Chaga has an ever-growing reputation as one of the most health-giving foods on the planet.
So it is easy to understand why there has been such an increasing interest into what exactly the health benefits of the Chaga mushroom are.
While Chaga is often referred to as ‘the King of Mushrooms’, let’s face it, the Chaga mushroom would not fare well in a ‘food beauty’ contest.
However, beneath that gnarled earthy exterior lies a treasure trove of natural goodness – “black gold” as the Russians call it.
So what is the Chaga mushroom good for exactly? I’m glad you asked, because this is what you are about to discover in this article. Below I have outlined the 5 main health benefits of the Chaga mushroom that you need to know about.
First Health Benefit of the Chaga Mushroom:
Boosts Your Immune System
Chaga has a reputation of being a natural immunity booster, which has been the subject of several different studies.
The results of these studies on Chaga suggest that this tree mushroom actually promotes the formation of specialised proteins which stimulate white blood cells. These are essential for fighting harmful bacteria and viruses.
Also, just like other edible mushrooms, Chaga contains a wealth of important nutrients. These include, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus. All of these nutrients contribute to your overall health and give your body the fuel it needs to thrive.
Second Health Benefit of the Chaga Mushroom:
Chaga mushrooms are high in antioxidants so they naturally reduce inflammation in the body.
This is very important as long-term inflammation is linked to various diseases, such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and even cancer. So the anti-inflammatory properties of Chaga may help lower your risk of these diseases.
Both the increased white blood cell production and anti-inflammatory properties are a clear indication that Chaga can help you fight off infections, from minor colds to even more serious illnesses.
By ‘cleaning up’ your system of bad and infected cells and assisting in the growth of healthy ones, Chaga promotes greater efficiency to combat disease.
Third Health Benefit of the Chaga Mushroom:
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Studies have shown that Chaga extracts have a positive effect on cholesterol levels which reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
These studies showed a decrease in LDL cholesterol levels and also an increase in HDL cholesterol.
LDL – low-density lipoprotein – can form plaques that make heart attacks and strokes more likely.
HDL – high-density lipoprotein – reduces, reuses and recycles LDL.
Fourth Health Benefit of the Chaga Mushroom:
Helps You Reduce Your Caffeine intake
For those of us trying to limit our caffeine intake, Chaga serves as a great alternative to tea and coffee.
In fact, in 1940s Finland, coffee and sugar were rationed. Finns began using brewed Chaga as a coffee substitute. Chaga’s flavour is described as ‘earthy’; it contains vanillin – the flavour compound that gives vanilla its taste.
Brewed Chaga lends itself well to milk and milk alternatives. Check out our recipe for a Chaga Chai Latte.
Fifth Health Benefit of the Chaga Mushroom:
Supports 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 is able to help maintain healthy gut bacteria and may aid with weight-loss efforts.
Chaga is also low in calories and high in fibre so you don’t have to worry about your Chaga consumption sending your daily calorie intake through the roof!
There’s a lot to be said about the benefits of Chaga. It’s an antioxidant powerhouse, aiding inflammation and gut-health. For centuries, people of Siberia and Asia have benefited from the health properties of Chaga, allowing them to boost their immunity and overall health.
Knowledge of the health benefits of mushrooms is not new. Ötzi, the 5300-year-old iceman and inspiration for our name, was carrying mushrooms when two hikers discovered him in 1991.
While the mushrooms Ötzi carried had different properties to Chaga, it inspires us to seek and maximise the benefits offered to us by nature.
Online searches for Chaga have increased in recent years. We see this as a sign that people are catching up to this ancient wisdom and we couldn’t be more thrilled. We haven’t yet met a mushroom we didn’t like, but Chaga for us is the King.