Can Chaga Cure Skin Issues? A Look at the Research

We get a lot of questions about the many benefits chaga mushrooms can have for your skin.

Upon taking a deeper look at the research, we’re quite impressed with this mushroom’s ability to slow the aging process, treat acne, and prevent skin cancer.

Read on to learn more about the incredible benefits chaga has for skin.

Article Jumplinks:

What are the benefits of chaga mushrooms?

What can cause skin issues?

What does chaga do for skin?

Does chaga make you look younger?

Is chaga good for your hair?

Does chaga make your skin darker?

How can you take chaga mushrooms?

How much chaga is in Forij granola?

What are Chaga Mushrooms?

Chaga mushrooms (Inonotus obliquus) land themselves among the healthiest medicinal mushrooms one can consume.

They have been a staple in holistic medicine for centuries, with certain regions in Siberia relying on these fungi to treat anything from skin issues to cancer.

These adaptogenic mushrooms grow on birch trees. Chaga mushrooms prefer cold climates, which is why they mostly grow in the northern parts of Europe, Asia, and North America.

Chaga Benefits

Chaga mushrooms provide an abundance of health benefits. Research indicates that Inonotus obliquus could aid in diabetes management, thanks to its ability to lower blood sugar levels.

In addition to controlling blood sugar, these medicinal mushrooms lower cholesterol levels (especially LDL cholesterol), appear to fight cancer and boost the immune system, and ease skin problems such as acne and dark sunspots.

Chaga exerts an anti-inflammatory influence on the body; many people use it to reduce inflammation. 

Beneficial properties of chaga mushrooms include:

  • immunomodulatory effects
  • weight loss and weight management
  • skin health maintenance
  • slowing cancer by reducing the growth of cancer cells and encouraging apoptosis
  • ability to lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease
  • potential to aid in the treatment of autoimmune diseases
  • anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to lessen oxidative stress

Inonotus obliquus

Chaga Warnings

There seem to be no studies indicating negative effects of chaga mushrooms, and centuries of use suggest that this mushroom is completely safe. Still, you should be cautious of certain drug interactions when consuming chaga.

In a 2006 study, a chaga extract inhibited platelet aggregation, leading to slow blood clotting. In healthy individuals, this results in a reduced risk of blood clots. However, if you have a bleeding disorder or are having surgery soon, chaga mushrooms may increase the risk of bleeding.

Although there is no evidence that chaga could be unsafe for pregnant or breastfeeding people, many also choose to avoid chaga (and other adaptogenic mushrooms, such as lion’s mane and the reishi mushroom) during pregnancy.

What Can Cause Skin Conditions?

Most common skin conditions include acne, eczema, sun damage, rosacea, and psoriasis. Various factors can lead to skin issues, with the most common causes being:

  • genetic predisposition
  • immune system problems
  • sun damage
  • dirt buildup
  • allergies
  • hormones
  • irritants
  • certain diseases

Inonotus Obliquus Skin Benefits

Chaga mushrooms benefit the skin in various ways, thanks to their anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.

Chaga contains kojic acid and betulinic acid, compounds that are often used to nourish and hydrate the skin, as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles, discoloration, and acne.

Can Chaga Help Acne?

Chaga is known to reduce skin sensitivity and may fight acne thanks to the high concentration of kojic acid in the fungus. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this acid can improve the appearance of skin by reducing the severity of acne and lightning any acne-related discoloration or scars.

2013 Korean study examined the effects of a methanol Inonotus obliquus extract as a skin care agent. Results suggest that this fungus protects the skin against environmental damage, acts as an antioxidant and lightens dark spots caused by the sun or scarring.

Thus, it’s highly beneficial to include chaga in your diet if you want to reduce the severity of your acne and reduce the scarring without using harsh chemicals.

Is Chaga Anti-Aging?

Sun exposure can speed up the aging of your skin and cause sun spots. Inonotus obliquus can slow the aging process by protecting your skin from sun damage and issues caused by oxidative damage.

study published by the Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology investigated the protective effects chaga can have on the skin. This fungus appeared to protect skin cells against oxidative stress-induced apoptosis.

Thus, taking Inonotus obliquus is likely to slow down the aging of your skin, especially if you live a generally healthy lifestyle and use sun protection.

Chaga for skin

Chaga for Skin Cancer

Improper protection against UV rays can cause skin cells to mutate into a dangerous form of cancer called melanoma. Taking chaga regularly may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of skin cancers.

2014 study looked at the inhibitory and acceleratory effects of Inonotus obliquus on tyrosinase activity and melanin formation in b16 melanoma cells. Tyrosinase activity is linked to the production of melanin (and melanoma if the cell mutates).

According to the results, chaga exerted an anti-melanogenesis effect in cases of melanin overproduction. Thus, Inonotus obliquus could be a useful addition to skin cancer treatment and requires a further look into its effects as a therapeutic agent.

Chaga Benefits for Hair

Inonotus obliquus spores have been used as traditional hair shampoo in Mongolia for centuries. Although further research is needed, chaga mushrooms appear to have a stimulating effect on hair growth.

2019 study examined if the fungus truly had a positive effect on hair growth and health. Researchers applied triterpenes found in chaga to human hair follicles. The results suggest that four out of five of these compounds had an anti-alopecia effect. 

What We Know to Date About Chaga Benefits for the Skin:

Here’s what we can conclusively say about potential chaga skin benefits:

  1. Inonotus obliquus fights acne, nourishes and hydrates the skin, and prevents skin discoloration, according to a recent Korean study.
  2. Chaga could slow down the aging processes in the skin by mitigating the negative effects sun exposure and oxidative damage can have.
  3. Chaga may prevent skin cancer thanks to its anti-melanogenic potential and its effects on tyrosinase activity.
  4. This mushroom can also protect scalp skin, have an anti-alopecia effect and promote hair growth.
  5. More human studies are needed to explore the underlying mechanisms of chaga mushrooms and their effects on the skin.
  6. Given that there are no downsides to taking chaga mushrooms, it may make sense to include them as complementary medicine in the treatment of various skin conditions and skin cancer prevention.

Are You Interested in Reaping the Skincare Benefits of Chaga Mushrooms?

If you’re battling acne, want to prevent skin cancer, or simply want healthy, radiant skin, taking chaga every day could be immensely beneficial.

With our adaptogenic mushroom granola, you get a daily dose of chaga, as well as lion’s mane and cordyceps mushrooms.

The Forij mushroom granola is vegan, gluten-free, and contains organic, high-quality ingredients. What more could you ask for in a delicious bowl of cereal you’ll be excited to eat every morning?

Forij granola

How Much Chaga Extract is in Forij Granola?

Forij granola uses a high-quality chaga extract made from whole medicinal mushrooms. Our dual extraction method extracts both water-soluble beta-glucans as well as alcohol-soluble triterpenes. Our decoction process breaks down indigestible chitin cell walls of the mushroom to get much more of these compounds out than ordinary processes do.

One serving of our granola provides 250 mg of hyperconcentrated chaga extract, which is eight times more concentrated than a regular chaga supplement. Therefore, you get as much chaga potency as you would if you were taking a 2000 mg mushroom powder, all in one bowl of granola.

Chaga Dosage for Healthy Skin

When it comes to using chaga for your skin, you should combine dietary supplements—such as chaga powders and foods fortified with the mushroom—with topical chaga skin care products and chaga skin creams.

Follow directions given by the brand, especially if you’re new to adaptogens. When it comes to Forij granola, one serving per day, which equates to around 2000 mg of chaga in powder form, is enough to keep your skin healthy and youthful.

Chaga Benefits for Skin FAQ

Does chaga darken skin?

No, chaga doesn’t make your skin darker. Though this mushroom is one of the best natural sources of melanin, it won’t cause your skin to darken or develop dark spots. Conversely, melanin can protect your skin from UV beams, thus preventing dark spots and even skin cancer.

Can you put chaga on your skin?

Yes, while you can get the various chaga health benefits by ingesting it (drinking chaga tea, for example), it can also be beneficial to apply it topically. Plenty of skincare products contain a chaga extract, but you can also make your own mask from chaga powders or use chaga tea as a toner to maintain skin elasticity.

Does chaga contain melanin?

Yes, chaga mushrooms contain melanin. The melanin pigment is mostly concentrated in the outer layer of chaga. Due to the high concentration of melanin, the outer crust of Inonotus obliquus is black. 

Does chaga mushroom increase melanin?

Yes, chaga mushrooms can increase melanin. If you’re looking for a natural melanin boost, make sure to go with a chaga supplement made from the whole mushroom, as many commercially-available powders and extracts only contain the white part of the fungus, which doesn’t have much melanin.

Does chaga help eczema?

Eczema is the most common inflammatory skin disease, and chaga mushrooms are among the most common natural remedies for it. This medicinal fungus is one of the best anti-inflammatory mushrooms and can reduce symptoms of various skin issues, including acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

What is the best anti-aging mushroom?

Chaga and reishi mushrooms are the best fungi to consume for anti-aging. The reishi mushroom is often referred to as the ‘mushroom of immortality’ thanks to its anti-aging properties. Chaga contains a variety of beneficial compounds that will keep your skin moist and healthy.

What are the two sides of chaga?

Due to its popularity, people are over-harvesting chaga. Unfortunately, overharvesting can lead to the species going extinct. If you don't want to contribute to overharvesting, make sure to buy chaga products from companies that source their chaga mushrooms ethically.

Forij Disclaimer

This article was written strictly for informational purposes and is not intended to inform about medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any kind. The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For additional information on chaga mushrooms and their medicinal properties, talk to your doctor.

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