Chaga is known by many names around the world. Most interestingly, it is called kreftkjuke in Norway, which literally translates to "cancer fungus" due to its purported health properties.
Alternative practitioners believe that Chaga offers numerous health benefits. Among them, Chaga assists with lowering blood sugar, reducing blood pressure, alleviating arthritis, and even preventingly or slowing the progression of cancer.
Chaga is rich in fiber and essential nutrients, including vitamin D, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and calcium. Chaga's high melanin content has led some to believe that it can bolster the melanin naturally found in the skin, thereby protecting it from sun damage, skin cancer, wrinkles, or aging.
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Boosts Your Immune System and Fights Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response of your immune system that can protect against disease. However, long-term inflammation is linked to conditions like heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
By promoting the formation of beneficial cytokines (proteins that regulate the immune system) chaga stimulates white blood cells, which are essential for fighting off harmful bacteria or viruses
As a result, this mushroom could help fight infections — from minor colds to serious illnesses.
Prevents and Fights Cancer
Several animal and test-tube studies show that chaga can prevent and slow cancer growth.
It’s thought that the anticancer effect of chaga is partly due to its high content of antioxidants, which protect cells from damage by free radicals. In particular, chaga contains the antioxidant triterpene. .
Lowers Blood Sugar
Benefits cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of heart disease.
Researchers believe that the antioxidants present in chaga are responsible for its effects on cholesterol.
Safety and Side Effects
Chaga is generally well-tolerated.
Chaga can interact with some common medications, causing potentially harmful effects.
For example, chaga could pose risks for people on insulin or those with diabetes due to its impact on blood sugar.
Chaga also contains a protein that can prevent blood clotting. Therefore, if you are on blood-thinning medications, have a bleeding disorder or are preparing for surgery, consult with your doctor before taking chaga (22Trusted Source).
Though some research shows that chaga may help reduce inflammation, it may also cause your immune system to become more active. Thus, people with autoimmune diseases should seek medical advice before taking chaga.