Chaga and Reishi | The Similarities, Differences, and Benefits

Chaga and Reishi | The Similarities, Differences, and Benefits featured image

Chaga and reishi mushrooms are an amazing, dynamic duo, frequently paired up like King and Queen of the healing mushrooms due to the vast range of their health benefits. Chaga and Reishi mushroom supplements share many similarities, yet are unique in their own ways.

What are the major differences between Chaga and Reishi?

Chaga extract is a powerful antioxidant and intestinal supportive mushroom that is known to enhance digestion, improve energy, endurance, and endurance, and support cardiovascular health.

Reishi is the Queen of stress reduction as it’s able to quiet the mind, balance the central nervous system, encourage better sleep, and enhance general well-being and longevity.

Chaga and Reishi mushrooms are both incredible immune-modulating superfoods, working together to balance in your immune system. This means that they work to soothe an “on fire” immune system, such as those in the cases of autoimmune diseases, asthma, and eczema. These mushrooms also work to strengthen a weakened immune system, such as in cases with individuals who are immune-compromised, exhausted and exhausted, and prone to the common cold and influenza.

Chaga and Reishi are classified as adaptogens

Adaptogenic herbs are remarkable substances known from centuries of use for helping the body adjust to stress, supporting normal metabolic processes, and restoring balance. Adaptogens enhance the body’s tolerance for physical, biological, emotional, and environmental stressors, and support normal physiological functions.

These two types of medicinal mushrooms act on the HPA axis and the nervous system to buffer stress responses and decrease fatigue. They are also non-specific, meaning it does not matter what kind of stress you are under, the chaga and Reishi mushrooms are here to defend and support you. This article will go over key differences and similarities between these two incredible adaptogenic mushrooms, so you can figure out which is best for you.

Chaga vs Reishi?

When talking about Chaga Mushrooms vs. Reishi Mushrooms, a key distinction is the organ systems that they support.

Traditionally, chaga mushrooms are used for gut and stomach disorders. Chaga mushrooms function to support the digestive system and enhance microbial diversity in the intestine.

Reishi mushrooms are powerful tonics for the heart and liver. Reishi mushrooms provide hepatoprotective properties, and as a nervine, protects and supports the nervous system.

Quick History of Chaga

The Chaga mushrooms story goes all the way back to ancient Persia and the famous physician Avicenna, an early father of modern medicine. Chaga grows in a symbiotic relationship with Birch Trees.

Traditionally, chaga tea has been used in folk medicine across Russia and Siberia, its place of origin, for the treatment of digestive and cardiovascular diseases. Chaga tea became integrated with Western medicine and interests during the 1960s. This large Siberian adaptogen was promoted following the novels by Alexander Solzhenitsyn called The Ward for the Cancerous, which explored the anti-tumor, anti-cancer properties of chaga mushrooms, sparking new interest around the world.

We can look to Chinese history to see that Chaga was used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to nourished the Three Treasures, Ying, Qi, and Shen, elevating and restoring an individuals wellbeing and optimum health. In the modern Western time, chaga extract is classified as an adaptogenic medicine mushroom, and is traditionally used to nourish the immune system, maintain intestinal imbalances, and acts as a powerful antioxidant, helping protect cells and DNA from free radicals and speeding up ageing.

Quick History of Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi mushrooms have been a staple herbal medicine in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for thousands of years, as well as an essential adaptogen. Labeled the “fungus of immortality,” reishi was traditionally reserved for only the emperors and royalty, elevating its status as the royal herb. Reishi mushrooms are among the most incredible adaptogens and healing mushrooms. The history of reishi mushrooms goes all the way back to ancient China, being used as longevity tonics, as well as restoring and balancing Shen.

Shen translates as one spirit or emotional balance. Traditionally, Reishi benefits have been used to enhance sleep, strengthen the heart, enhance cognitive function, and decrease stress and anxiety, all of which are manifestations of imbalanced Shen. The health benefits of Reishi are also used to treat people who have a lack of Qi and blood, efficiently building strength and endurance. In the modern age, Reishi fungus extract powder has been swept into the mainstream, wearing the mantle of adaptogens and functional foods proudly, it is used to boost immune function, support adrenal fatigue and burnout, improve insomnia and sleep disruption.

What are some of the similarities between Chaga and Reishi?

There are a few key similarities between chaga mushrooms and reishi mushrooms in they both have or support:

  • Antioxidant Properties
  • Anti Inflammatory Properties
  • Immune System Modulating
  • Lowers Blood Cholesterol
  • Anti-Tumor and Anti-Cancer Effects
  • Anti-Microbial Support
  • Nervous System
  • Supports Heart, Liver, Kidneys and Brain

The Most Common Questions Addressed

Which is better for exercise recovery?

Reishi mushrooms are the perfect superfood for recovery from training because of their ability to balance your central nervous system, have calming effects, and enhance your sleep quality, all of which are critical to recovering from training quickly.

Which provides a better boost to the immune system?

Reishi mushrooms have higher levels of polysaccharides (long-chain sugars) compared to chaga mushrooms. Reishi is richer in beta-glucans, which efficiently stimulates and strengthens the immune system.

Do Chaga and Reishi show any cancer fighting benefits?

As discussed, Chaga mushrooms and reishi mushrooms have shown the potential to combat cancer. Studies suggest Chaga mushrooms can have an effect on melanomas, malignant brain tumors, ovarian cancer, and colon cancer. Reishi mushrooms have been shown potentially to be effective for treating and preventing prostate, lung, colon, and breast cancer. Together, Chaga and Reishi mushrooms are phenomenal adaptogenic herbs.

Both have a long history in ancient and folk medicine, and the initial applications are still being applied and continued. Chaga is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging mushroom. Reishi is a powerful stress-relieving, mood-balancing, immunity-boosting mushroom. Whether you opt for one over the other, or try them both, the benefits are plentiful and beneficial for all of us.

You can find our favorite capsules, powders, and tincture’s on the following pages of our website and learn more about each individually:

Best Reishi Mushroom Supplement

Best Reishi Mushroom Powder

Best Reishi Mushroom Tincture

Best Reishi Mushroom Mushroom Gummies

Additional Resources:

Is Reishi Mushroom Safe?

Do reishi mushrooms help with anxiety? 

Updated 10/20/2022

About the author

Bruce Wilson

I've studied Mycology and Forest Pathology and love creating content to help other learn more about my passion. Follow along as I continue to explore the amazing world of functional fungi!

Copyright © 2023. All Rights Reserved. Information provided by this website or this company is not a substitute for individual medical advice. Results may vary. Featured products Label information subject to change. Please check the label of your product for up-to-date information. Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The featured products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Links to products featured on this site will help us earn a commission, if purchased. This helps us continue to create new content and pay website expenses. We appreciate your support!