What is Chaga Mushroom?
The Chaga mushroom, scientifically known as Inonotus obliquus, looks more like burned wood than a traditional mushroom. Chaga mushroom produces a wood-like growth called a conk and grows on birch trees all over the world, including Korea, Russia, and northern areas of the United States. The Chaga conk is dark in color, with an appearance resembling burnt wood. This dark colored exterior is due to its high melanin content, while the inside of the chaga mushroom is a bright orange.
Chaga is also unique since it does not form traditional fruiting bodies when it grows. Instead, Chaga forms sclerotia, or masses of mycelium. The name chaga is a Latinisation of the Russian name ‘чага’ which is purportedly derived from the word for the fungus in Komi-Permyak, the language of the indigenous people in the Kama River Basin, west of the Ural Mountains.
Chaga has been used in Northern European and Russian folk remedies for centuries and was traditionally made into a chaga tincture or chaga tea. Research suggests that Chaga can potentially provide a variety of health benefits, including supporting our immune system. This may explain the extensive traditional practices of using Chaga for immune health. What also makes Chaga an interesting mushroom is that the Chaga fungus is rich in essential nutrients like Vitamin D, fiber, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, and Manganese.
If all that wasn’t exciting enough, you might be excited to know that Chaga Extract may also promote optimal cellular function. Like its sibling black hoof mushroom, it produced no or low toxicity in tested normal cells. This makes it one of the best mushroom supplements to promote optimal cellular function. Chaga extract has also been shown to scavenge free radicals, making chaga great for supporting balanced levels of oxidation. Although there is still ongoing research aiming to prove these chaga benefits beyond anecdotal and textual evidence, we consider Chaga to be another underrated but versatile mushroom.
Benefits and Effects
What are the Benefits of Chaga Mushroom?
Supports Inflammation Levels
Supports Cardiovascular Function