Chaga mushroom - properties, what it helps, contraindications

The chaga fungus - to some a destroyer of birch trees, to others a health-promoting fungus. And what do the scientists say?

Nina Wawryszuk - AuthorAuthorNina Wawryszuk
Nina Wawryszuk - Author
AuthorNina Wawryszuk
Natu.Care Editor

Nina Wawryszuk specialises in sports supplementation, strength training and psychosomatics. On a daily basis, in addition to writing articles for Natu.Care, as a personal trainer she helps athletes improve their performance through training, diet and supplementation.

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Ilona Bush - Reviewed byReviewed byIlona Bush
Verified by an expert
Ilona Bush - Reviewed by
Reviewed byIlona Bush
Master of Pharmacy

Ilona Krzak obtained her Master of Pharmacy degree from the Medical University of Wrocław. She did her internship in a hospital pharmacy and in the pharmaceutical industry. She is currently working in the profession and also runs an educational profile on Instagram: @pani_z_apteki

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Bartłomiej Turczyński is the editor-in-chief of Natu.Care. He is responsible for the quality of the content created on Natu.Care, among others, and ensures that all articles are based on sound scientific research and consulted with industry specialists.

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Chaga mushroom - properties, what it helps, contraindications
29 April, 2024
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For some, a parasite and destroyer of birch trees. Well, and a nasturtium (it's really not a very pretty fungus). To others, a valuable source of antioxidants (and looks don't matter). And what do the third - scientists - say?

I asked Ilona Krzak, MSc in pharmacy, and together we dived into the subject from the medical jurnals to the mushroom itself.

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From this article you will learn:

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  • What the chaga mushroom is.
  • .
  • What properties it has.
  • .
  • What the scientific research suggests.
  • What it does.
  • How to use the chaga mushroom.
  • How to use the chaga mushroom.
  • How to choose the best chaga preparation.
  • .

See also:

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Chaga - birch tumour. What is this fungus?

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Chaga (Latin) Inonotus obliquus) is known in Poland as the subbark spinneret, birch hornwort or birch bump. It is a species of fungus in the bristlecone family. It is a parasite that most often attacks birch trees. It forms a thick layer on them and causes the tree to dieand.

The name of the fungus is pronounced hard - 'chaga'. It is derived from тшак, tšak from the Komi language  - the indigenous inhabitants of the Kama basin, west of the Urals .

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Compared to other adaptogenic mushrooms (e.g.  soplosion), chaga is... exceptionally ugly (the author's opinion, but it's hard to disagree - editor's note). It is rare in Poland (avoid the area around the Białowieża Forest). Inhabitants of the north - Scandinavia, Russia and Canadaand - are mainly exposed to its fungal face.

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Chaga belongs to the group of so-called vital mushrooms. It has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine (mainly in the East) to treat stomach ailments, boost the body's immune system and reduce inflammation .

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Vital mushrooms is a term for a group of mushrooms that, because of the compounds they contain, have potential health benefits.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Interesting facts

You could read about chaga in the Chinese Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing - herbal classic from the 3rd century BC. It is a collection of information on agriculture and medicinal plantsand.

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In Poland, the chaga mushroom was theoretically used in phytotherapy as early as the 5th century AD and was very popular in the Middle Ages.
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Julia Skrajda.

Julia SkrajdaDietitian

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Chaga versus research

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The vast majority of scientific studies on the health effects of the chaga fungus have been conducted on animals or in vitro (so-called test-tube studies)and. This means that we know the potential of this plant, but we do not know exactly what effect it has on the human body.

You will say - after all, chaga has been used for thousands of years in Eastern folk medicine. Yes, but note that eastern countries are culturally and medically different from Europe, and traditions should not be a substitute for empirical research

In addition, Europeans have a different metabolism than, for example, Asians. All this influences the perceived effect of the fungus or simply... the placebo effect.

That is why it is good that scientists are checking folk messages about chaga in scientific studies. However, we need to be patient and wait for more qualitative studies with humans. In the meantime, we can marvel at the potential of chaga - who knows, maybe it will help you?

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Chaga - properties

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The chaga mushroom contains valuable bioactive compounds such asand:

  • polysaccharides, including beta-glucans,
  • .
  • triterpenoids,
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  • phenolic compounds,
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  • melanin complexes,
  • .

Thanks to their content, it exhibits several interesting properties that can support health.

Chaga mushroom potentially:

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Strengthens immunity

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Animal and in vitro studies suggest that chaga mushroom extract may reduce long-term inflammation and also fight harmful microorganisms. This may have a positive effect on the body's immunity. Chaga stimulates white blood cells, which are essential for fighting bacteria or virusesand.

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White blood cells - leukocytes - play an important role in the immune system. They protect the body against various pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and even against cancer cells.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Anti-inflammatory effects

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Chaga may prevent the production of harmful cytokines that cause inflammation and are associated with the onset of certain diseases. In a 2012 mouse study, extract from this mushroom reduced inflammation and intestinal damage by inhibiting inflammatory cytokinesand.

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The role of cytokines is, among other things, to coordinate the body's immune response. An excess of cytokines can induce an adverse inflammatory response when the strength of the immune response is not adequate to the threat.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Fighting cancer

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Several animal and test-tube studies have shown that chaga can prevent and slow the growth of cancer. This is likely due to its content of valuable antioxidants, which protect cells from oxidative stressand.

One of the valuable antioxidants it contains is triterpene. In vitro studies from 2016 suggest that a concentrated triterpene extract may help destroy cancer cells .

In 2016, a study was also conducted on mice with lung cancer. After 3 weeks of giving them chaga extract, the tumour shrank by 60% .

In another test-tube study, chaga extract prevented tumour growth in human liver cells. Similar results were observed in lung, breast, prostate and colon cancer cellsand.

Reduces cholesterol

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High cholesterol increases the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. It increases the likelihood of heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosisand. Chaga extract may have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels, and again scientists are betting that this is due to antioxidants.

In a 2009 study, chaga extract was given to rats with high cholesterol for eight weeks. This mushroom lowered so-called bad LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides, and increased antioxidant levelsand.

In two other similar studies in mice from 2008 and 2017, it was observed that in addition to reducing LDL cholesterol, chaga increased so-called good HDL cholesterol .

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Reduces sugar levels

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Several scientific papers on rodents suggest that chaga has a positive effect on sugar-insulin metabolism. In a 2008 study on mice with diabetes, consumption of chaga mushroom for three weeks led to a 31% reduction in blood sugarand.

In a 2017 study on obese mice with diabetes, chaga extract was observed to lower blood sugar and insulin resistance compared to mice with diabetes that did not receive the mushroom .

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Antioxidant activity

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By containing beta-glucans, triterpenoids, phenolic compounds and melanin complexes, chaga can help reduce oxidative stress and protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals .

Free radicals, or unstable, highly reactive molecules, can attack and damage cells, proteins, fats or DNA. They accelerate the ageing of the body and put the body at risk of developing many diseases.

Free radicals are a major contributor to the ageing of the body.

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Oxidative stress is an unfavourable condition for the body when there are too many free radicals and not enough antioxidants. This can promote the development of diseases such as neurodegenerative or cardiovascular diseases.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Fighting ulcers

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Chaga, in combination with other herbs, has been used in traditional Eastern medicine to treat gastric and duodenal ulcersand.

In 2019, researchers tested this potential in rats with stomach ulcers. Feeding them chaga extract had a beneficial effect on combating the ailment. The researchers explain this by the presence of bioactive components that this mushroom containsand.

Reduces the severity of food allergies

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In in vitro studies, chaga mushroom has shown the potential to suppress the activity of immune cells responsible for the allergic reaction to certain foods. Inotodioland is likely responsible for this anti-allergic effect. In mouse studies, this compound reduced food allergy symptoms in rodents.

Chaga versus COVID-19

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In 2021 in silico studies (experiments using computer simulation), chaga showed potentially strong interactions with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.This is only a simulation, but it opens up an interesting prospect for researchers for further in vitro and in vivo studies.

Who is chaga for?

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The chaga mushroom is recommended for people who are concerned about:

  • strengthen immunity,
  • .
  • support the cardiovascular system,
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  • delay the body's ageing process,
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  • regulate blood sugar levels,
  • .

Which chaga is best?

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The best chaga mushroom products contain extract standardised for polysaccharide content (optimally 30%) and triterpenes and DER ( Drug Extract Ratio). This ensures that you know what you are consuming, of what quality and in what quantity. Unfortunately, without providing such information, there is a chance that you will end up with "hay".

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Traditional plant medicine used chaga from birch trees, but in practice this fungus is now grown under controlled conditions and artificially extracted. It is a safer form for humans.
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Julia Skrajda.

Julia SkrajdaDietitian

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Dose chaga mushroom in the amounts recommended by the manufacturer. The usual daily serving of the extract is 500 to 1500 mg. Unfortunately, due to the small number of scientific studies involving humans, there are no reliable guidelines on the appropriate dose of chaga to achieve a therapeutic effect.

How to use chaga mushroom

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Which form is best?

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There are coffees, functional drinks, teas, dries, drops, tinctures and chaga mushroom capsules available on the market. Tailor the form to suit you - perhaps you want to start a new ritual during the day with an aromatic coffee? Capsules are convenient, a functional drink can make a cookie more enjoyable, and a tincture - like a tincture - warms and relaxes.

Drink in the morning or evening?

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Chaga is best taken in 2-3 servings per day e.g. in the morning, early afternoon and evening, so that the fungus has time to 'set up' in the body. Chaga does not have an adrenaline effect; it is neither stimulating nor sleep-inducing, so do not be afraid to consume it. However, if you take chaga with coffee, drink it at least six hours before bedtime.

When will I feel the effects?

You can feel the effects of chaga mushroom after about 4 weeks systematic use. Some things don't happen straight away, such as improved immunity or lowered blood cholesterol levels. The body has to get used to and utilise the valuable bioactive ingredients.

Chaga is not the type of ingredient whose effects can literally be seen. Observe how you endure autumn colds (perhaps there are fewer of them or they pass more quickly?). Test your cholesterol and sugar levels before you start taking the mushroom and after about 4-6 weeks.

How long can you take chaga?

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Scientific studies have tested the effects of chaga mushroom for 2-8 weeks (mainly on animals). The effect of the mushroom on human health is unknown when taken continuously for several months (only harmful cases of use for several years are known). Therefore, after about 4-6 weeks, take a 1-2 week break.

Combination of mushrooms

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Scientific research suggests that synergistic interactions between mushrooms can provide benefits that cannot be achieved by consuming them individuallyand. A mix of mushrooms in, for example, coffee or a functional drink can have an adaptogenic, tonic effect and reduce stress, fatigue and stimulate the immune system .

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Excellent composition

CHAGA, subcortical spinneret fungus

CHAGA, subcortical spinneret fungus
4.9
  • Active ingredients: extract from the fruiting bodyóof the subfloral spinneret
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  • Form: powder
  • .
  • Packaging: 30 g or 60 g
  • .
  • Dose: 1 scoop per day
  • .
  • Sufficient for: 60 or 200 days
  • .
See price
in the Natu.Care shop
Product description

The chaga mushroom is a treasure trove of antioxidantsós that protect cellsós and slow down the body's ageing process. According to research, it ranks first on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale, an international measure of the antioxidant effect of foodsó

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Chaga has several potential health benefits. It can support immunity, fight inflammation and lower bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Chaga is also known for its ability to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Pros and cons

The chaga mushroom is a treasure trove of antioxidantsós that protect cellsós and slow down the body's ageing process. According to research, it ranks first on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale, an international measure of the antioxidant effect of foodsó

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Chaga has several potential health benefits. It can support immunity, fight inflammation and lower bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Chaga is also known for its ability to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Additional information

The chaga mushroom is a treasure trove of antioxidantsós that protect cellsós and slow down the body's ageing process. According to research, it ranks first on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale, an international measure of the antioxidant effect of foodsó

.

Chaga has several potential health benefits. It can support immunity, fight inflammation and lower bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Chaga is also known for its ability to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

User review

The chaga mushroom is a treasure trove of antioxidantsós that protect cellsós and slow down the body's ageing process. According to research, it ranks first on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale, an international measure of the antioxidant effect of foodsó

.

Chaga has several potential health benefits. It can support immunity, fight inflammation and lower bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Chaga is also known for its ability to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

.

Natural support

LION'S MANE, Hedgehog fungus

LION'S MANE, Hedgehog fungus
5.0
  • Active ingredients: Extract of soplós Mane (Lion’s Mane)
  • .
  • Form: powder
  • .
  • Packaging: 30 g or 100 g
  • .
  • Dose: 1 scoop 3 times daily
  • .
  • Sufficient for: 60 or 200 days
  • .
See price
in the Natu.Care shop
Product description

Sopl’s Mane will work well for people who’re in need of a natural boost and motivation during daily tasks. If you’re physically or mentally active, Lion’s Mane will have a positive effect on your energy, motivation and can influence your well-being.

Lion’s Mane shows the potential to support immunity, reduce inflammation and support nervous system recovery.

Pros and cons

Sopl’s Mane will work well for people who’re in need of a natural boost and motivation during daily tasks. If you’re physically or mentally active, Lion’s Mane will have a positive effect on your energy, motivation and can influence your well-being.

Lion’s Mane shows the potential to support immunity, reduce inflammation and support nervous system recovery.

Additional information

Sopl’s Mane will work well for people who’re in need of a natural boost and motivation during daily tasks. If you’re physically or mentally active, Lion’s Mane will have a positive effect on your energy, motivation and can influence your well-being.

Lion’s Mane shows the potential to support immunity, reduce inflammation and support nervous system recovery.

User review

Sopl’s Mane will work well for people who’re in need of a natural boost and motivation during daily tasks. If you’re physically or mentally active, Lion’s Mane will have a positive effect on your energy, motivation and can influence your well-being.

Lion’s Mane shows the potential to support immunity, reduce inflammation and support nervous system recovery.

Coffee substitute

Kanaste, Better Focus, functional drink with adaptogens

Kanaste, Better Focus, functional drink with adaptogens
4.7

Composition: extracts of cordycepse, Lion’s Mane, chagi, ashwagandha, góginseng; L-tyrosine, Alpha GPC, L-theanine, pterostilbene

Form: powder

Packaging: 219 g

Dose: 7 g per day

Sufficient for: 30 days

See price
in the Natu.Care shop
Product description

A combination of nootropicsós, mushroomsós and adaptogensós created for your concentration, mental clarity and high energy levels. It is a healthy alternative to coffee without feeling irritable or havingósleep problems.

Pros and cons

A combination of nootropicsós, mushroomsós and adaptogensós created for your concentration, mental clarity and high energy levels. It is a healthy alternative to coffee without feeling irritable or havingósleep problems.

Additional information

A combination of nootropicsós, mushroomsós and adaptogensós created for your concentration, mental clarity and high energy levels. It is a healthy alternative to coffee without feeling irritable or havingósleep problems.

User review

A combination of nootropicsós, mushroomsós and adaptogensós created for your concentration, mental clarity and high energy levels. It is a healthy alternative to coffee without feeling irritable or havingósleep problems.

Cocoa drink 2.0

Mushroom cacao elixir

Mushroom cacao elixir
4.9
  • Active ingredients: reishi, magnesium, valerian, Ceylon cinnamon, cardamom
  • .
  • Form: powder
  • .
  • Packaging: 12 sachets
  • .
  • Dose: 1 sachet daily
  • .
  • Sufficient for: 12 days
  • .
See price
in the Natu.Care shop
Product description

Natural indulgence, relaxation and tranquillity in one cup. A rival to a warm cup from mum. The infusion supports mental well-being in cases of tension and stress and contributes to optimal relaxation. Its complex composition promotes relaxation of the nervous system and helps to maintain normal psychological functions.

Mushroom Cacao will work best for peopleób in need of relieving symptomsóof stress and calming emotions. It is recommended for peopleówho want to facilitate evening relaxation and maintain natural sleep.

Pros and cons

Natural indulgence, relaxation and tranquillity in one cup. A rival to a warm cup from mum. The infusion supports mental well-being in cases of tension and stress and contributes to optimal relaxation. Its complex composition promotes relaxation of the nervous system and helps to maintain normal psychological functions.

Mushroom Cacao will work best for peopleób in need of relieving symptomsóof stress and calming emotions. It is recommended for peopleówho want to facilitate evening relaxation and maintain natural sleep.

Additional information

Natural indulgence, relaxation and tranquillity in one cup. A rival to a warm cup from mum. The infusion supports mental well-being in cases of tension and stress and contributes to optimal relaxation. Its complex composition promotes relaxation of the nervous system and helps to maintain normal psychological functions.

Mushroom Cacao will work best for peopleób in need of relieving symptomsóof stress and calming emotions. It is recommended for peopleówho want to facilitate evening relaxation and maintain natural sleep.

User review

Natural indulgence, relaxation and tranquillity in one cup. A rival to a warm cup from mum. The infusion supports mental well-being in cases of tension and stress and contributes to optimal relaxation. Its complex composition promotes relaxation of the nervous system and helps to maintain normal psychological functions.

Mushroom Cacao will work best for peopleób in need of relieving symptomsóof stress and calming emotions. It is recommended for peopleówho want to facilitate evening relaxation and maintain natural sleep.

For athletes

Shroom Force Sport cordyceps mushrooms and adaptogens

Shroom Force Sport cordyceps mushrooms and adaptogens
4.5

Composition: Cordyceps sinensis extract, green tea, ashwagandha, membranous astragalus, gógór, grape seed extract

Form: capsules

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Packaging: 30 or 60 capsules

Dose: 3 capsules daily before training

Sufficient for: 10 or 20 days

See price
in the Natu.Care shop
Product description

Shroom Force is a natural performance and function support blend based on a combination of cordyceps mushroom and plant extractsós. The composition is recommended for physically active people and anyone who needs to raise their energy levels in life.

Pros and cons

Shroom Force is a natural performance and function support blend based on a combination of cordyceps mushroom and plant extractsós. The composition is recommended for physically active people and anyone who needs to raise their energy levels in life.

Additional information

Shroom Force is a natural performance and function support blend based on a combination of cordyceps mushroom and plant extractsós. The composition is recommended for physically active people and anyone who needs to raise their energy levels in life.

Standardised extract

REISHI, the fungus Yellow-lipped Lacewing

REISHI, the fungus Yellow-lipped Lacewing
5.0
  • Active ingredients: Extract of Reishi fruiting bodyóandash; lactobacilli
  • .
  • Form: powder
  • .
  • Packaging: 30 g or 100 g
  • .
  • Dose: 1 scoop 3 times daily
  • .
  • Sufficient for: 60 or 200 days
  • .
See price
in the Natu.Care shop
Product description

After a challenging day, Reishi is perfect as a relaxing evening tonic. It pairs perfectly with hot cocoa or tea.

Reishi has a broad spectrum of beneficial vitamins, mineralsós, polysaccharidesós including beta-D-glucans, nucleotides, triterpenes including ganoderic acids (A-G), sterols, lactates, glycoproteins.

Lion’s Mane is one of the most important mushrooms’s used for centuries’s in the far East. It is valued for its health-promoting properties, including cardiovascular support, lowering cholesterol and maintaining adequate immunity.

Pros and cons

After a challenging day, Reishi is perfect as a relaxing evening tonic. It pairs perfectly with hot cocoa or tea.

Reishi has a broad spectrum of beneficial vitamins, mineralsós, polysaccharidesós including beta-D-glucans, nucleotides, triterpenes including ganoderic acids (A-G), sterols, lactates, glycoproteins.

Lion’s Mane is one of the most important mushrooms’s used for centuries’s in the far East. It is valued for its health-promoting properties, including cardiovascular support, lowering cholesterol and maintaining adequate immunity.

Additional information

After a challenging day, Reishi is perfect as a relaxing evening tonic. It pairs perfectly with hot cocoa or tea.

Reishi has a broad spectrum of beneficial vitamins, mineralsós, polysaccharidesós including beta-D-glucans, nucleotides, triterpenes including ganoderic acids (A-G), sterols, lactates, glycoproteins.

Lion’s Mane is one of the most important mushrooms’s used for centuries’s in the far East. It is valued for its health-promoting properties, including cardiovascular support, lowering cholesterol and maintaining adequate immunity.

User review

After a challenging day, Reishi is perfect as a relaxing evening tonic. It pairs perfectly with hot cocoa or tea.

Reishi has a broad spectrum of beneficial vitamins, mineralsós, polysaccharidesós including beta-D-glucans, nucleotides, triterpenes including ganoderic acids (A-G), sterols, lactates, glycoproteins.

Lion’s Mane is one of the most important mushrooms’s used for centuries’s in the far East. It is valued for its health-promoting properties, including cardiovascular support, lowering cholesterol and maintaining adequate immunity.

Coffee 2.0

Mushroom Coffee, Chaga + Ashwagandha, coffee with adaptogens

Mushroom Coffee, Chaga + Ashwagandha, coffee with adaptogens
4.8
  • Composition: chaga, ashwagandha, arabica coffee
  • .
  • Form: powder
  • .
  • Packaging: 330 g
  • .
  • Dose: 11 g per day
  • .
  • Sufficient for: 30 days
  • .
See price
in the Natu.Care shop
Product description

Coffee with adaptogens allows you to function better under the weight of stress. It is perfect for moments of mental strain, but also for quiet days dedicated to relaxation or enjoyable activities. „Take your time slowly” – this slogan perfectly fits the profile of this mushroom coffee variant.

The idea of mushroomós addition to coffee is still baffling to many peopleób, but those who tryób stay with it for longer. Mushroomóve extracts do not have a mushroomy aroma, instead they have a very mild and neutral flavour, forming a great duo with the natural aroma of the coffee.

Pros and cons

Coffee with adaptogens allows you to function better under the weight of stress. It is perfect for moments of mental strain, but also for quiet days dedicated to relaxation or enjoyable activities. „Take your time slowly” – this slogan perfectly fits the profile of this mushroom coffee variant.

The idea of mushroomós addition to coffee is still baffling to many peopleób, but those who tryób stay with it for longer. Mushroomóve extracts do not have a mushroomy aroma, instead they have a very mild and neutral flavour, forming a great duo with the natural aroma of the coffee.

Additional information

Coffee with adaptogens allows you to function better under the weight of stress. It is perfect for moments of mental strain, but also for quiet days dedicated to relaxation or enjoyable activities. „Take your time slowly” – this slogan perfectly fits the profile of this mushroom coffee variant.

The idea of mushroomós addition to coffee is still baffling to many peopleób, but those who tryób stay with it for longer. Mushroomóve extracts do not have a mushroomy aroma, instead they have a very mild and neutral flavour, forming a great duo with the natural aroma of the coffee.

Chaga - contraindications to use

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Contraindications to the use of chaga mushroom include: pregnancy, breastfeeding, age under 18 years, taking immunosuppressive and anti-diabetic medications. Data on drug interactions with chaga extracts come only from in vitro and animal studies, so exercise cautionand.

Potentially, taking extracts of this mushroom may inhibit platelet aggregation and increase the risk of bleeding, so it should not be used before planned surgery. If in doubt - speak to your doctor.

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Side effects

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The most common side effects of chaga use are gastrointestinal complaints - abdominal pain and nauseaand. They usually pass after the mushroom is discontinued. Damage to the kids may occur with excess consumption. Use of chaga with medications with which the mushroom interacts can cause disorders insulin-sugar balance and problems with normal blood clotting.

I read on the forum: Innocent mushroom, cannot harm you. Unfortunately, but anything can harm you if you overdo it with the period of consumption or dose. It is the same with chaga.

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Is chaga safe?

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The chaga mushroom contains a lot of oxalates, excessive consumption of which can cause kidney stonesand. To date, two cases of oxalate-induced kidney disease have been reported after long-term consumption of this mushroom.

The first case was a 49-year-old man who consumed double the recommended daily serving of chaga daily for five years. He developed end-stage renal failureand. The second case involves a 72-year-old woman with liver cancer who consumed 4-5 teaspoons of chaga daily for six months. She developed kidney diseaseand.

It is believed that it was the high oxalate content of chaga (6.72-97.59 mg) that caused the kidney disease in these two cases.

Conclusion - follow the manufacturer's recommendations and focus on quality, not quantity.

Chaga - reviews

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To make any recommendations on the consumption of chaga, we still have to wait for the results of human studies. Results so far on animals and in vitro cells suggest that chaga has great potential to fight cancer cells by stimulating the immune system to destroy them. Infection-stimulating, anti-inflammatory, blood glucose-lowering and lipid-regulating effects are indicated.
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Aleksandra Cudna-Bartnicka.

Aleksandra Cudna-Bartnicka Clinical nutritionist

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Chaga shows the best effects on the central nervous system, stimulating the immune system and helping to fight infections - which is probably why it was used to treat cancer in past centuries when chemotherapy was not available. Today, research shows chaga's potential to lower and regulate glycaemia, have antiviral and antibacterial effects.
Julia Skrajda.

Julia SkrajdaDietitian

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Summary

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  • Chaga is a species of fungus known in Poland as subbirch glossy bark beetle, birch hornwort and birch tumour.
  • The fungus shows potential in supporting immunity, combating inflammation, antioxidant activity and supporting cardiovascular function.
  • The fungus has been shown to have potential in supporting immunity, combating inflammation, antioxidant activity and supporting cardiovascular function.
  • The vast majority of studies have been carried out on animals and in vitro, human studies are lacking.
  • The vast majority of studies have been carried out on animals and in vitro, human studies are lacking.
  • The chaga mushroom is best consumed according to the manufacturer's recommendations for about 4 weeks and then take a break, as the effects of multi-week consumption of this mushroom on the human body are not known.
  • .
  • Do not use chaga during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, in people under 18 years of age and in patients being treated with immunosuppressants or medications that affect sugar-insulin metabolism.
  • Recommended products containing chaga include: Solve Labs chagaMushroom Coffee chaga + AshwagandhaKanaste Better Focus.
  • .

FAQ

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. How does chaga taste?.

The chaga mushroom is earthy in flavour, but this depends on the presence of other ingredients in the beverage, coffee or tea in question. E.g. in blends (e.g. Solve Labs chaga coffee with Ashwagandha) it is not noticeable, and in drinks (e.g. Kanaste Better Focus) a chocolate and nutty note dominates, without the mushroom aftertaste.

. Can the chaga mushroom be given to children?.

No, children under the age of 18 years should not consume chaga extracts due to the lack of sufficient scientific studies on the safety of the mushroom in this age group.

No.
. What is better chaga or reishi?.

All vital mushrooms potentially exhibit health benefits. Chaga would be better if you want to improve immunity, and reishi when you are feeling fatigued and want to boost your energy.

. Does chaga stimulate you?.

No, chaga mushroom does not have a stimulant effect on the body, it is not a stimulant (like caffeine for example) and it does not have an adjuvant effect.

. Does chaga harm the kidneys?.

The chaga mushroom used in excessive amounts over a long period of time can have a negative impact on kidney health. So far, several cases of kidney disease caused by excessive consumption of chaga mushroom have been reported.

. Does chaga have hallucinogenic effects?.

No, chaga does not contain hallucinogenic substances, e.g. psilocybin.

.
. Does chaga grow in Poland?.

Yes, the chaga fungus grows in Poland, and can most often be found in the Białowieża Forest. Chaga is on the list of protected mushroom species and collecting its fruiting bodies without the appropriate permit is prohibited.

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Sources

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Chung, M. J., Chung, C.-K., Jeong, Y., & Ham, S.-S. (2010). Anticancer activity of subfractions containing pure compounds of chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) extract in human cancer cells and in Balbc/c mice bearing Sarcoma-180 cells. Nutrition Research and Practice4(3), 177-182. https://doi.org/10.4162/nrp.2010.4.3.177

Kang, J.-H., Jang, J.-E., Mishra, S. K., Lee, H.-J., Nho, C. W., Shin, D., Jin, M., Kim, M. K., Choi, C., & Oh, S. H. (2015). Ergosterol peroxide from chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) exhibits anti-cancer activity by down-regulation of the β-catenin pathway in colorectal cancer. Journal of Ethnopharmacology173, 303-312. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2015.07.030

Kim, Y.-R. (2005a). Immunomodulatory Activity of the Water Extract from Medicinal Mushroom Inonotus obliquus. Mycobiology33(3), 158-162. https://doi.org/10.4489/MYCO.2005.33.3.158

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