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You might have heard of white button and portobello mushrooms. But are you familiar with Chaga mushrooms? Usually found in Siberia and some parts of Asia, Chaga mushrooms are fungi that grow on the bark of birch trees during winters. Despite its charcoal-like appearance, Chaga is popular worldwide for its medicinal benefits and immune-boosting properties.

It isn’t easy to find a natural product that can help promote beauty and wellness. However, functional mushrooms such as Chaga are now widely available and are excellent natural supplements to include in your everyday routine.

The importance and benefits of Chaga mushrooms are discussed in this article.

What are Chaga mushrooms?

Chaga isn’t your typical supermarket mushroom, nor does it have the same flavor as regular mushrooms. They have a bitter yet vanilla flavor, and they’re high in fiber and low in calories. So, if you plan on buying some, you may need to visit a specialty store or a health food store, or you may need to order it online on Vitamin Arc.

The most common use of Chaga mushrooms is in tea, which is used after it’s grounded into a powder. However, it is also used in skin care products and as a supplement.

Cancer

The most notable feature of Chaga is its reputed anti-cancer properties. In some countries, it has been harvested and used to treat cancer.[1] Chaga has been shown in animal and test-tube experiments to prevent and possibly even slow cancer progression.

According to one study in mice, it was revealed that Chaga usage showed a 60% reduction in tumor size, while a test-tube examination of human cells from the livers, lungs, breasts, prostates, and colons showed that Chaga decreased cancer cell growth.[2]For strong conclusions about Chaga’s anticancer properties, more human studies are needed.

 

Cholesterol

Because of its high antioxidant content, Chaga may be beneficial to people with high cholesterol. This, in turn, may help prevent clogged arteries and heart diseases.

In one animal study, it was noted that obese rats with type 2 diabetes who ate Chaga mushroom extract had lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and higher HDL “good” cholesterol.[3]

Supports Healthy Anti-Inflammatory Response

If you want to keep your body running at its best, you must maintain a healthy inflammatory system. While researchers are still studying mushrooms like Chaga, which have been used for thousands of years to enhance immunological health and inflammatory systems.

However, animal studies and test-tube investigations reveal that the Chaga mushroom can aid mice and rats in maintaining healthy inflammatory systems and immune cells.[4]

High in Antioxidants

While you might have heard about the amazing anti-inflammatory properties of blueberries, turmeric, and acai since they have abundant antioxidants to fight inflammation, Chaga has five times more antioxidants than any of these superfoods.

The ORAC value of the Chaga mushroom is 31 times that of blueberries, making it one of the highest-ranking foods.[5] The antioxidant activity is measured by ORAC, which stands for “oxygen radical absorbent capacity.” The higher the score, the more effective food protects the body from free radicals and oxidative stress.

It’s especially high in the antioxidant called Superoxide Dismutase, which can provide several benefits to your skin and prevent age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.[6][7]

Supporting the immune system

Cytokines are chemical messengers produced by the immune system. They’re proteins that activate white blood cells to boost the immune system’s initial line of defense against various illnesses.[8]

Research suggests Chaga may help regulate the production of cytokines, which supports the immune system by allowing cells to communicate with one another. This could help treat infections ranging from simple colds to life-threatening diseases.[9][10]

Fighting inflammation

Inflammation helps the body fight sickness. However, inflammation can sometimes evolve from minor discomfort to a long-term health problem. Some diseases like rheumatoid arthritis are caused by inflammation. However, studies suggest that chronic inflammation may play a role in some health disorders that aren’t considered inflammatory, such as depression.

Chaga can help decrease inflammation since it can regulate cytokine production. This suggests that Chaga may have a role to play in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and other disorders.[11]

Preventing drug side effects

While research is still ongoing, the Chaga mushroom is believed to treat dangerous illnesses like arthritis and cancer. Furthermore, Chaga treatment may help patients avoid the unpleasant side effects of harsh therapies such as radiation, chemotherapy, or drugs for chronic conditions.[12]

More graceful aging process

Before you splurge hundreds of dollars on skincare products, do you know this fungus could be your new skin secret? Yes! You heard that right.

Thanks to its antioxidant properties, Chaga helps irritated, dehydrated skin while also slowing the aging process. Antioxidants help your body fight free radicals that cause oxidative stress and the appearance of age-related symptoms like wrinkles and sagging skin. Chaga mushrooms contain antioxidants that may help slow down the aging process by protecting cells and tissues from damage. However, it’s only believed that Chaga could help with aging. There hasn’t been any specific research done on Chaga’s anti-aging benefits.

Helps You Reduce Your Caffeine intake

For those trying to cut down on caffeine intake, Chaga is a great alternative to tea and coffee. In fact, during the 1940s, coffee and sugar were rationed in Finland. Finns started drinking coffee made with brewed Chaga. Chaga has an earthy flavor and contains vanillin, the flavoring ingredient in vanilla. Besides this, milk and milk substitutes pair well with brewed Chaga.

Aid Weight loss

A strong immune system and healthy blood vessels are two important aspects of an active lifestyle needed for weight management. Through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, Chaga can help you maintain healthy gut bacteria and may aid with weight-loss efforts. Chaga is also low in calories and high in fiber, so you don’t have to worry about your Chaga consumption sending your daily calorie intake through the roof!

Conclusion

With all the benefits discussed above, Chaga is the new superfood. For decades, it has been used as a medicinal compound for health, wellness, and immunity around Asia. If you too want to benefit from the magical uses of Chaga, visit Vitamin Arc for more information.