How Chaga Works

Chaga is praised for its healthy benefits. Many users sip Chaga tea to help them feel well and boost energy. Chaga is delicious and can work to help you feel well. Here’s how Chaga works.

How Chaga Grows

Chaga grows slowly, deep under the bark of birch trees. Unlike many other mushrooms, Chaga doesn’t appear along the substrate until it is fully developed. The fruiting body, or the sclerotium, bursts through the bark when Chaga is full grown. The conk has a charred, black appearance on the outside, and a rich, rusty orange color on the inside. It can take as long as 20 years for Chaga to reach maturity. It is this growth habit that endows Chaga with its many healthy benefits.

How Chaga Works

Birch trees are full of healthy components. As Chaga grows it concentrates these components within its cells. Chaga contains large amounts of betulinic acid, melanin, superoxide dismutase and many other antioxidants within its cells. These components are difficult to come by naturally in such large amounts. They all work together to maintain a healthy balance in your body and promote good health. Nearly exclusively, birch trees host Chaga. It is speculated that Chaga may be found on a few other hardwoods, but it is likely they would not have the same healthy benefits that Chaga mushrooms found growing on birch trees have.

Chaga From Extreme Environments

SurThrival points out, in its Chaga Harvesting Guide, that harvesting Chaga from extreme environments may result in a higher concentration of the healthy components. In extreme northern latitudes and higher elevations, Chaga uses these components to facilitate survival, possibly making Chaga from these regions even more beneficial.

How to Use Chaga

There are several different ways to reap the benefits of Chaga. The most common way to use the mushroom is to brew it into a tea. Brewing chunks of Chaga or Chaga powder breaks down the chitin and makes the components in Chaga available to your body. Other Chaga users add Chaga powder to smoothies to consume the mushroom without cooking. Some people speculate that some of the healthy components are lost if Chaga is cooked too long or at too high of a temperature. Using Chaga in both forms is the best way to ensure you are getting all of the healthy benefits the mushroom has to offer.

The tea is slightly bitter, earthy drink. You can drink the tea hot or cold. Dress it up with almond milk and honey or enjoy it plain. Stir Chaga powder or extract into your breakfast smoothy, or stir a bit into your coffee. You can also replace your coffee with Chaga tea. It can boost your energy without the jitters caffeine can cause.

However you choose to use Chaga, it will help you feel well. Try Chaga to see how your body will benefit from the high concentrations of healthy components in this unique mushroom.

Sources

“What’s Chaga Tea and Should You Be Drinking It?”  Eat This Not That

Photo:”Chaga” by Will Power