Growing wild in northern climates like Siberia and Canada, the chaga mushroom is one of the world’s best sources of antioxidants. These lumpy-shaped black and orange fungi are known as “black gold”—and for good reason.
Chaga can provide a big boost of energy and sustained physical endurance, making it a great supplement for athletes. A study in 2015 demonstrated that mice supplemented with the mushroom were able to swim longer distances with more fuel in their muscles and organs and less lactic acid in their bloodstreams.
According to a growing body of medical evidence, chaga mushroom has the power to inhibit cancer cell growth. One study, which explored the fungus’ impact on mice with tumors—including some with metastatic tumors—saw a 60 per cent reduction in tumor size, and a 25 per cent decrease in the number of nodules.
Chaga is a mighty adversary when it comes to the complex world of viruses. Research is showing that it can effectively fight viruses such as hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (otherwise known as HIV). In one study, chaga took just 10 minutes to counter the infectious power of the hepatitis C virus by 100-fold.
Certain foods have the rare ability to stimulate the production of immune cells that regulate the immune system and combat foreign bodies, like invading bacteria. It seems that chaga has this unique effect. In animal studies, it was shown to produce interleukin 6, T lymphocytes, and spleen lymphocytes.
It seems that chaga’s high levels of antioxidants can significantly lower inflammation. That’s because it has one of the world’s highest “oxygen radical absorbent capacity” scores. That means it prevents and reverses oxidative damage in our bodies.