5 Health Benefits of Chaga Mushroom: The “King of Herbs”

Small chunks of tree bark coated with orange-and-black coloured chaga mushrooms
Photo by Bluebird Provisions on Unsplash

Growing wild in northern climates like Siberia and Canada, the chaga mushroom is one of the world’s best sources of antioxidants. These lumpy-shaped black and orange fungi are known as “black gold” — and for good reasons.

Let’s take a look at a few proven health benefits of chaga mushrooms in this read.

1. Boost Energy

Chaga can provide a big boost of energy and sustained physical endurance, making it a great supplement for athletes. Mice studies demonstrate that Chaga mushroom extracts were also able to indirectly regulate body mass index, blood sugar levels and underlying fat metabolism.

2. May Combat Cancer

According to a growing body of medical evidence, chaga mushroom has the power to inhibit cancer cell growth. One study, which explored the fungus’ impact on mice with tumours (benign and metastatic), saw a 60% reduction in tumour size.

Since this shroom showed no or low toxicity in non-cancerous (normal) cells, it can be used to safely combat the spread of cancer.

3. Possess Antiviral Properties

Chaga is a mighty adversary when it comes to the complex world of viruses. It has been proven to effectively fight viruses such as hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV).

Latest studies demonstrate the potent antiviral properties of chaga mushrooms on the pandemic-causing virus, COVID-19 too. The mushroom’s active compounds bind to the coronavirus spike protein, inhibit its entry into host (human cells) and ultimately reduce the risk of infection.

4. Boost Immunity

Certain foods have the rare ability to stimulate the production of immune cells that regulate the immune system and combat invading pathogens, like bacteria. Chaga has this unique effect.

One of its active molecules, betulin or betulinic acid, augments the functioning of immune cells. It can keep diseases at bay, keep a tight check on side effects and also maintain overall immune health.

5. Lower Inflammation

Chaga’s high levels of antioxidants can significantly lower inflammation. It mitigates oxidative damage in our bodies and relieves several inflammatory disorders like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and allergies.

According to the Medicinal Mushroom Man, Garret Kopp, “Blueberries are considered an antioxidant superfood; but chaga has 1,362 times more antioxidants than blueberries.”

In short, chaga mushrooms are nature’s gift to us. With powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cleansing, nourishing and healing properties, these shrooms can rescue us from and prevent several conditions.

Since it’s also been proven that it may not have any side effects on humans, you can add chaga to your shopping list. Sip on chaga tea, add chaga powder to your hot chocolate or try a few baking recipes with it.

Buy chaga here, consume it regularly and you’ll know why it’s called the “king of herbs.”

References

  1. Continuous intake of the Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) aqueous extract suppresses cancer progression and maintains body temperature in mice Heliyon. 2016 May; 2(5): e00111.
  2. Anticancer effects of fraction isolated from fruiting bodies of Chaga medicinal mushroom, Inonotus obliquus (Pers.:Fr.) Pilát (Aphyllophoromycetideae): in vitro studies Int J Med Mushrooms. 2011;13(2):131–43.
  3. Chaga Medicinal Mushroom Inonotus obliquus (Agaricomycetes) Terpenoids May Interfere with SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Recognition of the Host Cell: A Molecular Docking Study Int J Med Mushrooms. 2021;23(3):1–14.
  4. Antiinflammatory and Immunomodulating Properties of Fungal Metabolites Mediators Inflamm. 2005 Jun 9; 2005(2): 63–80.
  5. Immunomodulatory Activity of the Water Extract from Medicinal Mushroom Inonotus obliquus Mycobiology. 2005 Sep; 33(3): 158–162.
  6. Chaga mushroom extract inhibits oxidative DNA damage in lymphocytes of patients with inflammatory bowel disease Biofactors. 2007;31(3–4):191–200.
  7. Inonotus obliquus attenuates histamine-induced microvascular inflammation PLoS One. 2019; 14(8): e0220776.
  8. The Medicinal Mushroom Man Ignite Your Life, Clarkson University

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