Chaga mushroom benefits

Nutrition

Chaga mushrooms are a type of wild fungi used as a traditional medicine for hundreds of years around the world.

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What are the health benefits of chaga mushrooms? 

It’s said that mushrooms are some of the healthiest foods on the planet. And chaga mushrooms are no exception. The chaga mushroom, a type of fungus that grows on tree bark, has been used as a traditional medicine worldwide for thousands of years. The mushroom contains strong levels of antioxidants and has been studied for its ability to boost the immune system, prevent cancer and lower blood sugar and cholesterol, amongst other benefits. 

What is chaga mushroom?

Chaga mushroom is a type of fungus that grows on birch trees in cold-climate areas, such as Russia, Alaska, Northern Europe, Northern Canada and parts of the northern United States. Chaga mushrooms are a dark, woody growth that resemble a lump of burnt wood and are typically harvested in the winter. In communities around the world, these mushrooms have been used as a traditional medicine to boost the immune system and improve overall health. The mushroom is typically ground into a powder and consumed as a tea. 

These days, you can also purchase chaga mushrooms in the form of tinctures, capsules and powders. If you live in a cold climate, you can also try foraging for chaga mushrooms. When foraging, it’s best to purchase a wild mushroom field guide to help you properly identify chaga mushrooms and other fungi. 

Chaga mushroom benefits

High nutritional content

Chaga mushrooms contain a host of beneficial vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that can boost our overall health and vitality. This includes B-complex vitamins, Vitamin D, potassium, amino acids, copper, zinc and magnesium. Chaga mushrooms also contain strong levels of antioxidants, which fight oxidative stress in the body and may be able to treat a range of different conditions and diseases. 

Immune system boost

Chaga mushrooms have many potential benefits for the immune system. Studies have found that chaga extract may reduce long-term inflammation and fight off both bacteria and viruses through its ability to stimulate the immune system. Chaga mushrooms promote the formation of cytokines, a type of specialized protein that regulates the immune system and monitors the growth of white blood cells. Because white blood cells are essential for fighting off bacteria, viruses and inflammation, chaga mushrooms may be able to fight off everything from the common cold to more serious diseases. 

Anti-inflammatory properties

The production of cytokines may also contribute to fighting inflammation in the body. Chaga mushrooms may therefore be able to fight some chronic inflammatory diseases and autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis. 

Cancer prevention

Several studies, primarily on animals, have shown that chaga mushrooms may be able to prevent the onset of cancer and slow cancer and tumor growth. This is probably due to the mushroom’s strong level of antioxidants. One of the most important antioxidants in chaga mushrooms is triterpene, which has been studied for its ability to kill cancer cells. 

Anti-aging effects

The antioxidants in chaga mushrooms can help prevent some physical signs of aging, such as wrinkles, sagging skin and graying hair. Since antioxidants fight damage from free radicals, chaga mushrooms may be able to help stop or slow some of the damage we experience to our skin and hair from sun exposure and pollution. 

Lower blood sugar

Chaga mushrooms may be able to fight diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and balancing insulin in the body. While studies have primarily only been on mice, it shows potential to fight diabetes in humans as well. 

Lower cholesterol 

Chaga mushrooms may also boost heart health by lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Lower levels of LDL cholesterol may reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. 

What you need to buy for chaga mushroom benefits

Host Defense Chaga Antioxidant and DNA Support

Host Defense Chaga Antioxidant and DNA Support

These chaga mushroom capsules from Host Defense are made with certified organic mushrooms that are sustainably grown in the USA. They can be taken daily as a dietary supplement to support the immune system, fight inflammation and improve overall health. 

Where to buy: Sold by iHerb and Amazon 

Host Defense Chaga Extract

Host Defense Chaga Extract 

This chaga mushroom extract has all the benefits of chaga mushroom capsules but in the form of a tincture. The tincture can be administered under the tongue as a dietary supplement and is best for people who have difficulty swallowing pills. It can also be easily added to your morning coffee or smoothie. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Four Sigmatic Chaga Mushroom Elixir

Four Sigmatic Chaga Mushroom Elixir

This powdered mushroom beverage contains a high dose of chaga mushrooms plus other immune-boosting ingredients, such as adaptogen eleuthero, rose hips and mint. Mix the powder with hot water and enjoy it as a warm beverage to boost your immune system. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and iHerb

 

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Katy Severson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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