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The Medicinal Benefits of Chaga Mushrooms

May 30, 2019

Mushrooms are a type of fungi which are essential for human health as well as the environment. This natural ingredient plays an important role in our diet and nutrition as well as in traditional medical practices specifically in Asia, America, and Europe. Mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes as far as ancient times.

Modern medicine finally caught up and scientists have discovered the many benefits of this fungi. Some species particularly chaga mushrooms are known by many for its longevity and powerful health benefits. Hence, making it a popular ingredient in dietary and health supplements whether in capsule, tablet, tincture or powder form.

Mushrooms in the World of Medicine

The medical field continues to increase its awareness of using medicinal mushrooms in addressing health concerns by cultivating techniques on how to maximize its effects and benefits. Mushrooms are not only used in the medical field but it is also growing in popularity as a culinary ingredient. At the same time, nutritionists are highly recommending chaga mushrooms for individuals who want to stay healthy while losing weight at the same time.

Mushrooms are highly nutritious and are low in fat and sugar. They are also loaded with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients making it an essential part of our daily nutrition. This herb is also loaded with fiber and is high in protein content which is why it’s a practical choice for dieters.

The Healing Properties of Medicinal Mushrooms

Approximately 700 to 1000 of 4,000 species of mushrooms are discovered to have immuno-pharmacological properties. However, only an estimate of 50 of these species are currently being used.

Medicinal mushrooms are studied and used to manage a variety of health issues and are discovered to provide tons of medicinal and healing properties that can boost over overall health.

  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Strong antioxidant activity
  • Control and maintains healthy blood glucose levels
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Improves kidney function
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Boosts memory, mental focus, and cognitive function
  • Detoxifies the liver from harmful substances
  • Supports healthy and stronger lungs
  • Enhances skin health
  • Supports healthy hormones
  • Provides relief for allergies and colds
  • Delays the aging process

Mushrooms Used as Functional Food

Mushrooms started its popularity in Asia before it gradually made its way to Europe and other parts of the world. In North America, mushrooms extracts can be easily purchased without having the need for registration or government approval. Among the most popular types of mushrooms used as food include shiitake, reishi, cordyceps, lion’s mane, maitake, turkey tails, oyster mushroom, hen of the woods and chaga.

These natural ingredients are used and developed into commercial products which are taken as dietary supplements. The most widely used forms are tea, mushroom with mycelium powder which are grown on soybeans, ethanolic extracts with or without glycerin, powdered extracts, and capsules or tablets.  

Mushrooms are excellent for the health as it provides numerous benefits.

  • Low fat
  • No cholesterol
  • High in trace minerals
  • Rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
  • Loaded with B vitamins
  • Excellent for weight loss
  • High in fiber content

What makes Chaga Mushrooms Beneficial for our Health?

Most of the research done in chaga mushrooms are conducted in Russia where it is found to grow abundantly. This natural herb thrives in cold climates which is why it can be found in parts of Russia, Siberia, Japan, Northern America, and Canada. So what makes wild chaga mushrooms so special?

Chaga mushrooms are discovered to have positive effects on the body. It has immune modulating, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties and is often used to manage various health issues. It is effective in managing pain, fighting sun damage, eliminating parasites, controlling blood sugar, detoxifying the liver, cleansing the blood, lowering cholesterol, and improving the circulation in the body among many others.

This natural ingredient is also used by medical practitioners in managing cancer especially in radiation and chemotherapy. Since chaga mushroom is considered to be an adaptogen, it helps restore the body’s balance while having a positive impact on the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system, and cardiovascular health.  

How Adaptogens Support the Mind and Body

Adaptogens helps our mind and body cope with stress so that our health stays in good condition even during the flu season. It makes it strong enough to fight viruses and infections as well as other illnesses that are detrimental to our health. Chaga can be used to ward off feelings of depression and burnout.

Having immune modulating effects makes this herb useful in managing auto-immune diseases. This medicinal is loaded with high levels of antioxidants which are crucial in protecting the cells from free radical damage and oxidative stress.

It also has the ability to enhance the immune response and reduce the inflammation in the body. Therefore, making it a powerful adaptogen for the body as it supports the body parts and organs in different ways.

Adaptogens such as chaga mushroom support the body which is why regular intake of this medicinal herb can have positive effects on our overall health. However, the effects can take at least two months of regular use before your body can maximize the full benefits of this superfood. One or two cups of chaga mushroom tea can boost your immune system by flushing out the toxins in your body.

High in Antioxidants

This herb grows slowly in the barks of birch trees. Nevertheless, it is discovered to be more potent compared to other types of medicinal mushrooms. Since the shelf-life of this ingredient lasts longer, it has stronger concentrations of antioxidant properties which is why it has excellent healing properties. Hence, making this superfood very popular among medical practitioners and nutritionists.

Chaga is recognized as one of the strongest antioxidants in the world. As a super adaptogen, it gives the body what it needs in order for it to return to its normal and natural state. It is also used as an anti-stress supplement. At the same time, it protects your body from developing various health issues including stroke, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer.

Rich in Nutrients and Medicinal Properties

Here are some of the many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you can find in Chaga Mushrooms.

  • Excellent source of superoxide dismutase (SOD) which fights free radicals responsible for damaging the tissues.
  • Contains over 200 phytonutrients.
  • Loaded with vitamins B and D, phenols, flavonoids, zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, copper, manganese and enzymes.
  • Rich in minerals including rubidium, cesium, germanium which are needed by the body to retain alkaline.  
  • Has significant levels of niacin and riboflavin.
  • Contains pantothenic acid which supports the digestive organs.
  • Used to boost the cognitive function and manage memory loss.
  • Since chaga contains plant-based sterols, it can effectively reduce the LDL cholesterol levels, regulate blood pressure, and improve metabolism.
  • Contains betulinic acid which is used to control and reduce tumors.
  • Contains phytonutrients and glyconutrients such as polysaccharides, beta glucans, melanin, tripeptides, triterpenes, sterols, inotodiols, saponins, and trametenolic acid.
  • Loaded with dietary fiber, amino acids, and essential minerals not found in vegetables.

Chaga Mushroom: Ancient Medicine

Medicinal mushrooms are much more popular in the East and although it is not widely used in the West, this fungus has been used by the indigenous people in North America for many generations. In the East, traditional medical practitioners still continue to use chaga mushrooms especially since it is recognized as one of the strongest yet hidden medicinal treasures of the 21st century.  

It is found in parts of Russia and Siberia as well as the northern regions of China. The people residing in Siberia are known to use chaga mushrooms since ancient times. They brew chaga mushrooms and use it to treat cancer and refer to it as the “Gift of God.”

At the same time, this fungi is also used to manage infectious diseases by scanning the body, searching the pathogens, and destroying it. Chaga is known to have positive effects on the liver as well as the digestive tract. Hence, is often used to address intestinal disorders and support the digestive system while others take it to provide relief for constipation.   

In addition, it also provides healing effects while protecting the gastric mucosoa in cases of ulcers and gastritis thanks primarily to the betulinic acid found in chaga mushroom. Betulinic acid aids in reducing the inflammation in the body. At the same time, it also stimulates the immune system to help protect the body against autoimmune disorders.

Meanwhile, it is also used to complement treatments for ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease dues to its tropism to the digestive tract. Doctors and scientists continue to used and study chaga for its anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects. Most doctors use this ingredient to manage symptoms of liver and intestinal cancer.

Plus, it is also good for the liver as it helps protect and regenerate the liver function. Meanwhile, some also use this herb to manage hepatitis. Aside from its tropism to the liver, it also has tropism to the heart. Hence, chaga supports the cognitive function by boosting memory and mental focus.

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