Why Do People Love Chaga Mushrooms?

Inonotus obliquus, also known as Chaga, is a type of fungus. Chaga mushrooms don’t look much like the types of mushrooms you may imagine, and their appearance on trees often makes them look like big clumps of dirt or charcoal pieces. They get this dark appearance because of the massive melanin amounts they contain, but Chaga mushrooms’ flesh has an orange or amber color beneath the surface. This fungus grows naturally on trees throughout the Northern Hemisphere, where many people have treated it as a traditional medicine throughout history.

What Are Chaga Mushrooms?

Scientifically referred to as Inonotus obliquus, Chaga mushrooms may also be known as black mass or cinder conk. It grows on birch trees and some other trees in cold climates like Northern Europe, Northern Asia, and Northern North America. It’s been popular in Siberia and some other parts of the world for centuries already, but now it’s gaining attention here in the United States.

Potential Benefits of Chaga Mushrooms

Throughout history, people have been interested in Inonotus obliquus for a wide variety of reasons. Now that people in the United States are starting to appreciate these fantastic fungi, researchers have begun looking into Chaga’s uses. We’re excited to learn more about the science behind these mushrooms as more studies become available. Here are just a few of the reasons people buy Chaga mushrooms.

Mushrooms as a Superfood

Chaga mushrooms are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Most people who buy this fungus extract powder are doing so to add more nutrients to their diets. Here is just a small sample of what you can expect your natural Inonotus obliquus powder to contain:

  • Amino Acids Replace with – for them
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Fiber
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Rubidium
  • Selenium
  • Various B vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc

That’s a lot to process, so it’s essential to think about all of those nutrients’ characteristics. A 2009 study published by the 2nd International Conference on Biomedical Engineering and Informatics found evidence that properties of Inonotus obliquus polysaccharides can inhibit the lipid oxidation associated with a high-fat diet, free radicals, and high cholesterol.

Oxidation has also been linked to high blood pressure and poor cardiovascular health, which is another reason a healthy diet is so important. Many people also seek out foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to construct a more nutritious diet with less sugar. Beyond the potential effects of antioxidants on blood pressure and cholesterol levels, this 2006 study concluded that Chaga mushrooms could lower blood sugar in rodents. To our knowledge, though, no research about Inonotus obliquus and diabetes has been conducted on human beings.

Natural Anti-Oxidants and Immunity

Some of the vitamins and minerals listed above are also found in anti-oxidants and immune system supplements. In 2011, Vivo and ex Vivo studies on mice suggested that Chaga was regulating cytokines’ production. Cytokines are like chemical messengers that help the immune system communicate with itself. For example, white blood cells, which are the body’s first responders to a wide range of illnesses and infections, are stimulated by cytokine proteins. Simultaneously, people are interested in antioxidant properties because oxidants and free radicals are associated with cell damage.

Anti-Inflammatory Mushroom Extract

When the body is fighting an illness, it’s also common to see inflammation. Becoming inflamed is one of the ways your body attempts to respond to certain conditions, but chronic inflammation can become counterproductive and unpleasant. Arthritis is just one example of this, and a 2012 study even considered whether conditions like depression might be linked to chronic inflammation.

Like other functions of the immune system, inflammation may be controlled in part by cytokine production. The possible link between Chaga and cytokines hasn’t been thoroughly investigated by scientific researchers yet. More studies about cytokine proteins and autoimmune conditions are required before this can be considered an official benefit.

Other Reasons People Buy Chaga Mushrooms

A 2015 study initially published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms reported that water-based Chaga extract protected liver tissue from oxidative effects known to cause liver damage. This study was performed on biopsied liver tissue and has not been replicated by studying oral Chaga mushroom consumption in humans. In the study’s abstract, researchers wrote, “this study demonstrates that IO-W exhibited hepatoprotective activity against t-BHP−induced oxidative liver injury.”

As recently as 2018, another study investigated the interaction between components of the Chaga mushroom and adenocarcinoma cells in the human lungs. These studies were conducted in test tubes, where Chaga extract reportedly triggered cell death of lung cancer cells. This research may have been a sort of next step to a 2016 study in Japan. The Japanese scientists observed a 60% tumor reduction in mice after administering Inonotus obliquus extract regularly. 2018 & 2016 studies….what study, by whom

It’s important to note, at this point, that there is no significant evidence to prove that Chaga mushroom extract is a cure for anything. When the 2016 study was published, it came with a warning that “the actual effect and underlying mechanisms are still unclear.”

Potential Side Effects of Chaga Mushroom Extract

Just as we can’t yet discuss Chaga’s potential benefits with any certainty, it’s unclear what other effects may be associated with this fungus. There is little scientific research on the long-term impacts of Chaga and how safe it may be. Some people have reported tolerating it very well, while side effects have been reported in other cases.

Allergic Reactions

Though extremely rare, some people have reported allergic reactions after consuming Chaga. As with any other extract, be aware of how it makes you feel. If you observe any troubling symptoms related to Chaga, it may be wise to stay away from it until you can consult with a medical professional. ELIMINATE

Where to Buy Chaga Mushrooms Online

One of the most significant risks of buying extracts or shopping at online supplement stores is that you may be getting an unregulated product. Since these herbs are not official medicines, they aren’t always tested for purity. Before you buy Chaga mushroom extract, make sure it’s from a reputable source with pure, natural products.

Our Chaga mushroom extract powder contains 100% Chaga mushroom harvested in Russia. If you’re interested in pure Inonotus obliquus, you can have it shipped to your door throughout most of the United States. Shop our natural extracts at In Sense Botanicals to place an order today.

Featured Photo by Bluebird Provisions on Unsplash

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