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Guide to Understanding Chaga Tea

Posted by Heather & Blair on

What is Chaga Mushroom?

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

What is Chaga Tea Made From?

Simply put, chaga 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 quicker 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 extracted chaga powders and chaga supplements like chaga capsules as many of the potential 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.

Annanda Chaga offers certified Organic Canadian chaga mushroom. 100% pure with no additives or processing means guaranteed premium quality.

What is Chaga good for? Chaga Tea Benefits

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 offers health benefits by helping to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, prevent heart disease and reduce oxidative stress. This also helps with controlling high blood pressure and can act as a natural blood thinner.

Studies show that chaga 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.

Chaga is rich in an enzyme called Superoxide Dismutase which helps to destroy cancer cells and help fight many types of disease including colon cancer.

You can explore the benefits of chaga on our chaga benefits page for more details.

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.

What Does Chaga Tea Taste Like? 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.

Birch Chaga tastes mild and earthy, with a hint of sweet vanilla taste as is quite pleasant tasting.

If you are 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?

You can consume raw chaga if desired as it has little to no taste, however, the mushroom must be extracted before you 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 to help with toothaches or headaches.

The mushroom is very hard 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.

More information about chaga dosage and chaga warnings can be found on our website.

How often should you drink Chaga Tea?

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 mushroom tea daily provides a boost energy and vitality. A good reason to should avoid drinking mushrooms too close before bed time otherwise it may affect your sleep. You can also add additional cups of water to your brew to dilute to taste.

Does Chaga Tea Have Caffeine?

Prepared Chaga does not contain 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.

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

Does Chaga help you lose weight?

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, tea with lemon juice 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.

How Long Does Chaga Tea Last?

Despite the fact that chaga is almost self preserving mostly because of it's high mineral content, brewed chaga will eventually ferment due to bacteria getting into your brew.

This is why up to two weeks in the fridge is ok, but leaving brewed chaga in the fridge for over 14 days than you may be taking a health risk.

It's best to freeze prepared tea if you are not planning on consuming it within 28 days.

Chaga Tea Shelf Life

Like most tea's, whether your chaga is in small pieces, chunks or powder, dried Chaga can expire and lose potency if not stored properly. Chaga mushrooms lose potency when exposed to direct sunlight and constant air circulation.

This degrades the potency of your chaga as Chaga becomes less potent as it oxidizes.

Storing chaga is important because you can extend the shelf life of chaga almost indefinitely if stored properly.

Storing Chaga Tea

Try to avoid storing chaga in paper bags but rather keep your dried chaga in a airtight container, food grade pouch or a glass jars stored in a dark cupboard works well.

Always choose chaga growing on birch trees. When purchasing chaga always look for a Lot # and Best Before date on the package of any brand of Chaga that you purchase.

Ideally you want to use you wild chaga within 6 months to a year to get the most benefit. Even if chaga is stored properly for the long term, fresh is always best in our view and reduces the chances of spoilage or any unwanted side effects.

It is a good practice to reuse your Chaga mushroom Tea by storing the used wet portions the freezer in between brews.

To get the most value out of chaga it's always good to re-use your chaga several times.

There's lots of information and tips on brewing chaga on our website

Note: magic mushrooms, magic mushroom tea, psilocybin mushrooms, shroom tea, psilocybe cubensis, psychedelic mushrooms have nothing to do with chaga