What is Chaga?

If you’ve never heard of the chaga mushroom, then you’re in for a real treat. This mushroom is a rare mushroom that has incredible medicinal and health benefits. The chaga mushroom, whose scientific name is Inonotus obliquus, acts as a strong antioxidants that can both prevent and cure several serious diseases. The chaga mushroom can be consumed in several different forms as can work wonders for physical health. If you’d like to know more about the chaga mushroom, read on.

Chaga is a medicinal mushroom, or fungus, used to treat many illnesses including diabetes and cancer. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the mushroom itself that is used for medicinal purposes. Instead, it’s the woody conk which grows on the chaga mushroom that is used. The chaga mushroom is referred to as a superfood by many doctors and health specialists around the world.

Chaga only grows on Birch trees in cold climates in the northern hemisphere. Some places where chaga can be found are areas of the United States, Canada, Eastern and Northern Europe, Siberia and Korea. Depending on where the chaga is grown, it can have a variety of nicknames, including “The King of Herbs” and “The Mushroom of Immortality.” The chaga mushroom varies in size and shape, but it is always black. Chaga is typically anywhere between five and twenty inches. The outside of the chaga mushroom is a dark black charcoal color, while the inside is golden.

The use of the chaga mushroom has been dated back thousands of years. In China, chaga was documented as early as 100 B.C. in a book by monk Shen Nong. The chaga mushroom has also played a prominent role, historically, in Siberian folklore. Those living in the mountains in the country smoked the fungus and rubbed it on their skin for medicinal purposes. In the 12th century, Russian Tsar Vladimir Monamah used chaga to heal his lip cancer. It may even be possible that Otzi the iceman, who lived 5,300 years ago, also used the amazing mushroom.

Those living hundreds and thousands of years ago recognized what some have only realized in recent history: the chaga mushroom is magical.

Why do people consume Chaga mushroom?

There are endless health benefits of chaga. Here are just a few reasons why people consume this black mushroom:

  • Boosts the immune system: The chaga mushroom is a strong antioxidant, which means that it strengthens our immune system. When our immune system is strong, our bodies can fight against harmful free radicals that cause cancers and autoimmune diseases.
  • Full of vitamins and nutrients: The chaga mushroom contains several vitamins and nutrients that we all need including: vitamin d, amino acids, b-complex vitamins, iron, calcium, zinc, and many more.
  • Treats cancer: Scientific studies have shown that continuous use of chaga can reduce the size of various tumors and effectively treat cancer.
  • Controls blood sugar levels: Many diabetics use the chaga mushroom as a way to keep their blood sugar levels in control.
  • Reduces blood pressure and cholesterol: The chaga mushroom contains betulinic acid, which has been proven to reduce LDL cholesterol.
  • Reduces inflammation: Chaga is able to reduce chronic inflammation present in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis because it helps regulate cytokine production.
  • Heals psoriasis: in a 1951 study, 38 out of 50 participants were cured of their skin conditions, while the conditions of 8 other participants were improved.

 

How do I use Chaga mushroom?

Chaga can be consumed in many different ways. However, chaga mushroom tea is by far the most common way to consume this powerful antioxidant. Chaga tea can be made using chaga mushroom powder in a single cup or by boiling chaga mushroom chunks in a large pot of water on the stove. If you’re a tea or coffee drinker, chaga powder can also be added to those beverages for extra health benefits.

Another way to use chaga is by making it into a tincture for external use or internal use. You can make your own tincture by soaking the chaga mushroom in alcohol for a minimum of two months- or you can take the easy route and purchase per-made tincture online.

Lastly, chaga can also be consumed in capsule form. This is the most convenient way to consume chaga on a daily basis if you don’t have ample time to prepare chaga tea. If you decide to use chaga capsules, there are a few things to be mindful of:

  • Dual extract tablets have a stronger effect than unprocessed chaga tablets
  • Be sure to only use chaga tablets that contain chaga sourced from the earth rather than a laboratory. Chaga sourced from a laboratory lacks sufficient superfood ingredients.

 

Where Can I Get Chaga?

While most people purchase chaga in powder or capsule form, it can also easily be harvested- if you know what to look for. Chaga mushrooms grow in various shapes ranging from cone to dome shapes and typically have sharp edges. If you decide to pick your own chaga, make sure to always take it from a living tree. It can either be picked with your hands or chopped off with a knife. However, be sure to always leave some chaga on the tree so it can continue growing.

If you’ve never tried chaga, what are you waiting for? There are several scientifically-proven medicinal and health benefits to consuming this wild black fungus. There are very few reported side effects of chaga consumption. In fact, it can safely be consumed daily in various forms. Whether you are interested in preventing cancer or normalize blood pressure, chaga can help.