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There are literally thousands of species of mushrooms across the globe. The chaga mushroom is a parasitic fungus that has been used within Russian and Siberian medicine since the 16th century. This mushroom grows on hardwood trees, mainly birch trees, within cool climates.
Although it has a history in Russia and Siberia, it’s also found in Northern and Eastern Europe, Korea, Canada, and within the Northern United States. Not only is it found growing across the globe, but it’s also recognized as being one of the most valuable fungi in terms of medicine.
In China, they call this mushroom king of all plants, in Japan it’s known as the diamond in the forest while Siberians refer to the chaga mushroom as the gift from god. As this interesting mushroom grows, it extracts nutrients from the birch tree in which it’s growing on. By the time the mushroom reaches its peak maturity, it’s packed with nutrients and phytochemicals.
Although research continues, Western medicine still does not fully support this mushroom within modern practices. In Russia, however, it continues to be a popular form of treatment. In the 1950s, the USSR conducted clinical trials to test various adaptogens, including this beneficial mushroom.
Across more than 3,000 experiments and 500,000 participants, the chaga mushroom was found to be the most powerful. Based on these studies which were conducted by some of the nation’s top researchers and scientists, chaga mushroom is often given to soldiers, military leaders, scientists, and astronauts to enhance both physical and mental advantages.
The Chaga Mushroom Has Adaptogenic Benefits
This mushroom has been identified as a powerful adaptogen. Meaning, it’s a compound that helps protect against the negative effects of stress. When you consume these non-toxic mushrooms, you help your body better adapt to stress, restoring balance.
Currently, our modern society is living under constant and chronic stress. This uncontrolled and chronic stress has been linked to a wide range of preventable conditions and diseases. These positive benefits are often associated with the chaga mushroom’s phytochemicals, however, this mushroom also contains:
- B-complex vitamins, including B2, B3, and B5
- Flavonoids and antioxidants
- Minerals, including iron, calcium, copper, zinc, and manganese
- Chromogenic complex, protecting human tissue
Based on this mushroom’s components, it’s believed to aid in cardiovascular health, prevent and treat cancerous cells, improve immune function, and manufacture red blood cells. Based on its high antioxidant content and profile, this mushroom plays a key role in combatting free radicals.
In terms of immune function, chaga is abundant in beta-d-glucans which promote balance within the body’s immune system. Through research, it has also been found that chaga activates immune cells which are responsible for fighting cancer. Although more research needs to be conducted, chaga has proven to be effective in support of chemotherapy, helping to reduce the negative side effects associated with this treatment.
Chaga Mushroom and SOD
The chaga mushroom offers high levels of the antioxidant known as superoxide dismutase or SOD. This enzyme helps break down free radical molecules which contribute to aging and a wide range of diseases. Free radicals continually threaten your cells and research is continually investigating the effects of SOD when attempting to disrupt the progression of disease.
In every living cell, you will find SOD, as it is known to regulate important processes within the human body. When you take chaga mushroom supplements, you’re able to naturally increase your SOD levels. Some even have SOD injections, used for:
- Inflammation and swelling
- Minimizing the damage that remains after a heart attack
- Treating symptoms of osteoarthritis
- Improving kidney function
- Treating infants who experience lung conditions
- Minimizing gout pain
- Increasing the effectiveness of radiation
- Counteracting pesticide-based poisoning
SOD is what neutralizes the ionic charge of a singlet unstable oxygen molecule, as it’s known to causes damage to human tissue. This is the same type of oxidation that creates rust on metal. Over time, this oxidative stress leads to increased health complications.
Side Effects of the Chaga Mushroom
Consumption of the chaga mushroom is generally well tolerated and significant side effects are not typically reported. With that being said, components of this mushroom may interact with other prescription drugs. If you are currently on any medication, please speak with your doctor before beginning your first dose.
If you’re pregnant or nursing, chaga mushroom is not recommended based on a lack of insufficient evidence. Since chaga mushrooms contain minerals, proteins, flavonoids, and other key factors that stimulate biochemical processes, you should refrain from taking chaga mushroom if you take anticoagulant or anti-platelet drugs. When combined, this supplement and those drugs can lead to increased bleeding and bruising.
Chaga mushroom comes in a variety of forms, however, capsules are the easiest to administer. In this case, please follow the directions as presented on the label. If taking solid extracts, a dose between 200 and 1000 mg daily is generally recommended. If you want to make tea, you will need 1 tsp of dried mushroom in one cup of hot water. Clinical doses may be higher, however, you should speak to your