The Benefits of Chaga Mushroom - Traditional Medicine and Modern Day Superfood
Going back as far as the 11th Century (1100 BC) Chaga has been used for its medicinal properties. Skeptics might say "they used it because it's all they had" but natural medicines are becoming all the hype again, not only in the general population but the scientific community as well.
I am a firm believer that nature has a lot of the answers we are looking for, between mushrooms, superfoods and cannabis alone we can see that we are not talking snake oil anymore. The value is there, it's just a matter of matching it to our biological needs. I think that is where science is really lacking, people all over the world claim remarkable things from natural medicines, but only a small fraction of the research is done. Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist here but, the majority of research conducted ultimately has some sort of capitalist consumer driven interest surrounding it anyway.
So let's get back on track and talk Chaga Mushroom, it has had some considerable research conducted so lets check some facts:
1. Chaga unlike some other mushrooms or fungi doesn't actually harm the tree it grows from. Chaga’s relationship with the birch tree is symbiotic; they help the trees remain healthy and can even help a sick tree to recover when inoculated into the damaged tree.
2. Chaga contains very significant amounts of powerful antioxidants with far-reaching health applications.
3. Ergosterol peroxide is a medically exciting component of Chaga. Ergosterol peroxide has shown anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and immunosuppressive capabilities in the lab.
4. Chaga is considered to be an adaptogen; a substance which helps normalize and balance body functions.
5. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is present in Chaga in substantial quantities. SOD efficiently neutralizes the damage done by free radicals, protects against disease and slows down the aging process. Studies have linked low levels of SOD with declining health and decreased lifespan.
6. As well as protecting the heart by its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nature, the betulinic acid in chaga is known to help break down the bad LDL cholesterol in the body.
7. The Betulinic acid found in chaga mushrooms is known to induce apoptosis or cell death and prevent tumors from developing. Many research articles have confirmed that chaga has exciting anti-tumor potential.
Considering most of us reading have likely never heard of Betulinic Acid, it is a naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpenoid which has antiretroviral, antimalarial, and anti-inflammatory properties. More recently discovered, is it's potential as an anticancer agent, by inhibition of topoisomerase.
8. Chaga is actually very high in melanin, which contributes greatly to skin health. The black outer layer of Chaga Mushroom actually holds to the Majority of the Melanin. It can help protect both the skin and hair from sun damage and might even help diminish the size of age spots.
9. Chaga aids in Digestion, relieves indigestion and other gastrointestinal pain. Chaga is particularly high in dietary fiber and stimulates bile production to help you break down fatty foods, ultimately making it easier for your body to absorb these stubborn foods.
So there you have it, if you don't believe me do some more research, its not hard to find. Chaga has stood the test of time both scientifically and as a Natural medicine. Not to mention it doesn't taste bad at all, when steeped properly Chaga tea has a subtle, distinct flavor that is quite unique. It is earthy and somewhat bitter like the forest, but not unpleasant. It tastes warm even when consumed cold and almost feels colorful. It does not taste like a typical mushroom purchased from the grocery store.
Check out our Fresh Chaga, Harvested in the winter in New Brunswick, Canada. Always sustainable harvesting less than 1/3 of the Chaga from any given tree.
Leaf Sweets out!