Chaga Tea the Elixir of Health | Chaga Tea Demystified

Posted by Blair Kovacs on

What is Chaga Tea Mushroom?

Chaga Mushrooms can be found on Birch trees in temperate forests throughout North America, Russia and the Northern hemisphere. Chaga mushroom inonotus obliquus looks like burnt charcoal or a encrusted black formation on birch trees.

Chaga mushroom, birch chaga, chaga on tree

What is Chaga Tea Made From?

Simply put, tea is made from chaga mushroom that has been dried and milled into a usable form to make tea. The different grinds of the mushroom offer different options for brewing. Broken into pieces or chunks, ground to a course consistently similar to coffee called tea-cut, or milled into a powder.

The more surface area there is the more hot water can extract the bio active ingredients.

The concept of extracted powder refers to the process of freeze drying. The same techniques used to make instant coffee are applied to make an instant mushroom powders.

There is a tradeoff for convenience with chaga supplements as some of the health benefits are compromised during the manufacturing process.

The mushroom can be ground into tea or powder with a coffee grinder but do so with a caution. Being very dense the mushroom may chip or damage the blades in your grinder.

Chaga Tea Benefits 

  • 215 + phytonutrients
  • Contains riboflavin and niacin
  • B and D vitamins
  • Helps keep the body alkaline 
  • Rich source of minerals 
  • Aids digestive system
  • Supports cognitive function 
  • Helps reduce bad cholesterol
  • Stabilizes blood pressure
  • Increases energy 
  • Fights Cancer 

See our complete list of chaga benefits for more details.

What is chaga good for?

A research study showed that medicinal mushrooms can improve the immune system and lower high blood sugar levels.

The chaga mushroom inonotus obliquus stimulates the creation of healthy blood cells which are essential to fighting off bacteria and viruses. Chaga is good for overall health by helping to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and reduce oxidative stress. 

The beneficial effects of inonotus obliquus boast some of the highest antioxidant activities ( Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity ) O.R.A.C. levels on Earth.  helping to flush toxins, radiation, heavy metals and other free radicals out of our body. 

Fighting Cancer by inducing Apoptosis

There is a  rich source of betulinic acid naturally present in the bark of the Birch tree. The mushroom converts betulin from the Birch tree into betinuinic acid making it soluble for us to ingest. 

Betulinic Acid stimulates a process call apoptosis which triggers cancer cells to kill themselves. Chaga is the only mushroom to contain low pH Betulinic Acid which directly targets cancer cells.  

Chaga Tincture offers higher amounts of betulinic acid making it a must for those fighting Cancer.

Can You Take Too Much Chaga?

Taking too much daily over an extended period can overburden the liver and kidneys due to the rich mineral content. Choose quality over quantity is the best way to manage your dosage.

Mushroom Tea Chaga Side Effects

Chaga mushrooms grow on Birch trees so if you are allergic to Birch you should probably not consume chaga in any form.

You are taking diabetic medications laboratory studies suggest that chaga may also lower blood sugar, causing additional effects.

Chaga can mimic a blood thinner. You should stop taking chaga a few weeks before any planned surgery and be advised if taking blood thinning medications.

Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

A Unique Taste in Nature

We are accustomed to believe that if something is good for us, it's bound to taste awful, bitter and not very pleasant. Fortunately, that is NOT the case with Chaga Mushrooms.  

Chaga from Birch trees tastes mild and earthy, with a hint of sweet vanilla taste. Discover the full story of what does chaga taste like and why.  

If you are or currently consuming Chaga that tastes extremely bitter or disgusting you need to question what species of tree it came from, was it a living tree and was the Chaga safely and properly dried and prepared.  

Can You Eat Chaga Powder?

You can consume raw chaga powder if desired.  However, most the benefits will be inaccessible until its extracted in hot water first.  Raw chaga powder has little to no taste.  Health Canada recommend limited your intake of raw chaga to 3.6g per day.  More information about chaga dosage and chaga warnings can be found on our website. 

One can never really tell by looks alone.  Like any food, let your senses and taste be an indicator of quality and freshness.  

How often should you drink Chaga?

Best to consider any medicinal mushroom as a medicinal tonic to be enjoyed daily.  A maximum of two cups daily is recommended. One cup in the morning and a second late afternoon around dinner time.

Rich in Birch tree sterols, drinking the tea daily provides a boost energy and vitality. A good reason to should avoid drinking the tea too close before bed time otherwise it may affect your sleep.

Does Chaga Tea Have Caffeine? 

Prepared Chaga tea does not have caffeine. The dark rich color comes from the tannins in the melanin which are released when brewing. 

Known as a vasodilator the mushroom expands the arteries and increases the pumping action of the heart improving arterial circulation. 

This simulates the effects of caffeine but without any side effects or nervousness associated with caffeine jitters.

You can still enjoy our chaga mushroom coffee which does have caffeine and tasty chaga mushroom combined.

Drinking the tea daily promotes endurance and an overall sense of well being. 

Does chaga help you lose weight?

Chaga Weight Loss

With the positive impact on overall energy and vitality may find that the mushroom also helps with curbing your appetite and weight gain. 

Your daily intake of tea supports the digestive process allowing for improved nutritional absorption. More efficient nutritional intake means that you feel fuller faster.

Weight loss can be compared to green tea or other herbal teas which are known to suppress your appetite and there are no calories in chaga.

Consuming the tea daily helps reduce stress and anxiety leading to lower cortisol levels which supports weight loss. 

Chaga and Pregnancy

Pregnant women can consider the mushroom as a natural prenatal super vitamin.  A rich source of natural vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients which act as a natural super vitamin.  

One cup per day is recommended during pregnancy. Tincture or extract should be avoided due to the alcohol content.  

Consult with your family physician when taking natural herbs or medicinal mushrooms along with other prenatal supplements.  

Can you eat Chaga Powder?

The mushroom must be extracted before we can access the health benefits. The cell walls are protected by chitin making hot water necessary to release the nutrients within. 

Indigenous tribes used to suck on pieces of chaga as a means of extraction. Usually to help with toothaches or headaches.

The mushroom is very hard and dense and is not recommended for chewing.  

The powder can be added to soups, stews, smoothies or sprinkled on food adding a boost of nutrition.

Health Canada recommends to limit your daily intake of raw mushroom to 3.6g per day.  

Chaga Tea Recipe  

  • 4 Tablespoons of Chaga
  • 1 Litre of water
  • Simmer on med to med - low heat
  • Cook for 3 to 5 hours up to 12 hours
  • 30 minutes in Instant Pot
  • Do Not Boil. 
  • Simmer around 80 C for best results. 
Refer to our chaga brewing guide for complete directions on how to brew chaga tea

Where to buy Chaga 

With the commerization of chaga there are many different products which feature the mushroom available at health food stores or online.

When looking for quality seek organic and look for 3rd party accreditations.

Know where the chaga is sourced from, any reputable vendor should disclose where their mushroom comes from.

Avoid chaga supplements like capsules, tea bags, or instant powders which offer convenience but sacrifice quality and potency.

Cultivation the mushroom on different medium is still a new concept and not a viable substitute for the potency only wild chaga can provide.

Annanda offers certified organic Canadian Chaga that is 3rd party lab tested safe. Free from heavy metals or pesticides so you know you are getting the highest quality. 

Taking two cups of tea combined with the tincture daily is recommended to get the maximum benefit from this amazing fungus.

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Chaga 101

Search the Annanda ChagapediA the encyclopedia of chaga mushroom for more information