Benefits of Chaga Mushroom - "King of All Plants"
You might have heard of a lovely, super potent medicinal mushroom called Chaga.
It's one of the most well studied foods on the planet and with GOOD reason!
This blog post on chaga begins with the basic take away points and why it may be beneficial for you then we go DEEP into the science and compounds of this amazing food.
This is how Chaga may benefit you and why:
1) Chaga is LOADED with antioxidants (many more than pomegranate, acai, goji berry or blueberry).
2) Chaga has been studied for its anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-fungal, anti-allergic, anti-malarial, and anti-tumor properties. This is good because it may help you avoid or fight the above.
3) Chaga may help with stomach issues including IBS, ulcers and gastritis.
4) Go at the right time of year with the right tools and you can literally chop Chaga from a tree or buy it here
5) Chaga has been consumed for thousands of years because of these potential health benefits.
Now let's get DEEP into his beautiful mushroom:
Chaga, (Inonotus obliquus), is a medicinal mushroom, popular for its health benefits that can be consumed in the form of tea (simmering the chunks or powder) or via a Chaga tincture.
Being found on birch trees in cold areas, such as Siberia, Alaska, Canada, Scotland, and Scandinavia, traditionally it has been used as an immunity and endurance booster, or a medication for skin and respiratory disorders. So awesome.
Given time, this mushroom (along with Reishi) is going to be one of the most famous health foods on the planet!
Because of the compounds it contains, Chaga is considered to be a very potent antioxidant, and it may lower the rate of cancerous diseases and stomach illnesses.
For these reasons and more, it is referred to as “King of All Herbs”, "The Mushroom of Immortality" or “Diamond in the Forest”.
According to a load of fascinating studies (see references below), people who consume chaga on a daily basis are said to live healthier and longer, even reaching 100+ years (that obviously depends on plenty of other factors too, I'm sure).
Compared to all real foods, chaga has been shown to have the highest level of antioxidants. Even though pomegranate, acai, goji berry, blueberry and other super foods are great sources, chaga champions them all.
Chaga and the ORAC scale
According to some of the studies below its powdered extract hits a score of approximately 1000 ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity), which means it has phenomenal capacity to eliminate free radicals.
Also, superoxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme that catalyzes the dismutation of the superoxide radical, is present in large amounts and protects the body from oxidation. It is also believed to slow down the aging process. Yes please.
It's interesting to think that the aging process can be slowed. I ask; Is it actually being slowed or just cruising along at the right speed because we are meant to consume foods like this? I wonder...
Chaga's polysaccharides, which have low toxicity, and betulin and betulinic acid, are thought to be the main compounds attributing to the anti-cancer effect. They do not attack the cancer cells, but by increasing the immune system activity, they prevent its growth and, unlike chemotherapy, it has no side-effects.
Chaga and your skin:
Another great benefit of the chaga mushroom its potential for maintaining healthy skin. Melanin is the main pigment the skin contains, and it not only provides colour to our skin, but also protects both the skin and hair from UV rays. And this pigment is naturally provided by this extraordinary fungus.
Again, interesting isn't it, to think about the skin and what is actually healthy and what is not. Foods like this maintaining healthy skin because other man made and processed foods may hinder the skin.
Chaga tea, whether used internally, or externally, may help in the regeneration of the skin cells and promote the growth of new, healthy ones. It may also protect the skin against burns, reduce the formation of wrinkles, and keep your skin fresh looking!
Chaga and digestion:
Drinking chaga tea may also help keep the digestive system in great condition. It stimulates the liver to produce digestive bile, which helps the digestive system to break down food, especially proteins, and can make them easier to absorb.
It also contains manganese, thiamin and digestive enzymes, which are important for digestion, and is a source of dietary fiber. Unhealthy digestive system can lead to a lack of nutrients due to poor absorption, which can affect the metabolism and have further consequences, and chaga tea helps to prevent it.
Chaga and it's uses in traditional (alternative) medicine:
In brief, this reputed "Gift from God" has been used as a folk medicine for many centuries. Foresters and hunters would (and still do) drink a tasty cup of chaga tea to alleviate tiredness, reduce hunger, and increase work capacity.
In alternative medicine, patients are recommended to try is for a whole host of ailments including reducing the blood pressure, periodontitis, eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis.
It has effective antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and when being inhaled may reduce respiratory inflammation and improve breathing.
This mushroom is out of this world! (But obviously not psychoactive).
And that is why we offer it in the ENRICHD shop.
Caution, Side-effects and notes by Dr Axe on Chaga:
"I do want to point out that chaga mushroom side effects and safety are currently unclear. To date, there are no clinical trials that have evaluated the safety of chaga mushrooms in humans.
So there is also no standard dosage of chaga mushroom for humans. However, there is a case report of kidney damage/disease in a 72 year-old
Japanese woman with liver cancer, caused by taking chaga daily for 6 months. Chaga is also high in oxalates, which may prevent the absorption of certain nutrients and can be toxic in high dosages.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s best to avoid chaga mushrooms because their use has not been studied in pregnant and breastfeeding women.
If you are currently taking any medication or being treated for any medical condition, check with your doctor before you add chaga mushroom to your diet.
There are concerns about chaga and the following conditions:
Auto-immune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) — Chaga mushroom can make the immune system more active, which could lead to increased symptoms of auto-immune disease.
Diabetes — Chaga may decrease blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Bleeding Disorders — Chaga may raise the risk of bleeding. So it’s best not to use chaga mushroom if you have a bleeding disorder.
Surgery — Stop using chaga at least two weeks before any type of surgery since chaga may increase bleeding risk and/or affect blood sugar control during and after surgery.
If you have any negative side effects while taking chaga mushroom, discontinue use and seek medication attention if needed.
Sources and science on Chaga Mushroom: