Why is the birch tree chaga mushroom so popular?
There has been an increasing interest in natural products from consumers interested in leading a healthier lifestyle.
Many of these consumers have taken the decision to avoid man-made additives and supplements and have instead turned to Mother Nature to provide supplements and natural remedies that are non-habit-forming and do not have the side effects of many man-made products.
They have been collected and used by Native American, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and other communities across the globe for untold generations due to the fungus' myriad health-giving properties.
These plants are unassuming in appearance - and for those who are unused to seeing them in their natural environment they may not in fact resemble mushrooms at all - at least those varieties that we are used to seeing on supermarket shelves. In fact, members of the Cree called the mushroom a word that meant a scab.
Hardly the most appetizing of descriptions - but it does fir the appearance. It boasts a rough and porous-looking exterior that hides a golden-brown interior..
So why are consumers interested in this frankly unappetizing fungus? The fact of the matter is that the substance is packed to the brim with antioxidants and other compounds that make it one of the most powerful superfoods on the planet.
Superfoods grown like Blueberries and cacao have been hailed as providing incredible health benefits due to their antioxidant content. The usual way to measure this content is by using the ORAC scale (oxygen radical absorption capacity).
Blueberries score 24 on this scale - not a bad result. This is dependent on where they are sourced from and how the compounds in the mushrooms are extracted (the usual method uses a combination of alcohol and heat).
So why is the antioxidant content of the Birch Tree Chaga spore such a big deal? Antioxidants are molecules that can fight against the actions of free radicals in the human body. When levels of free radicals become too high they can lead to chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. High levels of free radicals have also been implicated in the aging process.
However, the benefits of consuming this product are not limited to that impressive antioxidant load. These fungi are also an exceptional source of a variety of trace elements and vitamins that are essential in keeping the body functioning normally - and allowing our immune system to function at peak capacity.
They contain vitamin D and vitamin B complex. In addition, the fungo also contains minerals and trace elements such as Selenium, Zinc, Copper, Potassium, Iron, Manganese and calcium.
It has been used for centuries as a tonic when taken as a tea and it can also be applied topically. It has a reputation, earned over many generations for detoxing the liver and balancing blood sugar levels. Today it is available as a supplement, in powder form, and as dried chunks. The chunks are the preferred way to prepare tea. The chunks are steeped in hot water (a crockpot is ideal) overnight. The result is a dark tea that boasts not only those incredible health benefits but also a pleasant, earthy taste.
These products have a variety of other health benefits. In various forms it provides antibacterial benefits, it is an antiseptic and it can be used to treat allergic reactions. In addition, it has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antiparasitic properties.
Why is the Birch Tree Chaga Mushroom Is So Popular? There are ongoing studies that are examining the use of the extracts from the spore when used to treat various types of cancers, results have been encouraging, but further scientific study is required.
However, it is worth noting that the item has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments and as a general tonic. Anecdotal evidence may not have the same weight (especially in Western society) as rigorous scientific study - but a natural remedy that has stood the test of time is well worth evaluating as part of a healthy lifestyle.
If a consumer takes the decision to employ this for their health benefits the next choice must be what sort of form should the item that they purchase take? It can be extremely challenging to source fresh herbs for a variety of reasons - primarily because it needs to be dried immediately otherwise it begins to show signs of mold. It is also usually only available from specialist growers. For many people purchasing the dried fungi is far preferable, especially if they will be enjoying its taste and benefits in tea form. The tea prepared using the dried substance is also far superior to that prepared using fresh fungi which can be watery and not have that depth of flavor that so many enjoy.
The popularity of this medicine such that it is widely available from a variety of outlets. These can include health stores and specialist retailers. However, many health-conscious consumers are turning to the Internet in order to source this product. there are a number of reputable distributors that can supply the plant quickly and ensure that the product boasts exceptional quality.
As with any supplement, it is always preferable to consult your doctor before making it a part of your healthy lifestyle. there have been few reports of side effects when it is used in the recommended doses and quality product is sourced. However, it is always best to err on the side of caution when making changes to your dietary habits.