Historically, oral chaga supplements have been used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, tuberculosis, stomach/digestive cancers, and intestinal parasites. Notably, there is little formal study of the efficacy of chaga supplements on any of these conditions, though some studies suggest that it has immune-supporting properties which may help people fight and recover from these kinds of illnesses. Moreover, it may impact the way you metabolize sugar and fats and, as a result, may help with dieting and improve cardiovascular health.
Other, newer areas of study include the potential anti-aging and anti-neurodegenerative effects of chaga supplements (that is, it shows promise as a tool for staving off cognitive decline caused by aging). Plus, its high melanin content may help reduce skin damage (especially the appearance of aging, like wrinkles, caused by sun exposure). What’s more, chaga may have notable, measurable anti-fatigue properties that present as increased endurance and decreased lactic acid/nitrogen buildup in muscles during exercise.
Because of the overall lack of formal, specific research, however, the most tried-and-true uses for chaga are tied to its nutritional benefits (it is rich in vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin D, dietary fiber, calcium, and potassium).
PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION
Chaga supplements are almost-exclusively prepared as a tea using the dried, grated meat of the mushroom. Capsules and powders are also available for purchase for folks who don’t like the taste of the tea.
There just isn’t much research about the effects of chaga supplements on long-term health or under specific conditions. What we do know is that chaga and its related supplements contain a chemical called “oxalate,” which may cause kidney damage and/or kidney stones. It also contains a protein that may increase bleeding risk/decrease blood clotting abilities. As a result, people who are on blood-thinning or anticoagulant medications should be careful taking chaga, as should people with diabetes or who have other metabolic disorders impacting and impacted by their blood sugar.
You should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking Chaga.
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