Things seem to go in trends in my circle of herbal friends, some times I hop on the band wagon and others times I can sit back and think, “That’s not for me!” When I kept hearing the word ‘chaga’ and ‘medicinal mushroom’ I would inwardly cringe. I really wanted nothing to do with drinking some fungus, even if it was good for me. I can barely stomach mushrooms on my pizza.
However, after several friends specifically asked me if I had tried chaga for my Hashimoto’s, my interest became piqued and off to google I went. Well, would you know, chaga isn’t some slimy, gross mushroom? Chaga is actually more wood like in texture and can be ground into powder to make a rich, coffee like drink. I like coffee so I thought maybe I could actually try chaga!
And my friends were right! Chaga does in fact, taste a bit like coffee…add some raw cream and maple syrup and it is down right yummy!
More amazing than the taste are the medicinal properties of chaga. Along with being a great immune booster to help prevent the flu and colds from settling it, chaga also helps support the immune system to function properly. (This is great for anyone with a compromised immune system due to autoimmune disorders) Chaga is considered to be one of the best adaptogen herbs so it will help support the body during times of stress and help your immune system regulate.
Chaga has been greatly promoted as having anti cancer properties and helps prevent tumors. It has been used in other countries for centuries as a daily strengthening tonic.
Inflammation is a common problem with a lot of diseases and illnesses. Chaga is a natural anti inflammatory source.
I have yet to see any cautions of drinking chaga, but like anything else in the supplement world, drinking a small amount first to see how you react is a good idea. I personally drink a cup a day but I have a friend drinking just a few tablespoons at a time and having good success.
Chaga is also used in body care products as it helps repair damaged cells and is a natural anti aging agent. (I haven’t tried any yet but am definitely looking to find something to try or make!)
I’ve been drinking chaga for a few weeks now and the change in health has not been immediate but I can tell it’s working. The first big change for me is that I am sleeping more soundly and waking up rested. I also noticed a steady increase in energy and a lack of an afternoon/evening slump that has been my norm since having adrenal fatigue issues.
While chaga can be found in capsules and tinctures, I decided to try my hand at making chaga tea. I make a gallon at a time so I have enough for my family for a week. While I’ve seen a lot of methods of making chaga, I decided the crock pot method was the easiest.
How to make chaga tea
On Sunday nights, I put a 1/4 cup of chaga in my crock pot along with a gallon of water. I set the crock pot on low for a few hours. Before bed, I move it to warm and let it simmer over night. I’ve seen conflicting information but common sense tells me I don’t want it to get too hot and lose the medicinal value of chaga. In the morning we have hot chaga ready for us!
A coffee filter is all I use to strain the chaga into jars and refrigerate. The chaga grounds can be used for at least one more round of tea, which makes it economical. I have also read that you can reuse the grounds to make a tincture and I plan on giving that a try in the near future.
Chaga is available online to purchase in whole, powdered and tinctured form. (Mountain Rose Herbs has a powdered form) When looking for a source make sure you find one that says ‘wild crafted’ as you do not want synthetic chaga.
Have you had any health improvements using chaga or other medicinal mushrooms?