Chaga mushroom is the black gold in the herbal medical world that grows on the birch trees. Consumption of the Chaga tea has proved useful to boost the immune system, the digestive system, healthy skin and hair, and an antioxidant.
During pregnancy, anything the mother consumes is carried to the baby, making her care about what she takes. The Chaga tea is safe for pregnancy, but it is advisable first to consult your doctor before you start consuming it.
Not enough research has been done on the matter; therefore, inform your physician before consuming and herbal medication as it may be toxic to both you and your baby.
Chaga tea is generally safe to consume irrespective of age unless you are allergic.
If you are considering taking the tea during pregnancy, there are some factors you should consider first to ensure you are taking some high-quality Chaga tea;
· The type of wood the Chaga has been derived from. It can be birch, maple, or ash. All are great, but birch comes highly recommended.
· The soil the fungus grows on as it absorbs what is contained in the soil. The soil may be polluted, and intake will affect you and the baby as the mushroom will contain the pollutant.
· The type of extract and the way the mushroom is harvested. Some extracts are alcohol-based, while others are water-based. Go with the water as alcohol is not safe to consume during the pregnancy state.
· Since the plant is parasitic; it is better harvested from a healthy tree. If harvested from a dead one, its nutritional value is minimal.
Herbal medicine specialists don’t recommend the consumption of Chaga tea during early pregnancy. You should consult with your doctor no matter what trimester you are at. Consumption of raw Chaga mushrooms is contraindicated during pregnancy.
The mushrooms are ground into powder form and combined with other teas to improve the flavor as Chaga tea is flavorless. Others may prefer to soak the mushrooms for about an hour, boil it for some time, strain and drink. The tea contains no caffeine, in case you were wondering, as caffeine can give stomach upsets. The healthy compounds found in the Chaga mushroom are triterpenes, polyphenols, Beta-glycans, and melanin.
The benefits of taking Chaga tea include;
· Chaga tea has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Chaga protects the body against chronic inflammation and reduces the destruction of human DNA.
· It boosts the immune system as the fungus has excellent anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It prevents colonization of the cells and the immune system, which is of great benefit during pregnancy.
· It can be used for detoxification. Detoxification is important to the body as it acts as a form of cleansing to the vital organs like the liver and the kidneys.
· Chaga has anti-cancer properties as it can reduce cancer cell progression and cause self-destruction of the tumor containing cells. It is in no way meant to replace your standard therapy; it should be used as a booster instead.
· In diabetic pregnant women, Chaga extract can cause a significant decrease in blood glucose levels. You should monitor your glucose levels to avoid falling into a hypoglycemic state that is dangerous for both you and your unborn child. Take your medication as prescribed by the doctor.
· Energy booster. The Chaga mushroom contains polysaccharides that are long-chain carbohydrates that help in converting body energy and act as a natural energy booster.
· Chaga tea is a great stress reliever as it is in the class of the adaptogens. The unique property of adaptogens is to support the body in case of emotional or physical stress. The tea may come in handy as a stress reliever during pregnancy.
· Support good hair and skin. In some women, their hair can get brittle and break during pregnancy. Chaga tea can help boost your hair growth, keep it healthy and shiny. It also helps keep the skin smooth and acne at bay.
· Plays a part in helping indigestion. Pregnancy women tend to have indigestion due to the stomach’s compression by the gravid uterus, which mostly leads to constipation. Consumption of the Chaga tea is useful to allow normal gut motility.
How to make the Chaga tea;
· The first step would be to harvest the mushrooms from the tree barks or buy the mushrooms from a trusted source.
· Grind it down to a fine powder to release the active compounds.
· Put the powder in cold water and stir and give it about an hour to soak.
· Boil the solution on low heat to allow the further release of the active compounds.
· Leave to simmer for another hour, and then it is ready.
· Strain and drink.
Some people may prefer to make their Chaga tea while others find the whole process quite tedious. Not to worry, companies make Chaga tea and mix them with other teas to make it taste better. The Chaga has also been made in fancy supplements, tinctures, and readily available mushroom extracts. You can also add the extract into your tea routine with some cinnamon, too, if you like to make it taste better.
The Chaga tea flavors available in the market are the Frothy Chaga Mexican hot chocolate and the Chaga tea latte.
Is it safe to take lion’s mane while pregnant?
The lion’s mane is a mushroom that derives its name from its resemblance to the lion’s mane. The mushroom is known for its medicinal value and has been used for years in Asian countries like China, Japan, and Korea.
Whether it is safe to consume the mushroom during pregnancy is still unclear as not enough research has been done on the subject. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid the lion’s mane during pregnancy to prevent unknown side effects to both the mother and her unborn child.
This mushroom is known for its many benefits like
· It protects the brain against dementia.
· Helps relieve mild stress, depression, and anxiety.
· Strengthen the immune system.
· Protects the digestive against H.pylori colonization and ulcers.
· Reduces the risk of cardiovascular ailments like heart attack and stroke.
· The mushroom has both oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.
Possible side effects of the mushroom are skin rash, difficulty in breathing, and itching. The possibility of side effects is dependent on whether you are allergic, the doses of mushroom, and the form in which you consume it. Check out what form and quantities are appropriate for you and steer clear of mushroom if you are allergic; certain side effects could be very uncomfortable and even life-threatening.
Is Chaga tea safe while breastfeeding
There is a lack of enough research on Chaga tea’s use while breastfeeding, so don’t take any without the doctor’s permission. The mushroom is naturally occurring, and the risk lies in not knowing what it has absorbed from the soil. It may contain heavy metals and other pollutants that may harm the mother and get to the baby while breastfeeding.
If you can get the mushroom from highly trusted sources, it greatly benefits the mother. It will help her regain the nutrients lost during breastfeeding. The mushroom contains vitamins and minerals that can help rebuild what is lost in the mother’s system. Don’t start taking the Chaga tea while nursing without the doctor’s recommendation.
What are the side effects of Chaga?
Due to the lack of enough research on Chaga tea, many are unknown for its long-term use. Many have incorporated the Chaga tea in their daily diet with minimal to no complaints at all. On the other hand, others may be highly allergic; hence, it is advisable to avoid the Chaga tea if you are generally allergic to penicillin or mushrooms.
Some of the possible side effects of this fungus include;
· It contains oxalate that may affect the kidney. Long-term use may lead to the formation of kidney stones as the oxalate binds to the calcium. It may lead to kidney failure eventually.
· Its effect on the blood glucose levels should be used with caution by people on anti-diabetic medication. It lowers glucose levels and may lead to hypoglycemia.
· Chaga interferes with blood clotting; hence should be avoided by people with blood and platelet disorders. It contains a protein that inhibits the clotting of blood.
· Chaga can cause difficulty in breathing, skin rashes, and itchiness to some individuals.
An extensive study needs to be done on the short-term and long-term effects of these mushrooms on human beings. Many speculations are being done on the subject, and the mushrooms’ consumption may be dire. Taking in any natural medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding should be done with advice from your doctor. Mixing natural medication and pharmaceutical medication may have significant effects on your liver and kidney as well.
The mushrooms have more pros than cons but should be taken as boosters and should not replace the prescribed therapy by your physician. Take note of any side effects while taking the mushrooms and report to the doctor immediately if any deviation from the normal is observed.