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Chaga Mushroom: 5 Benefits and How to Make Chaga Tea (998 hits)

Chaga Mushroom: 5 Benefits and How to Make Chaga Tea
By Annie Price, CHHC

A common star of mushroom coffee and mushroom tea, the chaga mushroom is loaded with impressive health benefits. It actually has one of the highest ORAC scores of any food.

Why is this a good thing? ORAC stands for “oxygen radical absorbent capacity.”

The higher the ORAC value, the better a food’s ability to protect the body from disease-causing free radicals. It also means that chaga mushrooms are one of the best sources of antioxidants, with an ORAC value of 146,700.

So why exactly do people want to add chaga mushroom to their diets? What are the benefits of chaga?

People have been known to take chaga mushroom for many health concerns, including heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, parasites, stomach pain and certain types of cancer.

Let’s talk more about possible chaga mushroom benefits and why there’s so much buzz about disease-fighting mushrooms these days.

What Is the Chaga Mushroom?

Chaga mushrooms (Inonotus obliquus) grow wild in places like Siberia, Northern Canada, Alaska and some northern areas of the continental United States. They are a type of fungus mainly grows on the outside of birch trees in very cold climates.

They also can be found on beech, alder, chestnut and hornbeam trees

Chaga mushroom identification isn’t too difficult since they have such a distinct appearance.

What do chaga mushrooms look like? They tend to be lumpy with an exterior that looks similar to burnt charcoal with a softer, squishy yellow-orange core.

The name “chaga” comes from the Russian word for mushroom. These mushrooms have also been called “black gold.”

These mushrooms have been used as traditional medicine in Northern European countries as well as Russia for hundreds of years. They have been used traditionally to treat diabetes and gastrointestinal cancer, along with heart disease, in these areas of the world.

When chaga mushrooms grow on birch trees, as they commonly do, they are quite a sight to see. Not only do they look like burnt wood, but they also can grow in a clump that ends up being as big as a human head.

Like other medicinal mushrooms, the chaga mushroom requires the introduction of hot water or alcohol to break down its tough cellular walls to make the benefits of the mushroom available for human consumption.

Can you put chaga in coffee? You definitely can!

Nowadays, mushroom coffee and tea are picking up popularity. This may seem like a new idea, but chaga mushroom actually was used as a coffee substitute during World Wars I and II.

What does chaga do for the body? Researchers have investigated it for its use in combating cancer for a very long time. Ironically, chaga mushroom is sometimes called a “tree cancer” because the presence of chaga fungus eventually kills its host tree.

Nutrition Facts
Chaga mushrooms really are most impressive for their antioxidant content. They are low in calories, very high in fiber and free of fat and sugar.

Two teaspoons of raw chaga chunks contain about:

30 calories
0 grams fat
7 grams carbohydrates
7 grams fiber (28 percent DV)


1. Prevent and Treat Cancer

If you search online, it’s not hard to find some impressive chaga mushroom cancer testimonials, but is there any solid chaga mushroom science behind its use for cancer?

According to the Memorial Sloan Cancer Center, “Laboratory and animal studies show that chaga can inhibit cancer progression. Studies in humans are needed.”

In fact, in one study, tumor-bearing mice who supplemented with chaga mushroom extract experienced a 60 percent tumor size reduction. Meanwhile, mice with metastatic cancer (tumors spread to other parts of the body) had a 25 percent decrease in their number of nodules compared to the control group.

Another study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology looked at the effects of this mushroom on cancerous human liver cells. The research reveals that chaga extract may be able to prevent liver cancer cell growth, making it a potential treatment for cancer in the liver.

2. Stimulate the Immune System

In animal studies, these mushrooms have helped to boost the immune system by increasing the production of certain immune cells including interleukin 6 (IL-6) as well as T lymphocytes.

These substances help to regulate the immune system and make sure that your body is fighting off any invading bacteria and viruses.

Research has shown that chaga extracts can stimulate spleen lymphocytes, which can then have a direct positive effect on immune system function.

3. Potent Antiviral

This mushroom appears to have antiviral abilities when it comes to quite a few viruses.

Scientific research published in 2015 found that extracts of chaga had an antiviral affect on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1.

It has also been shown in animal studies to have anti-iral effects when it comes to the hepatitis C virus. Using animal cells, the researchers found that the chaga extract was able to decrease the infective properties of the hepatitis C virus by 100-fold in just 10 minutes.

Studies continue, but it looks like this mushroom is a worthy candidate for use in the development of new antiviral drugs.

4. Inflammation Reducer

These mushrooms have been shown to reduce inflammation.

For example, an animal study has shown that chaga extract can reduce inflammation due to ulcerative colitis in animal subjects. Specifically, the researchers found that the anti-inflammatory effect of the extract in the colon was due to its ability to suppress the expression of chemical mediators of inflammation.

Why is this significant? Because the chemical mediators released during inflammation make inflammation that much more intense and also promote a continuation of the inflammatory response.

5. Improve Physical Endurance

In animal studies, this mushroom has significantly improved physical endurance.

One study published in 2015 found that when mice were given chaga mushroom polysaccharides, the mice were able to swim longer, the glycogen (fuel) content of both muscles and liver increased, while lactic acid levels in the bloodstream decreased.

Put that all together and it’s a recipe for less fatigue and better endurance.

READ MORE: Chaga Mushroom: 5 Benefits and How to Make Chaga Tea https://draxe.com/nutrition/chaga-mushroom...
Posted By: Deacon Ron Gray
Saturday, January 22nd 2022 at 10:05PM
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Sunday, January 23rd 2022 at 9:57PM
Deacon Ron Gray
A common star of mushroom coffee and mushroom tea, the Chaga mushroom is loaded with impressive health benefits. It actually has one of the highest ORAC scores of any food.

Tuesday, February 15th 2022 at 10:16PM
Deacon Ron Gray
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