Of late, medicinal mushrooms have sprung into the health and wellness scene, appearing in coffee, smoothies, supplements, and more. However, they have been used in ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic therapies for thousands of years.
Each medicinal mushrooms have its distinct benefits and can be utilized for the benefits you are trying to seek. They can help with anything from chronic fatigue, focus, stress, anxiety, and inflammation. They even have powerful adaptogenic properties that work with your body to balance hormones, control stress, and eventually restore homeostasis.
Cordyceps and Chaga are two amazing superfood medicinal fungi that have been rekindling people's interest. Chaga is the go-to mushroom for enhancing immunity, reducing inflammation, and calming the digestive system. On the other hand, Cordyceps is known as the "energy mushroom" and is frequently used to support energy and stamina.
This article will compare Chaga vs. Cordyceps, the shared benefits, and the properties that set them apart, which will help you decide which mushroom is the right one for you.
Comparing Chaga And Cordyceps
Inonotus obliquus or Chaga is an arctic mushroom that packs serious immune-strengthening powers and beauty benefits. This parasitic mushroom, which resembles burnt charcoal, grows on birch trees.
Chaga is rich in polyphenols like betulin, antioxidants, and other polysaccharides. In addition, high levels of melanin are present in the canker's outer black layer, which is good for our skin.
Cordyceps (both Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris) isn't technically a mushroom but instead a hybrid of a caterpillar and fungus. The cordyceps' fruiting body and stoma emerge from an insect, most frequently a caterpillar, which is how they got their alternate name, "caterpillar fungus."
Now let's explore the distinct benefits of Cordyceps and Chaga.
Cordyceps are most prized for their energizing effects due to their high levels of beta-glucans. These compounds provide oxygen to the body at the cellular level, reducing the likelihood of disease and enhancing stamina and vitality.
The mushroom also increases(1) adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels in the body, which is the body's primary energy source. All cellular operations depend on ATP. This is why Cordyceps is best thought of as an energetic or athletic tonic.
Cordyceps also acts as an aphrodisiac(2), supporting sexual desire and performance.
Other health benefits of Cordyceps include anti-inflammatory properties(3) (helps with heart health, blood flow, and lowering cholesterol). Cordycepin in the fungi is also known to stimulate lymphocyte production and shrink tumor cells.
Chaga is useful for stimulating the immune system, reducing inflammation, treating and preventing cancer, and protecting the liver. For example, in a 2016 study(4), Chaga mushroom extract reduced tumor load by a staggering 60%.
Chaga mushrooms also help reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance, making them ideal for those with type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, or polycystic ovarian syndrome.
The antioxidant in the Chaga helps fight free radicals, including those from sun exposure. In addition, betulinic acid in Chaga stimulates collagen production(5), diminishing the effects of aging.
Chaga Vs. Cordyceps: Which One To Pick?
If you're looking for healing benefits, then Chaga's anti-inflammatory, digestion aiming, immune-boosting, and detoxifying properties are more up your alley.
Chaga mushroom also has anti-aging properties. The antioxidants in this super fungus are believed to combat free radicals and reverse aging, pollution, and UV-related damage.
Cordyceps is great for providing energy support without overstimulating or overheating. It is best used as a tonic for energy and athletic support.
The fungus also offers a powerful and natural alternative to libido-enhancing pharmaceutical drugs.
Can You Take Chaga With Cordyceps?
Chaga and Cordyceps may be taken together to combine their different health benefits. However, speaking with a healthcare provider is good to see if it is best for you.
What Is Cordyceps Mushroom Good For?
Cordyceps increases the body's energy production, improving exercise performance. The mushroom also helps fight inflammation and manage diabetes and has potential anti-tumor effects.
What Does Chaga Do To Your Body?
Chaga helps fight oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. In addition, it can assist in lowering blood sugar, cholesterol, and pressure levels and strengthen the immune system by regulating cytokines.
What Can You Not Take With Chaga?
Chaga should not be taken together with medications that lower blood sugar levels, like insulin and oral anti-diabetes medications. Combining the two would lead to a severe drop in blood glucose.
Cordyceps and Chaga are the two superstars of the medicinal mushroom world with distinct health benefits. Cordyceps is the medicinal mushroom of choice when it comes to energy, fitness, endurance, stress, and immunity. Chaga is also an immune stimulator and has a good reputation as a beauty supplement for its benefits on the skin, hair, and nails.
Before picking one over another, find out which processes in your body you'd like to support. Then, speak to your healthcare provider to find the correct dosing for you.
- Enhancement of ATP generation capacity, antioxidant activity and immunomodulatory activities by Chinese Yang and Yin tonifying herbs, (1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1847515/
- Effects of Cultured Cordycep militaris on Sexual Performance and Erectile Function in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Male Rats, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7683110/
- Pharmacological actions of Cordyceps, a prized folk medicine, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16354395/
- Continuous intake of the Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) aqueous extract suppresses cancer progression and maintains body temperature in mice, (4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4946216/
- A New Betulin Derivative Stimulates the Synthesis of Collagen in Human Fibroblasts Stronger than its Precursor, (5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6689372/
- Effect of the Inonotus Obliquus Polysaccharides on Blood Lipid Metabolism and Oxidative Stress of Rats Fed High-Fat Diet In Vivo, (6)https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5305591
- Antihyperglycemic and antilipidperoxidative effects of dry matter of culture broth of Inonotus obliquus in submerged culture on normal and alloxan-diabetes mice, (7)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18434051/