You might have noticed the word Chaga popping up now and then in recent years. Slowly but surely even Chaga lattes are being introduced in health conscious cafés around the world. During August this year, Business Wire even published an article about the trendy, rise in products containing Chaga mushroom from a global perspective. The rise in products apart from beverages are beauty products that include this mushroom, from renowned brands such as Origins and Lumene. Let’d demystify this superfood of all superfoods, Chaga mushroom.
What is it?
Chaga mushrooms grow in the northern hemisphere on birch trees and if you don’t know what Chaga is, you probably haven’t thought twice about what it is, even if you have seen them on a tree in plain sight. Since they blend in naturally with the birch tree. They appear like big, knobbly black lumps that easily pass as being part of the tree itself.
But don’t be fooled by their crude exterior. As various research on this dense mushroom has revealed that this is a powerhouse of nutrition and beneficial properties.
What are the health benefits of Chaga mushrooms?
Research on the Chaga mushroom has shown that it has a plethora of beneficial properties such as supporting the immune system, fights inflammation, slows down ageing, and research has been done on Chaga in relation to certain types of cancers.
What nutritional properties are found in Chaga mushrooms?
- B-complex vitamins
- vitamin D
- amino acids
What does it taste like?
Chaga mushroom tea has a subtle and almost vanilla-like taste. It doesn’t taste much at all when made into tea.
Where can you buy Chaga mushrooms?
Either buy it in health food stores as a powder or buy the chunks of Chaga. Four Sigmatic also has an instant coffee with Chaga mushroom powder and other varieties.
If you don’t prefer to walk out in a forest and pick them yourself that is, then you need a tool of some sort. (And I’m not the right person to advise you on this!).
How to use it?
This is how I use either powder or chunks or Chaga mushroom:
Chaga mushroom Powder:
- Blend into smoothies
- Blent into raw treats
Chaga mushroom chunks:
- Add to hot water and spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom and simmer on low heat into a tea.
Blend tea, not too hot (!) with raw cacao powder and plant-based milk and make it into raw cacao and chaga latte (I love these!).
What does the Chaga flavour merge well with?
Chaga goes really well with vanilla or raw cacao treats.
Learn more about the beneficial properties of Chaga mushrooms
- Chaga: King of the Medicinal Mushrooms – David Wolfe (book)
- Nine potential health benefits of Chaga Mushrooms (article)
- Chaga Mushrooms – 5 health benefits (article)
- Anticancer activity of subfractions containing pure compounds of Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) extract in human cancer cells and in Balbc/c mice bearing Sarcoma-180 cells (article)