In recent years, many people have discovered chaga mushrooms (inonotus obliquus) and the advantages they can offer. Though the research on this fungus is still in the early stages, many researchers are discovering that these mushrooms can offer an assortment of health benefits for people dealing with a variety of medical conditions.
This fungal parasite is generally found growing on the trunks of birch trees in colder areas of the world, such as Russia, Korea, Europe, Canada and in the mountains of North Carolina. While it can grow in all these areas, the mushrooms from Siberia are generally much richer in antioxidants than other mushrooms. This may be due to the extreme cold conditions or the wilderness of the area.
Make-up of a Chaga Mushroom
Chaga mushrooms can offer a good number of health benefits because of their make-up. They are rich in B-vitamins and make a good source of pantothenic acid. The mushrooms also have a number of other elements such as calcium, iron, copper, potassium, zinc and manganese. This combined with the amount of enzymes, phenols and flavonoids as well can make using them a good choice for most people.
One of the most beneficial elements of these mushrooms is their antioxidant properties. This is due to the fact they also contain the antioxidant superoxide dismutase.
This is of great benefit in helping to strengthen the immune system and improving body functions. This can be effective in helping a person in dealing with a number of medical conditions.
- Cancer – Antioxidants can help in inhibiting cancer cell growth. This can be beneficial in dealing with most forms of the disease, but is particularly effective in helping with colon and liver cancer treatments.
- Diabetes – Because chaga mushrooms can help in reducing blood sugar levels it can be beneficial to diabetics, especially type 2 who are having trouble in regulating their blood sugar.
- Cardiovascular System – Chaga mushrooms can be helpful in normalizing this system. It also is helpful in reducing inflammation in all parts of the body, while decreasing cholesterol levels as well.
- Weight Loss Benefits – Because the mushrooms can improve a person’s metabolism along with helping them to have more energy and stamina, it can be helpful for those who are striving to reduce their weight.
How to Use
Chaga mushrooms generally have a bitter taste, because of this they are generally brewed into a tea, which can be sweetened as desired. They can be purchased in a number of different forms.
When the mushrooms are first harvested, it is generally in a chunk form. Many people prefer to buy the chunks and boil them in water slowly for a period of hours. From this, they can make tea or reduce the liquid into extracts to be used in a number of ways.
However, other people may prefer to buy pre packaged teas, powders, capsule or extracts of the mushrooms to be used as a tea, in smoothies or other ways.
Before deciding to use chaga mushrooms it can be a good idea to consult with one’s physician first. This is especially important for anyone with a medical condition or taking prescription medications.