Mushrooms have been used for centuries in some societies around the world to boost health and vitality.
One of these mushrooms is the Chaga mushroom, which grows on birch and becomes increasingly popular among biohackers as an extract.
Mushrooms with fancy names come with the usual first association: is this a drug?
Somehow yes, but somehow no.
Because the Chaga mushroom has no intoxicating or hallucinogenic effect. But it has certain health effects.
Because Chaga is a special fungus that has been used for centuries against various ailments and for a better immune system, in the hope to relieve pain.
Especially in colder climes such as Scandinavia, Asia, Russia, and Ukraine, Chaga enjoys great popularity and was already used in the 12th century.
The Chaga mushroom has a number of other names: The Latin name is Inonotus obliquus, more common are birch mushroom or schiller Schillerporling.
The extract is produced on the one hand from wild Chaga mushrooms, which grow on birch, on the other hand from cultivated mushrooms, which contain usually less of the positive active substances.
Take Home Message # 1: Chaga is a special mushroom that has been used in Russian folk medicine for centuries. It grows wild on birch and contains a variety of nutrients.
Antioxidant Effects of the Chaga Mushroom
For over 800 years, the Chaga mushroom has been used in Siberian folk medicine to support vitality.
Since then he has been promisingly called the “gift of God” or “mushroom of immortality”.
But only a few decades ago, the special mushroom is also known in the western world and is becoming increasingly popular among biohackers.
Many of its benefits are not yet scientifically proven and come from the centuries-old experience with Chaga.
But science has also been working intensively for decades on research about the mushroom Chaga as an antioxidant.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) swears by its healing powers because there it is considered as,
There are already some studies in science that investigate the effects of Chaga on the body. It is important to know that there are definitely more clinical trials needed for universal health claims about Chaga.
Here are some of these studies summarized in short for you:
A 2014 Russian study looked at whether Chaga could restore blood glucose levels and return the immune system to normal functioning. There were the first positive signs. The researchers were also able to find the first signs that the mushroom might stimulate the pancreas.
Another study, conducted by researchers of the College of Ocean Sciences in Korea, put a focus on supporting the immune system with Chaga. Again, positive indicators seem to exist, but they need to be further investigated.
Last but not least, the anti-oxidants contained in Chaga have been researched by the team of the Niigata University of Pharmacy and Applied Life Science.
According to this study, Chaga should have good antioxidant properties compared to other special mushrooms.
Decisive here seems to be the high concentration of the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD).
Chaga for Stress Regulation
Stressed biohackers often rely on the consumption of Chaga.
If you have your stress level under control, you can perform better.
A great thing, if the workflows again or you drive your body during training to peak performance.
But even the normal everyday insanity can be stressful enough, which puts your resilience to the test.
How to use Chaga: The mushroom extract is taken daily in some cultures.
Often as tea or, under biohackers also very popular, as Mushroom Coffee. Biohackers say that it can increase oxygen uptake in the body’s cells and promote circulation in the blood vessels. That’s not proven yet.
Take-home message # 2: The effect of the Chaga mushroom extract has already researched in some studies.
However, there are no further clinical investigations for general health-related statements. Among biohackers, Chaga is known as Mushroom Coffee!
What’s in the Antioxidant Chaga?
You can also find the following vital substances in the Chaga Mushrooms or in an extract:
different B vitamins
In addition, organic acids such as formic, oxalic, acetic, betulinic and vanillic acid are included.
Overall, the birch mushroom can even boast over 200 vital substances – so it is a real nutrient bomb.
Some of the substances have already been proven to have an effect on the metabolism, and the interaction of the individual substances additionally intensifies this effect.
The concentrated charge supports the body and mind. Because no other food can offer this variety and antioxidant power.
Take-home message # 3: Over 200 vital substances make Chaga a true vitality cocktail. Especially the interplay of the individual components has a positive effect on you.
How to Take Chaga Mushrooms
In pharmacies and on the Internet there are various Chaga mushroom products to buy, such as
The simplest, most original and most effective form is the Chaga tea because as an infusion you can simply drink the nutrients.
Most of the ingredients are water-soluble and are absorbed more quickly by the body as a tea than in powder form and can develop their effect in the cells better.
Chaga powder and capsules, on the other hand, have the reputation of being difficult to digest and not being completely absorbed.
In addition, as the mushroom powder often uses cultivated mushrooms, it also contains fewer nutrients than an extract made from wild birch-grown Chaga.
When buying Chaga mushroom extract, you should, therefore, pay attention to a good quality of wild growth, since bred products may have no effect at all.
Tip: As a recommendation, a dose of about two cups of tea per day, to enjoy the positive effects.
Side Effects of Chaga Mushrooms
Cooked from Chaga tea, the extract is generally very digestible.
With appropriate dosage, side effects are extremely rare.
However, you should not overdo the dosage, as it can have negative effects on your body. Enjoy your Mushroom Coffee from wild Chaga best in small quantities.
Take Home Message # 4: The best way to make Chaga mushroom extract is to boil Chaga tea. When dissolved in water, the active ingredients are best metabolized and usually have no side effects.
Conclusion: Chaga Mushroom the Antioxidant
All in all, Chaga seems worth a try.
As mentioned, there is still a lot of research to be done before we can make serious health claims.
Still, many people report positive effects on performance and a reduction of stress.
This would make sense, as Chaga is a powerful antioxidant.
Did you hear about Chaga Mushrooms before?