Chaga tea is an exotic and unusual tea variety, but it offers a number of impressive health benefits when prepared correctly.
What is Chaga Tea?
Chaga tea is a form of a mushroom tea, more specifically, one that is brewed with a fungus scientifically known as Inonotus Obliquus. This type of mushroom grows primarily on birch trees in areas of cold climates, and while it is non-toxic, the black exterior and positioning on trees often make people think that it is a sickness of the tree. In fact, this fungus can survive on living trees without doing much damage, and it can also be harvested. When this hard black outer shell is broken up, the interior is brown and yellow and soft like other mushroom varieties.
Brewing a tea from these mushrooms can be done either in pre-packaged bags or by grinding up whole chunks of the substance. The taste has a surprisingly sweet quality to it, most likely due to the presence of vanillin, which gives it a similar taste to vanilla.
How to Make Chaga Tea?
As mentioned, you can brew chaga tea in a number of ways. If you want a simple approach, simply buy pre-packaged tea bags or powder and brew as you would normal tea. However, if you want to brew your own, directly from the source, you can also do so.
- Step 1 – Weigh out approximately 1.5 ounces of chaga.
- Step 2 – Bring 12 cups of water to boil in a large saucepan. Then reduce heat.
- Step 3 – Add the chaga chunks and allow the mixture to simmer on low for 5-6 hours, or even overnight.
- Step 4 – Strain this tea through a cheesecloth to remove the chaga chunk, which may have broken apart.
- Step 5 – Serve warm or cold.
Note: You can re-use the chaga chunk for a second large brew if desired, but the potency will be reduced.
Chaga Tea Benefits
There are a number of impressive health benefits to chaga tea, including its effects on obesity, blood sugar, and cardiovascular health, among others.
There is a good amount of unique antioxidants in chaga mushrooms, including superoxide dismutase, which is known to help the body fight off the effects of free radicals. This can lower your risk for many types of chronic diseases, including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease.
This tea can have a massive impact on the immune system and is considered an immunomodulator. It also has clear antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal choice to drink when your body needs some extra protection.
With seven different antioxidants and a variety of nutrients and active ingredients, this tea can protect blood vessels and arteries, lower blood pressure, and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Chaga Tea Side Effects
Drinking too much chaga tea can have a number of unwanted side effects, including a dangerously low blood sugar level and increased risk of bleeding. These effects on the blood can be beneficial when the tea is consumed in moderation, but some people are more sensitive than others. Begin by drinking a small amount and gauging your body’s reaction.