Chaga – referred to as “The Diamond of the Forest” in Japan, “The King of Plants” in China, “A Gift from God” and “The Mushroom of Immortality” in Siberia – is revered for its reputable roster of health benefits.Renowned as a legendary dietary staple, chaga’s medicinal uses date back thousands of years, where its historical application in folk medicine points to its therapeutic potential.
In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the Chaga Mushroom, including its benefits and how you can consume it within your diet.
Chaga mushroom benefits
Chaga Mushroom Benefits
In Siberia, chaga was seen as a medicinal fungus used to treat a variety of ailments, including stomach diseases, pain relief and blood purification. Historically in Russia – where the word “chaga” originates from the indigenous term “чага” – the mushroom was used as a remedy for cancers, including breast cancer, gastric, stomach, skin and rectal cancers, where rumour has it Russian leader, Tsar Valdimir Monomakh, used to cure his lip cancer.
As a powerful, nutrient-dense adaptogen containing 215 potent phytonutrients (including B-vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants), chaga has been the subject of decades of modern scientific research which has proven the arguable benefits of regular chaga consumption. check out the 8 benefits of the Chaga Mushroom below.
1. The Chaga Mushroom is Nature’s Healer
The Otzibrew chaga – harvested from Siberia, where it cultivates on the outside of Birch trees – has been claimed to heal the very trees it grows by entering damaged or splintered wood as spores and repairing the bark.
2. Food Standards Agency approval
Declared as “an excellent source of manganese” by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in 2018, Ötzibrew Chaga can provide adequate dietary doses of manganese in every serving.
Manganese is an excellent all-rounder essential in the function of a wide range of chemical processes. As an important trace mineral, it works to activate enzymes in your metabolism, such as carbohydrates and cholesterol, which directly impacts your energy.
As an important cofactor, manganese helps to kickstart a number of vitamins, including vitamins C and E, and aids in the digestion of protein and amino acid. Not only that – manganese is crucial in the formation of bone cartilage, bone collagen and bone mineralisation, where healthy levels in our diet has shown to improve our overall bone health. Without it, our bodies develop an altered relationship with a growth hormone involved in bone formation, called “somatomedin C”, as learned from a study on manganese-deficient rodents.
3. Enhanced brain function
A study conducted on amnesic mice, who were given regulated doses of chaga for a week long period, found significant cognitive enhancement as a result. In people, chaga consumption can improve brain health due to the mushroom’s antioxidants which reduce oxidative stress. Chaga also increases the brain’s acetylcholine levels, that act as neurotransmitters which influence our learning and memory.
4. Immune boosting
Chaga contains polysaccharides and is known to help fight infection by creating cytokines, which mediate and regulate our immune system. The release of cytokines helps to strengthen the body’s defence against mutated cells and harmful bacteria by working to stimulate skin cell recovery and the production of white blood cells.
5. Antioxidant gold
The antioxidant properties of chaga naturally protect healthy cells from damage and help to fight against free radicals – which, when left in the body in high volumes, can contribute to diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Chaga has an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) value of 146.700 which is one of the highest in the world.
In short, consuming foods rich in antioxidants, like chaga, can help combat against degenerative diseases by eradicating surplus atoms – free radicals – from travelling around the body, destroying DNA structures and damaging cell membranes.
6. Anti-cancer effects
It’s long been argued that chaga has anti-cancer benefits which are attributed to its immune-modulating triterpenoid compounds.
In one study, tumour-ridden mice who were administered chaga experienced a 60% reduction in tumour size and mice with tumours in multiple parts of the body had a suppression in the cancer’s progression.
7. Good gut health
Beta glucans – known as b-glucans –found in chaga are known to lower cholesterol and replaces LDL (the bad cholesterol) with higher levels of HDL (the good cholesterol). They also act as a prebiotic which feeds friendly bacteria in our digestive systems and contributes to a healthier gut microbiome.
8. Long term prevention
Melanin – a phenolic pigment located on the surface of the mushroom responsible for its distinctive charcoal-colouring – creates a radioprotective effect once indigested. Chaga’s high concentration of melanin – among the highest known – can offer protection against radiation due to prevention of oxidation and immunomodulation.
Chaga’s remedial benefits are preventative – not reactive – and offer magnificent healing properties to optimise the body’s functions.
Chaga Mushroom Powder
When processed, Chaga can be turned into a fine powder, which offers a convenient way to consume this medicinal mushroom. We recommend stirring in 1g of Chaga Mushroom powder into hot water or alternatively, you can mix it into other foods including yoghurts, smoothies, etc.
To buy our Pure Chaga click here.
Chaga mushroom powder offers a versatile way to incorporate the potential health benefits of chaga into your diet. Whether you choose to drink it as a tea, blend it into smoothies, or add it to your food, Chaga can be a valuable addition to a holistic health regimen.
Chaga Mushroom Side Effects
Although it is considered to be a safe and natural substance, there are some considerations before taking Chaga Mushroom.
- Dosage: Always start with a smaller dose to see how your body reacts and then adjust accordingly. If using a commercial product, follow the recommended dosage on the label.
- Allergies: As with any supplement or food, there’s a potential for allergic reactions. Start with a small amount to see how your body reacts.
- Medication Interactions: Chaga might interact with certain medications, especially anticoagulants and diabetes medications. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using Chaga, especially if you’re on medication.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: There’s limited research on the safety of chaga during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before use.
- Source: Ensure that you source chaga powder from reputable suppliers to guarantee quality and purity.
Chaga Mushroom is a powerful superfood with many health benefits packed inside, check out our full range of natural products and coffee alternatives.