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Who ever heard of the chaga mushroom? It is a variety of mushrooms that has caught the attention of doctors and researchers in recent times, convinced that it can be an excellent resource for the future. 

But how can a mushroom have so much importance? And what are its benefits?

Let's find out together in this article that wants to introduce you to the chaga mushroom in detail, even the protagonist of a book written by a Nobel Prize. 

Curious? So let's not waste any more time and let's discover this mushroom with incredible properties which is a cutting-edge tool in alternative medicine.

What is Inonotus Obliquus?

Its full name is Inonotus Obliquus, but it is known more simply as chaga mushroom. Specifically, it is a parasite that belongs to the Hymenochaetaceae family, which grows on birch trees in the forests of the northern hemisphere. There are abundant quantities of the chaga mushroom in the coldest areas of northeastern Europe and Siberian Russia. Another species, less used, is also thriving in Korea, Canada and the Okkaido islands. 

Anyone who has never seen it even in photos is not easy to recognize it, due to its dark color which is not comparable to any type of mushroom we know. 

The Japanese and Koreans immediately identified its qualities and made it an important remedy widely exploited within alternative medicine for various purposes.

In fact, most of its benefits can be attributed to the nutrients it is rich in: 

  • Vitamins: group B and D;
  • minerals: potassium, manganese, magnesium;
  • rubidium and cesium;
  • amino acids;
  • fibers;
  • copper, selenium, zinc;
  • soccer.

Since the ancients made it a natural remedy and modern and alternative medicine considers it a valid element in the treatment of some diseases, it is time to understand what these important properties are and what are the uses that make it so special.

The properties of the chaga mushroom

From degenerative diseases to trivial ulcers, from tuberculosis to cancer: according to ancient customs, the chaga mushroom is capable of helping even in these more or less serious conditions. 

But how does it manage to be so powerful in multiple fields? Simple, everything depends on its properties that we will try to summarize to give you an idea of how much it can really be a cure-all for human health.

  • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties: it slows down aging and the formation of wrinkles and fights free radicals.
  • Anti-stress: facilitates relaxation by fighting muscle fatigue and stressful states.
  • Powerful antiviral. It seems that the chaga mushroom is also capable of counteracting viruses on its own, hindering their entry into the body and preventing annoying complications.
  • Immunostimulating action. It enhances the defenses of the immune system making it stronger and more able to protect itself from even seasonal diseases that affect humans.
  • Monitor your blood sugar. The mushroom that grows on the birch has the power to lower blood sugar levels, therefore it also finds space in research against diabetes.
  • Protects from UV rays. The damage caused to the skin by sun exposure can be reduced thanks to its action.
  • Increases the synthesis of collagen.
  • Improves gut health by purifying the microbiota.

The listed benefits allow it to be used practically everywhere to improve human health, but there are specific fields in which research places it as an innovative and functional natural remedy. Let's find out what they are!

Alternative medicine and the chaga mushroom

Its antioxidant properties (even more powerful than Goji berries!) have allowed the chaga mushroom to fully enter the study of aging and oxidative stress factors. Based on the research conducted, it was decided to use it even in cosmetics. 

Chaga mushroom is good for your skin, there is no doubt anymore!

Its action is twofold: it protects you from the appearance of annoying wrinkles on the face and at the same time preserves you from damage caused by UV rays, free radicals and possible skin infections. 

In short, the skin stays young for longer if you let yourself be helped by the action of the fungus through specific supplements.

The antioxidant action is indicated in case of severe stress, fatigue, trauma, inflammation and even pain in the joints. It also acts on the metabolism.

But that is not all. Recently it is also under analysis to help in cases related to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, hindering their progression. 

Mycotherapy: supplements with chaga

chaga mushroom

According to mycotherapy, or the discipline that studies the properties of mushrooms to use them in medicine, the chaga mushroom deserves a place of honor among all the species known so far. Here we are on another level and in fact we are talking about avant-garde mycotherapy.  

For this reason, there are various supplements based on inonotus obliquus on the market, to exploit all its beneficial power and make it an ally for the natural well-being of every day.

The supplements, which are natural, are found in the form of capsules or powder but can also be found in the convenient version of herbal tea. 

However, each of these versions has an important common factor: in addition to providing nutrients such as vitamins, amino acids and minerals, they contain a significant amount of beta-glucans, terpenes and antioxidants. Among these, an enzyme that is essential for the human body stands out, SOD (Superoxide Dismutase). It is an antioxidant capable of keeping the cell membrane more elastic, and is able to strengthen the natural defenses.

Did you know that in nature it is the chaga mushroom that has the highest value? Outrun other mushrooms by over 50 times!

Where to buy chaga mushroom

Chaga mushroom supplements can be found in pharmacies and parapharmacies. but herbalists are even more supplied. There is also a lot of assortment in the online stores.

It can be found in different formats to choose according to tastes and preferences.

Everything also depends on the way you take it and the time of day you want to take it.

If you are away from home, the capsule version is better, more practical and faster. Instead, if it is taken regularly at home it is possible to allow oneself a few more moments in its preparation and consequently also in its tasting. Infusions are the best choice for those who want to combine business with pleasure. The same goes for powders to be dissolved in water.

The methods of intake indicated in these cases should not exceed a teaspoon. But then everything is subjective and you should always consult your doctor before starting a treatment based on the chaga mushroom, both to understand how it should be taken and to be sure that it is good for each of us's personal situation.

But before proceeding with the purchase, a seemingly trivial question is legitimate: what does the mushroom of the forests of the northern hemisphere taste like? 

We immediately reassure you that it is not unpleasant, indeed it recalls the aroma of coffee at times. Of course you can sweeten to taste with any of the sweeteners existing, even without calories in the case of diets and diabetics. 

Are there any contraindications?

Of course, after the benefits, we also talk about any contraindications.

The most important concerns pregnant or breastfeeding women: its intake should be avoided for safety reasons since studies on its possible risks are still ongoing and there is no evidence that can exclude problems.

So far there are only doubts about the possibility that it can affect kidney health, but no certain data is yet available in this regard. There is always talk of hypotheses to be verified.

In general it appears to be safe, but only when used as a non-exclusive remedy. In practice, especially in severe cases (such as diabetes or Parkinson's disease), it cannot and must not replace any specific treatments. 

It can help but not cure, particularly when there are more serious conditions that require targeted therapies and shouldn't be stopped.

Trivia: cancer, Nobel prize and chaga mushroom

Perhaps not everyone knows that the chaga mushroom is often associated with cancer remedies. The attention on this aspect is due to a Nobel prize winner, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who decided to write an autobiographical book that highlights the beneficial properties of the mushroom in question. 

The book is called "Cancer Pavilion" and talks about his direct experience as a cancer patient who found valid help through the constant use of chaga decoction.

What is his theory due to? Simply to the composition of the Inonotus obliquus mushroom which contains:

  • sterols;
  • antioxidants (including SOD and melanin);
  • polysaccharides.

In particular, it is precisely the sterols that perform anticancer functions and can help to defeat cancer, according to Alexander Solzhenitsyn's opinion. These are molecules that act on the body, improving its overall health. In the chaga mushroom there is a significant amount of certain types of sterols, such as lanosterol, betulin, lupeol and inotidiols.

In short, the chaga mushroom reserves some nice surprises for those who are predisposed to glimpse alternative remedies that can help man live better and in health.

Together with other varieties of mushrooms, including the cordyceps mushroom, it deserves recognition for its healing and medicinal qualities that are worth exploring to help the body find its balance.