You’ve probably come across chaga mushrooms being sold in your local grocery store but don’t really know what it’s good for. This is understandable as we are mostly familiar with Shitake and button mushrooms when cooking. First things first, this mushroom is often found on birch trees and was often used as a home remedy in Europe, Japan, as well as in Russia. You can actually incorporate it into your diet or you can make a syrup or tea out of it. So what can you get out of eating chaga mushroom? Here are some of its notable benefits.
Protects the immune system
There are studies that show that the compounds found in Chaga can actually assist the immune system to determine which cells in the body are good and which ones are foreign. This makes it easier for the immune system to direct its efforts into fighting pathogens that may harm you. What’s more, it helps reduce the risk of autoimmunity since your immune system can determine, and eliminate, foreign cells that are invading your body.
Prevents and treats cancer
A study that was conducted by the Memorial Sloan Cancer Center showed that Chaga can actually prevent the progression of cancer in animals. Although its effects in humans is yet to be determined, it does show promise that using chaga extract to fend off any cancer cells may be prove effective in the long run.
Enhances physical endurance
What else can you get from eating chaga mushroom? Well, it appears that it can also help improve your physical endurance as it did in animals. It has been found that mice that were given chaga extract also had higher energy levels stored in the liver as well as muscles. This may prove to be beneficial to those who are training for sports or are often working out in the gym.
Another benefit that you can get from chaga mushroom is that it has anti-viral properties that can protect you against several illnesses such as HIV, hepatitis C and the like. Studies in animals show that those that were given chaga extract were able to reduce the effects of the hepatitis C virus. There are still studies being conducted with regards to the effects of Chaga when it comes to beating back viruses but this looks promising.
Chaga mushroom has been found to be effective in reducing the overactive immune response in the body so there is less inflammation happening. Using chaga extract can actually reduce the cytokine response thus reducing the pain that we can feel. It also appears that chaga can help fight off inflammation that is occuring in the colon cells which can lead to minimizing the effects of inflammatory bowel disease in patients.
These are just a few known benefits of Chaga mushroom that we can actually get when we incorporate it into our diet. Not only can you add it to your soups, or stir-fry, you can also make some tea out of it.