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Chaga – A Natural Health Supplement

ground chaga, northern mn

Health conscious individuals have always looked to nature in seeking medicinal remedies or substances that can prevent the onset of disease. While ideas about what constitutes as “good medicine” have come and gone with the ages, one need only reference time-tested practices in eastern medicine to appreciate that many, completely natural remedies have served mankind.

For a really good example of a affordable, safe, and effective health supplement, that the people of the east have used for centuries, look no further than Chaga. The wonders of Chaga are espoused in Russian and Eastern European folklore as far back as the 16th century. It was commonly used to treat stomach ailments such as gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers. It is also used among Siberian foresters to combat hunger and alleviate fatigue.

One of its first documented uses is among the Khanty people of Western Siberia, who used it among other herbs and fungi, as a health supplement. It’s also where the name “Chaga” comes from, stemming from their language. There is also evidence of Chaga being used by other indigenous peoples such as North American Indian tribes and the Ainu people of Japan.

In fact, studies conducted in 1950’s by scientists in Finland and Russia have shown that the Chaga mushroom can be an effective remedy for gastritis, and as a treatment to offset immune system imbalances created by anti-cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. It was also shown to improve the appetite and alleviate suffering in cancer patients. The Russian studies also showed some evidence to support the idea that Chaga may be beneficial in inhibiting the growth of tumors in the early stages of cancer onset.

One of the most important components found in Chaga are Beta-Glucans. Beta-Glucans help the body to regulate the immune system, either in suppressing an over active immune system or in helping to build up a damaged immune system. This is important, as immune system function is truly at the core of what makes one healthy or sick. So, while the function of beta-glucans in the body is not completely understood, their positive effect on the immune system has been documented both in animal and in clinical testing with humans.

Even among Western pharmacologists, Chaga has gained ground as a *potential* treatment for certain health problems, cancer, HIV, and even the flu to name a few. While Chaga is *not* a cure for any of these maladies, and much more research needs to be done, recent studies from countries around the world, including Japan, the U.S. and Russia are showing the benefits of this natural substance, to the extent that even the World Trade Organization now classifies Chaga as a medicinal mushroom.

So, while Chaga is certainly not the “cure all” wonder medicine purported by many unscrupulous vendors, and in actuality there is no such known substance, Chaga most certainly can provide for better health, a balanced immune system and natural detoxification. The antioxidants in Chaga serve as an anti-viral, anti-inflammatory agent, and of course Chaga is (as it has always been), an excellent anti-ulcer and anti-gastritis medicine.

Disclaimer – The information presented here is for general health information only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. Questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician or other healthcare provider.