The chaga fungus mainly grows on the bark of birch trees in cold climates, such as the northern regions of Russia, Canada and Alaska. Chaga has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine to treat diabetes, heart disease and gastrointestinal problems. It also prevents inflammation and cancer, and helps boost overall immunity.
Chaga mushrooms resemble “burnt wood” – brown, rounded and uneven – and they grow on tree trunks, often as big as 38cm wide and 12–14cm thick. They form as a result of the germination of spores of a parasitic fungus in damaged areas of the birch bark. It can take up to 10 years for chaga mushrooms to develop all their medicinal properties. Traditionally, people would grate chaga into a fine powder and brew it as a herbal tea.
The medicinal properties of chaga mushrooms have been known for many centuries and information about chaga treatments can be found in various books and studies. Avicenna, the famous Persian physician, philosopher and father of early modern medicine, mentioned the chaga mushroom in his work. It is also known that in the 12th century Kiev’s Grand Prince Vladimir Monomakh healed lip cancer with help of chaga fungus.
Nowadays, the following health benefits of chaga mushrooms are widely acknowledged.
Help fight and prevent cancer
Several studies have found that the high concentration of biologically active substances and the high content of antioxidants present in chaga can have a positive effect on the development of tumour cells, slowing down the progression of various types of cancer.
Support intestinal health
Chaga mushrooms contain fibre and anti-inflammatory properties which improve digestion, stimulate intestinal motility, produce the bile necessary to digest food and reduce gastric inflammation. Furthermore, the beta-glucans found in chaga stimulate beneficial bacteria in the gut by acting as prebiotics.
Boost the immune system
Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, chaga effectively strengthens the immune system. In particular, it is an excellent source of vitamin D which stimulates white blood cells and enhances the immune response. Chaga also contains zinc, copper and selenium which contribute to the proper functioning of the immune system.
Chaga is a powerful and natural anti-inflammatory agent. It is especially useful in the treatment of inflammation-related diseases. Chaga contains a cytokine that controls and modulates the inflammatory response and reduces the causes of inflammation. Vitamins and minerals found in chaga also help reduce inflammation – vitamin K helps reduce active hotness and magnesium helps fight chronic inflammation.
Lower blood sugar levels
A recent study of obese, type 2 diabetic mice confirmed the effectiveness of chaga in lowering blood sugar levels and improving insulin resistance. In fact, the reduction in blood sugar level can be up to 30%. Unfortunately, the research focused solely on animals so it is not yet clear whether chaga can be recommended for the treatment of diabetes in humans.
According to a recent study of rats, chaga may also have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels. The results revealed that chaga is able to lower the level of “bad” LDL cholesterol while at the same time increasing the “good” HDL cholesterol. This is due to its antioxidants. However, more research is required to understand the impact of chaga on reducing cholesterol in humans.
Support heart health
As chaga is rich in antioxidants and has the ability to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, it can also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and have a beneficial effect on heart function.
Enhance stress resistance
Birch mushrooms have a positive effect on the body in mentally or physically stressful situations. Chaga infusions saturate the body with oxygen, help to remove toxins and support the heart process, thereby calming the nervous system and having a beneficial effect on sleep.
Due to the high number of antioxidants (25%), chaga mushrooms are known as a superfood. The fungus contains two powerful antioxidant compounds: the enzyme superoxide dismutase and the pigment melanin. The superoxide dismutase enzyme protects the human body from the constantly generated highly toxic oxygen radicals. Melanin is known for its ability to protect the skin from ultraviolet rays, fight free radicals and prevent damage to DNA cells. These properties support the effectiveness of chaga in slowing down the ageing process.
Support men’s health
Drinking chaga tea can help to balance the hormones in the body, stimulate the production of testosterone and increase endurance levels during exercise. This is due to the vitamins contained in the mushrooms. Zinc improves the functioning of the prostate, liver and pancreas, and also promotes muscle growth. Copper and molybdenum help to boost the attractiveness of men.
Help improve skin condition
Birch mushrooms are renowned for their beneficial effect on the skin. By normalising the digestion and metabolic processes, improving liver function, and removing toxins, the skin’s condition is improved; for example, rashes, acne and eczema can simply disappear.
At Banya No.1, we are always striving to keep up with all the hottest trends, but most importantly, we care deeply about the health properties of the products we offer our clients. As a result, we have great pleasure in inviting you to experience all the beneficial effects of our unique and extremely healthy chaga tea.