Sure, you’ve heard of portobello and shiitake mushrooms. But have you ever heard of chaga mushrooms?

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Typically present in Siberia, the fungi have been used all through historical past to spice up immunity because of it being stuffed with antioxidants.

So the place can you discover chaga mushrooms, how do you employ them and what sort of advantages will you get?

Registered dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD, fills us in.

What are chaga mushrooms?

Chaga mushrooms, which are inclined to develop on birch timber in chilly climates, have a rocklike look. They don’t style like conventional mushrooms. Instead, they’ve a bitter, but vanilla style. They’re additionally excessive in fiber and low in energy.

“It’s not like a traditional mushroom you would see in the grocery stores,” says Czerwony. So, it’s possible you’ll want to go to a specialty retailer or a well being meals retailer or order it on-line.

You’ll discover most variations of chaga mushrooms in tea, the place it has been floor right into a powder, although, it has change into a preferred ingredient in skincare merchandise and is offered as a complement, too.

Health advantages of chaga mushrooms

More analysis is required to completely perceive the impression of chaga mushrooms, however right here’s what we all know up to now.  

Reduces irritation

High in antioxidants, chaga mushrooms have been discovered to assist struggle inflammation.

“By having these antioxidants, chaga mushrooms decrease inflammation in our gut, which can cause problems like irritable bowel syndrome,” says Czerwony.

A study exhibits that chaga mushrooms cannot solely assist cut back irritation, however may also struggle dangerous micro organism.

Fights most cancers

Many research present the potential for chaga mushrooms to sluggish the expansion of most cancers cells.

“One study said that using the chaga supplement resulted in a 60% reduction in tumor size,” says Czerwony.

Other research exhibits it helped stop the expansion of most cancers cells within the liver.

“This is really exciting news for those who have liver cancer as a viable treatment, perhaps in the future,” she says.

Similar outcomes have been seen in lung, breast, prostate and colon cancers, however extra analysis is required.

Lowers blood sugar

For these with insulin resistance, polycystic ovarian syndrome or Type 2 diabetes, utilizing chaga mushroom might assist cut back blood sugar ranges and enhance insulin resistance.

Several research present the potential — as a lot as a 31% lower in blood sugar ranges — however extra analysis, particularly on people, can be wanted.

“Using chaga mushrooms could be beneficial for those individuals to help reduce their blood sugar,” says Czerwony.

Lowers ldl cholesterol

With its excessive quantities of antioxidants, chaga mushrooms can also assist decrease ldl cholesterol, which might cut back your danger of coronary heart illness.

One study exhibits that chaga mushrooms lowered “bad” LDL ldl cholesterol, triglycerides and total ldl cholesterol. It additionally elevated antioxidant ranges. There’s additionally evidence that chaga mushrooms might improve “good” HDL ldl cholesterol.

“Chaga mushrooms could protect your cholesterol levels and perhaps aid in improving your arterial walls,” says Czerwony.

Side results of chaga mushrooms

As with all dietary supplements or nutritional vitamins, Czerwony advises speaking to your physician earlier than including something new.

If you do have Type 2 diabetes, speak to your physician first to ensure you’re conserving your blood sugar ranges the place they must be.

Also, for those who take any blood-thinning medicine or have an upcoming surgical procedure or process, speak to your physician first, as chaga mushrooms comprise a protein that forestalls blood clotting.

And since dietary supplements aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Czerwony additionally suggests doing all your homework earlier than shopping for chaga mushrooms.

“You could be getting a mixed bag of potency with each dose,” she says. “You may use a tea one time and have no side effects. But the very next time, you may have something that’s higher potency because of the way that it was grown or processed. And then you could get some of the side effects.”

But for those who’ve executed your analysis, talked to your physician and need to give chaga mushrooms a attempt, go for it.

“You have to be educated and you got to be careful with some things because it can do more harm than good,” says Czerwony.

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