Chaga Mushroom Appearance
Chaga mushrooms (inonotus obliquus) are not too appealing for most people to look at. They are often described from Cree legend as a scab or a burnt blister.
When out in nature and trying to identify you generally want to look for the gold. That beautiful soft, squishy and yellow core.
Many people presume, since chaga is squishy, that it is not even a mushroom at all!
Chaga Health Benefits
Cancer Prevention and Fighting
- Several studies have found some of the substances in chaga can prevent cancer and slow tumor growth.
- One study showed that chaga extract in hot water promoted the death of colon cancer cells.
- Another study showed chaga might be used in the advancement of anticancer drugs.
Immune System Function
- Beta-D glucans present in this mushroom can help balance your immune system. It aids in giving your system a boost when it needs it, or down regulates it when overactive.
Reduction of Inflammation
- Betulinic acid, inotodial and ergosterol peroxide are all compounds in chaga that help reduce inflammation.
- The outside layer of the mushroom (sclerotium) has high amounts of polyphenols present – which act as antioxidants. They provide protection again free radicals that can lead to liver and other organ damage through out the body.
- These mushrooms may prevent stomach ulcers. Some of the substances may prevent helicobacter pylori from growing by disturbing cell communication
What Does Chaga Taste Like?
They are known to have a slight bitterness. They have a foreign taste from most mushrooms you would get at a typical grocery store. It often still has the smell of tree bark on it, mixed with earthy smells.
Best Ways to Consume Chaga
- Mushroom Powder (mix in hot water or a shake
- Lemonade (yes really is good!)
Chaga Possible Side Effects?
- May interact with some medications and reduce blood clotting (do not take prior to surgery)
- May possibly lower blood sugar. Positive benefit for some, but not all of us.
- May lower immune system response due to it being an immune modulator.
Where are Chaga Mushrooms Found?
Usually found somewhere along the trunk of a birch tree. The have been held in high regard in Russia, China and in particular the Northern boreal cultures.
Countries Where Chaga Extract Is Popular?
- Chaga mushroom UK
- Chaga mushroom Canada
- Chaga mushroom Sweden
- Chaga mushroom Portugal
- Chaga mushroom Norway
- Chaga mushroom France
- Chaga mushroom Italy
- Chaga mushroom Brazil
- Chaga mushroom Australia
- Chaga mushroom Germany
- Chaga mushroom Netherlands
Many more medicinal mushrooms to choose from
Stamets, P. (2005). Mycelium running: how mushrooms can help save the world. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.
Hobbs, C. (2003). Medicinal mushrooms: an exploration of tradition, healing, & culture. Summertown TN: Botanica Press.