A black and orange mushroom that grows on birch trees, Chaga has been used as medicine for various ailments since the 16th century. Ground into a fine powder and taken as a tea, Chaga is sometimes called “The King of Herbs” for its many uses.
Chaga is difficult to cultivate, and doesn't seem to have the same benefits when grown on other mediums such as potato starch. Currently, chaga mushrooms are used for medication or supplementation is only found in the wild.
A Fantastic Super Food
Some foods have a greater nutritional impact than others. When a food is packed with vitamins, minerals, and flavanoids they are often called a “Super food.” Chaga is one of these. It features B Complex vitamins, vitamin D, potassium, selenium, zinc, iron and calcium just to name a few.
Chaga has a lot to offer nutritionally, which means a healthier, happier you.
Has Cancer Fighting Properties
Chaga mushrooms, along with a host of other fungi, have been getting attention from researchers lately because of their potential in fighting cancer. Studies have been very promising in Chaga as an anti-cancer.
In a study done on mice with tumors, a daily dose of chaga mushrooms reduced the number of tumors on the animals by 25%. In animals that were given chaga mushrooms before they developed cancer, tumor development was reduced by 60%.
While no human trials have been done yet, there have been 170 research papers done on chaga mushrooms, which is a promising start.
Lowers Blood Pressure
On top of the rich minerals and vitamins found in chaga mushrooms, they also offer a healthy number of anti-oxidants. Oxidative stress is a big culprit in high blood pressure. Diets that are high in anti-oxidants are often associated with lower blood pressure, which means better heart health for you.
Heart problems are one of the leading causes of death in the world, so it pays to do anything you can to keep your heart in good condition.
Immune System Support
Chaga mushrooms may play a part in regulating cytokines, important chemical messengers for the immune system. By helping your immune system communicate faster and more effectively, you help it fend off diseases and other threats to the immune system. That's good news for flu season!
Prevents Liver Injury
There's good evidence that chaga mushrooms can help protect the liver from injury, as well as slow down the progression of some liver problems. In one 2015 study, a team of researchers found that Chaga extract was able to protect a piece of biopsied liver from a chemical known to cause liver damage.
Chaga mushrooms have not been researched as much as other mushrooms. Because of this, there are little to no known side effects or interactions. We don't know enough about the mushrooms to know if there are any side effects, or what they might be. In general, chaga is considered safe and well tolerated. As always, speak with a doctor if you're uncertain whether chaga is a good choice for you.