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Chaga: The Best Mushroom for Psoriasis

Chaga: The Best Mushroom for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by a rapid buildup of skin cells, which results in scaling on your skin’s surface. The buildup can happen anywhere, but they’re most commonly found in the knees, lower back, elbows, and scalp. 

Three main forms of treatment are available for psoriasis, but they, unfortunately, do come with some side effects and can be quite expensive for the average person. Fortunately, natural alternatives are an option, and the Chaga mushroom is emerging as a natural treatment for psoriasis.

How does Chaga help with psoriasis? How do you look for the best Chaga supplement? Read on to find out.

 

The Challenge with Traditional Psoriasis Treatments

About 125 million or 3% of the world population have psoriasis, and by all means, it’s not a fatal condition but can be rather uncomfortable to live with. However, to date there is no cure for psoriasis.

Current treatments aim to reduce inflammation and scales, slow down the growth of skin cells, and remove plaques. However, traditional treatments are not without setbacks.

1. Medications for Psoriasis

Those with moderate to severe cases of psoriasis can opt for oral or injected drugs. The thing is, these medications like many others can have rather uncomfortable side effects. This explains why doctors only recommend them for short-term treatments. 

Some of their side effects of psoriasis medications include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Swollen gums
  • Hair loss
  • Decreased appetite

2. Topical treatments for Psoriasis

The most commonly prescribed psoriasis treatment uses topical creams such as vitamin D analogs, moisturizers, retinoids, and corticosteroids. These are the most affordable options, but they can also cause some skin irritations with prolonged use.

Side effects of psoriasis topical treatments include:

  • Itching
  • Stinging sensation
  • Redness or dryness
  • Thinning of skin or atrophy
  • Stretch marks
  • Easy bruising of the skin
  • Spider veins or telangiectasia 

3. Light therapy or Phototherapy for Psoriasis

This form of psoriasis treatment uses UV light. Even sunlight can work. The intent is to kill the overactive white blood cells, which are causing the autoimmune disorder in the first place. 

While light therapy does work well for severe cases, and the side effects are minimal, it’s not exactly cost-effective. 

In the UK, one phototherapy session costs around £100 - £250, and most doctors prescribe up to 36 sessions, bringing the cost up to at least £2,880. If you need home therapy, a portable unit can cost over £6,000.00.

 

What is the Chaga Mushroom?

Chaga is a parasitic mushroom that can be spotted hanging out on birch trees in the colder areas of the Northern Hemisphere. It’s described as looking like a black, charcoal-like mass with an orange and wood-like interior. 

Non-aesthetic appearances aside, Chaga is known to possess various health benefits associated with its antiviral, anti-cancer, and immune-boosting properties.

 

Chaga for Psoriasis: How It Helps

Psoriasis is an autoimmune and inflammatory disorder, and Chaga was found to possess properties that can suppress both autoimmunity and inflammation. 

One case study in 1973 involved 50 patients diagnosed with acute psoriasis who were asked to take one tablespoon of diluted Chaga extract three times a day 20-30 minutes before meals. The experiment lasted anywhere from 3 months up to 2 years. [1]

Researchers observed the Psoriatic rashes disappearing starting from the torso, then the scalp, upper limbs, and finally the lower legs and hips.

Out of the 50 patients:

  • 14 with psoriasis with massive plaques were completely cured and 2 have had improvements in their symptoms. 2 patients had no effect.
  • 16 with psoriasis with localized plaques were completely cured, 3 with improvements. 1 patient had no effect.
  • 5 with limited psoriasis lesions were completely cured, and 2 with improvements. 1 patient had no effect.
  • 3 with erythrodermic lesions were completely cured.
  • 1 patient with psoriatic arthritis had improvements

In total, 38/50 or 76% of patients with mild to severe cases of psoriasis were cured after taking Chaga for at least three months, with improvements in 16% of patients.

More recently, a 2019 study observed the effects of Betulinic acid, a sterol that naturally occurs in Chaga, on psoriasis-induced mice. Researchers found that the acid’s natural immunosuppressive properties reduced psoriasis symptoms and lowered skin inflammation. [2]

 

What do I look out for when choosing a Chaga Supplement?

Make sure you choose a Chaga supplement with high levels of Beta D Glucans. Beta D Glucans are soluble fibers that have been studied for their medicinal therapeutic properties. They have been shown to help support cardiovascular health, reduce cholesterol levels, and promote stronger immunity.

Our Chaga contains 30% Beta D Glucans (see the lab report on the product page for specifics)

More information on how to choose a quality Chaga supplement can be found here.

 

How do I use Chaga?

Our Chaga supplements are available in powder and capsule form.

-Powder: 3g daily (1/2 tsp)

-Capsules: 6 capsules daily – in one go or split into 2 doses in the morning and evening 

 

Side Effects and Safety

If you have a mushroom allergy, you should not use these mushroom extracts.

Caution is advised if using mushrooms along with blood thinning medication.

References:

1) Dosychev EA, Bystrova VN. Lechenie psoriaza preparatami griba "Chaga" [Treatment o psoriasis using "Chaga" fungus preparations]. Vestn Dermatol Venerol. 1973 May;47(5):79-83. Russian. PMID: 4755970.

2) Liu C, Chen Y, Lu C, Chen H, Deng J, Yan Y, Xu YY, Liu H, Huang H, Wei J, Han L, Dai Z. Betulinic acid suppresses Th17 response and ameliorates psoriasis-like murine skin inflammation. Int Immunopharmacol. 2019 Aug;73:343-352. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2019.05.030. Epub 2019 May 23. PMID: 31129421.

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