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Chaga is a very unique type of mushroom, that has recently been making the rounds as the latest superfood to catch people’s attention. As we discover new superfoods on a seemingly regular basis, or as ancient foods and healing tonics start to gain a new popularity, some of them end up sticking around for good like quinoa or kale, whereas others seem to go by the wayside once the hype fades away and the fad is over. We’re going to be taking a look at some of the stuff in chaga, the benefits, and how this mysterious tea is harvested and made.
Some of the main compounds in the chaga mushroom are:
- Beta-glucans: These are found in the cellular walls of things like bacteria, fungi, algae, lichens, yeasts, and certain plants like barley or oats. They’ve been used as medicine for a number of conditions, including to help treat high cholesterol, cancer, HIV, and diabetes, according to WebMD.
- Betulin / Betulinic acid: “Betulin is an abundant, naturally occurring triterpene. It is commonly isolated from the bark of birch trees, where it forms up to 30% of the dry weight of the extractive, and is found in birch sap as well.” – via Wikipedia.
- Polyphenols: These are found in many healthy foods, like berries, cloves and seasonings, beans, nuts, other non-berry fruits, soy, green tea, black tea, red wine, and others.
Antioxidants in Chaga
ORAC units per gram is a way to measure the amount of antioxidants in things. Here’s a look at how chaga compares to other popular antioxidant foods when it comes to comparing their ORAC units per gram.
Chaga is considerably higher than the others. The numbers for chaga, acai, and pomegranate come from tests conducted by Brunswick Labs, and the blueberry score comes from the USDA. These numbers were compiled by fengshuilondon.net.
Benefits of Drinking Chaga Tea
For this section, we’re going to mention different benefits that have been claimed for this drink. We, ourselves, at Tea Perspective aren’t scientists and we haven’t conducted any of these tests ourselves, so we’ll simply link you to a source for each one and you can do your own research and make up your own mind as to whether or not it sounds beneficial to you, in your unique situation, and with your unique diet.
- Antioxidants – A study that has been cited over 40 times, with over 30 references.
- Chaga Impact on Blood Glucose – Siberian Empire Chaga covers this benefit in a recent article they published.
- Increased Energy – Reference.com discussed some of the benefits of chaga, including having extra energy.
- Cognitive Function – This study examines the effect on this plant on your mental and cognitive functions.
- Other Nutritional Benefits – You’ll also find amino acids, fiber, ionized trace minerals like copper, iron, zinc, and more. Vitaminds B1, B2, B3, D2, and plenty more.
At the end of the day, it really comes down to how it makes you feel. The best way to find that out is to try some for yourself. You can read about countless benefits of something, but if you drink it for a while and don’t really feel any better, what’s the point? On the other hand, if you hear about a unique food like this, and ignore it – you’ll never know. Maybe it’s that little extra kick to help get you through the morning, or something to help calm you at the end of a day? We’ve found that when it comes to health benefits of different types of teas, the best thing is always to drink it becasue you enjoy it, but there are many benefits to a variety of different teas and their ingredients, and it’s always nice to try new things.
How to make Chaga Tea
There are a lot of different ways that people make this, and it can be kind of confusing since you’re hearing one set of instructions from one source, and a completly different set of instructions from somewhere else. First and foremost, if there are instructions on your particular packaging, start with that. Beyond that, here’s a good video that covers how to make chaga mushroom tea.
Now all that’s left is a list of the resources we’ve used to reference various chaga benefits in this article, if you’ve got anything to add please let us know!
-  Study: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/cpb/55/8/55_8_1222/_article
-  Article: https://siberianempire.com/en/blog/chaga-impact-on-blood-glucose/
-  FAQ: https://www.reference.com/food/health-benefits-chaga-tea-8dd077b126d05e4?aq=chaga%20tea%20benefits
-  Study: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2011/FO/C1fo10037h#!divAbstract
-  Article: http://www.nationalnutrition.ca/herb_articles_Mushroom_Chaga.aspx