If you are familiar with the world of superfoods and alternative medicine, you may have heard of a little mushroom called chaga. Harvested from the northernmost extremities of the globe and used as a folk remedy by generations of Alaskans and Siberians, chaga has been taking the world by storm due to its proven anti-disease, anti-cancer, and anti-aging properties, among other things. Knowing that chaga has positive effects on the skin, you might be wondering: can it be used as a treatment for psoriasis?
The answer is yes. Psoriasis is a painful and persistent skin condition, but by consuming chaga, you can reduce or even eliminate it depending on your genetic makeup, your lifestyle, and your consumption habits. Learn how you can use chaga to treat psoriasis.
Chaga and Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that manifests in the form of dry, scaly, itchy, and red patches of skin across the body. It is triggered by the immune system going haywire and attacking skin cells, falsely recognizing them as foreign pathogens. Psoriasis is not contagious and is generally believed to be caused by genetics, though psoriasis can be worsened depending on other factors. For example, alcohol and tobacco consumption, HIV, lithium, and more can make psoriasis outbreaks more severe.
The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, which manifests as raised patches of red skin covered by a center of scaly, whitish skin that resembles plaque (hence the name). Other forms of psoriasis include pustular psoriasis, which manifests as pus-filled boils, and inverse psoriasis, which manifests as smooth, red patches of skin around the groin and genitals. Untreated psoriasis can also lead to additional medical complications, such as psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriasis, beyond being ugly and potentially off-putting to other people, is painful to experience due to the constant itching and inflammation of affected skin patches. Scratching at a patch of affected skin will typically worsen the psoriasis and create a risk of infection, so modern medications are typically employed to combat psoriasis symptoms. However, some psoriasis treatments are arguably worse than the disease itself.
For example, topical corticosteroids are commonly employed as a means of treating psoriasis. However, use of corticosteroids has long-term negative effects in many users, such as loss of vision. Prednisone in particular has been linked to diabetes, memory loss, mental psychosis, and weight gain due to increased appetite. Corticosteroids have also been linked to sleep loss and insomnia due to the fact that they disrupt the body’s natural production of cortisol.
To make matters worse, psoriasis sufferers who use corticosteroids frequently suffer more severe psoriasis attacks after they stop using this steroids. This is because corticosteroids work by constricting blood flow to the skin, clearing up psoriasis flares. When the corticosteroids are removed, these blood vessels will vasodilate up to three times their normal size. Corticosteroids also cause the skin to dry out and shed due to its disrupt of cortisol production, which is responsible for keeping the skin lubricated. Finally, corticosteroid withdrawal often leads to edema in the arms and legs.
Chaga has been shown to be effective in treating psoriasis. Several Russian studies have shown that psoriasis sufferers who consume chaga experienced total elimination of their symptoms without any additional treatment. Additional studies have suggested that habitual, regular chaga consumption can prevent psoriasis from manifesting at all. The reason why chaga is so effective at fighting psoriasis is due to a number of factors.
Chief among chaga’s benefits for psoriasis victims is its immune-boosting properties. Chaga acts as an adaptogen, a substance that is capable of balancing and strengthening the immune system, directing white blood cells and the like where they are needed most. Given that many psoriasis sufferers also suffer from poor immune system health, this is a great boon to them that will increase their resistance to disease.
Another aspect of chaga’s effectiveness in combating psoriasis is its antioxidant content. Chaga is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods in the world, and antioxidants help combat cellular damage by eliminating free radicals, free-floating particles that collide with cells. This is the source of chaga’s anti-aging effects, but it also helps psoriasis sufferers by preventing free radicals from worsening outbreaks, allowing your skin to heal more rapidly and retain a youthful sheen.
Chaga’s ability to improve digestive health is also of use to those suffering from psoriasis. This is because psoriasis is linked to intestinal tract health. Chaga has been shown to be effective in combating digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis, reducing the likelihood of a psoriasis outbreak.
One of chaga’s other beneficial effects for psoriasis sufferers is its anti-bacterial properties. Psoriasis has been linked to harmful bacterial infections in the gastrointestinal tract. Chaga is rich in inotodiol, betulinic acid, and beta-glucans, all of which reduce the prevalence of harmful bacteria in the body, eliminating a vector by which psoriasis outbreaks can occur.
Another use of chaga is its anti-inflammatory properties. Psoriasis is fundamentally an inflammatory problem, as skin tissue is swollen due to the immune system mistakenly identifying it as a threat. Chaga reduces inflammation by balancing the immune system, making psoriasis recede and preventing it from even appearing in the first place in many cases.
Finally, chaga has been shown to improve liver health. Toxins in the liver have been linked to psoriasis flares, and chaga is rich in botulin, a compound that helps detoxify the liver and protect it from contamination.
Psoriasis is a painful and lifelong condition that cannot yet be cured. Constant psoriasis flares can lead to constant itchiness, permanent skin damage, and social embarrassment. Left untreated, psoriasis can also develop into far more serious health problems. However, the commonly accepted medical treatments for psoriasis, such as topical corticosteroids, risk damaging your body in irreversible ways. Fortunately, there are healthier and more sustainable ways of treating your psoriasis.
Chaga is one of those methods. By consuming chaga tea or chaga in any form, you can reduce or eliminate psoriasis outbreaks and live a happy, productive life. While your mileage may vary, both medical science and anecdote show that chaga is capable of both beating back psoriasis and improving your overall health. If you are tired of psoriasis “cures” that are worse than the disease itself, try chaga and see what it can do for you.