Over the past 6 months, I’ve been trying out medicinal mushrooms (not to be mistaken for magic mushrooms, although I do believe there is some magic in this ancient medicine). Chaga, also known as black gold, is one of the mushroom remedies I have been testing out. Chaga has a long list of health benefits and is said to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It is often referred to as the king of the superfood mushrooms.
Chaga is actually a fungus that grows on birch trees in the Northern Hemisphere, in very cold climates. In the East Chaga tea has been consumed for centuries and is well known for its healing properties.Chaga Mushrooms have one of the highest ORAC ratings of all foods. You may remember I mentioned ORACs in a previous article – ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, meaning foods with high ORAC scores are most efficient at fighting off disease-causing free radicals in the body. Hence, Chaga is known for its very high antioxidant properties.
Just a few of the Health Benefits from Chaga Mushrooms….
Chaga is well known for its immunity-boosting properties. I have been personally adding this to my morning smoothie or tea concoctions and have managed to ward off any bugs that have been passing through our home.
Research has shown that Chaga mushrooms have helped boost immunity by increasing the production of certain immune cells including interleukin 6 (IL-6) as well as T-lymphocytes. Chaga has also shown to balance the immune response. This means that Chaga helps boost the immune system when necessary, but also slows it down when it’s overactive (important for many auto-immune diseases).
Chaga has the ability to suppress certain inflammatory responses. Chaga is able to reduce an over-activated immune response, which can limit harmful inflammation. Other studies have shown Chaga mushrooms to effectively reduce inflammation in the colon.
Gives you Energy and Endurance
Need an extra energy boost? Many people replace their coffee with Chaga mushroom powder as it has proven to enhance energy and endurance. A study in 2015 showed that mice who had consumed Chaga mushrooms had more endurance while swimming than those who did not. The mice treated with Chaga also had higher energy stores in their muscles and liver.
Prevent and Treat Cancer
There is an increasing body of evidence showing that Chaga mushrooms may prevent the growth of cancer cells. One study by the World Journal of Gastroenterology demonstrated this to be the case with liver cancer cells. Another study by Memorial Sloan Cancer Center showed that Chaga mushrooms could reduce cancer tumours by up to 60%. “Laboratory and animal studies show that Chaga can inhibit cancer progression”.
Chaga is referred to as a gift of the gods….
These are just some of the reasons to include Chaga in your diet. Other benefits include anti-viral properties, protection against blood clots, improved cognitive function, support for digestion, promotion of healthy skin and so much more.
My Chaga Immunity Elixir
Recently I had a friend visiting who came down with a nasty cold. I made her this little elixir to boost her immunity and giver her energy and endurance. You can add Chaga to your smoothies, make tea or add it to a hot cacao or coffee drink. It does have a bitter taste so you may need to disguise the taste slightly.
I use the Teelixir Chaga Mushroom Powder.
You only need half a teaspoon to experience the many benefits. Enjoy!