucans) which assist stability immune system response and might help battle most cancers (extra on that beneath).
As we age, our our bodies want extra antioxidants to shield our DNA from injury. Chaga is one simple manner to get extra in your food plan. Last however not least, these mushrooms have the best quantity of antioxidants per gram of any plant. This is necessary since free radicals and oxidative stress within the physique may cause health points comparable to coronary heart illness, diabetes, and even most cancers.
2. Regulates Immune Function
Chaga is properly generally known as an herb that helps the immune system. But how does it work?
The polysaccharides in chaga mushrooms are “biological response modulators.” That means they’re ready to increase or suppress the immune system, whichever the organism wants. This is especially useful in those who have autoimmune disease, since stimulating the immune system when it’s already overreacting might trigger extra points. Research revealed in Mycobiology additionally discovered that consuming chaga will increase manufacturing of immune cells comparable to T-cells in animal research.
Further, a 2005 assessment (together with human research) discovered that chaga mushrooms are a potent immune booster with out destructive unwanted effects. It additionally confirmed chaga can scale back irritation, enhance immune cell manufacturing, and improve total immune operate.
3. Reduces Cancer Incidence
Chaga mushrooms may even have anti-cancer properties, thanks to its phytosterols and the polysaccharide beta-glucan, which have an effect on most cancers cells within the following methods:
- enhance macrophages (a type of white blood cell) and pure killer cell operate
- cease formation of tumors by defending towards potent genotoxic carcinogens
- stimulate the immune system to battle most cancers naturally
- might cease tumors from forming blood cells
The impact that chaga has on tumors is profound. One 2016 examine discovered that tumors shrank by 60 p.c when utilizing chaga extract on mice. In metastatic mice (mice with tumors that moved from their unique location to different areas within the physique), tumors shrank by 25 p.c.
4. Acts as an Antiviral
One position of the immune system is to battle towards viruses. Improving the immune system can enhance the physique’s means to battle these viruses.
- A 2015 examine discovered chaga to be an efficient antiviral towards the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Another examine concluded it was ready to scale back an infection of the hepatitis C virus by 100 instances (in solely 10 minutes!)
- Additional analysis discovered that chaga can battle herpes infections as properly
With these research, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suppose chaga may very well be an excellent common antiviral remedy. More analysis is required to know for certain, however it’s a promising risk.
5. Improves Metabolic Health
As chaga mushrooms develop, they take up a compound referred to as betulin from the birch tree. This is useful as a result of betulin is indigestible when it comes from the birch tree straight. The mushroom converts it to a digestible kind.
Research reveals that betulin lowers ldl cholesterol, helps forestall weight problems, and improves insulin sensitivity in mice. In truth, researchers found that betulin was as effective or more effective than cholesterol-lowering drugs.
In addition, the antioxidant properties mentioned earlier can have a constructive impact on coronary heart health, together with supporting a wholesome blood strain.
6. Increases Strength and Endurance
Chaga might enhance endurance and energy. Russians have been utilizing it for centuries to increase energy and endurance (particularly throughout the chilly months). But there’s not a lot concrete proof as to why it would assist with energy and endurance. A 2015 animal examine within the Journal of Chinese Medicine did discover mice given chaga have been ready to swim longer. The idea is that the mushroom improved glycogen (saved power) ranges and decreased lactic acid (a by-product of strenuous train).
How to Use Chaga Mushrooms
So, with all these nice advantages, how do you get this uncommon mushroom in your food plan?
The most typical manner to take chaga is in a tea or tincture. While you need to use complete chaga and even chaga powder to make these your self at residence, there are a variety of extra handy methods to get it in your food plan:
(P.S. If you’re afraid of a mushroom-y style, don’t be… I promise you gained’t even comprehend it’s there!)
You also can make your individual chaga tea or tincture at residence utilizing whole chaga chunks. The benefit with this strategy is you need to use use the mushroom items once more and once more to make extra batches of tea, and even freeze them for essentially the most efficiency between makes use of. The tea will simply be a little bit weaker with every use. Check out this tutorial for step-by-step directions.
Chaga Precautions & Potential Side Effects
While it’s been used for centuries safely and successfully, there are some unwanted effects and precautions to contemplate:
- It might work together with drugs and might scale back blood clotting (not good for surgical procedure!)
- It might decrease blood sugar (good for some, not good for others)
- Chaga will not be nice for these with autoimmune disease as a result of it boosts the immune system. However, as famous earlier, it’s an immune modulator so would decrease an immune response on this case.
As at all times, focus on together with your physician whether or not taking chaga mushrooms is true for you (particularly if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding or have any underlying health points).
Final Thoughts & Other Mushrooms to Try
Research on the advantages of chaga mushrooms continues to be comparatively new, however what we all know up to now is already very promising. I feel it’s at all times fascinating to see when trendy science upholds historical knowledge, and this appears to be an excellent case!
Here are another superfood mushrooms to strive (perhaps in your coffee!):
- Lion’s Mane – Good for reminiscence and psychological focus
- Reishi – Science reveals it boosts immunity and it could even allow you to stay longer!
- Cordyceps – Claims embody anti-aging and improved bodily endurance
I’ll be writing extra about all of those quickly!
Have you tried chaga or different medicinal mushrooms? What did you employ it for and how did it work for you?
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- Effect of Inonotus Obliquus Polysaccharides on bodily fatigue in mice. (2015, October 13). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254627215301266