This mushroom looks like burnt coal. May inhibit spread of cancer in animal studies, says leading cancer treatment center (2023)

This mushroom looks like burnt coal. May inhibit spread of cancer in animal studies, says leading cancer treatment center (1)

a common starbrown mushroomand mushroom tea, the chaga mushroom is packed with impressive health benefits. In fact, it has one of the highest ORAC scores of any food.

Why is this a good thing? ORAC stands for "Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity."

the highestValor ORACthe better a food's ability to protect the body from disease-causing free radicals. This also means that chaga mushrooms are one of the best sources ofantioxidants, with an ORAC value of 146,700.

So why exactly do people want to add chaga mushroom to their diets? What are the benefits of chaga?

People have been known to take chaga mushrooms for many health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, parasites, stomach aches, and certain types of cancer.

Let's talk more about the possible benefits of chaga mushroom and why there is so much fuss about it.disease-fighting fungiin the days of today.

What is Chaga mushroom?

Nasturtium mushrooms (unknown oblique) grow wild in places like Siberia, northern Canada, Alaska, and some northern areas of the continental United States. They are a type of fungus that grows mainly on the outside of birch trees in very cold climates.

They can also be found on beech, alder, chestnut and hornbeam.

Identifying the Chaga mushroom is not very difficult as they have a very distinctive appearance.

What are chaga mushrooms like? They tend to be lumpy with a burnt charcoal-like exterior with a softer, softer yellow-orange core.

The name "chaga" comes fromrussian wordfor mushrooms. These mushrooms were also called "black gold".

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These mushrooms have been used as traditional medicine in Northern European countries, as well as in Russia, for hundreds of years. They have beentraditionally usedto treat diabetes and gastrointestinal cancer, along with heart disease, in these areas of the world.

When chaga mushrooms grow on birch trees, as they often do, they are a sight to behold. Not only do they look like burnt wood, but they can also grow into a clump that ends up being as big as a human head.

Like other medicinal mushrooms, the chaga mushroom requires the introduction of hot water or alcohol to break down its tough cell walls and make the mushroom's benefits available for human consumption.

Can you put chaga in coffee? You definitely can!

Today, mushroom coffee and tea are gaining popularity. This may seem like a novel idea, but the chaga mushroom was used as a coffee substitute during World War I and World War II.

What does chaga do for the body? researchersunder studyfor its use in the fight against cancer for a long time. Ironically, the chaga mushroom is sometimes called "tree cancer" because the presence of the chaga mushroom eventually kills its host tree.

Nutritional information

Chaga mushrooms are really impressive for their antioxidant content. They are low in calories, very high in fiber and free of fat and sugar.

Two teaspoons of raw chaga chunkscontains about:

  • 30 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 7 grams of carbohydrates
  • 7 grams of fiber (28 percent DV)


1. Prevent and treat cancer

If you search online, it's not hard to find some impressive chaga mushroom cancer testimonials, but is there any solid chaga mushroom science behind its use for cancer?

In accordance withMemorial Sloan Cancer Center, “Laboratory and animal studies show that chaga can inhibit cancer progression. Human studies are needed."

in fact, inA study, tumor-bearing mice supplemented with chaga mushroom extract experienced a 60% reduction in tumor size. Meanwhile, mice with metastatic cancer (tumors that had spread to other parts of the body) had a 25% reduction in the number of nodules compared to the control group.

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Another study published inworld journal of gastroenterologyanalyzed the effects of this fungus on human liver cancer cells. Research reveals that chaga extract can prevent the growth of liver cancer cells, making it a potential treatment for liver cancer.

2. Boost the immune system

In animal studies, these mushrooms helped boost the immune system by increasing the production of certain immune cells, including interleukin 6 (IL-6), as well as T lymphocytes.

These substances help regulate the immune system and ensure that your body fights off invading bacteria and viruses.

Look fordemonstrated that chaga extracts can stimulate lymphocytes in the spleen, which may have a direct positive effect on immune system function.

3. Powerful antiviral

This fungus seems to have antiviral abilities when it comes to some viruses.

Scientific investigationpublished in 2015 found that chaga extracts had an antiviral effect on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1.

It has also been shown inanimal studieshave anti-irral effects when it comes to thehepatitis c virus. Using animal cells, the researchers found that chaga extract could decrease the infectious properties of the hepatitis C virus 100-fold in just 10 minutes.

Studies are ongoing, but it appears that this mushroom is a worthy candidate for use in the development of new antiviral drugs.

4. Inflammation reducer

These fungi have been shown to reduceinflammation.

for example, oneanimal studyshowed that chaga extract can reduce inflammation due to ulcerative colitis in animals. Specifically, the researchers found that the anti-inflammatory effect of the extract in the colon was due to its ability to suppress the expression of chemical mediators of inflammation.

Why is this significant? Because the chemical mediators released during inflammation make the inflammation much more intense and also promote the continuation of the inflammatory response.

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5. Improve physical resistance

In animal studies, this mushroom significantly improved physical stamina.

A studypublished in 2015 found that when rats were given polysaccharides from the chaga mushroom, the rats could swim longer, the glycogen (fuel) content of the muscles and liver increased, while lactic acid levels in the bloodstream decreased.

Put it all together and it's a recipe for less fatigue and better stamina.

This mushroom looks like burnt coal. May inhibit spread of cancer in animal studies, says leading cancer treatment center (2)

Risks, side effects and drug interactions

Chaga mushroom side effects (including chaga tea side effects) and safety are still unclear.

So far, there are no clinical trials that have evaluated the safety of these mushrooms in humans. Therefore, there is also no standard dose for humans.

there is onecase reportof kidney damage/disease in a 72-year-old Japanese woman with liver cancer caused by taking chaga daily for six months. This fungus is also rich inoxalates, which can prevent the absorption of certain nutrients and can be toxic in high doses.

If you are pregnant or nursing, it is best to avoid these mushrooms because their use has not been studied in pregnant and lactating women.

If you are taking any medication or being treated for a medical condition, consult your doctor before adding this mushroom to your diet.

Is chaga mushroom safe? Are there any specific warnings?

There are concerns about chaga and the following conditions:

  • Autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): This fungus can make the immune system more active, which can lead to increased symptoms of autoimmune diseases.
  • Diabetes: May lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.
  • Bleeding disorders: May increase the risk of bleeding, so it is best not to use it if you have a bleeding disorder.
  • Surgery: Stop using chaga at least two weeks before any type of surgery, as it may increase the risk of bleeding and/or affect blood sugar control during and after surgery.

If you experience any negative side effects from taking this mushroom, discontinue use and seek medical attention if necessary.

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How to use

How can you include chaga in your life? Chaga mushroom is available as a supplement in the form of a tincture, capsule, tablet, or chaga powder online and in health food stores.

You can also find mushroom coffee or mushroom tea that includes this mushroom alone or in combination with other mushrooms such ascordyceps.

Some of the most common medicinal mushrooms in mushroom tea and mushroom coffee are:

  • niño
  • Cordyceps
  • reishi
  • Lion's mane
  • tail of peru

Mushroom coffee is said to be less acidic and less caffeinated compared to regular coffee. A cup of mushroom coffee typically has about half the caffeine content of a regular cup of coffee.

And the taste of coffee with mushrooms? Makers and drinkers of this interesting drink claim that it does not taste like mushrooms and that the added mushrooms taste similar to coffee.

If you are interested in the potential benefits of chaga mushroom tea, you can easily make it at home. Of course, you will first need some raw pieces of chaga or chaga mushrooms.mushroom powder.

Does Chaga Keep You Awake? No, it does not contain caffeine.

This mushroom looks like burnt coal. May inhibit spread of cancer in animal studies, says leading cancer treatment center (3)

How to make Chaga tea (one serving)

To make this chaga mushroom tea recipe, you can use whole pieces of chaga mushrooms (about 10 grams) or grind the pieces into a powder with a coffee grinder and about two teaspoons of chaga powder. Regardless, this is an easy drink that you can make at home.

See how to do it:

  1. Put the mushroom pieces in a cup or the mushroom powder in a diffuser and in the cup.
  2. Pour 1 cup of boiled water into the cup.
  3. Let the mushroom pieces/powder rest for 3 minutes.
  4. If you like, you can add a little lemon juice, raw honey, or maple syrup to taste.

If you have any questions or concerns, always talk to a healthcare professional about the best dosage for you.

final thoughts

  • People have used chaga mushrooms traditionally for centuries in Russia and Northern European countries.
  • To date, researchers have conducted most studies on this fungus using either animal or human cells. Hopefully, human research will become more common to prove the health benefits of the mushroom.
  • What is Chaga used for? The studies to date look very promising when it comes to all kinds of major health problems, including cancer and viruses.
  • Animal research has also shown that it can decrease inflammation while increasing immune function and physical stamina.
  • Mushroom coffee or tea is a great and easy way to incorporate a moderate amount of these mushrooms into your diet.
  • Drinking coffee that contains mushrooms may sound very strange, but drinkers say that mushroom coffee tastes great and gives them a more balanced energy.
  • A homemade chaga tea recipe will definitely give you more mushroom flavor (compared to coffee) and is easy to make.

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