Chaga Mushrooms: Uses, Benefits, and More!
by Alex Heining on Oct 12, 2022
Chaga Chaga Troo Troo!
Our team at Troomy has been getting more involved with a variety of functional mushrooms, and Chaga mushrooms have been our most recent target for new blends.
You may not be familiar with the Chaga mushroom, but it has been making headlines as one of the best nootropics and dietary supplements available today. And no, it’s not an undercooked brownie, but an exciting healthy supplement to consider adding to your daily routine for a variety of health benefits.
You can find Chaga mushrooms in a variety of different products, from coffee substitutes to Chaga gummies, powdered mixes, teas, and everything in between.
How Do I Know Chaga is Safe?
Various recent studies have helped highlight the many Chaga mushroom benefits for physical health, as well as how the picking process has adapted over the last five hundred years to create a more efficient and safe product today. With so many nutrients packed inside this mushroom, it's no wonder more people want to know about the benefits of Chaga mushrooms and experience it for themselves!
Below are some of the many benefits of the Chaga mushroom and simple ways for you to add it into your diet.
Where Does the Chaga Mushroom Come From?
The Chaga mushroom has been used for alternative medicine in Russia and Siberia over the last several hundred years. They’ve been consuming Chaga since at least the 16th century to help treat various ailments, including cancer and Tuberculosis.
Users today can now easily find high-quality Chaga ground up and ready to use in many delicious products, such as teas and Chaga gummies!
But it’s not that simple, as this process takes quite a bit of refining. Think of it like a valuable metal being smelted down, but the process being entirely natural and taking an extraordinarily long time to complete. The Chaga is a tough mushroom that begins as a fungus on birch trees. The fungus invades the tree and causes a tumor-like growth on the birch tree bark that can last anywhere from 10 to over 80 years!
The birch tree will eventually die off, leaving behind only the Chaga for the picking. This also makes the fungus far rarer than other mushroom supplements you can get in the store today. Since it relies entirely on another organism, you have to be meticulous in how you harvest them. Luckily, that’s all handled by the time they end up on your shelf.
What Does the Chaga Mushroom Look Like?
You actually may be able to find some around your neighborhood. In the wild, the Chaga mushroom will remain intact on the bark of the birch or other host tree. The name "Chaga" has Russian roots meaning mushroom or fungus. However, it does not resemble a traditional mushroom with a cap and stem.
Instead, Chaga looks more like a piece of hard coal that can grow anywhere between 10 to 15 inches in diameter. Once opened, the inside of the Chaga will reveal a beautiful, bright, orange flesh, which is the primary piece you’ll be familiar with once you start using it.
What are Chaga Mushrooms Good For?
You can use Chaga mushrooms in various recipes and supplements to start taking advantage of the benefits it's linked to. Since the flavor is bitter, it’s best to pair it with some other more flavorful foods that you enjoy to make a more exciting recipe. Below are some of the most popular Chaga products available online or in-stores.
Adaptogenic Mushrooms in Tea
One of the most popular forms you will find Chaga in is as a tea drink. That's because Chaga mushrooms can be grounded to a fine powder and mixed with hot water. However, you’re still going to get that bitter taste even with tea. So definitely prepare some sweeteners or other additions you usually throw in your teas.
The tea you end up with will be dark orange or deep red color thanks to the color of the grounded Chaga. Some of those other additions you may want to throw into the taste mix are:
- Tea powders
- Natural sugars
- Herbal leaves
Mushrooms as a Dietary Supplement
Studies are still being conducted on Chaga to try and continue to understand its health benefits. Many people want to reap those benefits early on and might choose to ingest Chaga mushrooms as a dietary supplement.
Chaga mushrooms are just one of many medicinal mushrooms and mushroom nootropics available in vitamin stores across the United States! They come as thick capsules which should be taken with water. Make sure to read all relevant information if you choose to take a dietary supplement, and check the ingredients for any other additives to your Chaga supplement.
Mushroom Extract Blends as a Coffee Substitute
Coffee’s great for energy, but the caffeine and sugar that most blends have can lead to some nasty burnouts afterward. Alternatively, Chaga’s an all-natural coffee substitute you can pop in to avoid that crash in the middle of the day. Chaga has a naturally bitter and earthy flavor, making it perfect to add in coffee substitutes along with other nootropics!
You can find Chaga mixed in with medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, cordyceps, and others in coffee substitute powders. Stir it into hot water and pour it over ice for a delicious, low-caffeine pick-me-up.
Benefits of the Chaga Mushroom
Studies suggest that there are many benefits of Chaga mushrooms for health. These studies shed light on the potential benefits of Chaga for human health and potentially prove that those who used Chaga hundreds of years ago knew of the power behind them!
One of the most famous and well-known helpful effects of Chaga mushrooms is their support of protecting your body from cancer. Studies suggest that Chaga can help slow the progression of certain cancers by improving metabolism.
This study, conducted on mice with lung cancer, found an astonishingly high 60% reduction in tumor growth when mice were fed Chaga. There was also a 25% reduction in the size of nodules for the mice that had metastatic cancer, which means cancer that had spread to other parts of the body.
This is amazing news for people that want answers to cancer treatment, and that want to be able to find natural solutions that can be added as a part of their support system in a daily battle with cancer.
Weight Loss Support
In addition to showing significant results in the above-mentioned cancer study, Chaga was also shown to help mice lose weight when they reached middle age!
Experts say that its ability to help people lose weight comes from its stimulation of metabolism, its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory agent, and also its antioxidant properties.
Many nootropics are considered to have loads of anti-inflammatory properties. Chaga mushrooms are now different, with studies showing that Chaga mushrooms can help decrease the number of cytokines in the body.
While cytokines can help signal to the body that it requires a stress response to fight off a virus, these cytokines aren't needed all of the time. Excess production of them can lead to inflammation. Fortunately, these studies on Chaga show promise in its ability to help reduce inflammation.
Chronic inflammation can also lead to digestive issues, which the same study above found that Chaga also helps battle with. However, for these benefits to come into play, the nutrients need to be a more regular part of your diet. This allows your body to get acclimated to it more easily.
Lower Cholesterol Support
One of the best Chaga mushroom health benefits is its ability to reduce cholesterol levels. Studies show Chaga reduce unhealthy levels of bad cholesterol in rats, suggesting that they might be able to do the same for humans. This "bad" cholesterol is also known as LDL cholesterol, which can increase a person's risk of heart disease.
Chaga has been shown to help reduce levels of LDL cholesterol as well as total cholesterol levels and triglycerides. While this study on rats didn't show that Chaga leads to weight loss, managing cholesterol levels is still an important step to take to prevent heart disease.
Like other nootropics, Chaga mushrooms are full of nutrients that can help through their individual properties. Some of the many nutrients you can find inside of Chaga that can benefit the human body include:
- Polysaccharide, which is a carbohydrate that is made of natural sugars. It has been shown to have several helpful benefits, including being an anti-cancer agent, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and full of antioxidants as well.
- Polyphenol is another antioxidant that can be found inside Chaga mushrooms.
- Triterpenoids, which have been studied to fight breast cancer, and are also considered anti-inflammatory, have antiviral, and antioxidant capabilities as well.
- Melanin, which gives the fungus the dark color on its exterior and is the same amino acid that gives humans their different colored hues on the skin. This melanin has antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral as well. For science buffs, research also shows that melanin might one day be able to help protect people against radiation.
Chaga, alongside other mushrooms, can be blended into various forms suited for regular consumption. These daily nootropics serve as on-the-go supplements for those who are too busy to keep track of what they consume but are still concerned with their health.
Immune System Help
For people that are immunocompromised or have damaged bone marrow due to chemotherapy, Chaga mushrooms might be able to help! Studies found that Chaga mushrooms can help improve cell recovery in mice with damaged bone marrow systems.
Studies have also shown that Chaga mushrooms are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants can help improve immune responses and fight off diseases.
These studies are great news for people that want a natural remedy to help improve their overall immune system health.
Experience the Best Benefits of Chaga Mushroom With Troomy
Troomy is ready to provide you with a comprehensive line of nootropic gummies, including Chaga gummies. We want to help you find the best mushroom nootropics to improve your health, as well as improve your overall well-being!
We have a wide range of products available so you can enjoy the benefits of mushrooms, including Troomy's Daily, which is a blend of 14 different mushrooms. Our line of mushroom gummies can help you get the benefits of Chaga mushroom, reishi mushroom, cordyceps, and so much more without having to endure the bitter, Earthy taste!
Try our fruity flavors here and get started on unlocking your “True Me” today!