Chaga Benefits for Psoriasis
Psoriasis can be one of the most unsightly and uncomfortable skin conditions to deal with, and unfortunately, far too many of us are cursed with it. It would be wrong to assume that all hope is lost for those struggling with psoriasis, though!
Far from it, many natural remedies exist that can effectively bring this condition under control and allow you to feel more comfortable in your own skin. One of these, often significantly overlooked, is the chaga mushroom.
Chaga has long been known for its many medicinal uses in Siberian and Chinese traditional medicine, and we can see why. Among its many benefits, the chaga mushroom can promote and help restore healthy, radiant skin and has been used to treat psoriasis to great effect.
Chaga Benefits for Psoriasis
Boost the Body’s Immune System
Like many other medicinal mushrooms, chaga contains a very high concentration of polysaccharides, making it a potent immunomodulator. In other words, it helps strengthen and moderate the body’s immune response.
While this should be considered a net benefit for just about anyone, those with psoriasis will be exceptionally grateful. This is because psoriasis is ultimately the manifestation of an autoimmune disorder.
The immune-boosting agents within the chaga mushroom can help combat psoriasis not just effectively but even more so than traditional treatments such as hydrocortisone.
Promote Digestive Health
The chaga mushroom is also renowned for its role in promoting gut health.
The beta-glucan found in chaga in large amounts helps combat harmful microbes in the gastrointestinal system. In fact, traditional Russian medicine has long used Befungin – an alcoholic tincture based on chaga mushroom extract – as a cleansing agent.
For people with psoriasis, this should also count as good news. It has been shown that the microbiome in your gastrointestinal system plays a significant role in the development and potential treatment of psoriasis symptoms.
Also, in other body areas, the chaga mushroom displays its strengths in combating harmful bacteria.
Betulin, a compound found within the chaga and some other types of medicinal mushrooms, has been proven to protect against viral and bacterial infections. The large concentrations of inotodiol – an anti-inflammatory agent – should also come as excellent news for those struggling with psoriasis.
Detoxify the Liver
In many cases, an outbreak of psoriasis can signal a pre-existing imbalance, infection, or high toxicity in the liver. Fortunately, chaga mushrooms can help you here as well.
Studies have confirmed the ability of chaga to prevent and treat liver damage over the long term, hinting at promise for those whose liver problems are a factor in their psoriasis.
Chaga Tea Preparation
As a medicinal herb, chaga has been used to make a special kind of mushroom tea for centuries. The native people of Siberia, China, and the Baltic countries developed recipes similar to the one below many generations ago, and this one is just one variation that you can try out for yourself.
- Break your chaga mushrooms into small chunks, not more than an inch (2 ½ centimeters) in size each.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add your mushroom chunks to simmer.
- Leave mushroom chunks for up to an hour or until the water assumes a red or brown tone.
- Using a strainer, fill a cup or mug with your chaga mushroom extract, and add some honey or maple syrup according to taste.
Most recipes recommend drinking chaga tea about two or three times a day to feel the effects, preferably before major meals. Expect to commit to this routine for at least 20 weeks to notice improvements in your health over the long term.
If you want, you can reuse your chaga mushroom chunks multiple times to extend their usefulness. At some point, they will go stale and lose their taste and nutritional content, but you can prevent this from happening for some time by storing them in a mason jar and refrigerating them when they aren’t needed.
Chaga Cream for Psoriasis
Topical creams, usually containing steroid-based moisturizers, are a commonly prescribed treatment for psoriasis. For some, they lead to positive outcomes, but overall the success rate of these treatments is relatively mixed.
However, have you ever considered using chaga-based topical creams to treat your psoriasis?
In studies, the application of chaga mushroom creams to affected areas has been shown to be markedly more effective in relative terms compared to corticosteroids.
While research is still ongoing and you are unlikely to be able to get a prescription for chaga mushroom cream at this time, you should consider whether it might be worth it for you to experiment and try it out for yourself.
Chaga cream can be made directly from mushroom extract – a simple process you can try out at home – or you could buy it as a pre-made supplement anywhere mushroom supplements are sold.
Best Chaga Mushroom Supplements for Psoriasis
Now that you’ve learned all the most essential things to know about chaga mushrooms and their astounding effects on psoriasis let us go over some of the best chaga-based products on the market that you can use to help your skin – and the rest of your body – heal and grow stronger!
Chaga Mushroom Coffee
Because chaga mushrooms retain their nutritional and health benefits even when ground and processed into fine powders. They are very suitable as a blend to add to everyone’s favorite morning brew!
We enjoy Om Mushroom Superfood’s Master Blend Powder. This little bag packs quite a punch, containing a whopping ten different mushroom species. Chaga features prominently, of course, as do lion’s mane, cordyceps, shiitake, and many other medicinal mushroom favorites.
You can easily add this powder to your coffee or just about any other beverage of your choosing, and apart from the chaga mushroom’s anti-psoriasis powers, you will be benefiting from a whole host of other health perks.
If you prefer a more plug-n-play solution, consider the Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee K-Cups. These pods drop right into your coffee maker, and out comes a ready-made brew of medium-roast arabica coffee infused with pure chaga mushroom extract and lion’s mane.
Though there is quite a lot of mushroom extract in each cup, the taste is pretty much unnoticeable – it smells like coffee, looks like coffee, and will definitely tickle your taste buds in the same ways as coffee.
Unlike our other two top picks above, these are made entirely from organic chaga mushroom extract. These are perfect for those who want to maximize value and efficiently focus on their psoriasis while still enjoying a morning cup or two.
Like the K-Cups by Four Sigmatic, they are self-contained; you just pop them into your coffee machine and that’s it!
Chaga Mushroom Chunks
If you want to try out some traditional Siberian recipes for chaga tea, like the one we described above, or if you want to experiment with adding a healthy dose of chaga to some of your favorite recipes, then you will find pre-packaged chaga chunks incredibly convenient.
The Chaga Chunks by Sayan Siberian wowed us with their quality in testing. Harvested by hand from Siberian forests deep within the chaga mushroom’s natural habitat, these chunks contain almost 100% of the chaga’s natural black outer crust – the most nutritious part of the fruiting body, which often gets overlooked or accidentally cut off in large-scale farming.
Available in 1-pound bags, Sayan Siberian’s Chaga Chunks are also great value for money compared to the competition.
Alternatively, the Maine Chaga Mushroom Tea Chunks come to you from the wild forests of the Northeastern USA and Canada, making them a more economical and potentially more hassle-free option for those living in the Western hemisphere.
Comparing the two side-by-side, the quality of the chaga chunks is nearly indistinguishable. The only differences we could note were the minor morphological variations between the North American and Siberian varieties of the mushroom and had nothing to do with the respective companies’ processes or conduct.
Chaga Mushroom Capsules
Capsules can be a handy way to turn chaga into a daily dietary supplement. For those for whom this is of particular importance, they allow you to also narrow down your intake to the exact milligram in a very difficult or impossible way with other forms of chaga mushroom extracts.
Our favorite among these is the Chaga Caps by RealMushrooms. This brand prides itself in using – as the name undoubtedly makes clear – only natural, organic mushroom colonies and harvesting the whole fruiting bodies by hand.
This is in contrast to many other supplement makers, which often simply extract some nutrients from an artificially grown mycelial substrate, leaving out many of the chaga mushroom’s natural health benefits.
Another bonus: RealMushrooms goes the extra mile in certifying the level of beta-glucans on the back of each bottle. Beta-glucans are some of the essential adaptogenic agents of the chaga mushroom. In the case of psoriasis, concentration can be an important determiner in the treatment’s overall effectiveness.
Again, many other brands refuse to display this little courtesy for cost reasons, but RealMushrooms is willing to go against the grain here, making for a much higher-quality product.
Chaga Mushroom Tea
While making your own mushroom tea using raw chunks can be a fun experiment, now and then, the need for convenience is undoubtedly going to win over – and you’ll just reach for one of your regular bags of Earl Grey, Mint, or what have you. Thankfully, it doesn’t need to be this way!
Chaga mushroom tea also comes in bagged form, giving you all the health benefits of homemade chaga tea, with all the convenience of the pre-packaged products you know from the local grocery store!
In our testing, we fell in love with the Chaga Teas made by Baikal Teas. From the packaging down to the contents of each bag, this brand communicates to you the level of quality this brand represents. Each pack of Baikal Chaga Tea is made from pure and organic chaga extract harvested from the area surrounding Lake Baikal in Siberia.
The bags are all biodegradable, and no artificial fillers or additives of any kind are used. Overall, for a modest price, this is one of the best chaga mushroom teas you can get today.
We also enjoyed the Mushroom Tea by Harney & Sons. In terms of packaging, taste, and overall quality, these bags are highly competitive with Baikal Teas’ products; however, customers from certain parts of Europe and North America might find them to be cheaper to order or easier to find locally as they are sourced mostly from American forests.
Chaga Mushroom Powder
Raw chaga powders give you the option of adding some chaga mushroom to any food or beverage of your choice, making them the most flexible and versatile form of mushroom supplement out there.
As a bonus, they also tend to be excellent value for money!
The Maine Chaga Tea Fine Powder positively surprised us with its quality, fineness, and value. Harvested from local forests in the Northeastern US, we found this powder to display a particularly natural consistency evident only in products that are farmed, harvested, and produced entirely by hand.
We were also impressed by Om Mushroom Superfood’s Chaga Certified Organic Mushroom Powder. Made from chaga mushrooms grown on Om’s organic farms in California, and stamped, mashed, and processed into powder using an advanced, lab-assisted process unique to the company.
True, it doesn’t have that “small farm” feel to it, but what you do get is peace of mind that this product has been professionally produced and verified for its nutritional content.
Om certifies the beta-glucan content on the back of each bag, unlike most powder brands.