Chaga mushroom is an adaptogenic plant and as such, is effective in regulating the functions of the cardiovascular system, immune system, endocrine system, nervous system, and the gastrointestinal tract. Adaptogens are well-known for helping the body combat cancer, alleviate stress, treat the common cold, and fight depression. They contain high anti-oxidant levels that protect the body from free radicals that damage cells as well effective in treating auto-immune diseases.
Chaga mushrooms not only boost the immune system, they combat inflammation, alleviates symptoms of diabetes, and protect cells from damaging free radicals. Chaga mushrooms are available as herbal teas and supplements.
Let’s talk more about the proven and potential health benefits of Chaga.
Supports the Immune System
According to the results of some studies conducted on mice, Chaga mushrooms may be effective in regulating cytokines production, which helps to boost the immune system by stimulating communications between cells. This means chaga can help combat minor and chronic infections. Cytokines are actually proteins that help to stimulate white blood cells, which support the immune system’s function of defending the body against a wide range of diseases.
Chaga mushrooms are made up of a lot of antioxidants that help to lower “bad” cholesterol or lipoprotein (LDL). We all know how a high cholesterol level can increase the risk of cardiovascular issues. However, chaga mushrooms can help prevent these health-related diseases.
In normal conditions, inflammation is supposed to support the body’s fight against illnesses. However, sometimes, this is not the case as inflammation may go beyond attacking an illness to causing chronic health problems. For instance, chronic health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis are connected to inflammation. In fact, some studies suggest that some diseases like depression, which are not normally considered inflammatory, may actually be partly caused by chronic inflammation.
Chaga mushroom, while regulating the production of cytokine, may also help do same to inflammation as well as fight autoimmune diseases.
Prevents and Fights Cancers
Studies have indicated the possibility that Chaga mushrooms could slow the growth of cancer cells or even totally prevent cancer. The plant is rich in chemical compounds such as antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage caused by oxidants or free radicals. The truth is, if the body is unable to produce adequate antioxidants to forestall this cell damage, oxidative stress happens. As a matter of fact, oxidative stress can result in cancer and a number of other health issues.
Although more research is needed on this, however, according to some studies, chaga may slow the growth of cervical, breast, and lung cancer cells. In fact, triterpenes, compounds present in chaga and some other mushrooms, can lead to the self-destruction of tumor cells. Interestingly, unlike other cancer treatments, Chaga mushrooms do not harm healthy cells.
Delays the Aging Process
Physical signs of aging like gray hair, fine lines, sagging skin, and wrinkles are usually caused by oxidative stress. Unfortunately too, pollution and an excessive exposure to the sun, pollution can create free radicals which speed up the skin’s aging process.
Although there is no research to substantiate this, it is believed that antioxidants may delay the aging process or reverse the physical signs of aging. Chaga mushrooms have anti-aging effects and help fight many forms of oxidative stress.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Oxidative stress is a major contributing factor to high blood pressure. And so, people who suffer from high blood pressure are more prone to strokes, heart attacks, and other heart-related health issues. The antioxidants in Chaga mushrooms may also be effective in lowering blood pressure.
Curbs the Side Effects of Drugs
Research is still ongoing, but if chaga could help fight and prevent the side effects of conventional treatments for health conditions such as arthritis and cancer. It also curbs the side effects of treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy, radiation, and certain medications recommended for chronic illnesses.
Lowers Blood Sugar
Chaga mushrooms could also fight against diabetes. In fact, studies have shown that chaga can blood sugar levels as well.
Side Effects and Precautions
Similar to other medications and supplements, chaga has its fair share of risks. For instance, because Chaga mushrooms lower blood sugar, they can be harmful to people on insulin and some other blood sugar-lowering medications. So, to mitigate these side effects, the following precautions should be adhered to:
- Consult your doctor concerning all the medications you are on. Just like other supplements and drugs, Chaga mushroom may adversely affect the effectiveness of these medications. This is because the consumption of chaga is not the same for everyone; it is dependent on an individual’s treatment goals.
- Chaga is no substitute for conventional medications, especially for serious illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or cancer. You should take all medications as prescribed by the doctor.
- Unless a doctor says otherwise, steer clear of other herbal supplements while using Chaga mushrooms. Chaga should only be incorporated as a supplement on the advice of a doctor.
- Get your chaga mushrooms from reputable sources because like other supplements, it is not monitored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Note that only mature Chaga mushrooms taken from the Birch tree have enough medicine that the body needs. The Chaga mushrooms gotten from other species of trees do contain adequate medicine like the Birch tree.