The Health Benefits of The Siberian Chaga – Medicinal Mushroom
What Is The Siberian Chaga Medicinal Mushroom?
Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) grow on birch trees in cold climates and are commonly found in Russia, Korea, Alaska, parts of Northern Europe, and Siberia. In fact, Chaga is a type of tree-destroying fungus that grows in exposed parts of a tree trunk (or branch) and is very nutritious when collected from young healthy trees.
Although it has a parasitic relationship with trees, Chaga does not have any known adverse effects when consumed by humans. This wonder mushroom goes by many names including black mass, birch canker polypore, and cinder conk.
An Overview of Siberian Chaga Medicinal Mushrooms
The Chaga mushroom has been used for centuries in Siberia and parts of Asia. It’s traditionally drunk as a tea and contains powerful medicinal effects: It was known to boost immunity and overall health — and current scientific studies corroborate these ancient findings. Chaga mushroom’s positive effects are wide-ranging. It can improve body function and sugar levels, prevent cancer, and even strengthen the immune system.
You must seek the advice of a doctor or health care professional before trying any new supplement. Chaga, in particular, can interact with specific medications leading to dangerous reactions. Chaga poses a risk to diabetics who use insulin since it can disturb blood sugar levels and affect the efficacy of insulin. Those who are on blood thinners should also be careful before using Chaga, too. It contains blood-thinning properties that can amplify the effects of blood thinners. It can also affect those with autoimmune diseases, over-stimulating their immune system.
What Can Siberian Chaga Medicinal Mushrooms Do For Your Health?
- Help Strengthen The Immune System
The body fights off an infection or heals an injury by using the immune system’s inflammation response. However, chronic long-term inflammation can increase your risk of health problems. Studies show that Chaga extract can help reduce the inflammation response, shorten the length of your inflammation period, and strengthen the immune system.
- Chaga Is a Nutrient-dense Superfood
Chaga mushrooms contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals which include B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, potassium, amino acids, fiber, calcium, zinc, iron, and selenium.
- Slows Body Aging
Oxidative stress is the main cause of physical aging. Exposure to toxins, the sun, and pollutants causes oxidative stress and can accelerate the aging process. Luckily, Chaga mushrooms contain a healthy dose of antioxidants which helps reduce oxidative stress.
- Helps Lower Blood Pressure
Oxidative stress is known to increase blood pressure. Since Chaga contain antioxidants that combat oxidative stress, it may help decrease blood pressure.
- Helps prevent Liver Injury
According to a 2015 study, a Korean research team found that Chaga was able to slow down the development of certain liver problems. It was able to protect against tertbutyl hydroperoxide, a chemical known to cause liver damage.
- Helps in Cancer Prevention
In two different studies, conducted in 2016 and 2018 respectively, researchers found that Chaga may contain anti-cancer properties. In a series of tests, Chaga was found to cause apoptosis (cell death) in cancerous cells. According to scientists, the cancerous masses decreased in size by 25%.
What is the Best Way to Ingest Chaga Mushrooms?
Chaga is widely available online, natural food stores, and vitamin shops. It’s more commonly sold as a powder and drunk as a tea, but it’s also sold in tinctures and capsules.
Chaga isn’t readily absorbed by the intestines when taken as a capsule. Only by mixing it with water, alcohol, or fermented extract is Chaga more easily absorbed by the body.
What’s the Proper Dosing?
Since herbal remedies aren’t regulated, dosing can tricky. Purity can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. It’s important to watch out for red flags when shopping for any supplement, including Chaga.
Read the Label
Information is power. This why the label and product description are your friends. Check the label for additives and conduct your own research to make sure it’s safe for consumption.
Check the Colour
Chaga powder varies in color and it can range from bright orange to dark brown. Darker colors usually mean the powder isn’t refined as carefully and, therefore, contains fewer nutrients and a larger amount of impurities.
Opt for Pure Chaga
If you want the best product, try to find Chaga that contains little to no additives. This ensures you have a superior product that isn’t watered down or contains harmful substances.
What’s the Proper Way to Make Chaga Tea?
If you purchase Chaga tea bags, this process is simple. However, if you buy Chaga powder or Chaga chunks, this is the proper way to prepare a nice, warm Chaga tea. Careful preparation ensures your body absorbs the maximum amount of vital nutrients.
If you’re using Chaga powder, add a teaspoon of powder to a cup of boiling water and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then strain the remaining residue out with a strainer. If you’re using chunks, break them into one-inch pieces. Add up to 5 chunks in one liter of water and let it simmer for 15 minutes. If you want a more flavourful and nutrient-dense tea, you should simmer the Chaga chunks for up to 3 hours.
The Bottom Line
For centuries the Chaga mushroom has been used as a medicinal tonic—and for good reason. Research shows that it can reduce blood pressure, improve blood sugar levels, kill cancer cells, boost the immune system, support liver function, and slow down signs of aging. Although research is still in its infancy, the results out now are promising.
If you’re interested in trying Chaga, talk to your doctor first, especially if you’re on medication or suffer from a chronic health condition.
Guest Contributor: Polly
Editor @ Pure Himalayan Shilajit
Blogger, Internet Marketer