Nicknamed the “Mushroom of Immortality,” the wild Chaga mushroom has several medicinal properties and is extremely beneficial for overall health. Chaga grows in large black masses on birch trees and is oftentimes overlooked. However, while it may not look like a typical mushroom, it’s even better. The Chaga mushroom is rich in antioxidants, vitamins B1-B3, vitamin K, polysaccharides, and much more. All of these ingredients work together to reduce inflammation, manage stress, give you energy and strengthen your immune system. However, before delving into these tremendous Chaga mushroom benefits, it’s important that we all understand what Chaga is, how it works and how it should be consumed.
How to consume Chaga
There are a variety of ways to consume Chaga mushroom and reap its wonderful health benefits. While some people prefer the convenience of raw, processed Chaga extract supplements, other prefer the natural method of brewing Chaga tea. If you’re a tea fan, there are two main ways to make Chaga tea. First, you can boil Chaga chunks on the stove and drinks the liquid as tea. Second, you can buy raw, processed ground Chaga powder and mix it with boiling water to create a warm beverage. If you would like to learn more about how to make your own Chaga tea, we wrote an entire article about the process here. Essentially, there are two ways to process Chaga for oral consumption. The first process is hot water extraction and the second process is nicknamed double extraction, which involves using alcohol instead of water. The second process takes much longer and creates a more potent Chaga tincture rather than a tea.
When Does Drinking Chaga Benefit Me The Most?
Chaga tea is a nutritious and delicious beverage that can be drank year-long. However, many people wonder whether there are specific times that drinking Chaga can optimize their health benefits. The answer to this is two-fold. Chaga tea is always beneficial for your health. However, when Chaga is drank during certain times of the year or when you are sick, it can help even more. The fall and winter months tend to be when flus and colds hit the most. Because Chaga has ingredients like beta-glucans which strengthen the immune system, Chaga can help prevent you from getting sick. However, it can also speed up your recovery if you do catch a cold. To learn more about the best times to drink Chaga, click here.
Why should I Drink Chaga?
There are so many chaga tea health benefits that come along with consuming it including reduced inflammation, clearer skin, more energy, and so on. However, the answer mostly comes down to this: it is a powerful superfood packed with essential vitamins and nutrients. These are just a few of the crucial ingredients in Chaga:
- Vitamins B1, B2, and B3
- Vitamin K
- Betulinic acid
- Amino acids
These are just a few of the over 215 phytonutrients contained in Chaga. In fact, there are even some nutrients in Chaga that can’t easily be found in digestible forms anywhere else. The nutrients found in this magical medicinal mushroom are easily absorbed into the body after Chaga has undergone processing. However, what few people know- even those who consume Chaga- is that it’s impossible to get every single nutrient out of Chaga and into our bodies unless Chaga goes through both hot water extraction and double extraction. This is because some of the water soluble nutrients are erased in one process, while the non-water soluble nutrients are erased in the other. Therefore, be sure to always keep an eye out for Chaga extract supplements and powders that have been processed in both ways.
Some More Benefits…
With a superfood that is so full of phytonutrients, Chaga of course has to be beneficial for our bodies. And it is! There are many benefits of consuming Chaga- in any of its forms- that range from minor benefits to life-changing, disease-killing benefits. Here is a comprehensive list of the benefits of Chaga:
- Protects and strengthens the immune system
- Keeps hair and skin healthy
- Slows the aging process by helping you retain a youthful appearance
- Reduces stress, anxiety, stress-induced fatigue and oxidative stress
- Lowers and regulated blood sugar levels in diabetics
- Relieves pain
- Kills harmful bacteria
- Protects the gut from experience Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) side effects
- Boosts energy
- Intensifies physical endurance
- Prevents blood clots
- Improves cognitive function
- Reduces cholesterol levels
- Reduces the size of cancerous tumors
- Prevents the development of some cancers
- Reduces blood pressure
- Fights inflammation
- Prevents the side effects of cancer-treating drugs
- Encourages the growth of healthy cells
- Protects cells from damage by free radicals
- Oxygenates the blood
- Regulates pH levels
- Protects DNA
- Regulates hormones
- Helps battle against chronic fatigue
- Treats allergies
- Improves vision and cardiovascular health
- Helps detoxify cells
The benefits of the Chaga mushroom are truly indisputable. While there have been few studies conducted on Chaga mushrooms, those that have been released have all pointed towards the healing and restorative powers of this fungal superfood. All you need to know before trying Chaga for the first time is when you should drink it, what it’s used for and how it’s helpful. Then, make your Chaga tea, sit back and relax! Let the Chaga tea work its magic so that you start feeling more energetic, less susceptible to colds and stronger.