What are the two sides of Chaga?

Chaga mushrooms they are extremely popular in natural medicine for the various health benefits they provide.

However, due to its demand, foragers are beginning to overharvest chaga, which could have negative effects on its future adaptogenic mushroom and even lead to extinction.

Let’s look at the two sides of chaga mushrooms and what you can do to prevent overharvesting.

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What are the health benefits of chaga?

What are the two sides of chaga?

What can you do about chaga overharvesting?

How do you get chaga mushrooms?

What are Chaga mushrooms?

Chaga mushrooms (Inonotus obliquus) are sterile mushrooms that grow on birch trees. Known as one of the healthiest fungi in the world, these mushrooms have become quite popular in alternative medicine in the last decade. They prefer cooler climates, which is why they grow mainly in northern Europe, Asia and North America.

Chaga benefits

Chaga mushrooms provide many health benefits. For example, a study done on diabetic mice suggests that Inonotus obliquus could help manage diabetesthanks to its ability to lower blood sugar levels.

In addition to its anti-diabetic properties, this medicinal mushroom lowers cholesterol levels, boosts immunity and keeps your hair and skin healthy.

Chaga also shows great potential in fighting cancerthanks to its ability to slow down the spread of cancer cells and help destroy them.

Some of the most prominent potential health benefits of chaga mushrooms include:

  • increases the production of white blood cells and reduces inflammation
  • promotes the apoptosis of cancer cells and provides anti-cancer effects
  • relieves sleep disorders
  • treats skin problems
  • lowers blood pressure
  • helps treat autoimmune diseases
  • reduces oxidative stress

Medicinal compounds found in Chaga

Chaga contains over 400 bioactive compounds, all with unique benefits. Some of the most talked about compounds found in Inonotus obliquus are:

  • triterpenoids
  • polysaccharides
  • polyphenols
  • ergosterol peroxide
  • betulic acid
  • inotodiol

While researchers are just beginning to examine the potential of many of these compounds, some are already known to have profound effects. For example, Polysaccharides found in chaga fruiting bodies have been shown to treat chronic diseases and prevent metabolic disorders.

The two faces of Chaga

Inonotus obliquus has a history of medicinal use in Eastern medicine. This mushroom seems to lower blood sugar levels, improve immune response and even fight abnormal cell growth.

Unfortunately, the many benefits that chaga provides are why this fungus is overharvested. According United Plant Saverschaga mushrooms are in serious danger of extinction due to overharvesting.

This mushroom grows on birch trees, a type of tree commonly found in northern forests. However, this parasitic fungus can only infect, and therefore grow in, one in 20,000 birch trees, making it extremely rare.

In recent years, more and more people are turning to herbal medicine, with chaga being one of the most popular and well-researched medicinal fungi.

Thanks to chaga’s many medicinal properties, this fungus has become more sought after than ever and ranchers are over-harvesting it to meet these demands.

The problem with overharvesting Chaga mushrooms

When the life cycle of chaga mushrooms is over, they fall to the ground and release spores. The feather and animals then spread these spores throughout the boreal forest, where they find new host trees.

Chaga harvested while still young and edible will not be able to release spores. So when you find chaga growing on birches, it is important not to collect all the fungi you find. Leaving some chaga mushrooms on the trees ensures that they will release spores when the time comes.

However, many foragers, especially hobbyists, go all-in when harvesting chaga. Since this mushroom is hard to find and worth a lot of money, foragers often take all the fungus they can get their hands on, leading to over-picking and improper harvesting, which can damage both the tree and the fungus.


What can you do about overharvesting Chaga?

Whether you want to start harvesting chaga or use it for its health benefits, it’s important to consider what you can do to prevent further overharvesting of this fungus.

What Foragers Can Do

If you are new to harvesting chaga, consider the protection techniques you can use during harvesting to keep both the mushrooms and the birches safe. Additionally, learn to differentiate chaga from other similar-looking sterile pods so you don’t cause unnecessary damage during harvest.

What consumers can do

If you are not a forager, you can prevent overharvesting by looking at the companies you buy chaga supplements from. Whether you’re buying chaga powders, teas, or foods fortified with chaga extracts, only shop from companies that source chaga mushrooms ethically.

Are you interested in Chaga mushroom download?

If you’re interested in trying chaga mushrooms, what better way to do so than with a delicious bowl of cereal to start your day with?

 AdaptogenShroomsSuperfood Granola

AdaptogenShroomsSuperfood Granola is a vegan and gluten-free granola with high-quality, organic ingredients. Contains an ethically sourced, ultra-concentrated chaga powder, as well lion’s mane and Cordyceps mushroomswhich also contain a wealth of benefits.

You can choose from three delicious flavors: sunflower cocoa, cinnamon and vanilla almond. Or get a pack with all three flavors if you can’t decide on just one!

Frequently asked questions about the two sides of Chaga

Chaga has side effects?

There is no research on the side effects of chaga mushrooms, but centuries of use and anecdotal evidence show that this mushroom is completely safe. However, you should be careful about certain drug interactions when taking chaga.

In 2006 study, an aqueous chaga extract inhibited platelet aggregation, leading to slow blood clotting. In healthy people, this results in a reduced risk of blood clots. However, if you have a bleeding disorder or are going to have surgery soon, chaga mushrooms may increase your risk of bleeding.

Who should not drink chaga tea?

For generally healthy people, it is perfectly safe to consume chaga supplements, including chaga tea. However, people with bleeding disorders should be careful, as these medicinal mushrooms slow down blood clotting, which could lead to excessive bleeding if you are injured.

Although there is no research to suggest that chaga tea could be dangerous for pregnant or breastfeeding women, many choose to avoid chaga tea during pregnancy, as well as other adaptogens and herbal teas.

How long does chaga take to work?

You need to take chaga every day for about two to three weeks before you start to notice results. Over time and with regular use, its effects will be more pronounced, especially if you take the medicinal mushroom for its immune-boosting and anti-cancer properties.

You can use the black part of chaga?

While you can’t eat the black outer layer (sclerotia) of chaga mushrooms raw, you can certainly reap its benefits by taking it in powder form.

The black part of chaga is full of antioxidants and contains a high concentration of melanin. If you want to reap these benefits, look for whole chaga mushroom supplements and eat chaga-fortified foods that use the whole mushroom.

Is chaga good for your skin?

Both in vivo and in vitro studies indicate that chaga offers amazing benefits for the skin. ONE test tube study examined the anti-melanogenesis effect of this mushroom. Chaga mushroom extract has been shown to protect the skin from the sun and prevent dark spots by slowing the synthesis of melanin complexes.

How much chaga can I take?

Although chaga is incredibly healthy, you should not exceed a daily dose of Inonotus obliquus from 1-2 tbsp. In general, you should aim for up to 2000 mg of chaga per day. Chaga is rich in oxalateswhich won’t cause problems if you don’t consume too much of it, but can cause kidney problems due to overconsumption.

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