A Potent Natural Immune Booster
For thousands of years, herbalists in ancient China have held the chaga mushroom in high regard, touting it as a source of longevity and good health. Knowing this, it is hardly a surprise that chaga offers a number of beneficial properties that can help to restore and maintain a healthy immune system. These mushrooms are rich in beneficial nutrients and powerful active constituents, and chaga tea provides a convenient way to enjoy the natural benefits these mushrooms have to offer.
A Compromised Immune System
We rely on our immune system to keep us healthy, and to protect our body from bacteria, viruses and other dangerous pathogens. Unfortunately, with all of the threats our body can face on a daily basis, it can be all too easy for the immune system to become overwhelmed. This is why we need to be careful to limit our exposure to elements that can reduce our immune system’s effectiveness. Some of the most common things to weaken the immune system include:
Lack of sleep: Your body requires a significant amount of sleep regularly in order to recharge and to function at peak efficiency. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body suffers, especially your immune system.
Poor diet: Your immune system relies on a number of essential vitamins and nutrients (vitamin C, for example) to support its many functions. An unbalanced diet can leave you lacking the nutrients needed to fend off invading pathogens. Studies have also shown that your immune system is actually weakened for a few hours after you ingest large amounts of sugar.
Lack of exercise: Exercise does a number of wonderful things for the body, and is especially good for the immune system. When your body is fit, blood circulates better, more nutrients get where they need to, and your body also gets a boost of endorphins that help you to feel happier. All of these things support the immune system on a daily basis.
Stress: While a short amount of stress gives you an adrenaline boost that can improve your performance, stress over the long-term depletes your adrenals and leaves you exhausted. This takes a toll on your body, especially the immune system. When you are under significant or long-term stress, your likelihood of becoming sick gets a huge increase.
Isolation: Our instinct during cold-and-flu season may be to avoid human contact, but studies have shown that we should be doing the opposite. Interaction with close friends and family is not only important for our emotional health, but according to research, people with strong relationships actually have stronger immune systems as well.
Medications: There are a number of prescription medications that carry side effects that suppress the immune system. If you are taking prescribed medication, pay careful attention to the side effects and research whether there may be better alternatives.
The Immune Boosting Benefits of Chaga
Chaga tea offers a wealth of immune-boosting effects. Firstly, chaga can help the immune system to prepare its defenses against pathogens. Polysaccharides found in chaga have been shown to promote the creation of white blood cells, one of the body’s primary means of defense. Chaga is also a source of vitamin B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin) and B5 (pantothenic acid), all of which have been used to boost immune function.
Chaga also supports immune function by eliminating harmful pathogens. Triterpenes found in chaga are known to have antibacterial properties, able to eliminate a number of harmful bacteria. Other constituents in chaga have shown antiseptic and even anthelmintic properties, meaning they can help to eliminate parasitic worms. Chaga is also being researched for potential antiviral effects. Betulinic acid, one of its triterpenoids, is both antipyretic (helping to regulate a fever) and anti-inflammatory, thus helping to regulate immune response to prevent the immune system from overreacting to infection.
Interestingly, several of these beneficial constituents are not native to the mushroom itself, but are actually absorbed from the bark of the birch trees these mushrooms grow on. Birch bark has been known as an important natural remedy for immunity for centuries, especially in Siberia, and chaga’s tendency to absorb its positive qualities combines the potency of two natural herbal remedies into one beneficial source.