It may not look pretty, but the chaga mushroom packs an impressive punch in terms of nutrition! We look at the benefits, side effects and how to consume Chaga.
Please speak to your doctor first if you are taking any other supplements.
What is Chaga?
This fungus grows on birch trees in the colder climates of the northern hemisphere. It resembles charcoal on the outside but has a soft, orange-colored center.
Revered for centuries for its health-giving properties, it is particularly popular in Scandinavia and Russia. In fact, the word ‘chaga’ comes from the old Russian word for mushroom!
It grows slowly. Its long life allows its nutrients to become more concentrated. This may be why it is more potent than other mushrooms.
Available as a supplement and a tea, it contains vanillin. This gives the tea a slight hint of vanilla.
What Are The Benefits of Chaga?
There are many reasons to consume this fabulous fungus!
- It’s rich in vitamins and minerals.
- It’s brimming with antioxidants. These can help slow the aging process and help protect against cancer.
- It’s great for cardiovascular health. It can reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) and lower blood pressure.
- It supports the immune system and helps fight inflammation.
- Because it can lower blood sugar levels, it may be useful in the fight against diabetes.
What Are The Risks and Side Effects of Taking Chaga?
You should always speak to your doctor before consuming any supplement.
It is, however, generally considered safe and allergic reactions are rare.
Chaga may not be suitable if you:
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding. Not enough studies have been carried out to confirm if it’s safe for use.
- Are taking any medication, because it may interact dangerously with certain drugs.
- Are taking insulin or other medications that lower your blood sugar.
- Have lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or any other autoimmune disease. Chaga makes the immune system more active, but this can increase symptoms.
- Have a bleeding disorder or have surgery scheduled within the next 2 weeks. This is because the mushroom can increase the risk of bleeding.
Remember that supplements are not monitored by the US FDA, so do your research!
Make sure you only buy products from a reputable source. And remember to talk with your doctor before starting any supplement.
What Products Have Chaga in Them?
We personally use Shakeology once a day as breakfast or lunch. It contains American-grown, USDA organic-certified Chaga in it, as well as, several other superfoods.
You can also consume it in teas, coffees, or even hot chocolate. If you aren’t one to sip on drinks, you could also take it in a pill version.
Here are a few options on Amazon:
- Premium Organic Chaga Mushroom Powder or this Mushroom Tea
- Mushroom Coffee with Chaga
- Hot Chocolate with Chaga
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. Always consult with your doctor before starting something new.