For centuries, cultures around the world have utilized fungi for medicinal purposes. This concept thrives even today as people worldwide continue their search for sources of all-natural healing. One such fungus, which has become increasingly recognized in recent years, is the Chaga Mushroom.
This famous fungus, commonly referred to as the “Gift of God,” is chock-full of antioxidants and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, some research suggests that the Chaga Mushroom may even help destroy cancer cells WITHOUT the harmful side effects of chemotherapy.
But how do these powerful fungi affect our canine companions? And why aren’t more people using this centuries-old healing method for their pets?
What Exactly Is The Chaga Mushroom?
While the Chaga Mushroom may be a popular choice among mushroom-lovers, it is NOT the most beautiful fungi in the forest. The Chaga Mushroom has a dark, coal-like surface that is rubbery or coarse to the touch.
Often referred to as the “black mass” due to its dark and textured surface, this fantastic fungus grows exclusively on the bark of birch trees in cold climates. The Chaga Mushroom is most commonly encountered in chilly-weather places, such as Northern Europe, Siberia, Russia, Korea, and Alaska. Its woody growth typically spans ten to fifteen inches in size.
And while the outside may be unimpressive, it’s truly what’s on the inside that counts when it comes to this magnificent mushroom.
The interior of the Chaga Mushroom is soft and cork-like in texture, boasting a rich golden or burnt-orange hue. Typically consumed in a brewed tea, most people describe the taste of Chaga as bitter-sweet with hints of vanilla.
What Is The Chaga Mushroom Used For?
The Chaga Mushroom has powerful medicinal properties and has been utilized for centuries to boost immunity and improve overall health. For starters, this fascinating organism is full of antioxidants.
A Powerful Source of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are essential because they protect the body from free radicals, which are unstable atoms that attach to our cells. When free radicals go rogue throughout the body and outnumber antioxidants, it can lead to a state of oxidative stress.
Prolonged oxidative stress can significantly damage our DNA, causing cell death. This experience has been linked to heart disease, cancer, and even premature aging.
It is for this reason that antioxidants are so beneficial. And though our metabolism itself forms antioxidants, most are obtained through our diet. While Chaga Mushrooms are certainly not the ONLY nutritional source of antioxidants, it’s undoubtedly the most concentrated source.
This powerful fungus contains up to five times more antioxidants than other popular superfoods such as blueberries, turmeric, acai, and sweet potatoes.
The Chaga Mushroom is a Powerhouse of Goodness
In addition to being a fantastic source of antioxidants, the Chaga Mushroom is also praised for its anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, one of the most common uses of Chaga (in humans) is to decrease inflammation within the body.
Many healthcare professionals recommend Chaga to patients that have bowel-related health conditions. Irritable bowel syndrome, in particular, has historically responded very well to this ominous-looking organism.
But it doesn’t end there. The Chaga Mushroom has been shown to reduce all inflammatory processes within the body. This process soothes various ailments and conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, even Graves disease, and other thyroid-related conditions.
Nature’s Miracle Worker: Can the Chaga Mushroom Kill Cancer?
The Chaga Mushroom has been labeled a cancer itself in past years due to the harsh reality that this otherwise-marvelous mushroom will eventually kill its host tree. However, despite this sinister nickname, certain studies ascertain that the Chaga Mushroom may actually serve as a potential treatment for human AND canine cancer.
A concept that is familiar folklore in northeastern countries, the idea that Chaga could cure cancer, is being tested for validity today. In fact, a petri-dish study performed in 2010 found that Chaga could potentially slow the growth of lung, breast, and cervical cancer cells. And what’s more, Chaga, in this study, did not appear to cause any harm to healthy cells.
In 1967, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn published a book entitled “Cancer Ward.” As the author explains in this decades-old read, Chaga was traditionally used as a treatment for all types of cancers in Slavic culture.
The use of Chaga as a human cancer treatment has not been clinically proven, but the concept is slowly gaining popularity. In fact, the word Chaga in Norway translates to kreftkjuke, which literally means “cancer polypore.”
Is this a chilling coincidence, or could the Chaga Mushroom really cure cancer?
Benefits of Chaga for Dogs
The use of medicinal mushrooms for pets is still a relatively new concept in the United States. However, despite their technically experimental standing, those pet owners that have added medicinal mushrooms to their pets’ diet have seen fantastic results.
This should come as no surprise given the many outstanding benefits of medicinal mushrooms for humans. There is no doubt that this is one powerful fungus. And if it is powerful enough to potentially kill cancer, what additional benefits might it hold for our canine companions?
Impressive, All-Natural Pain Relief
Pet owners who introduced the Chaga Mushroom to their dogs have seen impressive results. Studies show that, in dogs, the Chaga Mushroom helps to treat and alleviate pain from osteoarthritis. With its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, many believe this magical mushroom has significantly helped alleviate joint and muscle pain in older, arthritic dogs.
Another common use for Chaga in dogs is to relieve allergy-related ailments. There is evidence that suggests that this powerful mushroom helps decrease inflammation of the skin. This is useful for clearing up ear infections, skin rashes, and more.
An Auto-Immune Avenger
In addition, many pets with other, less common auto-immune diseases (such as Irritable Bowel Disease) responded shockingly well to Chaga. One owner insisted that Chaga resolved her pet’s diarrhea when no other clinical drug would even touch it, including veterinary-strength antibiotics!
Chaga has also been used, in humans, to lower blood pressure. And while there aren’t many readily-available studies of this effect in dogs, it makes sense to believe that it could have similar benefits.
Could Chaga Cure Canine Cancer?
Many members of the veterinary community wonder if Chaga could be used as a potential cure for cancer in dogs. After all, the clinical studies that have been done on human cancer cells had outstandingly positive results. Could these fantastic fungi kill cancer cells in dogs as well?
The few studies that have been done on the use of medicinal mushrooms for cancer treatment in dogs are outstandingly in favor. VCA Animal Hospital published an article on this topic, and their vote seems to be inarguably pro-mushroom:
“Limited studies in companion animals have been performed,” said the VCA. “But there is anecdotal evidence that medicinal mushrooms work to treat cancer and other diseases by increasing the effectiveness and activity of immune system cells.”
The same 2010 research study aforementioned showed impressive results on the use of Chaga in cancerous tumors. Their anti-tumor effects were described as pro-apoptic, meaning that Chaga promoted cell death to confirmed cancer cells. In laymans terms, Chaga destroyed cells that were harmful to the body while leaving healthy cells alone.
This form of selective targeting could be ground-breaking for dogs with cancer. If an all-natural, accessible fungus like the Chaga can successfully destroy select cells while leaving others alone, we may have found an actual cure for canine cancer. And even if the Chaga Mushroom can not completely rid a dog’s body of cancer, it may be able to help with the harmful effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
Reversing the Harmful Effects of Chemotherapy
As anyone who has treated their dog with chemotherapy or radiation can attest, it is not pretty to watch. Most dogs become very listless and weak, no longer able to run or play. And many report witnessing behavioral changes as well. Many dogs become sad or angry, lashing out at their owners or ignoring them altogether.
These are just a few devastating side effects of artificial cancer treatments. Additionally, chemotherapy drugs can actually poison the body, causing harmful long-term effects. This incident is known as chemotherapy toxicity, and it is terribly common.
However, studies show that Chaga can help reduce toxicity after traditional radiation or chemotherapy treatments. Reduction or removal of this toxicity could make a suffering dog feel significantly better, an incredible benefit on its own.
Pep Up Your Tired Pup!
Finally, the Chaga Mushroom has been shown to help restore energy in old or listless dogs. In humans, Chaga does this by stimulating the production of protein molecules. These molecules help us feel energetic, and it is believed to work the same way in pets. Chaga may actually be able to help pep up your tired pup!
Risks of the Chaga Mushroom for Dogs
As with anything new, there are certain risks to be on the lookout for when introducing Chaga to your dog. For starters, Chaga is known, in humans, to lower blood pressure. For high-blood-pressure patients, this is incredibly useful. However, it could potentially be dangerous for consumers with low blood pressure or diabetes.
Risks for Diabetic Dogs
It is thought to be the same in pets. If your dog has a history of anemia or diabetes, you should use extreme caution when introducing Chaga. Blood pressure that drops too much or too quickly could be fatal to your pet. As with most things, we always recommend seeking the advice of your family veterinarian before introducing a new product to your pet’s diet.
Risks for Dogs With Clotting Disorders
In some studies, Chaga has also been shown to limit platelet aggregation or clotting. This can be dangerous to those people or pets who are taking anticoagulant drugs. If your pet has any sort of blood-clotting disorder, please speak with your family veterinarian before introducing any outside supplement.
Chaga May Increase Your Dog’s Urge to “Go”
Chaga can have a cleansing effect on the bowels. And while this is not an inherent negative, per se, pet owners should be advised that its use may cause their dog to have more frequent bowel movements.
A Risk to our Ecosystem
One final warning: due to the increasing demand for Chaga in the United States, some have been harvesting it illegally or inappropriately. And while this type of harvesting will not likely affect your dog’s health, it can cause irreversible damage to our ecosystem. The Chaga Mushroom is a precious gift to the earth and should ONLY be purchased through reliable sources.
Serving the Chaga Mushroom
If you decide to try Chaga with your dog, you will be pleased to know that there are several safe and affordable options. The most popular at-home method for serving Chaga is through the use of a home-brewed tea. While this may work for humans, it may not be the most practical way to get a dog to consume Chaga. Some dogs are picky about drinking plain water, imagine serving them a strange tea with a taste described as “bittersweet with hints of vanilla!”
The preferred serving method for pets is a supplement, so your dog can dog can reap the benefits of Chaga in a flavorful, easy-to dispense form.
Mushroom Gold Bone Broth
Chaga supplements can be purchased in many forms, including powders, tinctures, capsules, and more. And while health food stores may carry Chaga in its pure form, you can skip the hassle by purchasing IHeartDogs.com’s own Mushroom Gold Bone Broth.
Our Mushroom Gold Bone Broth is chock-full of medicinal mushrooms, including Chaga! It is veterinary-approved and packed with nutrients that help boost your dog’s immune system and overall health.
In addition, our Bone Broth has just as many benefits for pet owners as it does for their dogs. At just $0.33 per day, it is the single most affordable supplement of it’s kind on the market. Inexpensive for owners and downright delicious for dogs, this is one advanced immune-support powder that can’t be beat!
It’s clear to see why, for centuries, the Chaga Mushroom has been sought out for its miraculous healing properties. And with outstanding potential for future use, it’s clear to see why this fantastic fungus has become so popular among dog-lovers worldwide.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional.