The Magical Health Benefits of Chaga Mushrooms
Medicinal mushrooms are a buzzword right now due to their magical healing abilities. If you scroll through Instagram you will see countless elixirs, smoothie boosters, and broths using medicinal mushrooms. This is because they are excellent cancer fighters and adaptogenic, which means that they will go to work wherever the body needs extra help. One of my favourite medicinal mushrooms is chaga because it is a great detoxifier and it is really easy to incorporate into just about anything.
What is a chaga
Chaga is known as the king of mushrooms and it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Chaga is a mushroom that grows on birch trees; it actually looks like a big tumour on the side of a tree. You can find it in Northern Canadian forests making it local for us Canadians. It is sold in a variety of forms, but the most popular are the powdered extract and chunks.
Chaga has soooo many health benefits if I listed them all, this article would be way too long. Here are the top five health benefits of chaga.
Chaga is known for its detoxification properties. It contains high levels of a super powerful antioxidant called Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) which helps with detox. It gives the liver a boost so it can more quickly and efficiently detoxify your body.
Helps with digestion
If you struggle with digestion, chaga is great because it helps reduce bad bacteria in the gut. When the gut is full of bad bacteria, you can't properly digest your food which leads to bloating and gas. Chaga is also anti-inflammatory so it can reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.
Chaga is packed with antioxidants, so much so that it has one of the highest oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) value of all the superfoods. This means that it can counteract free radical damage which leads to numerous health issues like accelerated ageing, cancer, and weak immune system.
Adaptogens are incredibly powerful because they help out where they are needed in the body. They have a balancing effect on our bodies, especially when it comes to hormones. The adaptogenic properties of chaga can actually repair DNA and protect the body against tumour growth.
Chaga is a strong antibacterial and an antiviral making it the perfect superfood for cold and flu season. It is also antifungal so it works to fight candida. Chaga is excellent for boosting the immune system due to high levels of Beta-D-Glucans.
How to enjoy chaga
I like to add chaga chunks to my teas, bone broths, veggie stocks and just about anything that is slow cooked with a lot of liquid. If you have chaga extract powder, you can add a small amount to smoothies, oats, granola, hot chocolate, salad dressing, and just about anything!