Chaga mushrooms (inonotus obliquus) grow on several species of trees, most notably birch trees. The growth resembles burnt charcoal and gets its dark black appearance from high levels of melanin. Parts of Northern Europe, Russia, and Siberia have used Chaga mushrooms for centuries as a traditional remedy to improve overall health and boost the immune system. In addition to their potential immune-boosting properties, Chaga mushrooms have few calories, high amounts of fiber, and high levels of antioxidants.
What is Chaga Mushroom Extract?
Individuals interested in supplementing with Chaga mushroom most often turn to powdered extracts for ease of use. Chaga Mushroom Extract 4:1 is a concentrated supplement form of Chaga mushrooms. Individuals can also use Chaga mushroom extract to brew Chaga tea.
Potential Chaga Mushroom Benefits
Researchers have found several promising Chaga uses to improve health. Some of the most popular Chaga uses include:
Chaga for the immune system. The Chaga mushroom extract helps stimulate white blood cells, which are critical to fighting off bacteria and viruses. Because of this, Chaga mushroom extract may be able to support the immune system.
Chaga for inflammation. Inflammation is a common response to an illness, but long-term inflammation can damage organs like the heart and cause joint pain. Chaga mushrooms interfere with the production of inflammatory proteins, so supplementing with Chaga mushroom extract may reduce inflammation.
Chaga and antioxidants. Chaga mushrooms are packed with antioxidants, which help fight free radical damage. These same antioxidants may provide neuroprotective benefits as well.
Chaga and cognition. One study found Chaga mushrooms aided in memory and learning following oxidative stress and amnesia. In addition to its potential as a neuroprotective agent, Chaga mushroom extract may be able to enhance cognitive function.
Chaga and weight loss. Because Chaga mushrooms have high amounts of fiber, they may help reduce appetite by keeping individuals fuller for longer. This may help expedite weight loss. Chaga mushroom extract may benefit blood sugar and cholesterol levels, which can also contribute to weight loss.
Potential Chaga benefits for skin. Chaga mushrooms contain a high amount of an antioxidant known as Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). This antioxidant has anti-aging properties and may be able to improve skin elasticity.
Chaga for energy and endurance. While more studies are needed, preliminary research shows Chaga mushroom extract may be able to reduce fatigue. A mice study found that the animals given Chaga mushroom were able to swim for longer, showing improved endurance and energy levels via reduced fatigue. Researchers noted increased glycogen in the liver and muscles, which is how the body stores energy. They also noted decreased lactic acid and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels. Lactic acid buildup can cause muscle soreness and pain, so reducing it may improve energy and endurance.
Potential Chaga Mushroom Side Effects
Most individuals tolerate Chaga mushroom extract well. However, individuals taking insulin should consult with their physician before taking Chaga, as it may affect blood sugar. Individuals on blood thinners should also discuss Chaga mushroom extract with their doctor, as Chaga may affect blood clotting. Immunocompromised individuals should meet with their care provider before supplementing with Chaga mushroom extract, as it may affect the immune system.
Chaga Chai Tea
Try enhancing your Chaga mushroom tea with this fun twist. Use milk or a plant-based alternative instead of water when brewing the Chaga mushroom tea. Add a teaspoon or two of premade chai powder or make your own chai by brewing the tea with whole spices like cinnamon sticks, clove, and star anise. Strain the spices before drinking the Chaga chai tea.
How to Make Chaga Tea
To make Chaga tea, individuals should use a level 1/4 teaspoon of Chaga mushroom powder for every 8oz of water. Individuals should add the Chaga mushroom powder to a tea bag or tea ball infuser and steep for 10-15 minutes in heated water before removing the Chaga. Avoid pouring boiling water over Chaga mushroom tea, as it may destroy its antioxidant properties. Chaga tea has a mild earthy taste. Some individuals prefer to enhance the flavor with sweeteners or flavor extracts.
How to Take Chaga Mushroom 4:1 Extract
Take 500mg of Chaga mushroom extract per day. For accurate results, it is best to use a milligram scale.
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*NOTE: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.