3 Benefits of Chaga for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Chaga mushrooms fight inflammation and strengthen your immune system. Here are 3 ways in which Chaga benefits those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Updated April 14, 2023.
Chaga mushrooms grow on the bark of birch trees and look like a clump of burnt charcoal with a rugged exterior. It is mainly found in northern Europe, Siberia, Russia, and Alaska, and is well-known for its apparent functional properties and benefits.
Chaga has bioactive compounds such as phenols, terpenoids, polysaccharides, fatty acids, and alkaloids which are considered anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic (1).
Chaga fights inflammation strengthens your immune system, lowers blood sugar, and regulates cholesterol levels. Researchers have noted that the anti-inflammatory property of Chaga helps with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), making it one of the best mushrooms for immune health. That being said, here are three benefits of Chaga for RA.
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1. Eases Inflammation
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects your joints. In this condition, your immune system starts attacking your own healthy cells, causing severe inflammation. Chaga mushrooms can reduce the severity of this inflammation (2).
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2. Regulates Cytokines Production
Cytokines are proteins that play a vital role in the production of blood cells and immune cells. These chemical messengers signal the immune system to act and are responsible for the growth of cells that impact the body's inflammation response. There are pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as anti-inflammatory cytokines that are secreted as per the body’s needs. Chaga promotes the formation of anti-inflammatory cytokines and thus helps control inflammation in RA (3). Chaga also reduces inflammation by inhibiting the production of harmful cytokines that trigger inflammation (4).
3. Alleviates & Prevents Swelling
Rheumatoid arthritis causes swelling and pain in the joints by inflaming the synovial membrane (the tissue that lines your joints) gets inflamed. Fluids start to build up, and joints erode, leading to deformity. The anti-inflammatory properties of Chaga mushrooms help reduce inflammation and alleviate swelling.
Always Be Careful
Chaga mushroom has a wide range of benefits with reportedly low risk. However, the risk is not absent. Chaga mushrooms contain high amounts of oxalic acid and are linked to an increased risk of gout and kidney stones. Due to their hypoglycemic property, Chaga mushrooms may also cause a dangerous dip in blood sugar levels. If you are on diabetes medicines, you need to be cautious about the timing and quantity of Chaga that you consume.
It is always better to consult your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you take any medications.