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What Is Chaga Mushroom? Discover Its Power + Benefits

| Leestijd 5 Minuten

What is Chaga mushroom? Well, Chaga is a slow-growing parasitic fungus, and it has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine against tumors and other diseases as a functional mushroom. Read on for more information, benefits, and research regarding this wonderful fungus.

Also read: Lion’s Mane Benefits and Research: Ultimate Guide

What is Chaga mushroom?

what is chaga mushroom?

Chaga grows extremely slowly (15 to 20 years) on birch trees in cold climates. It’s a fungus that looks like a blackened piece of wood or bark protruding from the tree. The outside is hard and black, but the inside is often ochre or orange in color.

Chaga in traditional Chinese medicine

In traditional Chinese medicine, the Chaga mushroom has been used for about 2,500 years to strengthen the immune system, increase energy, and address various health problems. Today, Chaga is used worldwide in various forms such as teas, tinctures, and mushroom supplements.

What is Chaga good for?

About the effects of Chaga

Chaga can be considered an adaptogen, as it can improve your body’s response to stress and strengthen your immune system. The fungus contains polysaccharides, polyphenols, triterpenes, and melanin. Thanks in part to these substances, Chaga may have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor properties.

According to some studies, the fungus may have beneficial effects on the nervous, cardiovascular, endocrine, and gastrointestinal systems (1, 2).

Also read: Why Am I Always Tired? 5 Tips for Energy (+ Best Mushrooms for Sleeping)

Chaga mushroom against hair loss in Mongolia

In some countries, Chaga extract is added to hair care products, including shampoos and conditioners. It may possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that promote scalp and hair health. In Mongolia, Chaga is used in hair shampoo to maintain healthy hair.

A study demonstrated that the extract of Chaga, specifically the lanostane-type triterpenes lanosterol, inotodiol, lanost-8,24-diene-3β, 21-diol, and trametenolic acid, had a more potent positive effect on human dermal papilla cells than minoxidil, an anti-hair loss drug (3).

“The lanostane-type triterpenes seemed to be potential candidates for new agents that might be used for hair care with a stimulating effect on hair growth.”

While this provides hope for the future, more research is needed to support these results. Additionally, hair loss can have various causes, including genetic predisposition, hormonal changes, nutritional deficiencies, and stress. Therefore, a holistic approach to improving your health (and your hair volume) is always essential.

Chaga supplement against stress

About the effects of the chaga mushroom

Chronic stress is, in many cases, the primary cause of health conditions, both physical and mental.

Stress activates your sympathetic nervous system, putting you in a state of readiness. It increases your heart rate and blood pressure, slows down your digestion, can lead to bowel and sleep problems, and can eventually lower your immunity.

Of course, the relationship between health and stress is extremely complex, and not everyone gets sick with chronic stress. But there are several ways Chaga can help reduce stress and prevent disease:

  • Recognizing stress: When your body is exposed to stressors, both physical and psychological, the hypothalamus in your brain signals to release CRH (Corticotropin Releasing Hormone).
  • Response of the pituitary gland: CRH stimulates the pituitary gland (a gland in the brain) to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).
  • Reaction of adrenal glands: ACTH activates the adrenal glands, which produce and release cortisol in response to stress.
  • Effect of adaptogens: Adaptogens, such as the Chaga mushroom, can assist in this process in several ways:
    • Regulation of cortisol: If cortisol levels are too high, adaptogens can lower them, and if they are too low, adaptogens can raise them.
    • Modulation of the HPA axis: Adaptogens can regulate signals in the HPA axis, reducing excessive responses to stressors. They balance the system and prevent it from overreacting to stress.
    • Improved resistance to stress: Adaptogens can increase the body’s resistance to stress, allowing it to better cope with stress without excessive cortisol production.

Exactly how this process works can vary from one specific adaptogen to another and from one person to another. Moreover, adaptogens do not specifically suppress or increase cortisol but rather help restore balance. This allows your body to respond better to stressors.

It is also important to incorporate other relaxing activities into your life, such as gentle exercise, meditation, or yoga. And, of course, healthy eating is essential.

Chaga for healthy digestion

While healthy nutrition is crucial, maintaining a healthy digestion is perhaps even more important. When your digestion is impaired, your body cannot absorb nutrients as effectively.

The Chaga mushroom can contribute to healthy digestion in the following ways:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Chaga contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, such as polyphenols, which can reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Chronic inflammation can cause or worsen digestive problems (4).
  • Stronger immune system: Approximately 70% of your immune system is in your intestines (the colon), where 70-80% of your microbiome, the trillions of crucial microbes and bacteria for your resistance, resides. Because Chaga can reduce intestinal inflammation, the mushroom can also contribute to a stronger immune system.
  • Antibacterial properties: Chaga contains bioactive compounds with antibacterial properties, promoting healthy gut flora by fighting harmful bacteria and fostering the growth of beneficial bacteria.
  • Relief of gastrointestinal symptoms: Some people report relief from stomach upset, abdominal pain, and digestive problems after using Chaga. This may be attributed to Chaga’s anti-inflammatory and calming effects on the gastrointestinal tract (5).
  • Better absorption of nutrients: Since Chaga can contribute to a healthier gut flora, the fungus can also promote the absorption of nutrients from food.

Also read: Mushrooms: Best Supplements for Muscle Gain?

What to look out for when buying Chaga supplements

The higher the quality of your supplements, the better they are for your body. If your supplements are not organic, in our opinion, it is better not to take them, especially when it comes to mushrooms, as they are known as “nature’s cleanup agents” (absorbing everything in their environment).

MushPeak exclusively offers organic mushroom supplements.

  • Quality and purity: Check the ingredient list to ensure your supplement contains only organic Chaga mushroom, without any additives or fillers.
  • Advanced purification and extraction methods: Our supplements use advanced purification and extraction techniques to ensure the optimal concentration of active ingredients.
  • Source and quality control: Since mushrooms absorb substances from their environment, it is crucial that they be grown in a clean, controlled environment.
  • Independent testing and certification: MushPeak offers only mushroom supplements subjected to thorough testing by independent, third-party laboratories to ensure the highest quality standards. See the lab results on the product pages.

We strive to provide our customers with as much information as possible. Have questions or want to know more about a product? If so, please feel free to contact us!

Discover the benefits of Chaga with MushPeak

We hope you now have a better understanding of what the Chaga mushroom is. Uncover the power of Chaga with MushPeak and choose only top-quality organic supplements.

Discover our mushrooms!

 

Disclaimer

Supplements should not be used to replace a varied diet, a healthy lifestyle or to treat any disease. Keep this product out of the reach of children. In case of illness, pregnancy or ambiguity, always consult your doctor. The information on this website is for general information purposes only and cannot be considered medical advice. Although traditional Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years and has been tested on countless people, MushPeak makes no claims that indicate proven medicinal properties of herbs or mushrooms. This is in relation to current EU legislation. Detailed information on mushrooms is available from public sources on the Internet. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

References

  1. Abugomaa A., Elbadawy M., Ishihara Y., Yamamoto H., Kaneda M., Yamawaki H., Shinohara Y., Usui T., & Sasaki K. (2023). Anti-cancer activity of Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) against dog bladder cancer organoids. Front. Pharmacol. 14:1159516. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2023.1159516
  2. Jayachandran, M., Xiao, J., & Xu, B. (2017). A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(9), 1934. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18091934
  3. Sagayama K., Tanak, N., Fukumoto T. et al. (2019). Lanostane-type triterpenes from the sclerotium of Inonotus obliquus (Chaga mushrooms) as proproliferative agents on human follicle dermal papilla cells. J Nat Med73, 597–60. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11418-019-01280-0
  4. Debnath T., Hasnat M.A., Pervin M. et al. (2012). Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) grown on germinated brown rice suppresses inflammation associated with colitis in mice. Food Sci Biotechnol. 21, 1235–1241. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10068-012-0162-6
  5. Jayachandran M., Xiao J., & Xu B. (2017). A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota. International Journal of Molecular Sciences18(9):1934. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18091934
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