The Chaga mushroom, also known as the “Mushroom of Immortality,” is popular Asia, Canada, and Siberia, where it has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine to strengthen the immune system and improve overall health. Some in the Western world are beginning to investigate the potential benefits of Chaga as this mushroom is rapidly gaining interest around the world.
What are the possible benefits of drinking a cup of tea made from Chaga? Here are a few:
- Chaga May Slow Down Aging
This mushroom is packed with antioxidants that could have benefits for the body.
Oxidative stress causes damage to the cells that manifests physical signs of aging, such as sagging skin, wrinkles, spots, and gray hair. By supplying your body with more powerful and readily available antioxidants found in Chaga you may fight the consequences of oxidative stress. (1)
- Could It Boost the Immune System?
Cytokines are important compounds found in the body that act as the immune system’s messengers. They tell our immune system about a potential threat and stimulate white blood cells to react and fight the disease.
Some studies have shown that the Chaga mushroom can regulate the production of beneficial cytokines in the body and thus empower the immune system to fight infections more efficiently. (2)
Chaga also seems to prevent the production of harmful cytokines that are responsible for triggering inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
- Chaga Mushrooms May Lower Cholesterol
Some research shows that the Chaga mushroom may lower cholesterol levels and thus reduce the risk of heart disease.
Studies have been completed on mice with high cholesterol that showed Chaga reduced the bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, but increased antioxidants and good HDL cholesterol. (3)
Studies have not yet been conclusive in humans. The exact mechanics of these benefits are not yet well known, but scientists believe that the high amount of antioxidants are responsible for the effects.
- It Could Have Anti-Cancer Properties
Some in the medical community are seriously taking into consideration indications that Chaga might be able to prevent cancer or slow down its growth.
Namely, some forms of cancer occur because of oxidative stress caused by free radicals and oxidants. By getting antioxidants from Chaga, you may be able to prevent the cell damage that these compounds may cause.
A 2009 study showed that triterpenes, chemicals found in Chaga, can cause cancer cells to self-destruct and do not harm healthy cells by doing so. (4)
- Chaga Is Thought to Help You Cope with Stress and Anxiety
Last but not least, Chaga may help you cope with the daily stresses that come with modern life. This mushroom is a safe and inexpensive way to lower stress and anxiety.
Chaga is a known natural adaptogen, which is an herbal component that regulates the adrenals’ response to stimuli. The adaptogens in Chaga could lower stress and anxiety by managing the hormonal balance and having a normalizing effect on the body.
In conclusion, you may want to give it a try, as it may slow down aging, lower cholesterol, and have other benefits. It seems to be a safe, inexpensive, and natural way to get a boost of antioxidants.