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February 27, 2021 3 min read
Chaga mushrooms are a nutrient-dense mushroom which grows on birch trees in Asia, Canada, Northern Europe, Russia and some North Eastern parts of the United States. Their medicinal, health boosting properties have been known about and used for hundreds of years, particularly in Siberia, Russia and Asia. Health enthusiasts are not in the dark on the value of this powdery fungi plant medicine, though for most people in the Western world, it’s a relatively contemporary discovery.
With this number of antioxidants packed in, chaga mushrooms are a powerhouse for fighting inflammation and lowering blood sugar (therefore blood pressure). Chaga has even been used to treat more serious health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Chaga also contains extremely high levels of melanin, which are believed to actually mimic the melanin which is naturally produced in skin. Chaga therefore has anti-aging properties, able to repair damaged cells which can cause visible signs of ageing - as well as protect from sun damage.
Chaga mushrooms contain an effective source of antioxidant enzymes which help keep skin hydrated, plump and well-nourished. Aging is a natural process - when you add years of stress, sun-damage and pollution, skin's elasticity suffers in a number of different ways. Free radicals are essentially ‘free cells’ which cause damage to other cells in the skin, ultimately causing skin to lose its youthful bounce over time.
Properties in chaga mushrooms help to fight free radicals in skin, slowing down the ageing process, by preventing wrinkles and discoloration. The oxygen radical absorbance capacity score for chaga mushrooms is one of the highest amongst natural foods.
You’re probably already aware of the links between high cholesterol and heart disease. A handful of studies in this area have demonstrated chaga mushrooms may be able to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering cholesterol levels.
In one particular animal laboratory study, rats with especially high levels of cholesterol were given chaga extract. This reduced the rats ‘bad’ or ‘fatty LDL’ cholesterol, and increased antioxidant levels in their bloodstream.
Though more research needs to be conducted in this area on humans to confirm whether chaga mushroom health benefits can really extend to reducing cholesterol, studies such as this one show promising, and fascinating results - with room for further exploration.
Thyroid related health issues are linked to an overproduction of thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland is small, and located in the neck, in front of the windpipe. One of its main functions is to produce hormones which help to regulate the body’s metabolism, known as ‘triiodothyronine’ and ‘thyroxine’.
Thyroid disorders can range from small and harmless to life-threatening cancer. Too much thyroid hormone or insufficient levels can result in something known as ‘hyperthyroidism’. If correctly diagnosed and treated, most thyroid related issues are not dangerous.
Medicinal mushrooms have shown to be beneficial to thyroid gland health, by helping to restore balance to the related hormones and cells (known as cytotoxic T cells). Chaga can help to reduce thyroid antibodies, increase natural killer cell response and activate immune pathways. The links between chaga mushroom health benefits and digestive/immune health are also connected to thyroid issues as nutrition and gut health is essential to thyroid health.
Oxidative stress is the source of a multitude of health issues, as we know all too well. The connection between stress and a high blood pressure is obvious - however, high blood pressure enables a person to be more prone to strokes, heart attacks and other more serious cardiovascular health issues.
Chaga mushroom health benefits include a hefty list of antioxidants which play a role in lowering blood pressure, therefore benefitting cardiovascular health.
If you’re curious about what chaga mushrooms can do for you, we recommend beginning with 1-2 scoops of the Rritual Powder Chaga Mix, to add into your tea, coffee, smoothie or even soup. Start by using the mix daily, or on alternative days. Chaga is most effective when used consistently, so trial it for a couple of weeks to initiate the process, and see if you notice a difference in your overall sense of wellbeing. You can also try using one Rritual Chaga Elixir Stick per day, as a powder alternative.
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