Alternative practitioners believe that chaga offers numerous health benefits. Among them, chaga is believed to fight inflammation, lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, relieve arthritis, and even prevent.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHAGA MUSHROOM
Alternative practitioners believe that chaga offers numerous health benefits. Among them, chaga is believed to fight inflammation, lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, ease arthritis, and even prevent or slow the progression of cancer. Chaga, exactly chaga extract, is rich in fiber and essential nutrients, including vitamin D, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese and calcium. Chaga's high melanin content has led some to believe that it can support the melanin naturally found in the skin, thereby protecting it from sun damage, skin cancer, wrinkles, or aging.
Melanin is also a powerful antioxidant and has one of the highest oxygen radical scavenging capacity (ORAC) of any food. (ORAC is a method developed by scientists at the National Institutes of Health to measure the antioxidant capacity of various foods.) Despite these properties, there is little evidence that chaga can treat any disease. With that said, a number of preliminary studies have hinted at possible benefits.
CAN MUSHROOMS LOWER CHOLESTEROL?
Chaga may help prevent or slow the progression of some liver problems, suggests a 2015 study in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. A Korean research team reported that an aqueous extract of chaga was able to protect liver tissue biopsies from the oxidative effects of a chemical (terbutyl hydroperoxide) known to cause liver damage. The study was meant to replicate what happens in people with drug-induced liver toxicity or alcoholic liver disease. It may also help relieve inflammation and oxidative stress that fuel chronic liver disease such as viral hepatitis or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Whether oral administration of chaga will have the same effect in humans remains to be established.
Chaga may help control or prevent diabetes, according to a 2014 study in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The hypothesis is based on the beneficial effect of plant polysaccharides on blood sugar levels. Those found in certain mushrooms, such as chaga, are considered particularly strong. Rats with chemically induced diabetes achieved nearly normal blood sugar levels after being fed an oral solution of chaga-derived polysaccharides for six weeks, according to research. The researchers believe the solution reduced inflammation in damaged pancreatic cells, allowing the insulin-producing organ to function more normally.