Chaga: the 'King' of Medicinal Mushrooms
Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) is a type of fungus that grows mainly on the bark of birch trees in cold climates, such as Northern Europe, Siberia, Russia, Korea, Northern Canada and Alaska.
For centuries, chaga has been used as a traditional medicine in Russia and other Northern European countries, mainly to boost immunity and overall health – popularly grated into a fine powder and brewed as an herbal tea. It has also been used to treat diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease.
While research is continually being done on this fungi, many health benefits have been shown:
- Supports healthy immune system function
- Helps fight inflammation
- Overall general health and well-being
- Excellent antioxidant properties
- Supports healthy detox response
- Healthy blood pressure
- Abundance of b vitamins
Considered the “king of medicinal mushrooms,” Chaga is one of the most nutrient-packed mushrooms on the market, including (but not limited to):
- Minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium
- Vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, beta carotene and vitamin k
- Phytochemicals: beta d glucans, betulinic acid, flavonoids, melanin, phenols, polysaccharides, sterols, tripeptide, triterpenoids, Betulin
Chaga also has one of the highest antioxidant (ORAC) scores. With such high levels of nutrients and antioxidants, Chaga doesn’t just help the body fight harmful free radicals and oxidative stress, naturally occurring polysaccharides (known as beta-glucans) help the body’s immune system modulate. When it’s overreacting, it calms it down; when it’s underperforming, it gives it a boost.