Health Benefits of Chaga Mushrooms
Typically found in Siberia, the fungi have been used throughout history
The Chaga mushroom is an ancient, revered remedy growing in the northern hemisphere from Canada to Siberia. It is distinguished by its habit of growing on the side of birch trees and its orange tissue. It is rich in a wide variety of nutrients, including B-complex and D vitamins, cesium, rubidium, amino acids, copper, zinc, iron, potassium, selenium, manganese, magnesium, calcium and an abundance of antioxidants.
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Chaga might have a role in the fight against diabetes. A 2006 study found that the types of beta-D-glucans found in chaga help to lower blood sugar in rats after ingesting chaga for 8 weeks.
Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Disease
Polysaccharides present in chaga have been found to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called “bad” cholesterol. Research also suggests that the inflammation caused by oxidative stress is a contributing factor in high blood pressure increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke and poor cardiovascular health. Chaga’s abundant antioxidants have shown to lower blood pressure to safeguard cardiovascular health.
Increasingly, researchers are taking seriously the possibility that chaga may be able to prevent cancer and slow its growth. A 2010 study found that chaga could slow the growth of lung, breast and cervical cancer cells in a petri dish. The same study also found that chaga could slow the growth of the tumors in mice. Another study showed that a tea extract of chaga mushroom inhibited the growth and promoted the death of colon cancer cells. A 2009 study found that triterpenes, the compounds found in chaga and some other mushrooms, cause tumor cells to self-destruct. Unlike other cancer treatments, chaga does not harm healthy cells. Additional studies carried out on animals have found similar results.
Cytokines are the immune system’s chemical messengers. They are proteins that play a vital role in stimulating white blood cells, which are the immune system’s first line of defense against a range of illnesses. Recent research on mice suggests that chaga helps to regulate the production of cytokines and supports the immune system by helping cells communicate with one another. The Beta-D-glucans further help to balance the immune system. This means that they can stimulate your immune system when you need a boost and downregulate it when it is overactive. Together these properties help fight infections, from minor colds to life-threatening illnesses.
When the body is fighting an illness inflammation supports the fight, but sometimes inflammation can become a chronic health problem. Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis are linked to inflammation and recently depression has been linked to chronic inflammation. Cytokines in your body, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha, are responsible for inflammation. Betulinic acid, inotodial and ergosterol peroxide in chaga reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of these cytokines supporting recovery of autoimmune conditions and other diseases.
If you take blood thinners, medications that lowers blood sugar, or have kidney related conditions consult your doctor first.
This is not medical advice. All this information is available in the public domain.