Is Chaga Tea Dangerous?
Chaga tea has made waves in recent years due to an increase in popularity from being featured on various talk shows, websites and even magazines for its potential health benefits. But can chaga tea actually be dangerous? Let’s take a closer look at what chaga tea really is, and uncover any potential health risks that may be lurking inside each up.
What is Chaga Tea?
Chaga tea is tea made from compounded or extracted compounds from the chaga fungus, also known as the chaga mushroom. Chaga is typically found in areas of Northern and Eastern Europe, as well as Northern Canada, the Northern United States, and Korea. The chaga fungus has been used as a folk remedy in Eastern and Northern Europe for centuries, and in the last few decades has made an international resurgence due to the potential for chaga’s anti-cancer benefits, as well as the presence of minerals and vitamins that help boost the body’s immune system. Several studies have found that chaga has numerous health benefits to human and could be used in various ways like chaga tea, capsules, soaps and oil.
Is it Dangerous?
Chaga is not inherently dangerous—however, there are people who should not drink chaga tea due to natural effect that chaga tea has on the body.
If you are taking any anticoagulant medications such as aspirin or warfarin, chaga tea is not recommended because it will actually increase these effects and increase your risk for bleeding and bruising. The presence of triterpenes (such as betulinic accid and sterois) is what increases these risks.
If you have diabetes, chaga tea is actually recommended because it will support healthy blood sugars levels.
One potential risk of chaga tea comes from the fact that not all chaga teas are alike. Chaga teas can be made from different types of extracts or even multiple ingredients, which may be considered risky for certain people. Depending on how the chaga was extracted, it may contain a noticeable level of alcohol, which would mean it is not recommended for children or people with an alcohol sensitivity. Some chaga teas contain additional ingredients, usually added under the guise of increasing the health benefits, but if these additional ingredients are not clearly spelled out it could mean you are consuming tea with ingredients that are not recommended for you.
If you are consuming chaga tea, it is recommended that you inform your doctor so he may discuss any potential complications (such as if you have diabetes or take anticoagulant medication); you should also ensure you only drink chaga tea made from extracts that do not contain alcohol or additional, unknown ingredients.