Chaga is a common name for the fungi Inonotus Obliquus. It’s a parasitic fungus that grows on birch and other trees. In appearance, it forms irregularly and looks like burnt charcoal.
The mushroom grows abundantly in the Northern Hemisphere, including Russia and Asia. People in those areas have also been using the mushroom for a number of ailments.
In modern times, the chaga mushroom is receiving plenty of attention from people worldwide because the fungus is supposed to offer many health benefits.
Continue reading to learn about the potential health benefits of chaga mushrooms.
What Does Chaga Mushrooms Contain?
Chaga mushroom is low in calories and made up of several substances such as
- Dietary fiber,
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin Bs
- Amino Acids
Health Benefits Of Chaga Mushrooms
We will now see the potential health benefits that chaga mushroom supposedly offers.
It may boost the immune system
It’s vital for your immune system to stay strong, or you can get sick often. Inflammation is one of the reactions of the immune system to protect against diseases. However, if the inflammation gets out of hand, it can be dangerous.
Studies on mice have shown that chaga mushrooms can reduce long-term inflammation and also fight dangerous germs like bacteria and viruses.
According to the studies, the chaga mushroom stimulates white blood cells by forming special cytokines that balance the immune system. When you have healthy white blood cells, your body is protected from infections, mild to severe.
So, the chaga mushroom causes a chain of reactions and boosts the immune system.
It may prevent and fight cancer
Initial animal studies have also shown that chaga mushrooms may help reduce tumors that lead to cancer and prevent cancer cells from growing.
The studies determined that chaga mushroom inhibited cancer growth in liver cells, the colon, breast, lung and prostate.
The effect is believed to be due to the mushroom containing high amounts of antioxidants such as triterpene. Research indicates that antioxidants can help stop cancer cells from growing.
But the studies have been conducted only on animals. Experts need to conduct more research on humans to know if chaga mushrooms can help fight cancer growth.
It may lower and maintain blood sugar levels
High sugar in the blood can cause issues that can become quite dangerous if not taken care of in time.
It can lead to diabetes, and you can have side effects like kidney ailment, blindness, heart and blood disease, nerve damage, skin conditions, and hearing impairment.
The studies conducted on animals also indicated that chaga mushrooms could reduce sugar in the blood by a significant margin.
The mice administered chaga supplement for a few weeks showed a 31% decrease in blood sugar levels. The research also showed a reduction in insulin resistance.
But not much can be said if chaga mushroom will work the same way in humans. Experts have to conduct more research to learn if the mushroom can indeed produce the same effects in humans as in mice.
It may lower cholesterol levels
Your heart needs to be healthy to function properly. However, certain conditions like high cholesterol levels can cause heart ailments.
Research conducted on animals also showed that chaga mushroom extract reduced LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. The experiment lasted for about eight weeks, and along with lowering bad cholesterols, antioxidants also rose in the rats.
While bad cholesterols reduced, HDL or good cholesterols increased during the same experiments. Experts are of the opinion that the high amounts of antioxidants lower bad and increase good cholesterols.
But as with other benefits, more research on humans is needed, and there is nothing conclusive. It’s to be hoped that the chaga mushroom can show the same effects in humans too.
It may also lower inflammation
Another study on animals has also shown that taking chaga mushrooms for some time can reduce inflammation. While inflammation is good to some extent, it can be dangerous too.
Since the research showed a reduction in inflammation, chaga mushroom extract can be beneficial. However, there is not much human research done till now.
But an animal study showed positive results, and if experts conduct human research, they may learn more about how chaga mushrooms can be helpful.
It may also help with depression
Depression can happen due to a number of reasons, and inflammation is also linked to the disease. Studies conducted on mice have shown that chaga mushroom extract can lower inflammation.
So, if the inflammation goes down, it likely lowers depression. But again, the results are only indicative of animal research.
Whether it can affect humans in the same way, will have to be seen after experts conduct more research and experiments.
It may help with arthritis
Since chaga mushroom has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it might be a suitable remedy to alleviate arthritis.
It may lower blood pressure
Stress, inactivity and bad diet are three main reasons for hypertension or high blood pressure. Many people suffer from the condition, and it can lead to stroke and even death.
Some studies suggest that chaga mushrooms may be helpful to maintain blood pressure. It’s good news and will be beneficial for many who have the issue.
What do you learn from the above?
To date, experts have conducted only animal and test-tube studies. But the results have only been positive for all the research done.
Mice and rats who were part of the experiments improved their well-being in different ways. Inflammation decreased, cholesterols and blood sugar levels also went down.
The chaga mushroom extract also inhibited the growth of tumors and cancer cells. The positive results were seen not only in one organ but several organs.
So, the mushroom extract is beneficial for not only one but many health conditions.
Even though many human studies have not been done much, you will find many supplements.
Always follow the recommended dosage given on the label, or you can also ask your doctor to prescribe the dose for you.
It’s a safe ingredient, but taking the correct dosage is vital for good results and improving health.
While not many studies have been done on humans, animal research shows positive results. Besides, people have been using chaga mushroom extract for centuries to treat various ailments.
So, you can also use a top-quality supplement that comes with high recommendations. As mentioned, take proper dosage, and you won’t have any problem.
If you’re under any medication, it’s best to consult with your physician so that you don’t have any problems while taking the supplement.