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Chaga mushroom: Is the King of medicinal mushrooms safe?

chaga mushroom
Chaga mushroom. Photo: Shutterstock

Have you heard of the Chaga mushroom?

Medically known as Inonotus obliquus, this fungus grows wild in the birch forests of Russia, Eastern and Northern Europe, Korea, Canada, and in Northern areas of the United States.

At first glance, the mushroom doesn’t look very appealing; actually, it looks like burnt wood!

Appearances can be deceiving, however, as credible studies have shown that the Chaga Mushroom does provide several health benefits.

Chaga mushroom benefits

The health benefits of Chaga, or the “King of Medicinal Mushrooms” as some like to call it, are numerous.

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These benefits include:

  • Regulates and boost your immune system, keeping you strong
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Anti-candida – protects against yeast infections
  • Weight loss
  • Anti-ageing properties and increase skin elasticity
  • Ulcers and Gastritis
  • Supports normal cholesterol levels & Blood pressure
  • Prevention or for the treatment of cancer because of the high concentration of betulinic acid

Chaga mushroom cancer

Researchers have investigated Chaga mushroom for its use in combating cancer for a very long time.

Chaga has been clinically shown to be effective against various cancers such as liver, uterus, breast, colon, skin, cervix and lung cancers.

Chaga mushroom extract is available as a supplement and in herbal teas but the problem is that the usefulness of this is far below the full potential of the mushroom itself.

The biologically active chemicals you need from the mushroom are hard to extract.

But still, a weaker solution is better than no solution as scientists have noticed that the incidence of cancer is significantly lower in regions where Chaga mushroom tea is consumed.

Chaga mushroom suppliers

It may be difficult to find Chaga supplementation in your local health foods store.

If you are purchasing Chaga powder, pills, or tablets, it’s best to order from an online retailer that provides a Certificate of Analysis (COA).

ORIVeDA does a great job here providing a certificate of analysis if you ask them for it.

Amazon, the number 1 online shopping in the world sometimes offers free shipping charge.

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Fake Chaga is widespread, so make sure you buy the real stuff.

Chaga mushroom side effects

Side effects related to Chaga mushroom consumption are virtually unheard of.

However, there is a report of a 72-year-old Japanese woman who was taking 4-5 teaspoons of Chuga powder daily for 6 months which resulted in kidney damage.

The Japanese woman was taking Chaga powder as a cancer treatment so maybe it’s best not to consume large amounts.

There is also concern that Chaga might increase the risk of bleeding. Don’t use Chaga if you have a bleeding disorder.

Chaga might also cause the immune system to become more active so it’s best to avoid it if you suffer from Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis, Lupus, and Rheumatoid arthritis.

One of Chaga’s known benefits of Chaga is that it might lower blood sugar levels so it may not be appropriate for people taking medication for diabetes.

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It’s also advised to avoid Chaga if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.