With the start of the new year, we all make our New Year’s Resolutions. Actually we don’t really change from 1st of January, but it is a great reminder to finally make the changes we wished for. It’s in our human nature to need a start date and 01.xx.xxxx or Monday are often used for that.
A couple of years ago we promised ourselves to turn our lifestyle to a more healthy and positive way and that was when our interest in mushrooms really sparked up and got much stronger up to this day. So we want to share some more information with you about the benefits of taking more mushrooms of mushroom supplements. Because we believe that everything we need for our souls and our bodies is lying in nature.
This time we will turn our focus to another amazing mushroom – CHAGA.
Chaga or also known as Inonotus obliquus (don’t worry we cannot pronounce it properly either) is actually a… parasite. Yes, just like the Oscar winning movie from last year, chaga is also a star. Fun fact is that the name chaga came from russian – чага. Also in Norway it is called “kreftkjuke”, which literally means “cancer fungus”. We will discuss later on the reasons for that. The mushroom parasites on trees and causes a white heart rot to develop in the host. The process can take from 10 to 80 years.
Chaga is dark brown or even black on the outside and bright orange on the inside, because of the high amounts of the pigment melanin that is contained. It has a hard structure and it can be used in many different formats – dried, powdered, extract or part of different supplements. We have tried it as a pill, coffee and tea. That is a great way to implement it in your everyday life easily.
So let’s cut right into it – what are the health benefits of taking chaga. It is well known in the traditional medicine of different parts of the world like Siberia and other parts of Asia and North Europe. In the past years the Western cultures also implemented it in their natural remedies for better overall health and boost of the immune system. Although there is not that much official research on this topic, there is lots of proof in alternative medicine for its positive impact on the body.
Give me some vitamins
It has been proven that chaga contains a lot of different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are important for us. The list is long:
- B-complex vitamins
- vitamin D
- amino acids
Fights inflammation and boosts the immune system
Chaga is believed to be really helpful in fighting the bad bacteria and longtime inflammations, because it promotes the formation of beneficial cytokines — specialized proteins that regulate the immune system. That is important because the inflammation for long periods may cause heart disease and many different complications. Especially in the current global situation it is important to react quickly and to fully recover.
Some tube experiments and studies with mice show that chaga can prevent the production of harmful cytokines, which trigger inflammation and are associated with disease.
This may be a bold suggestion, but there are now some studies that suggest chaga may reduce the bad influences of cancer to the body.
A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2018 suggests that Chaga may offer anti-cancer effects. In a series of test-tube studies involving lung cancer cells, an alcohol extract of Chaga was reported to have triggered apoptosis (programmed cell death) in all cell lines.
It has also been backed up by another study, conducted in Japan. Deceased mice were given an extract of chaga and the results showed 25% reduction in tumor sizes and for those with metastatic disease the percentage is even higher – 60%. However those studies have been conducted with really high dosage that may also be harmful for the human body,
Keep in mind that there are not enough studies made so far to have explicit results, but it is a great direction for further examination.
May slow the aging process
Another aspect that is bothering the human kind for centuries is aging. It may be a natural process, but who doesn’t want to look young and fresh forever?
Especially nowadays the oxidative stress causes gray hair, skin problems, wrinkles, etc. Exposing to sun, smoking, pollution are also factors that exacerbate the aging process.
So in theory if we provide more antioxidants to the body, that will help reduce those problems and that is why a lot of cultures support the opinion that chaga is helping with that.
As a conclusion we can say that the benefits are being highlighted for a long time by alternative medicine and it will be furthermore confirmed by science. We hope that this information was useful for you and we are going to make a cup of chaga tea and enjoy the rest of the day.
Please keep in mind at all times that none of the content published on the “Mushrooms Health” Foundation website constitutes any form of health or medical advice or recommendation. The information on our website is valid for a cumulative number of cases, and cannot be viewed as any type or form of medical advice. We insist that you consult a medical professional if you have any type of diagnosed medical condition, or have reasons to believe you have an undiagnosed one. The “Mushrooms Health” Foundation team is hereby released of any responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, which may arise out of applying or failing to apply any information published on this website.