How Chaga Mushrooms Can Improve Heart Health

Last Updated on November 8, 2022

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the potential health benefits of chaga mushrooms. These unique mushrooms are prized for their high antioxidant content and ability to boost immune system function. Research also suggests that chaga mushrooms may also promote heart health by reducing inflammation and improving cholesterol levels.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every 40 seconds, a heart attack occurs in the United States. About 805,000 Americans experience a heart attack each year. 605,000 of these are first-time heart attacks. One in five heart attacks are silent, meaning the victim is unaware of the harm that has been done. Without a doubt, heart disease is fatal and affects people everywhere. Even simple lifestyle changes and taking care of one’s health may make a big difference if people knew how to prevent heart disease.

What Is Chaga Mushroom?

Chaga mushrooms, Inonotus obliquus, are a type of medicinal mushroom that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Russian medicine. These mushrooms are typically found growing on birch trees in cold, northern climates such as Russia, Siberia, Canada, Alaska, and many Circumboreal cultures. Chaga is produced by a fungus called Inonotus obliquus which parasitizes mostly on Birch trees. Although rare, Chaga has been reported from Alder, Beech, and Maple amongst others. It is estimated that Chaga only grows on less than 0.1% of Birch trees.

chaga supplement powder

Health benefits of Chaga

Chaga mushrooms traditionally used for many different purposes, including digestive issues, cancer, viral infections, and skin problems. Today it has become popularized for its high antioxidant content, immuno-modulatory effects, and the potential treatment/prevention of cancer. Studies also suggest it could help with diabetes and other chronic health conditions. The main health benefits of Chaga include:

  • Improve Immune Function
  • Antiviral Properties
  • Anti-Cancer Potential
  • May Help With Diabetes
  • May Improve Brain Health
  • May Improve Gut Health
  • (Source of studies)

Active compounds

  • Betulin is a triterpene that also occurs within the bark of Birch, Chagas host tree. It has been shown to have various anti-cancer properties. 
  • Betulinic Acid is a triterpenoid derived from Betulin that is produced by the Chaga fungus. It has been shown to have a number of properties including being anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and a good source of antioxidants.
  • Lupeol is another compound that originates from the Birch shown to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

Heart health

Heart health is the general term used to describe the overall health of your heart. This includes factors like cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and inflammation. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, so it’s important to do everything you can to keep your heart healthy.

There are many different ways to promote cardiovascular health. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress levels are all excellent ways to keep your heart healthy. Incorporating chaga mushrooms into your diet may also help to promote heart health by reducing inflammation and improving cholesterol levels.

Symptoms of poor heart health

There are many different symptoms of poor heart health. Some common symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Complications of poor heart health

Poor heart health can lead to a number of different complications. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, so it’s important to do everything you can to keep your heart healthy. Some common complications of poor heart health include heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease.

Traditional treatments for heart diseases

There are many different traditional treatments for heart diseases. Some common treatments include lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Medications, such as cholesterol-lowering drugs and blood pressure medications, can also be used to treat heart diseases. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

Chaga Mushroom Being Used To Improve Heart Health

Chaga mushroom is being used as an adjunct alternative for improvement of heart health.

Lowers High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure makes you prone to heart attack and other serious cardiovascular problems. A lowered blood pressure, therefore, benefits cardiovascular health and Chaga mushroom can help do just that.  The powerful anti-oxidant property of the Chaga plays a key role in lowering blood pressure.

Lowers Cholesterol

Chaga mushroom has blood cholesterol-lowering effects, which can protect the health of the heart. A study conducted on rats reduced bad cholesterol (or LDL), triglyceride, and total cholesterol.

Likewise, another study observed that Chaga mushrooms, in addition to lowering bad cholesterol, also increased the levels of good cholesterol.

According to the results of 2009 research, the alcoholic fraction of Inonotus obliquus significantly decreased the total cholesterol level in the blood of mice with diabetes. In addition, the Chaga treatment decreased the levels of triglyceride (a type of fat) and increased the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level (which are good cholesterol levels) in the blood.

Heart protecting properties

Chaga Mushroom contains five compounds with lipid-lowering properties which can help protect the heart:

  1. Lanosterol
  2. 3β-hydroxy-lanosta-8,24-diene-21-al, 
  3. Ergosterol peroxide
  4. Trametenolic acid, 
  5. Inotodiol 

Chaga Supplements for Heart Health

Dual Extracts

Dual Extracts are the most common method of consumption of Chaga for heart health. Extracts are  concentrated forms of the medicinal constituents that have been separated from the raw biomass. These are much more potent and completely bioavailable. Full-spectrum extractions isolate all water-soluble and non-water soluble components. 

  • Tinctures are liquid extracts that most often contain a water extraction and alcohol extraction mixed into one.
  • Powdered Extracts are the medicinal constituents in their most potent form. This is often the most effective way to consume Chaga. They are also convenient when added to other supplement blends or food items.

Capsules

Capsules are the second most common method of consumption of Chaga for heart health. Capsules typically contain powdered extracts. They are convenient as the doses are pre-measured so there’s no guesswork involved. Also, they can be easily incorporated into existing routines.

 

High Quality Chaga Products

If you are considering taking Chaga as a supplement to improve heart health, it is important that you choose medicinal mushroom products from reputable producers that have a proven history and experience in medically treating heart health. Our team has put together some of our recommendations where to buy the best quality Chaga supplements.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for Chaga mushrooms to show health benefits for heart health?

Most studies conducted on Chaga mushrooms for heart health have not observed the short-term effects caused by the consumption of Chaga. Instead, scientists have looked at its effects when consumed over long periods of time. This is because Chaga is most effective after consuming it for several weeks. The effects of Chaga are cumulative over an extended period of time and many people experience some benefits within the first three weeks of use. To get the full potential of Chaga mushroom, you should be taking it consistently for about a month or even more.

Can I take Chaga mushroom with my heart medication? 

There are many different types of heart health medications such as Anticoagulants, Antiplatelet Agents and Dual Antiplatelet Therapy, ACE Inhibitors, Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers, Angiotensin Receptor-Neprilysin Inhibitors, Beta Blockers, Calcium Channel Blockers, Cholesterol-lowering medications, Digitalis Preparations, Diuretics, and Vasodilators. Chaga is generally safe to be taken with heart health medication however, it is important that you consult with your doctor first. If you are pregnant or on blood thinning medication, please consult with your doctor. 

Is drinking chaga tea the best way to get the health benefits for heart health?

No, because tea will only extract the water soluble compounds. If you use raw chaga to make a hot tea, you will only get the benefits of water-soluble chaga compounds. The alcohol component used in a dual extracted Chaga supplement is important for the extraction process in Chaga because it extracts the medicinal compounds known as triterpenes. These compounds are important for improving heart health and are not consumed when someone makes a simple tea out of raw Chaga. The Chaga tea you should be drinking should contain Chaga extract powder.

Can I take Chaga with other medicinal mushrooms to help my heart health?

Yes, you can. To support their cardiovascular health, many people take a combination of medicinal mushrooms such as Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Maitake, Reishi, Maitake and Turkey tail

Conclusion

There is no doubt that chaga mushrooms offer a wide range of potential health benefits, including heart health. While more research is needed to confirm these effects, the current evidence looks promising. If you’re looking for a way to improve your heart and cardiovascular health, adding chaga mushrooms to your diet may be a good place to start.

References

  1. Improve Immune Function
  2. Antiviral Properties
  3. Anti-Cancer Potential
  4. May Help With Diabetes
  5. May Improve Brain Health
  6. May Improve Gut Health
  7. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jsfa.3809
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666154321000326
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18434051/
  10. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5305591 

Author

  • Dr. Sony Sherpa has a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from the Guangzhou Medical University and has been studying medicinal mushrooms for more than 7 years. Her knowledge of medicinal mushrooms is backed by a master's degree in Holistic Medicine and contributes to many health articles around the health benefits of medicinal mushrooms.

We are not a traditional society or club. World Mushroom Society is a collective of fungi enthusiasts and health advocates, sharing information and identifying top producers of high quality medicinal mushroom supplements.

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DISCLAIMER

DISCLAIMER
The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information found here is not meant as a substitute for, or alternative to, information from your doctor for ongoing medical treatment you currently receive. If unsure, please consult with your doctor before using medicinal mushrooms. Any content related to cancer should not be considered as prescriptive medical advice and should not be a substitute for any cancer treatment, unless advised by your doctor first. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by TGA and FDA-approved research. If you are pregnant or on prescription drugs that thin the blood, consult with your medical professional before using medicinal mushrooms.
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