If you are reading this, you are likely familiar with COVID-19, a pandemic that has reached every corner of the globe. Also known as the novel coronavirus, COVID-19’s lethality, ease of spread, and a lack of immunity has many people concerned about contracting it. Chaga, a mushroom consumed in Alaska and Siberia as a holistic health remedy, has historically been used to treat the flu and common cold. Is chaga an effective means to combat COVID-19?
The answer is while there is no evidence showing that chaga is effective against COVID-19 specifically, chaga’s ability to boost the immune system makes it worth taking if you are concerned about disease. Read on to learn how chaga can be used to help your body stay healthy.
CHAGA AND COVID-19
COVID-19, short for coronavirus disease 2019, is an infectious disease that first emerged in China in late 2019 before spreading around the globe. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, fatigue, coughing, shortness of breath, and loss of taste and smell. While most COVID-19 cases are mild, in certain individuals, it can cause blood clots, multi-organ failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), septic shock, and death.
Because of COVID-19’s newness, human beings lack immunity to it, which has led governments to slow its spread through a number of unusual methods. Many countries have implemented lockdowns and quarantines, limiting non-essential travel, closing businesses and public transportation, and banning public gatherings in order to reduce the amount of contact between people. Another common method of combating COVID-19 is “social distancing,” a process by which people keep a certain amount of distance in public.
Research on COVID-19 remains inconclusive due to its relative newness, and no studies concerning chaga and COVID-19 have been conducted yet. However, because COVID-19 is a virus, chaga can help protect against it in the same way that chaga protects against viruses and disease in general. Chaga’s bounty of nutrition means that it is a proven and effective way to shore up your body’s defenses.
Chaga’s antiviral effects are in part due to how it improves the responsiveness of the immune system. Chaga increases the production of cytokines, cells that function as the immune system’s messengers. Cytokines direct white blood cells by telling them where in the body they should go, informing them on the state of the body’s tissues. Consuming chaga allows your immune system to more rapidly respond to foreign pathogens such as COVID-19.
Another positive benefit chaga has when it comes to preventing or combating COVID-19 is its anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is a process by which the body’s tissues swell and expand to prevent infection; for example, a stuffed nose is inflammation. While some inflammation is necessary to fight disease, excessive inflammation can lead to heart and respiratory problems. Chaga reduces the production of inflammatory cytokines, allowing your body to manage inflammation more effectively.
Finally, chaga’s effectiveness in combating disease, including COVID-19, is in part because it shares qualities with other cold and flu remedies. Drinking increased amounts of fluids when sick is a smart move because increased hydration allows the lungs to more easily expel phlegm and other foreign contaminants. Hot drinks are especially effective when sick because they warm the body and provoke a stronger reaction in the lungs and throat.
Chaga’s effectiveness as an anti-disease remedy is in part due to its beta-d-glucan content. Beta-d-glucans are compounds that are able to balance immune system activity, stimulating the immune system when it is needed and calming it down if it is overactive. Because of their strong ability to regulate the immune system and combat infections, beta-d-glucans are classified as Biological Response Modifiers.
It should be stressed that there are no scientific studies measuring the effectiveness of chaga in fighting COVID-19 specifically. Because of COVID-19’s newness, there is still much we do not know about it. In addition to this, because not everyone’s body is the same, different individuals may have different reactions to chaga. Because of this, you should always consult your doctor before you make any major changes to your diet or lifestyle.
COVID-19 will likely remain a major concern for the immediate future, meaning you will need to take adequate steps to protect your health. Exercising, eating right, and generally taking care of your body will give you the best chance of fighting off COVID-19, but in a time of pandemic, you’ll want to arm yourself with as many weapons as you can.
Chaga is a valuable weapon in your health arsenal. While no definitive study on chaga’s effects on COVID-19 has been done, chaga’s antiviral qualities allow it to help your body combat viruses in general, including the novel coronavirus. Whether you’re concerned about getting sick or are already sick, chaga will give your immune system the kick in the pants it needs to make you healthy again.