Home Nutrition Mushrooms All About Chaga Mushroom – Benefits, Dosage and a Recipe

All About Chaga Mushroom – Benefits, Dosage and a Recipe

All About Chaga Mushroom – Benefits, Dosage and a Recipe
Chaga mushroom isolated on a white background. Chopped pieces of chaga mushroom. Inonotus Obliquus.

Even though Chaga mushrooms aren’t the most appealing look-wise, they are one of the best medicinal fungi you can find on the market. Surprisingly, it has one of the best ORAC (oxygen radical absorbent capability) scores compared to other foods. The higher the ORAC score is, the more benefits that food can offer.

People have been taking the Chaga mushroom for numerous health reasons since they are associated with preventing heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, parasites, stomach problems, and even some types of cancer.

What is The Chaga Mushroom

The Chaga mushroom originates from Siberia and some other parts of Asia such as Korea. Russians, Asians, and Northern Europeans have used this mushroom for centuries to boost their immune system and enhance their overall health.
This mushroom resembles a growth or a burnt blister. The Cree legend describes it as a scab. It typically grows along the trunks of birch trees and it usually has a dark brown or black color.

Even though this mushroom has been popular for a very long time in Asia, the Western market seems to be more and more interested in the Chaga mushroom because of its numerous health benefits.
Chaga mushroom coffee and Chaga mushroom tea are the most popular variants of this mushroom and are believed to be the highest in antioxidants.

How To Identify the Chaga Mushroom

Always look for the gold (yellow-orange) core
Look for it on the trunk of birch trees
Make sure they are lumpy and tough in texture so you are sure that it’s the Chaga mushroom and not the Black Knot Fungus
They look like burnt wood

Chaga Mushroom Health Benefits

There are a lot of benefits related to this mushrrom, but not all of them have been thoroughly tested. We are going to mention some benefits that have been studied and have shown the most promise.

Improves the Immune System and Prevents Inflammation

Numerous test-tube and animal studies that have examined the extract have found that this extract can improve the immune system by decreasing inflammation in the long run and combating various bacteria and viruses.

This happens due to the formation of helpful cytokines and spleen lymphocytes. Cytokines are specialized proteins that stabilize the body’s immune function. Chaga extracts vitalize the white blood cells that are the most important factor when a harmful bacteria or virus enter our system. These results show a lot of potential when it comes to boosting the immune system and fighting infections such as common colds or even some more serious illnesses.

Inflammation is the immune system’s natural reaction when the body is facing some sort of disease. However, if the inflammation continues to occur even when there is no disease then it can lead to conditions such as heart disease or rheumatoid arthritis.

In an animal study that examined Chaga effects, the results showed that it could prevent harmful cytokines from occurring. These harmful cytokines are directly linked to inflammation and are linked to numerous illnesses.
In one mice study, Chaga mushroom extracts were able to decrease inflammation and the damage to the gut by preventing the inflammatory cytokines.

Researchers that have concluded these studies have come to the conclusion that Chaga extracts have this anti-inflammatory response because they can prevent chemical mediators from causing inflammation.
This is extremely important because chemical mediators that are freed during inflammation make the process a lot more vigorous.

May Help With Cancer

When googling Chaga mushrooms on the internet, you can find a lot of testimonies where people swear it has helped them tremendously in their fight with cancer. However, before any more human research is done we can’t say for sure that this effect is true, although, the studies so far seem promising.

One study that examined tumor-bearing mice found that those that were given Chaga extracts encountered a 65% tumor size reduction. The mice that were battling with metastatic cancer showed a 26% decrease rate compared to the mice that weren’t given the extract.
There was one test study that how Chaga extracts affect human liver cells with cancer. The results showed that the extract was helpful in stopping the growth of the cancer cells making it a potential cure for liver cancer.

Chaga Mushroom

The safety of Chaga mushrooms is still scientifically unclear due to the lack of studies in humans. There haven’t been many clinical trials that thoroughly examined the effect these mushrooms have on humans.

Chaga Mushroom Side Effects

The safety of Chaga mushrooms is still scientifically unclear due to the lack of studies in humans. There haven’t been many clinical trials that thoroughly examined the effect these mushrooms have on humans.
There was one report where a 73-year-old woman from Japan experienced kidney problems that she claims were the result of taking Chaga mushrooms each day for several months. The Chaga mushroom is naturally full of oxalates that can be toxic if taken in high dosages.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or you are on a new kind of diet it’s best to not include these mushrooms due to the lack of studies. If you, however, do choose to eat them immediately call your doctor if you start experiencing any negative reactions.

Chaga Mushroom Comparison to Other Mushrooms

Chaga mushrooms are considered to be one of the healthiest mushrooms currently on the market. However, different mushrooms are beneficial for different things. Let’s have a look at a comparison between Chaga mushrooms to some similar fungi so you have a better idea of what to look for.

Reishi Mushroom: The reishi mushroom does have similar properties to the Chaga mushroom but there are differences. Reishi mushrooms are best known for their ability to strengthen the body’s reaction to inflammation. It’s also considered to be an adaptogen that helps the body get more rest during sleeping hours.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom: Lion’s mane mushroom is most commonly used by people who are looking to lower the bad cholesterol levels in the body. They are also good for preventing diabetes due to their ability to decrease blood sugar.

Chaga Mushroom: Chaga has similar benefits to these two mushrooms, but compared to them it is much better at boosting our immune systems than these two since it contains the most antioxidants. This is the primary benefit of this mushroom and the reason so many people use it.

How to Use

Chaga mushrooms can be used in several ways. There are Chaga mushroom supplements, Chaga mushroom powder, and Chaga mushroom capsules. You can usually find the Chaga mushroom for sale in local health stores in these forms.
There still isn’t a general recommendation when it comes to the dosage of Chaga mushrooms since there is a lack of research on this topic.

However, the most common way they are used is as an addition to coffee or tea. Chaga mushroom coffee is believed to be less acidic and has less caffeine than normal coffee. Mushroom teas are also starting to become more and more popular due to the numerous health benefits.

Here is a recipe for how to make Chaga mushroom tea, one of the most popular ways people consume this healthy shroom.

Here is a recipe for how to make Chaga mushroom tea, one of the most popular ways people consume this healthy shroom.

Chaga Mushroom Tea Recipe

Here is a recipe for how to make Chaga mushroom tea, one of the most popular ways people consume this healthy shroom.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
10g of Chaga mushroom chunks
¼ a cup of lemon juice
Raw honey, maple syrup, or some other sweetener

Step-by-step recipe:

Take the Chaga mushroom chunks and put them into a mug.
Next, pour 1 cup of boiled water into the mug containing the chunks.
Allow the chunks to steep for around 4-5 minutes.
After steeping it, add the lemon juice and the sweetener you want to give it a better taste.
Serve the tea and enjoy!

The Verdict

The Chaga mushroom is one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms and it has used by various countries for centuries. It is full of antioxidants and it can be very beneficial for boosting the immune system, preventing chronic inflammation, and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
You can find it in many forms, but it’s most recommended to use them as an addition to tea or coffee
Keep in mind that there are still a lot of studies needed to prove the benefits of this mushroom, but the evidence gained so far has shown a lot of potential.