Chaga - Fight Inflammation and Recharge Your Immune System
Part 2 of our "Shroom Series" is all about Chaga!
Scientific Name: Inonotus Obliquus
Nickname: "Gift from the Gods" in Russian culture
Fun Facts About Chaga:
- Grows naturally on birch trees as a dark-colored, hardened mass, resembling charcoal
- During WWII in Finland, locals used chaga as a coffee substitute
- The Soviet government used to force athletes and astronauts to consume chaga in order to enhance physical and mental abilities
Chaga grows on birch trees in colder, Northern Hemisphere climates so most of its history goes back to Eastern and Northern European, Russian and Korean culture, where it was commonly consumed for medicinal purposes. Since it is found in nature as a hardened black mass, it was always needs to be extracted in order to be able to consume it.
It is known to many as the strongest immune-supporting mushrooms in nature and has even been studied as a treatment for cancer. The polysaccharides (a special type of sugar molecule) in chaga have very strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, meaning that they can slow and prevent cell aging and damage.
For you science fiends out there, check out some research on Pubmed that discusses the medical applications of chaga. This is a topic that has long been studied by Russian scientists.
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