Chaga Mushrooms

What Are Chaga Mushrooms?

Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) is a kind of fungus that grows mainly on the bark of birch trees in cold environments, such as Northern Europe, Siberia, Russia, Korea, Northern Canada and Alaska. Chaga is also known by other names, such as black mass, clinker polypore, birch canker polypore, cinder conk and the sterilized conk trunk rot (of birch). Chaga produces a woody development, or conk, which looks comparable to a clump of charred charcoal– approximately 10– 15 inches (25– 38 centimeters) in size. However, the within exposes a soft core with an orange color.

For centuries, chaga has been used as a traditional medication in Russia and other Northern European countries, primarily to improve immunity and total health. It has also been utilized to deal with diabetes, particular cancers and heart problem. Traditionally, chaga was grated into a great powder and brewed as a herbal tea. Nowadays, it’s not only readily available as a tea but likewise as a powdered or capsuled supplement. The tea may include chaga alone or in mix with other mushrooms, such as cordyceps. Taking chaga with either warm or cold water is thought to release its medical properties. Remember that reliable details on chaga’s dietary material is exceptionally limited. That stated, they’re low in calories, really high in fiber and loaded with anti-oxidants. (1 )

The History of Chaga Mushroom Use

As uncommon as this mushroom is, people have actually been using it for hundreds of years. It was grated into a fine powder and brewed as a herbal tea by Russians and northern Europeans and has actually been typically used as a folk treatment to boost immunity and support general health.

Modern research studies acknowledge this conventional usage. For example, scientists have actually kept in mind that Sibern folk customs utilized Chaga to assist with periodic stomach upset, assistance heart and liver health, aid reduce periodic aches and pains, and assistance immune health. Now that we have actually talked a bit about what the Chaga mushroom is and its history, let’s dive into Chaga mushroom benefits and how you can put this wonderful fungus to work in your life. (2 ).

Nutritional value

The precise nutritional composition of chaga mushrooms is uncertain. Nevertheless, they are rich in antioxidants and several helpful plant substances, including:.

  • triterpenoids
  • melanins
  • polysaccharides
  • polyphenols
  • flavans

While it is available as a supplement, individuals also usually use chaga mushrooms to make teas and other infused drinks. This means that chaga infusions typically do not have the exact same dietary properties as the kinds of mushrooms that individuals take in whole.

Decreasing cholesterol

Chaga mushrooms contain lots of anti-oxidants and compounds that might minimize low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called bad cholesterol. High cholesterol is a considerable threat element for cardiovascular disease, so chaga mushrooms could be beneficial to protect versus heart disease.

Preventing and slowing cancer

Some research studies have actually checked out the possibility that chaga mushrooms may avoid cancer and slow its growth. Chaga is rich in antioxidants. These are chemicals that help avoid cell damage caused by totally free radicals or oxidants.

Oxidative stress occurs when the body can not produce adequate antioxidants to prevent this damage. Damage from oxidative stress can add to the advancement of many health conditions, including cancer.

Supporting the body immune system

Cytokines are the body immune system’s chemical messengers. They are proteins that play a crucial role in promoting leukocyte, which are the body immune system’s very first line of defense versus a variety of health problems.

Chaga may assist manage the production of cytokines, supporting the immune system by helping cells interact with one another. This could help fight infections, from small colds to harmful health problems.

When the body is fighting a disease, swelling supports the battle. But in some cases, swelling transitions from a short-term attack to a persistent health problem.

Some diseases, especially chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, are connected to inflammation. Recent research suggests that some conditions that are not considered inflammatory– including anxiety– may be partly due to persistent inflammation. Chaga’s role in controling cytokine production might also assist control inflammation. (4 ).

Where to Discover Chaga Mushroom

You can find chaga on birch trees from southern Illinois to Alaska. As a harvester of chaga myself, I’m prejudiced in the belief that Alaska produces the best chaga on the planet. It’s darker than the ranges found in places like New York and Maine. I think the color is a reflection of the harsher winter seasons and the fungus’s greater levels of vitamins. If you are an adventurous soul, going for a hike in your regional forest maintain might put you on the path to collecting your own chaga. Harvest chaga mid-winter, when the fungi has the highest nutrient density. Another side-effect is getting workout and checking out the outdoors during the winter months. (5 ).

Chaga Mushroom Advantages:

Antioxidant

Chaga mushrooms are specifically high in a substance called super-oxide dismutase (SOD), this is an enzyme which minimizes the damage done to cells by “super-oxide”, the most common totally free radical in the body. Studies have actually revealed that SOD serves as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, with researchers now examining the potential of it as an anti-aging treatment as it is known that, as we age, SOD levels drop whilst totally free radicals increase. Super-oxide dismutase also aids the body in using zinc, copper and manganese. Naturally synthesised and with a biological power unequaled, Chaga provides SOD in a highly bioavailable form which we can make use of either topically or internally.

Body Immune System Support

In addition to many other medical mushrooms, Chaga is abundant in beta-glucans– one of the most potent and healing polysaccharides understood. It is renowned for its role in triggering the body immune system and decreasing the blood glucose of individuals who have irregular blood sugar level peaks.

Alkalizing

These powerful fungis are one of one of the most alkaline foods in the world due to their dense mineral material: Calcium, cesium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, rubidium, silicon and sulphur and incredibly high in zinc. It is thought that lots of illness are unable to flourish in an alkaline environment.

Adaptogen

Chaga is extremely regarded as an adaptogen – adaptogens are an unique group of phytonutrients which help your body get used to stressful situations varying from extreme heat or cold to infections or injury.

Chaga mushroom benefits do not stop there; they are likewise anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-aging and help to normalise cholesterol levels and blood pressure. (5 ).

Chaga tea = Massive amounts of anti-oxidants and nutrients

You currently understand that consuming foods abundant in anti-oxidants will assist prevent lots of forms of disease and help you feel much better. Anti-oxidant abundant tea, such as green tea is a great way to keep anti-oxidants distributing in your blood stream throughout the day. Because of the method chaga grows, it builds up a huge quantity of anti-oxidants in time. Chaga tea is an outstanding way to take in additional anti-oxidants without caffeine.

Let ORAC speak for itself:

ORAC (Or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) measures the free oxygen radicals that food or supplement can soak up in your body. Chaga consists of some of the highest quantities, but it will vary depending upon when/where is grown among other things.

What does Chaga tea taste like?

Chaga mushrooms do not taste like a normal mushroom found in a grocery store. It has a somewhat earthy taste with a slight bitterness. It likewise contains a naturally happening kind of vanillin, the like what is found vanilla bean. You can drink chaga mushroom straight, but the taste might not be attracting the majority of. However due to the fact that it is so thick in nutrients and anti-oxidants, the chaga mushroom lends itself to be a perfect component when mixed with other herbs and spices. Like cooking with mushrooms, the earthy flavor will match numerous other active ingredients like ginger, turmeric and honeybush.

How typically should you consume Chaga tea?

Chaga tea can be safely consumed in moderate doses. Drinking it in a mix with other advantageous herbs will lower the general dosage, but provide you exposure to a variety of other healthy substances. Some users will increase dosage specifically if they are sick or have an on-going health problem. If you are consuming chaga for this purpose, ensure you do your research study! The “perfect” dose will vary from person to person, however we always like the middle way, with moderate dosages. Keep in mind, if you have any underlying medical condition you must consult a physician. (6 ).

9 Things You Didn’t Understand About Chaga

1. Chaga is not a mushroom

So, just what is Chaga, you ask?

Chaga is the typical name for a seasonal canker or sterile conk that commonly forms on a birch tree (Betula papyrifera, paper birch) after it has actually been infected and colonized by the mycelia of the pathogenic fungi Inonotus obliquus. The part of this fungi that one harvests is the external manifestation of the fungal illness.

Common names for chaga include clinker polypore, cinder conk or birch canker polypore (not to be puzzled with birch polypore– Fomitopsis betulina). In British Columbia, Inonotus obliquus is classified as a tree disease.

2. Chaga is mainly wood fiber and consists of Birch substances

Chaga is a slow-growing fungi that mainly grows on birch trees. It is common to find Chaga in the boreal forest regions of the Northern Hemisphere like in Russia, Korea, Eastern and Northern Europe, Northern locations of the United States and Alaska, Canada, and Northern China.

Normally, one finds well-developed Chaga sclerotia on trees over 40 years of age, but the infection starts earlier. The period from initial infection to tree death varies with the number of infection sites and tree resistance but is normally around twenty years. After about 3-5 years of growth, the Chaga can be gathered.

The gathered dark black conk consists mostly of wood lignans from the host tree and mycelium of the invasive fungus. Due to this, when Chaga grows on birch, it will likewise consist of birch substances like betulin and betulinic acid.

After gathering, Chaga can grow back to harvestable size once again in three to 10 years, and this can be duplicated up until the tree passes away. Chopping off the Chaga does not kill the organism and the mycelium is still inside the tree slowly consuming it. Chaga is not technically a perennial by definition; it might live for many years as it consumes its food source, once that source is tired, it will then die for lack of nutrients.

3. Chaga has been utilized given that the 16th century!

Russians have actually understood about Chaga’s health benefits for a long time; the word ‘Chaga’ is a derivative from ‘чага’, which is the old Russian word for mushroom. A recovery plant of renowned value throughout the world, Chaga is believed to be a powerful immune-stimulating medicinal mushroom.

In fact, the first proven mentions of Chaga were from the early 16th century. Chaga is documented in folk and botanical medication throughout Eastern Europe. Typically Chaga was used as a typical treatment for stomach ailments.

Chaga became popular in the West after it was pointed out in the book, Cancer Ward, by Nobel Prize-winning Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. In the book, he notes that poorer individuals saved money on tea by brewing Chaga.

As early as 1955, a Chaga extract known as Befungin (Russian translation) has been offered in Russia to deal with stomach and digestive tract conditions. Genuine Mushrooms ChagaSmaller portions of chaga cut from a larger piece.

4. Chaga’s outer crust consists of melanin.

Chaga also consists of melanin, concentrated in the black external crust, which is a complicated compound that offers the skin, hair and the iris (colored part of the eye) their color. Our skin naturally darkens in reaction to sun direct exposure which promotes melanocytes to produce melanin. Thought about a powerful source of melanin, Chaga might help safeguard the skin and hair from sun damage. Melanins have a function in DNA repair, mitochondria health, cell metabolic process, and defense from light and radiation. In particular, melanins from mushrooms show a high anti-inflammatory result based on their antioxidant and gene-protecting homes. Melanins can decrease oxidation of fatty acids and damage of membranes creating great deals of capacity for skin health.

5. Chaga was a Finnish coffee replacement in WW2

Frequently, Chaga is compared to coffee with its robust taste and dark color. It’s earthy, slightly bitter, and has a small tip of forest sweet taste. Luckily, if you are sensitive to caffeine Chaga is a great alternative to coffee as it’s caffeine-free so it will not keep you awake and it’s just as tasty!

In Finland, during WW2 there was a coffee scarcity and replaces begun turning up, lots of based on roasted rye3. It was then that Chaga became a perfect coffee alternative known as Tikka Te.

Chaga Coffee (which is really more like a tea) is a terrific and simple method to consume Chaga. You can buy the wild portions from a trustworthy source to brew your own magical mixture.

However if you’re just searching for a fast and simple way to include Chaga to your diet, we’ve made it easier for you to consume with our fantastic Chaga pills. We use a warm water extraction made from our pure source of wild-harvested Chaga from Siberia. Take 2 of these capsules daily over a three month period to feel the full health benefits.

6. Chaga Harvesting is Sustainable!

Numerous argue that wild harvesting of Chaga is not sustainable and we require to be careful of overconsumption of this fungi.

In 2004, David Pilz, Forestry Mycologist at Oregon State University, went to Russia to report on whether Chaga collecting in Russia was sustainable or not.5 This is the most in-depth report of Chaga collecting presently available. The report identified that the “biological Chaga resource is immense, and unlikely to be over-harvested to the detriment of the species Inonotus obliquus at any time in the near future.” According to the report, Chaga is exceedingly plentiful, even with over-harvesting estimates.

The report states that Chaga infects upwards of 20% of all birch trees in Russia. This remains in plain contrast to some claims on the internet that Chaga is exceptionally rare and just discovered on 1 in every 10,000-20,000 birch trees. Comparable to Russia, Scandinavia has large boreal forests. Luke, The Natural Resources Institute Finland, estimates that Chaga infects 6-30% of all birch in Sweden and Finland.

Provided comparable quotes in between Russia, Finland, and Sweden, it would be safe to presume that Canada likewise has vast quantities of Chaga in its boreal forest regions. The Pilz report did make an essential note about distance to chaga. While the resource is significantly plentiful, how far harvesters need to take a trip in order to find chaga will have a direct influence on the market price. Popular collecting locations might get over-harvested and lead individuals to believe that this fungi is threatened.

7. We rarely see the Chaga “Mushroom”

Since the harvested part of the Chaga is actually a woody canker and not a mushroom in the traditional sense, it begs the question: Does Chaga have a fruiting body?

Yes, it does but we seldom see it.

The real mushroom (fruiting body) forms under the bark on dead standing or fallen trees. After the tree dies, the bark slowly separates from the tree, exposing the sporocarp (fruiting body). This fruiting body is a greyish, flat thin layered permeable mass with downward cascading pores. When the conditions are proper, the pore layer will begin to launch spores which will get blown around in the wind and eventually wind up on a weakened birch tree and the infection process will start over. Pests likewise like to consume the mushroom which assists to carry the spores to new areas.

8. Lab grown Chaga is not Chaga!

Cultivated Chaga can and will have a various structure and healing homes, depending upon the conditions under which it grows (various kinds of substrate, environmental conditions, etc).

This is because a lab can only cultivate the mycelium and not cultivate the canker or sclerotium itself.

Wild Chaga takes 3 to 5 years prior to it can be collected and a number of the unique compounds in Chaga, like betulin and betulinic acid, originated from the birch tree. If no birch tree is included, like a lab-grown process, then none of these crucial birch compounds will exist. No black outer layer, no melanin. Not to mention that lab-grown Chaga is myceliated grain so there will be a big concentration of grain in the final product as opposed to the real Chaga canker.

Fortunately, our Siberian Chaga is wild-harvested and tested by 3rd party laboratories for the active substances like beta-D-glucans that are essential nutrients for the body immune system. This wild Chaga has been developing for upwards of 20 years in the cold and wild boreal forests. Siberian Chaga contains many polysaccharides, triterpenoids, and melanin which is a pigment we need throughout the body.

We care deeply about sourcing the highest quality mushrooms which contain the most medicinal compounds to support your health over long term use. It is recommended that adults take two capsules of our natural Chaga daily.

9. Chaga can be used to start fires

The bushcraft and survivalist communities utilize Chaga as a fire starter. When dried, the inner brown section of chaga can take a stimulate and it is very sluggish burning making it ideal as starting coal for your fire. Fire pistons, which compresses air to develop heat to spark your beginning coal, can likewise utilize Chaga. (7 ).

 

The Future of Chaga

In the future, there might be a tipping point at which the cost of collecting ends up being too pricey for supplements but offered the large amounts of Chaga readily available, this turning point would be well before there was any hazard to the types itself.

An essential note is that collecting Chaga does not eliminate the organism itself. The mycelium is still inside the tree gradually consuming it. Near or after the tree’s death, the mycelium will start to produce the mushroom (fruiting body) so that spores can be launched and the organism can reproduce. Chaga harvesting does not affect the organism’s capability to replicate.

How to Utilize Chaga Supplements

  • Take three pills daily with a glass of water for optimal support.
  • Include one teaspoon (2 grams) of our mushroom powder mix daily to tea, coffee, healthy smoothies, or dishes. (8 )

SIDE IMPACTS OF CHAGA MUSHROOM

Chaga is an incredible medicinal mushroom with benefits that seriously exceed the threat of the side effects for the majority of people. Again however, these are some of the very uncommon problems that some people have experienced:.

Bleeding & & Bruising One of the most typical side effects of Chaga is bleeding and bruising. Nevertheless, this actually only occurs in people that have actually been prescribed anticoagulants or blood-thinning medications (such as warfarin and aspirin).

So, if you’re presently taking any of this medication or you have actually recently been recommended it, you shouldn’t take Chaga simply to be on the safe side. You should also prevent Chaga if you struggle with haemophilia.

Surgical Complications

Considering that Chaga is believed to minimize blood clotting, there is likewise a chance that it could result in surgical issues. These include increased blood circulation throughout surgery and taking longer to recover post-surgery.

If you’re currently taking Chaga and you’re scheduled for surgery, you need to stop taking it a minimum of 2 weeks before your operation.

Low Blood Glucose

There are some instances where Chaga may negate the effects of blood sugar level medications and insulin. If you struggle with diabetes, it’s a great idea to contact your medical professional before you start taking Chaga.

If you experience Hypoglycemia, you may find that Chaga makes you feel weak, confused, excessively thirsty, or irritable. You might also discover that you have trouble speaking. Both of these circumstances are due to the truth that Chaga is believed to help lower blood sugar level levels.

Aggravating Auto-Immune Diseases

Because Chaga is believed to promote white blood cells and increase the body immune system, there’s a possibility that it might intensify the signs of certain auto-immune illness.

These include SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Several Sclerosis. If you are currently experiencing any of these auto-immune illness, it’s best to avoid taking Chaga entirely. (9 ).

In Conclusion

The chaga mushroom has a prolonged history as a natural medicine used throughout Asia, Russia and Northern Europe. Nevertheless, modern-day research into its possible health advantages is still in the early stages. While the current research studies reveal that chaga might have benefits for the body immune system, cellular health and basic wellness, there isn’t yet adequate information to reach any firm conclusions. (10 ).

Referrals

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/chaga-mushroom#what-it-is
  2. https://www.gaiaherbs.com/blogs/seeds-of-knowledge/chaga-mushroom-benefits
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318527#risks
  4. https://wildwesttrail.co/what-is-chaga-mushroom-benefits-harvesting-and-side-effects/
  5. https://www.indigo-herbs.co.uk/natural-health-guide/benefits/chaga-mushroom
  6. https://www.thewhistlingkettle.com/a/info/blog/chaga-tea
  7. https://www.realmushrooms.com/what-is-chaga/
  8. https://ommushrooms.com/blogs/blog/what-is-chaga-mushroom-m2
  9. https://www.thebircherbar.com.au/blogs/musings-muesli/side-effects-of-chaga-mushrooms
  10. https://www.forhers.com/blog/chaga-mushroom-benefits#:~:text=In%20Conclusion,still%20in%20the%20early%20stages
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