Watch for the Possible Side Effects of Chaga Mushroom

One new health food that is being considered for use against cancer is Chaga. This is a slow-maturing fungus that is natural and generally enjoyed by people. Chaga is also known as Inonotus Obliquus, has been used for centuries as traditional medicine in support of overall health. Currently, it is being studied for the health benefits it provides from the large number of antioxidants it has. There is also some thought that this mushroom may interact with some chemical substances such as prescription drugs. You must speak to your doctor before starting a regimen of chaga, in case you can’t tolerate side effects or possible drug interactions.

Chaga Side Effects

You won’t commonly hear about side effects from Chaga that causes trouble. If you are on other medications or have a sensitive system, you should speak with your doctor before starting Chaga. Here are some side effects people have experienced on Chaga.

Bleeding and Bruising

The most common side effect with Chaga mushrooms is that it can interact with prescription drugs. It can affect drugs for reducing coagulation and thinning blood (such as warfarin and aspirin). Chaga is full of proteins, minerals, polysaccharides and antiaggregant substances that create a synergistic effect. Be aware of how drugs may interact, in this case your blood may become too thin.

Surgical Implications

Chaga can reduce blood clotting, which will also affect surgery. This is one of the main Chaga side effects. Most doctors will recommend you stop using Chaga at least two weeks before you go in for any form of surgery.

Hypoglycemia or Diabetes

People who suffer from Hypoglycemia may feel hungry, weak, confused, irritable, shaky, thirsty and even have trouble speaking. Those who have diabetes should see a doctor and make a plan for regulating their blood sugar.

There are some instances where Chaga interacts negatively with medications and insulin.

Breast Feeding and Pregnancy

There have been few studies on the use of Chaga during breast-feeding or pregnancy. For caution’s sake, it’s recommended to avoid using during this time due to the possible Chaga side effects.

Auto-Immune Diseases

Auto-immune diseases such as SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus), RA (rheumatoid arthritis), or MS (multiple sclerosis), may be affected by Chaga, as it makes the immune-system active. Make sure to check with your doctor before starting on Chaga.

It’s important to make note of the possible Chaga side-effects. It is unusual, but Chaga may trigger an allergic reaction. If you see heart rate changes, breathing trouble, or loss of consciousness you must call emergency services.

Chaga Health Benefits and How to Use It

Despite the Chaga side effects, the Chaga mushroom offers many potential health benefits and credible research supporting the claims. Just be sure to talk with your doctor before including it in your diet.

1. Superfood

The Chaga mushroom has a ton of different nutrients, minerals and vitamins such as:

  • Vitamin D
  • B-complex vitamins
  • Rubidium
  • Potassium
  • Cesium
  • Amino acids
  • Copper
  • Fiber
  • Selenium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium

2. Slower Aging

Physical signs of Oxidative stress can cause gray hair, sagging skin and wrinkles. Pollution, sun exposure and other stressors can cause many free radicals that need neutralizing, which can accelerate aging. Adding antioxidants can help delay the aging process and some even believe it will reverse it. There isn’t conclusive evidence that Chaga helps with anti-aging, however it effectively fights oxidative stress in other forms which may mean it can help fight aging.

3. Cholesterol Lowering Abilities

There are antioxidants that could lower your LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol found in Chaga mushrooms. Those with higher cholesterol have an increased risk for heart disease. This means that the use of Chaga mushrooms can be beneficial to cardiovascular disease.

4. Cancer Prevention and Fighting Properties

There are many researchers seriously looking at the possibility that Chaga mushrooms can help to prevent and even slow cancer growth. There is an abundance of antioxidants found in Chaga and they are known in aiding prevention of cell damage from oxidants or free radicals. If your body isn’t producing enough antioxidants for damage prevention, stress and damage such as cancer, along with other health problems may occur.

There was a study in 2010 finding Chaga was able to slow the growth of breast, lung and cervical cancer cells when grown in a lab. This study also showed Chaga to slow the growth of tumors in lab mice. Another study from 2009 discovered triterpenes, the compounds in mushrooms such as Chaga, make tumor cells self-destruct. Chaga doesn’t appear to harm healthy cells, unlike current cancer treatments.

There are other studies with similar, promising results. For more conclusive evidence, research is waiting to be done extensively with humans.

5. Lowered Blood Pressure

There is some research suggesting that oxidative stress is a factor in high blood pressure. Those who suffer from hypertension will be more prone to cardiovascular health problems, heart attacks, and strokes. The antioxidants in Chaga has potential to lower blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular trouble.

6. Immune System Support

The messengers of the immune system are called cytokines. These proteins are vital to white blood cells production, which is the first defense for the immune system against a range of different illnesses and diseases.

There is a body of research on mice suggesting Chaga can aid in regulation of cytokine production. This helps cells to communicate with each other and therefore boosts the immune system. This can aid in protecting you against things from minor illness, infection to life-threatening illnesses.

7. Inflammation Fighting Abilities

If your body is fighting illness, inflammation aids the fight. This can transition from a short-term support, to long-term health problems. There are some chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis that are tied to inflammation. There is even recent research that suggests some illnesses such as depression, may even be linked to chronic inflammation. These illnesses aren’t typically associated with inflammation.

The regulation of cytokine, and Chaga’s role in regulating it may help with inflammation. This means Chaga may have a role in fighting diseases such as autoimmune conditions.

8. Lowered Blood Sugar

There is some thought that Chaga can have a role in fighting diabetes. There was a study in 2006 that found lowered blood sugar in rats given Chaga mushrooms. The rats were genetically modified to be obese with diabetes and after consuming Chaga for 8 weeks they had lower blood sugar. There has been no research with people, but the animal studies show hope for it’s use as treatment in the future.

9. Drug Side Effect Prevention

It is still the early stages of research, but if it provides the positive results it promises, it may be effective in use with illnesses such as arthritis and cancer, as well as an alternative to other treatments. Using a natural treatment such as Chaga can help prevent people from experiencing the nasty side effects from radiation, chemotherapy and other medications that are prescribed for these illnesses.

How to Take Chaga Mushrooms

You can find Chaga as an herbal tea or supplement. Those who want to make their own supplements or get Chaga in their diet should speak with a doctor first. The amount of Chaga you want to take every day may vary on your goals.

You should not use it as a substitute for other medical care for your diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer or other illnesses, and instead continue with your usual treatment. Make sure to only supplement under your doctor’s discretion.

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