Chaga Mushrooms: Benefits, Dosing, Where To Buy, And More!

Last Updated:

Key Information

Mushroom with a long history of medicinal use

Powerful antioxidant

Adaptogenic properties

Could lower cholesterol and control blood sugar

Affiliate Disclosure: Holistic Nootropics may earn affiliate commissions if you purchase through the links on this page. Here's how it works.

The Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) is a fungus that is commonly found on trees in Eastern and Northern Europe.

Traditional folk medicine in these regions has used this mushroom to treat various conditions for centuries (if not millennia).

Recently, holistic health practitioners and nootropics enthusiasts have started paying more attention to this strange-looking fungus.

According to research, Chaga may possess a variety of health and nootropic benefits for the brain and body, including:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Stress relief
  • Lowering blood pressure
chaga powder,chaga mushroom side effects,chaga warnings,chaga disease,chaga mushroom cancer,benefits of chaga tea,how to make chaga tea,what is chaga good for,how to harvest chaga,chaga extract,chaga for sale
Chaga is extremely rich in antioxidants, giving it a wide variety of holistic health benefits

Chaga contains more antioxidants than almost any other food. It has an extremely high ORAC value, which is the scale used to measure antioxidant levels.1Alaska Chaga What Is The ORAC Value Of Chaga Mushroom? 2018

It is also believed to have adaptogenic qualities, which can help the body adapt to stress.

Biohack Your Brainpower

Stay ahead with our newsletter: cutting-edge biohacking tips and the latest in nootropics, all in one place.

Where To Buy Chaga Mushroom

Improve digestion & detoxify your body

Chaga Capsules by Real Mushrooms

  • Immune boosting properties

  • Produced from fruiting bodies for high Beta Glucan %

  • Beneficial for people with digestive issues

  • High levels of antioxidants help protect the body against infection and disease

  • Anti-Inflammatory Mushroom


  • Real Mushrooms produce the highest quality mushrooms from mostly fruiting body
  • Over 40 years experience in medicinal mushrooms
  • No added starch, mycelium, or grain of any kind
  • Made from Certified Organic Chaga
  • All mushrooms are 3rd Party tested


  • Can cause gut distress is some users

What Does Chaga Do?

Chaga possesses a wide range of benefits, mostly due to its concentration of anti-oxidant compounds and adaptogenic qualities.

Chaga As An Adaptogen

chaga mushroom coffee,how to prepare chaga,tundra chaga pressed serum,chaga mushroom cancer testimonials,blithe tundra chaga pressed serum,four sigmatic chaga,carlos chaga,what is chaga tea,chaga tea recipe
Chaga may have some potent strress-fighting properties

This mushroom has been used as an adaptogenic compound for centuries (at least).

As their name suggests, adaptogens are substances that help the body adapt to their surroundings by fighting stress.

They can help normalize the body’s biological response to difficult situations so that you remain clear-headed and less susceptible to anxiety.

Like other adaptogens (such as Rhodiola and ashwagandha), Chaga seems to be able to defend the brain against oxidative stress, which builds up during trying times. 2Jong Seok Yun, et al. Inonotus obliquus Protects against Oxidative Stress-Induced Apoptosis and Premature Senescence Mol Cells. 20113Jehane Ibrahim Eid, et al. Molecular insights and cell cycle assessment upon exposure to Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) mushroom polysaccharides in zebrafish (Danio rerio) Sci Rep. 2020

Besides buffering the brain against stress, Chaga also improved learning and memory in rats with brain damage in one study. 4Vijayasree Vayalanellore Giridharan, et al. Amelioration of scopolamine induced cognitive dysfunction and oxidative stress by Inonotus obliquus – a medicinal mushroom Food Funct. 2011

Although there have not been any high-quality human trials on Chaga, there is some preliminary evidence that this fungus could improve cognition and prevent damage during times of high stress and anxiety.

Anecdotally, it has been used as a “nerve tonic” for many years, and some users report feeling more balanced mentally and emotionally after taking it consistently.

Chaga As Antioxidant

Chaga may be able to clear out toxins and free radicals from the body before they damage healthy cells.

One study found that a compound in Chaga prevented some of the damage of a neurotoxin known to cause Parkinson’s disease. 5Kei Gunjima, et al. 3,4-dihydroxybenzalacetone protects against Parkinson’s disease-related neurotoxin 6-OHDA through Akt/Nrf2/glutathione pathway J Cell Biochem. 2014

Another study concluded that Chaga’s antioxidant properties prevent DNA damage in human cells. 6Yoo Kyoung Park, et al. Chaga mushroom extract inhibits oxidative DNA damage in human lymphocytes as assessed by comet assay Biofactors. 2004

Chaga For Inflammation

More and more, researchers are starting to understand the importance of inflammation on the body and brain.

High levels of inflammation can negatively affect nearly every system in the body. From heart disease to diabetes to depression, inflammation is at least partially linked to almost every major ailment.7George M. Slavich. Understanding inflammation, its regulation, and relevance for health: A top scientific and public priority Brain Behav Immun. 2015

Luckily, anti-inflammatory foods and supplements, such as Chaga can help keep inflammation in check.

Research shows that Chaga can reduce inflammatory cytokines, which are major signals for the body’s inflammation response. Multiple studies specifically link it to alleviating the cytokines implicated in Irritable Bowel Syndrome.8Se Young Choi, et al. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Inonotus obliquus in Colitis Induced by Dextran Sodium Sulfate BioMed Research International. 2010

Another study shows Chaga to be effective against histamine-induced vascular inflammation.9Sumreen Javed, et al. Inonotus obliquus attenuates histamine-induced microvascular inflammation PLoS One. 2019

All in all, Chaga’s positive effects on inflammation are one of it’s most notable benefits.

Chaga And Cancer

One of the most critical uses of Chaga might be against cancer. It has been used in some Asian and Eastern European countries for this possible effect.10Satoru Arata, et al. Continuous intake of the Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) aqueous extract suppresses cancer progression and maintains body temperature in mice Heliyon. 2016

Although live human trials are in short supply, there is some evidence from studies on animals and human cancer cell lines that this fungus may be a promising treatment for some types of cancer. 11Myung-Ja Youn, et al. Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) induces G0/G1 arrest and apoptosis in human hepatoma HepG2 cells World J Gastroenterol. 2008 12Lishuai Ma, et al. Anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities of extracts and compounds from the mushroom Inonotus obliquus Food Chemistry. 201313Mi Ja Chung, et al. Anticancer activity of subfractions containing pure compounds of Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) extract in human cancer cells and in Balbc/c mice bearing Sarcoma-180 cells Nutr Res Pract. 201014Hyun Sook Lee, et al. Ethanol extract of Innotus obliquus (Chaga mushroom) induces G1 cell cycle arrest in HT-29 human colon cancer cells Nutr Res Pract. 201515Satoru Arata, et al. Continuous intake of the Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) aqueous extract suppresses cancer progression and maintains body temperature in mice Heliyon. 2016

Researchers believe that some of the compounds in Chaga may retard cancer cell growth and support the immune system as the body fights off tumor growth.

However, there have not been any large, properly controlled studies to confirm it’s true effectiveness.

Chaga should never be considered a substitute for the clinical treatment of any cancer-related diseases.

Chaga Lowers Blood Sugar

Chaga may also have the ability to lower blood sugar and buffer the bodies insulin response. 16Jun-En Sun, et al. Antihyperglycemic and antilipidperoxidative effects of dry matter of culture broth of Inonotus obliquus in submerged culture on normal and alloxan-diabetes mice J Ethnopharmacol. 200817Cha, J.Y., et al. Hypoglycemic Effects of Fermented Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) in the Diabetic Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) Rat Food Science and Biotechnology. 200618Bao-zhong Diao, et al. Protective Effect of Polysaccharides from Inonotus obliquus on Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Symptoms and Their Potential Mechanisms in Rats Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014

Although the current studies are on rats, this could be a promising adjunct treatment for diabetes and related disorders in humans.

Chaga Lowers Cholesterol

chaga tea side effects,chaga cancer,making chaga tea,chaga vs reishi,what does chaga tea taste like,alaska chaga,chaga mushroom identification,siberian chaga,birch boys chaga,chaga bug,birch chaga,arctic chaga,chaga tea bags,vimergy chaga,chaga look alike
Chaga may be able to stabilize both cholesterol and blood pressure

Chaga may also be able to improve cholesterol. Chaga has been shown to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in mice. 19Liya Liang, et al. Effect of the Inonotus Obliquus Polysaccharides on Blood Lipid Metabolism and Oxidative Stress of Rats Fed High-Fat Diet In Vivo International Conference on Biomedical Engineering and Informatics. 2009

LDL, or so-called “bad cholesterol” is a critical health factor that affects millions every year.

Other studies have illustrated multiple antihyperglycemic properties found in this mushroom.20Jun-En Sun, et al. Antihyperglycemic and antilipidperoxidative effects of dry matter of culture broth of Inonotus obliquus in submerged culture on normal and alloxan-diabetes mice J Ethnopharmacol. 200821Jia Wang, et al. Anti-diabetic effects of Inonotus obliquus polysaccharides in streptozotocin-induced type 2 diabetic mice and potential mechanism via PI3K-Akt signal pathway Biomed Pharmacother. 2017

This indicates that Chaga could also support good cholesterol levels in humans, although more research is needed.

Chaga For Endurance

There is some clinical evidence that Chaga could improve physical endurance.22Zhong Yue, et al. Effect of Inonotus Obliquus Polysaccharides on physical fatigue in mice J Tradit Chin Med. 2015

Although the only trials so far have focused on rats, there is also a history of using this fungus to improve stamina and athletic performance in some parts of the world.

How Chaga Works In The Brain

Chaga seems to work through several different pathways in the body.

Chaga For Gut Microbes

chaga mushroom elixir,buy chaga mushrooms,chaga chunks,chaga mushrooms benefits,chaga root,chaga tea weight loss,how to make chaga tincture,where to buy chaga tea,buy chaga,how much chaga tea should you drink per day
Chaga may improve the gut biome, which can have far-reaching effects on overall health

It seems to have a beneficial effect on gut microbes. As a growing body of research indicates, the health of your gut flora could have a massive impact on your overall health.

From managing inflammation, to producing neurotransmitters, to regulating metabolism, the microbiome in your intestines is responsible for a lot.23Muthukumaran Jayachandran, et al. A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota Int J Mol Sci. 2017

The foods and supplements you choose to feed it will determine what microbes thrive.

Chaga, as well as other mushrooms, seem to be beneficial for maintaining an overall healthy gut biome.24Muthukumaran Jayachandran, et al. A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota Int J Mol Sci. 2017

Gut Inflammation

One study found that Chaga extract was useful in decreasing gut inflammation.25Siddhartha Kumar Mishra, et al. Orally administered aqueous extract of Inonotus obliquus ameliorates acute inflammation in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice J Ethnopharmacol. 2012

This is most likely why some people report Chaga improving symptoms of IBS and related disorders.

Triterpenoids Fight Cancer Cells

For Chaga’s suspected cancer-fighting abilities, researchers believe a type of compound called triterpenoids are responsible.26Fenqin Zhao, et al. Chemical constituents from Inonotus obliquus and their antitumor activities J Nat Med. 2016

Chaga is rich in these compounds, including some triterpenoids that may be unique to Inonotus obliquus. 

These have been shown to combat the growth of certain types of human and animal tumors in laboratory settings.

Chaga Scavenges Free Radicals

Chaga is known for its powerful antioxidant effects.

It’s high concentrations of polyphenols and polysaccharides give it the ability to scrub potentially harmful free radicals from the body before they can damage cells.27Weifa Zheng, et al. Analysis of antioxidant metabolites by solvent extraction from sclerotia of Inonotus obliquus (Chaga) Phytochem Anal. 2011

Fights Over-active Immune Response

It seems that Chaga can also fight anaphylactic 28Taek Joon Yoon, et al. Inhibitory effect of chaga mushroom extract on compound 48/80-induced anaphylactic shock and IgE production in mice Int Immunopharmacol. 2013

How Much Chaga Should I Take?

As an extract, 500-1000 milligrams is the recommended dose range. If you are using a powder, this means about 1/2 teaspoon to a full teaspoon.

In tea form, most brands recommend 2-3 cups of brewed chaga per day for maximum results.

Chaga Potential Side Effects

Chaga does have some potentially serious side effects to watch out for.

One concern is that it may cause excessive bleeding in some people. This is due to how Chaga can lower platelet levels, which your body needs to clot blood.

For this reason, people with hemophilia or related disorders should not use Chaga. Especially if they are using blood thinners as well.

Chaga also contains high levels of the compound oxalate, which may damage the kidneys in large amounts. If you have a prior history of kidney disease or kidney stones, you should steer clear.

Diabetics should also be wary of this supplement.

Chaga is known to lower blood glucose, which may cause some people to become hypoglycemic, especially if they are already on other anti-diabetic medications.

Chaga Amazon Reviews

[su_quote cite=”Old Soul” url=””]My wife & I have been using these for 2 months now. She recently got the flu, and we believe that because we have been taking these for 2 months straight, it definitely has lessened the effects of the flu, along with the duration. She would usually be sick for almost 2 weeks. This year it seemed to have passed within 3 days. I would definitely say these do help boost your body’s natural immune response, along with watching your diet & fluid intake. We sleep right next to each other, kiss before bed, I have not gotten sick. I would recommend these to anyone wanting a supplement to help restore your body’s natural response. [/su_quote][su_quote cite=”Reader” url=””]Miracles have happened in my life because of mushrooms. I used this brand of Cordyceps to heal the goiter and nodules in my thyroid. After research I discovered that Chinese doctors prescribe Cordyceps with thyroid medication to help heal the thyroid. That was a digression. Now back to Chaga. I have found mega-dosing or 2000MG to be the best way to feel the real affects. This is not a recommendation just a case study. When I took 4 capsules of Chaga I felt an amazing sense of alertness and wellbeing. Bright mind. Good mood. Will have to continue the experiment. So far I am completely sold![/su_quote][su_quote cite=”Zulema Saldivar” url=””]This is my first time trying mushroom supplements. The scientific research is what got me interested in trying it and I have seen positive results. For someone with digestive problems it is hard to know what products are actually going to work, and this one did not disappoint. I was pleased to learn about the boost in prebiotics and antioxidant effect of Chaga. Will continue taking these supplements![/su_quote]

Wrapping Up

Do you have questions about, supplementing with Chaga? Do you have experience supplementing with Chaga? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

For a fuller discussion surrounding nootropics and holistic brain hacking, join our growing community on Facebook!!

Photo of author


Erik Abramowitz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), Naturopathic Doctoral student, health coach, and father. He is the primary content creator for and the host of the Holistic Nootropics Podcast.

0 responses to “Chaga Mushrooms: Benefits, Dosing, Where To Buy, And More!”

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment