As the many benefits of functional mushrooms continue to unfold, you may be surprised to learn that chaga, a dark, charcoal-looking lump can support the appearance and health of your skin. Found growing on birch trees in the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere, this fungus has a wide distribution in nature and has been used medicinally for centuries in Russia, Japan, China, Korea, and Northern America.
Inonotus obliquus, or chaga, looks very different from the average mushroom. In fact, the large black conk that protrudes from the trunk of the birch tree is actually a sclerotia. Inside its black, fissured exterior is a bronzed mass of compacted mycelium. If you are intrigued by this “ugly duckling” of the medicinal mushrooms and wondering how it could possibly influence beauty, continue reading to better understand the chaga benefits for skin, hair, and nails.
5 Chaga Benefits for Skin, Hair, and Nails
Though we may take it for granted, the skin and its derivatives (hair and nails) make up the integumentary system—our body’s largest organ. Our skin serves as a barrier keeping our tissues, organs, and body fluids inside while protecting us from outside influences, including toxins and pathogens. It is our first line of defense against pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and fungi, but also protects us from the sun, environmental pollutants, and dehydration.
When applied topically, chaga may have hydrating and skin-lightening benefits. When taken consistently in the form of a supplement, chaga may:
Support Healthy Aging‡
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is a primary cause of premature skin aging due to the degradation or decreased synthesis of collagen. Chaga’s antioxidant and photo-protective properties may have implications for skin aging.‡ Laboratory experiments with human skin cells suggest phenolic acids may improve wrinkles caused by UV damage.
Ease Skin Irritation‡
There are historical records documenting the use of chaga for skin irritation by Alaskan and other Native American tribes. By reducing irritation may help to combat breakouts.‡
Calm Skin Sensitivities‡
The immunomodulating properties of chaga may reduce skin sensitivity due to allergies by strengthening the body’s natural immune system and improving resilience to environmental triggers.‡
Support Immune Health‡
The polysaccharides in chaga help to support a healthy immune system.‡ This is especially important for the skin since it serves as a protective barrier for infectious microorganisms.
Nourish the Skin, Hair, and Nails‡
Like other superfood mushrooms, chaga contains many nutrients, including protein-building amino acids, B vitamins, minerals, and various bioactive substances. The same components that help chaga to survive in harsh conditions may support and strengthen your skin, hair, and nails.‡
Chaga’s Incredible Antioxidant Potential
Chaga grows in very cold climates in the north. It is especially common in Siberia and in Canada. Scientists theorize that chaga has evolved so many bioactive capabilities in order to survive in its harsh environment. With regular consumption, these bioactive substances allow you to reap the benefits of chaga.
Many of our body’s normal cellular functions produce free radicals: atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons. According to a study of free radicals, reactive oxygen species (ROS), a type of radical, can cause tissue damage and disrupt the body’s homeostatic equilibrium when they are not balanced by antioxidants. The oxidative stress that results from an excess of free radicals can cause many health conditions.
Research suggests that natural, non-toxic, dietary antioxidants, like those found in chaga, may help to reduce oxidative damage to body tissues by preventing the formation of ROS, scavenging them, and promoting their decomposition. As an antioxidant food, chaga has one of the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) values. It is believed that chaga’s benefits for skin and other tissues may be a synergistic result of many bioactive compounds working together. These include:
- Melanin: a pigment found in all the kingdoms of living things. In chaga and other fungi, melanin helps the organism to survive in a harsh environment. In humans, it is a skin pigment that provides protection against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Laboratory research suggests that melanin from chaga has antioxidant and DNA protective capacity.‡
- Terpenic and phenolic compounds: When isolated from chaga, these compounds demonstrated antioxidant and prebiotic activity in laboratory studies.
- Superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase: three strong enzymes found in chaga that play a significant role in protecting cells from oxidative stress.‡
Research with a biomass form of chaga, containing mycelium and primordia, revealed that it is rich in enzymes and antioxidants that may inactivate ROS. Since it was in biomass form, and not a cell extract, the immune-enhancing compounds remained active as they were resistant to denaturation by digestive enzymes.
Finding Quality Chaga Products to Support Your Skin
Nourishing your skin, hair, and nails with the antioxidant capacities of chaga is easy with a good quality supplement. Om Mushrooms cultivates quality organic chaga supplements containing mycelial biomass and primordia according to the highest industry standards. A chaga mushroom powder is versatile and may be mixed into foods or beverages as a convenient way to incorporate chaga into your daily routine. As an alternative, you can obtain the benefits of chaga in small capsules.
For a specially curated blend that features chaga, try Om Mushroom’s Beauty+ Mushroom Drink Mix which combines chaga with four other superfood mushrooms plus marine collagen, biotin, and vitamin E. With 2.5g of a certified organic mushroom blend led by the power of chaga, this strawberry-lemonade flavored powder turns your water into a delicious drink that can help you combat aging.‡ With no sugar added, one tablespoon of drink mix in 12 oz. of water supports healthy, radiant skin, hair, and nails when consumed consistently.‡
With chaga mushroom supplements that provide benefits for skin in easy-to-use forms, Om has your beauty needs covered. Take advantage of their antioxidant and immune-supporting power by making chaga a part of your daily routine. Under this mushroom’s fissured exterior lies a wealth of support for healthy, glowing, beautiful skin, hair, and nails.‡
You likely enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning each day; it’s the perfect way to kick start your day. What if there was a way to turn your regular cup of joe into a beverage that not only aids in energy levels but also supports cognitive performance and immune health? There is.
With consistent use, mushroom coffee can be an effective way to add the benefits of functional mushrooms to your daily routine. While coffee, a drink that has been around for centuries, offers the levels of caffeine you may desire for energy, adding organic, nutritional functional mushrooms can leave you feeling even more confident in your morning routine.
So, let’s answer the question that many (including you) are asking: What is mushroom coffee?
Why Are Mushrooms Used in Coffee?
To fully define mushroom coffee, we must first discuss its main ingredient: mushrooms. Now before your mind begins to wander, we’re not talking about culinary mushrooms which you might find on a pizza. Instead, we’re talking about functional mushrooms.
Functional Mushrooms Explained
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, functional mushrooms have been used to support immune health for centuries. The nutrients and antioxidants found in functional mushrooms have been known to offer benefits for both mind and body when consumed daily.‡
Functional mushrooms that contain immune-supporting compounds, such as beta-glucans and prebiotics, can provide a variety of health benefits.
- Beta-glucans occur naturally in the cell walls of functional mushrooms helping to activate and potentiate the immune system. They help to maintain healthy gut bacteria that support blood sugar management, cholesterol levels, and immune system functionality.
- Mushrooms are rich in carbohydrates helping them act as prebiotics to help support the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines. Between gut health and brain health, probiotics play a critical role in overall wellness.
The Benefits of Functional Mushrooms
Different mushroom species offer unique properties, but they are primarily known for supporting immune health. A variety of mushroom species support health and wellness when added to your daily routine.‡
Has been found to stimulate the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), a protein that promotes the growth and normal function of nerve cells; NGF is important for memory, concentration, and neurological support.‡
Improves vitality and endurance naturally by supporting respiration, oxygen delivery and ATP synthesis ‡
Acts as an immune potentiator and immune modulator, helping to balance and down-regulate an overactive immune system; Can also provide balance and super adaptogen properties to alleviate stress‡
Contains a complex array of bioactive compounds with significant antioxidant and immunity-supporting activities, and helps balance the metabolic system and is a natural adaptogen‡
Helps support immune health and contains antioxidant, and healthy-aging properties‡
What Is Mushroom Coffee?
As you can see, functional mushrooms have been around for centuries; the origin of coffee is not far behind. Coffee cultivation and trade began on the Arabian Peninsula in the 16th century. Its energy-boosting capability gained popularity and was used all over the world as the morning drink of choice amongst many. Today, over one billion people all over the world drink coffee daily. As part of your morning cup at home or on the go, mushroom coffee can provide the perfect balance of energy-, cognitive-, and immune-supporting nutrients.‡ So how are mushrooms incorporated into this nutrient-rich beverage?
Mushroom coffee is a delicate blend of powdered mushrooms and coffee beans combined to brew a dark and smooth coffee. Prepare mushroom coffee by mixing the curated blend of mushrooms and coffee beans in hot water. Then add milk or cream as desired. Or, enjoy mushroom coffee by adding a single species of mushroom powder into a cup of coffee.
Determining Mushroom Coffee Quality
It may be difficult to determine which mushroom coffee is best for you. Taste, quality, and quantity all play a crucial role in your choice among mushroom coffee brands. Not all functional mushrooms have the same taste, and not all products are of the quality that delivers intended results. The best mushroom coffee will take advantage of the benefits of functional mushrooms without having to sacrifice taste—which should be rich, aromatic, and well-rounded.
Functional mushroom coffee should be derived from organic mushrooms that are grown within the safest and most ideal conditions.
Choosing Quality Mushroom Coffee
When searching for the perfect mushroom coffee to start your day, consider choosing Om Mushroom. Our products are created from functional, whole food, organic mushrooms that are grown to ensure quality without sacrificing taste.
Our mushrooms are grown indoors, tested by third parties, and carefully monitored to ensure a quality result. When applicable, we use the whole mushroom in powdered form, as opposed to just mushroom extract. For the best quality mushroom coffee, our mushrooms are carefully dehydrated and milled into a fine powder, making adding the appropriate dose a simple and effective solution. Our powerful mushroom blend hot drink mixes are designed to promote immunity, vitality, cognitive health, and energy.‡
Mushroom coffee should contain an optimal dosage of functional mushrooms: 2,000 milligrams (or 2 grams) per serving.
Here’s a list of our mushroom coffee and other hot drink products:
A rich, full-bodied coffee blend designed to support energy, focus, and vibrant health‡
Combined with Lion's Mane, Cordyceps, Turkey Tail and Reishi organic superfood mushroom powder, plus Ginkgo biloba for focus, energy, and vibrant health‡
100% organic Arabica coffee produced in small batches and blended into a smooth delicious latte to support focus, immune health, and elevate energy‡
Combined with organic Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Cordyceps and Chaga superfood mushrooms, plus Astragalus for energy and vibrant health‡
Focus, de-stress and find balance with our soothing Organic Matcha Green Tea from the heart of Nishio, Japan, where the finest ceremonial grade green tea has been grown for over 800 years‡
Combined with organic Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Turkey Tail and Chaga superfood mushrooms, plus Tulsi (Holy Basil) for balance and vibrant health‡
Premium, Dutch Cocoa known for its distinctive soft, creamy taste and packed with flavonoids, naturally-occurring antioxidants to help fight against free radicals‡
Combined with organic Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Chaga and Turkey Tail superfood mushrooms, plus Ashwagandha for centering and vibrant health‡
Om Mushroom offers products created from functional, whole food, organic mushrooms that have life-changing health benefits.‡ So when you’re questioning your morning beverage and wondering, “what is mushroom coffee?” you can look no further than Om Mushroom. Take advantage of the benefits of functional mushroom products and shop now or subscribe to save!
‡These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Functional mushroom products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.