Chaga, which has a scientific name of Inonotus obliquus, is a species of mushrooms commonly used in traditional and alternative medicine for its richness in antioxidants and other compounds that are beneficial to overall health. It’s endemic in Asia, Russia, Canada, and Siberia and is known by many names including “King of Herbs” and “Mushroom of Immortality” for its immunity-boosting properties. They typically grow on birch trees and, with their increasing popularity, they are easy to obtain. Chaga mushrooms have cemented quite a reputation in medicine as it has been clinically proven to help prevent cancer and other certain diseases. Because of this, it has become one of the best superfoods available in the market. Here are some reasons why you should consider using them:
- They are rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants prevent or delay cell damage by neutralizing free radicals, which are harmful, free-floating byproducts of the body’s natural metabolic processes. Free radicals are chemically unstable, and antioxidants counteract them by donating molecules to achieve stability. As antioxidants are instrumental in reducing cell damage, it’s important to ingest them regularly through food, and Chaga mushrooms are one of its best sources.
- They boost immunity.
The immune system is the body’s fleet of internal soldiers that fight against disease-causing organisms, so it’s imperative to keep it healthy. Chaga mushrooms not only improve immunity but also slow it down when it goes into overdrive. This is because Chaga mushrooms are natural Biological Response Modifiers (BRMs), which means they can regulate the immune mechanism.
- They combat cancer initiation.
Biological Response Modifiers (BRMs) are used in immunotherapy and because Chaga mushrooms are natural BRMs, they are effective in supporting standard approaches to treating cancer by compensating for the undesirable side effects. Although the role of Chaga mushrooms in cancer remains subject to further scientific research, its established immunity modulating properties prove to be helpful in the battle against cancer.
- They are antimicrobial.
The human body can only house and tolerate so much bacteria, and going over the bacterial threshold may ultimately cause certain illnesses. Chaga mushrooms increase the body’s capability of fighting off harmful microorganisms. In fact, one study revealed that the biological activity and chemical characterization of Chaga extracts show high antimicrobial activity.
- They soothe ulcers.
Because Chaga mushrooms contain a substantial concentration of antioxidants and antimicrobials, they can soothe and even fully heal both external and internal ulcers. As a matter of fact, a study in 1951 that treated 50 psoriasis patients with extracts from Chaga mushroom yielded 76% completely cured subjects, 16% improved, and 8% unaffected. No harm from Chaga mushroom was documented among the treated patients.
- They normalize blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Elevated blood sugar and cholesterol levels may lead to more serious cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, coronary artery disease, and stroke. Chaga mushrooms contain Beta-D-Glucans that help keep blood glucose and cholesterol levels within normal limits. Beta-D-Glucans also give Chaga mushrooms the ability to modulate immunity. Chaga mushrooms also contain betulin and betulinic acid that can control cholesterol levels and have been found to possess antiretroviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
- They help in stress and anxiety management.
Chaga mushrooms provide an inexpensive way to manage stress and anxiety. This is because chaga is regarded as a natural adaptogen, which is an herbal component that regulates the adrenals. The adaptogen in Chaga mushrooms manage stress and anxiety through hormonal control and balance, allowing the body to adapt to psychological and emotional strain.
- They improve endurance.
Certain studies revealed that Chaga mushrooms increase energy stores in the liver and muscles, which enhances endurance in animals. This is because Chaga mushrooms contain complex sugars called polysaccharides that can reduce blood lactate, a chemical byproduct of muscular exertion that accumulates in the muscles causing fatigue. Chaga mushrooms have also been found to reduce urea in the blood, which also contributes to fatigue.
Chaga mushrooms are called “Mushrooms of Immortality” for a variety of medically proven reasons. It’s a quadruple-threat fungus that help the body delay breakdown, augment resistance, enhance adaptability, and improve endurance. Because of its richness in beneficial compounds like antioxidants, Beta-D-Glucans, and adaptogens, Chaga mushrooms are starting to become the next biggest superfood to take over the world and make it a healthier place.