My interest in chaga really peaked when my physician mentioned its benefits for Ulcerative Colitis at one of my office visits. He stated that new research has shown that chaga can help induce remission in Ulcerative Colitis patients and helps in healing other IBD conditions!
I take it daily now and am absolutely in LOVE with it! Its benefits are immense, so whether you have Crohn’s, Colitis, or another form of IBD it’s definitely worth looking into.
It tastes good too!
As I did more research, one of the facts that popped out to me was that chaga has been shown to lower the inflammation in the GI tract – and that’s just ONE of its many benefits. But first, what is chaga?
What is Chaga?
Northern Europe, Siberia, Russia, Korea, Northern Canada, and Alaska grow chaga (Inonotus obliquus) found mainly on the bark of birch trees. So chaga is a mushroom, in case you’re wondering!
What are some of chaga’s benefits?
- Very high in antioxidants
- Lowers inflammation
- Supports immunity
- Prevents and fights cancer
- Lowers blood sugar
- Lowers blood pressure
And according to medical news today here are some more benefits for you!
Chaga mushrooms are rich in a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, including:
- B-complex vitamins
- vitamin D
- amino acids
No wonder they call this a superfood!
Chaga and IBD
As I did more research, I found the following information from Integrative Health Institute very useful:
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis)
Chaga mushroom extract may be beneficial in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Oxidative stress (free radical damage) to cells lining the gastrointestinal tract may contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Chaga mushroom extract suppresses edema (swelling) and mucosal damage within the gut and has an anti-inflammatory effect at sites in the colon and rectum.
How can you consume Chaga?
You can consume it via:
- Tea – Chunks of chaga can be boiled in water for 15-30 minutes to create a tea you can drink, and it can also be used as a base for soups or smoothies.
- You can also boil the chaga with other herbs or spices to create customized tea blends. It mixes well with chai spices (cardamon, ginger, cloves, anise, fennel, etc.) or with cacao, chickory, and dandelion root.
- Tincture/Supplement – A few supplement companies have created really fantastic liquid chaga extracts as well as included chaga in their supplement formulations.
- Powder – chaga mushroom powder can easily be added to soups, smoothies, and teas. It has an earthy, slightly vanilla-like taste.
The LTYG shoppe carries both Chaga Powder and Tincture. And if you’re a big fan of mushroom medicine like I am, we also carry a medicinal mushroom tincture, as well as a 10-mushroom formula which comes in a capsule form.
Mountain Rose Herbs supplies our Shoppe chaga powder, and they have some important points to keep in mind when sourcing your Chaga:
“One of the things that makes Chaga so precious is its untamable nature. Like many other prized mushroom varieties, Chaga grows only in the wild. Unrestrained and untrained wildcrafting practices can endanger the future of both Chaga and its wild habitat. Unskilled pickers will often harvest any conks they find, regardless of size, sometimes gouging deeply into the trees to extract as much of the mushroom as possible. Such reckless harvesting practices are likely to kill the mushroom, its host tree, or both in the process.
In addition to environmental hazards, improper harvesting practices can also severely undermine the quality of the mushrooms they pass on to consumers. Harvest timing is crucial to getting the highest nutrient content in your Chaga, but unregulated harvesters often collect Chaga indiscriminately throughout the year. Additionally, without regulations or oversight, Chaga may be dried and processed with impurities such as sap still intact, often in non-standardized temperature conditions that further increase the risk of molding and bacterial contamination.
Chaga contains its highest concentration of the antioxidant melanin during the coldest months of the year, so harvesting conks only during peak winter maximizes their nutritive properties. Similarly, since Chaga becomes more nutrient-dense the longer it grows on a tree, only conks weighing six pounds or more are collected, while smaller ones are stored in a GPS device for future harvests.”
So… is Chaga Worth it?
In conclusion, I think Chaga and other medicinal mushrooms are worth looking into for your gut, or even other health issues! As they are just fantastic for the immune system.
I hope this info can help you as it did me on my healing journey. Let’s give it up for the ‘shrooms!
Have you tried medicinal mushrooms while healing IBD or other issues? Please comment below and let me know! 🙂
Linsy is Jini’s assistant. From a highly sensitive/reactive case of Ulcerative colitis, to completely drug and surgery-free using natural methods only, Linsy really understands first-hand the interplay of the mind/body/spirit in the healing journey.