Inonotus Obliquus also known as Chaga is a medicinal mushroom with 30 times the antioxidant value (ORAC) as blueberries. It is of the most antioxidant dense food sources on the planet. It contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamin B-complex, vitamin D, amino acids, zinc, iron, magnesium and calcium just to name a few. Chaga is technically a parasitic fungus that grows mostly on birch trees and has been used in folk medicine in Asia for many years. It has been shown to have many beneficial properties from keeping the immune system strong to killing cancer cells[i] (in petri dishes).
In addition to vitamins and minerals Chaga also contains a variety of other compounds including beta glucan, antioxidants, melanin, triterpenes, and polyphenols. All these compounds play a role in providing the many benefits of chaga including, supporting a healthy inflammation response, supporting heart health, balancing blood sugar and blood pressure, and supporting a healthy stress response. Chaga is also an adaptogen, so it helps to balance your bodies systems on a broad level. Further research into its anti-inflammatory benefits linked to helping reduce depression as well as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. There has also been anecdotal evidence for Chaga to help lessen symptoms and side effects of certain procedures and medication like radiation (Turkey Tail mushrooms do this too).
Chaga is very powerful and can really help the body keep up its immune system and keep things balanced to help prevent disease. There are a few cautions to be aware of when taking chaga for example, chaga may thin the blood and should not be taken by people with bleeding disorders. Chaga may also lower blood sugar so those with diabetes should stay away and always check with your doctor before taking anything new. Also folks with kidney disease should stay away from chaga as it may cause kidney stones.
I personally take a mushroom blend as part of my daily vitamins. Many more scientific peer-reviewed studies are needed to better understand chaga but from what we do know, this fungus can do many things regarding balancing our different body systems. Come on in to Thymely to check out our selection of medicinal mushrooms and get even more information on many ways to increase immunity.