The Chaga mushroom contains many health benefits. In this article, we briefly outline 8 of these incredible medicinal properties.
There are many ways to ingest Chaga, most people preferring them as powder, tea, or tincture.
The high levels of antioxidant content, the low number of calories, and the very high fiber content make Chaga mushrooms really stand out from the rest. You might also be interested to know that they are both fat and sugar-free.
In fact, two teaspoons of raw Chaga chunks contain about:
- 30 calories
- 0 grams of fat
- 7 grams carbohydrates
- 7 grams fiber (28% of Daily Value)
8 Health Benefits of Chaga Mushrooms
Benefit #1: Powerful Antioxidant
When it comes to antioxidants, the Chaga mushroom is unrivaled. Most people associate natural occurring antioxidants with blueberries.
However, the level of antioxidants in Chaga are 1,300 times higher than blueberries!
Antioxidants help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are waste products in our cells that cause cellular damage.
They may play a role in both heart disease and cancer, as well as a number of other diseases.
If your body’s balance between antioxidants and free radicals is disrupted, you can end up with oxidation stress. Oxidative stress can cause inflammation of your body, leading to many chronic diseases.
Benefit #2: Improve Mental and Physical Energy Levels
Polysaccharides help your body to convert food into usable energy.
Chaga contains high levels of polysaccharides. In turn, this can leave you with more enduring and sustained physical and mental energy.
A 2015-study into mice seems to support this. When the mice were given polysaccharides from the Chaga mushroom, they were able to swim for longer.
Furthermore, the glycogen (fuel) content increased in both their muscles and livers. Conversely, the levels of lactic acid in the bloodstream decreased.
Benefit #3: Cell Regeneration/Skincare
Chaga mushrooms contain high levels of beta-glucans. Among other things, beta-glucans are considered excellent for the skin. It can reduce redness and other signs of sensitive skin.
In addition, Chaga is one of nature’s most potent sources of melanin. Melanin is essential for healthy pigmentation in human skin.
Furthermore, Chaga is also thought to help protect your skin from the sun as well as slow the aging process. It can also aid in the restoration and regeneration of healthy skin cells.
Enzymes in the Chaga mushroom can help in fighting acne. It moisturizes your skin as well as keep clogging and dirt build-up to a minimum.
There are a number of different Chaga face serums, lotions, bath agents, etc. already on the market.
Benefit #4: Stimulation of the Immune System
Animal studies show that the Chaga mushroom can help boost the immune system. It increases the production of certain immune cells such as interleukin 6 (IL -6) and T lymphocytes.
These nutrients help your body regulate the immune system. In addition, Chaga stimulates white blood cells. Together, they fight off any invading bacteria and viruses already inside your body.
Research shows that Chaga extract stimulates your spleen’s lymphocytes. In turn, this can have a direct and positive effect on how your immune system functions.
Benefit #5: Antiviral Abilities
The Chaga mushroom has several antiviral and antibacterial properties. These can help improve your body’s immune system. In fact, Chaga aids in both the prevention and treatment of colds and flu.
Scientists have found that Chaga mushroom extracts had an antiviral effect on type 1 HIV.
Furthermore, animal studies show that Chaga has an anti-viral effect when it comes to treating the hepatitis C virus.
Research continues to build towards the possibility of new antiviral drugs created from Chaga.
Benefit #6: Inflammation Reducer
Studies show that Chaga prevents the production of cytokines that are harmful and trigger inflammation. They are also associated with gut diseases such as colitis.
Benefit #7: Diabetes/Lower Blood Sugar
Chaga mushrooms may be able to help or control Diabetes .This is because Chaga is thought to lower blood sugar levels and thereby help manage diabetes.
Several studies show a reduction of blood sugar levels and insulin resistance in obese, diabetic mice after ingesting Chaga extract.
In one study, the use of Chaga supplements led to a 31% decrease in blood sugar levels in as little as 3 weeks. However, no human research is available.
Benefit #8: Lowers Cholesterol
Chaga extract may help lower cholesterol levels. If it really does, it will reduce your risk of heart disease.
In an 8 week study, researchers found that rats with high cholesterol had reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol when given Chaga extract.
In addition, the total cholesterol and triglyceride levels were also reduced. Conversely, the Chaga increased levels of antioxidants in the blood.
Other studies also confirm this reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol and an increase in the “good” HDL cholesterol.
Is the Treatment of Cancer part of the Health Benefits of Chaga?
A lot of excitement is building on Chaga mushroom’s use in the treatment of cancer. Though not discussed in details here, you can explore more about Chaga in the treatment of cancer in other Chaga articles.
Potential Side Effects
With so many Chaga mushroom health benefits, are Chaga mushroom for everyone? No, they are not.
The Chaga mushroom has certain side effects as well as drug interactions. Explore these in my article called: Chaga Mushroom Side Effects.
The Chaga mushroom health benefits certainly are many. There are numerous scientific studies carried out in test tubes and animals. However, far more human studies are needed to back up a lot of claims.
Having said that, I am personally a great believer in the Chaga mushroom and its many health benefits, and I will continue to drink Chaga-based teas daily.
However, before using any mushroom remedies, always first check with a physician if you are on any medication or you are pregnant.