Chaga Tea | Powerful Reasons to Start Drinking It Today
Is there really such thing as a fountain of youth? Or maybe something like a magical, golden, healing brew to bring all health and wellness back into harmonious recovery?
Well, there IS something on this earth that is quite close to that.
The ingredient: chaga mushroom. And the brew: chaga tea.
Scientifically known as Inonotus obliquus, chaga is a knobby, nubby fungus that grows from the bark of birch trees. Its home is in the thick, wild alpine forests of high elevation mountains or boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
For thousands of years, a brewed tea from this mushroom has been an esteemed and very powerful tonic for health.
For those privileged enough to have the mushroom in their tea or herbal medicine cabinet, making a tea is easy—and can confer many wellness benefits.
HOW TO BREW CHAGA TEA
People have foraged their own chaga for many years. Likewise, they have brewed their own tea from their forest findings—for both the pure enjoyment or for health-boosting purposes.
The taste of chaga tea is described as vanilla root beer, without the sweetness.
It also looks like a dark beer with a creamy, golden-foamy top.
To brew the tea:
- Make sure harvested chaga is in a broken-down form or close to a powder as possible. This helps in extracting the best tea. (Achieving this can be a challenge. Some people use a hammer to break it down—we recommend a cheap cheese grater that can be disposed of afterward.)
- Set a stovetop pot of water to boil. Using the highest setting takes the quickest amount of time.
- Steeping the tea can be achieved in one of two ways. For a truly heady brew, place the chaga tea in boiling water and then turn down the heat, letting it simmer on a medium-low temperature for one or two hours (we recommend this method for the most health benefits). Turn down the heat, remove the pot, and pour through a strainer into a cup or mug. If excess chaga tea is made, one can store it in their fridge in a mason jar (chaga mushroom and water together) and reheat at a later time, though let it cool first before transferring to a mason jar.
- The other steeping method: After the water is boiled, remove it quickly from the stovetop. Pour it over 1 tablespoon chaga powder directly placed in a cup or mug, preferably inside a tea infuser or ball. To limit consumption to one tea serving at a time, boil only 1-2 cups at a time.
- Sip and enjoy. Make sure to let the tea cool down a little first before consuming. Sweeten with honey, natural sweetener, or add cream if desired.
DOES CHAGA TEA “HAVE IT ALL”?
The old fashioned, traditional way to make chaga tea has been to forage for it in the woods and prepare a simple brew.
But what about for folks around the world, where chaga isn’t available—how can they experience chaga?
More importantly: does this method provide the most health benefits possible?
Yes, chaga tea can be quite healthy. However, scientific studies have found that there are a LOT more health benefits to unlock from this tough-as-nails fungus.
That’s right: a simple chaga tea doesn’t provide all the optimal health benefits.
Why is that? Apparently, there are multiple compounds in chaga that are responsible for a variety of its healing benefits. What’s important to realize is that hot water cannot extract all of these compounds alone.
These compounds include:
- Betulin and Betulinic Acid
CHAGA TEA COMPARED TO FULL SPECTRUM CHAGA EXTRACT
Hot water can extract some of the above. But scientific research suggests that the rest, on the other hand, can only be extracted with the help of an ethanol alcohol extract.
What this means: the very best extract is one that combines tea with a tincture or alcohol extract to have the full spectrum of possible health compounds, and thus the healthiest chaga tea possible.
But what about those who don’t want to make a complicated double extract?
For that matter, what is the option for people who don’t want to consume alcohol?
Fortunately, there are options out there for these folks—especially those who don’t have access to chaga, don’t have time to make a double alcohol/water extract, or who don’t want to consume alcohol.
Dual-extracted supplement powders are available so anyone can experience the full spectrum health benefits of chaga in a simple, traditional brew.
One great example: Primal Herb’s Chaga Shroom supplement powder and formula.
At Primal Herb, we do all the hard work of double extraction, filtration, purification, and then dehydration to bring all the possible health benefits of the mushroom to a single cup (or multiple cups!) of chaga tea—easily brewed with just a simple, single powdered supplement serving (by tablespoon) stirred into hot water (and completely alcohol-free!).
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHAGA MUSHROOM
Survey says? Chaga mushroom is EXCEPTIONALLY healthy.
This is especially the case if one prepares a full spectrum chaga tea from double extracted prepared powder, complete with all available compounds—rather than making the simple tea from scratch in the traditional way.
While both teas are both healthy (and tasty), what are the optimal benefits?
That is: what are all the health benefits one can expect from a full spectrum chaga tea made from powdered extract, owing to its scientifically studied compounds?
There’s quite a few, to say the least. Let’s take a look at some of them.
CHAGA WORKS LIKE AN ANTIOXIDANT
First things first: many of chaga’s celebrated compounds are in fact antioxidants, and in many versatile ways are responsible for its numerous health benefits.
We may be more familiar with the term “antioxidants” from our favorite superfoods. Now, imagine a superfood—but with antioxidant powers twenty times that. That’s chaga mushroom in a nutshell: better than the best superfood!
Studies indeed vouch for its antioxidant contents, especially in a dried extract.
This means the mushroom protects against free radical damage, supports healthy aging, reduces the chance of degenerative diseases, and even helps boost immunity naturally and reduces inflammation.
CHAGA HAS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY POWERS
Owing to its antioxidant powers, chaga is a mighty fighter against chronic inflammation. It can naturally help soothe inflammation of many types.
In fact, one study put chaga’s antioxidants to the test on a subject that was suffering from colitis—a very painful inflammatory disease of the digestive system. What it did was astounding.
The benefits were noticeable enough to make researchers consider it a potential therapy to explore for gastrointestinal diseases.
For that matter, chaga could be a natural anti-inflammatory tonic for all types of inflammation—though more studies are needed before it can officially replace any conventional medicine.
CHAGA COULD BE A BENEFIT TO ALLERGIES
Could chaga be an allergy medicine? Studies suggest it might be possible someday—though more studies are needed to know for sure.
This study tested chaga extract on subjects going through anaphylactic shock. Amazingly, the subjects didn’t experience acute symptoms when they received chaga for a certain period as a preventative.
Allergies causing anaphylaxis, like food allergies, can be life-threatening.
Moreover, they can be very inhibiting on lifestyle in certain ways. But imagine: taking chaga tea every day and not having to fear the worst case scenario when exposed to an allergen. How amazing is that?
CHAGA MAY HELP BOOST BRAIN FUNCTION
Allergies, immunity, and inflammation are common health obstacles we all face.
What about those among us who struggle with mental or neurological health?
Turns out there may be prized benefits for these folks, too, if they sip a daily chaga tea (with full spectrum compounds).
If forgetfulness or brain fog are common issues—or if people worry about the risk of cognitive diseases, like Alzheimer’s—it’s possible that chaga tea is the perfect potion to put one’s mind, literally, at ease.
CHAGA MAY HELP LOWER BLOOD SUGAR
For those of us who struggle with diet (or who have a genetic predisposition), blood sugar issues—and the worst form of them, type 2 diabetes—can be a huge concern.
Luckily, studies show full spectrum chaga tea may help with this, too.
It definitely didn’t prove that chaga tea could be a full replacement for mainstream therapies as of yet. But it did show itself to be very natural supportive, which can be supportive in its own unique if marginal way.
CHAGA MAY SUPPORT AND REDUCE THE RISK OF CANCER
Cancer is a big deal. On the one hand, there are no ways to fully stop the risk of getting it—and there are no remedies for it, natural or otherwise, save the use of chemoradiation and other highly artificial means.
Yet traditional peoples have used chaga to treat cancer for hundreds of years.
Though scientists are skeptical of this today, there are nonetheless scientific studies demonstrating that chaga’s antioxidants do in fact help kill cancer—if the chaga (perhaps in tea form, especially full spectrum tea) is taken continuously over a long period of time.
Still, this begs further exploration. Though it may be a long time before mainstream medical science accepts (or utilizes) chaga as a potential cancer therapy, it can be used as a powerful supplement in prepared tea form at home in the meantime!
A TRULY MAGICAL MUSHROOM
So many benefits can be found in chaga mushroom— and from so many of its compounds, packed into an easy, tasty, simple-to-make tea.
In order to get the full experience of chaga tea benefits for health, make sure to source only the highest quality, sustainably-harvested, and full spectrum dual extract powders—and we have to recommend Chaga Shroom!
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Lishuai Ma, Haixia Chen, Wenchai Zhu, Zhaoshuai Wang (2013). Effect of different dyring methods on physicochemical properties and antioxidant activities of polysaccharides extracted from mushroom Inonotus obliquus. Food Research International 50(2) 633-640. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996911002924
Siddhartha Kumar Mishra, Ju-Hee Kang, Dong-Kyu Kim, Seung Hyun Oh, Mi Kyung Kim (2012). Orally administered aqueous extract of Inonotus obliquus ameliorates acute inflammation in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 143(2) 524-532. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874112004771
Taek Joon Yoon, Sue Jung Lee, Eun young Kim, Eun Hee Cho, Tae Bong Kang, Kwang-Won Yu, Hyung Joo Suh (2013). Inhibitory effect of chaga mushroom extract compound 48/80-induced anaphylactic shock and IgE production in mice. International Immunopharmacology 15(4) 666-670. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1567576913001008
Vijayasree Vayalanellore Giridharan, Rajarajan Amirthalingam Thandavarayan, Tetsuya Konishi (2011). Amelioration of scopolamine induced cognitive dysfunction and oxidative stress by Inonotus obliquus – a medicinal mushroom. Food & Function 2, 320-327. Retrieved from http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2011/fo/c1fo10037h
Bao-zhong Diao, Wei-rong Jin, Xue-jing Yu (2014). Protective Effect of Polysaccharides from Inonotus obliquus on Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Symptoms and Their Potential Mechanisms in Rats. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Vol. 2014 ID 841496. Retrieved from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/841496/abs/
Satoru Arata, Jun Watanabe, Masako Maeda, Masato Yamamoto, Hideto Matsuhashi, Mamiko Mochizuki, Nobuyuki Kagami, Kazuho Honda, Masahiro Inagaki (2016). Continuous intake of the Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) aqueous extract suppresses cancer progression and maintains boy temperature in mice. Heliyon 2(5): e00111. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4946216/
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