We love mushrooms in my house.
I’m not talking about the mushrooms you buy at your local grocer (although, we love those too!)… I’m talking about the superfood variety, such as the chaga mushroom.
My wife and I often use chaga as a natural morning pick-me-up in the form of tea (yes, mushroom tea), as well as a seasonal remedy for boosting our immune systems. It truly works wonders at fending off straggling germs during flu season.
Haven’t heard of chaga before? It’s one of the most powerful and mysterious natural remedies in the Western world.
Chaga has been used for centuries by shamanic healers and various cultures throughout Asia, Russia, and other Northern European countries. And for good reason… It’s loaded with antioxidants and healing properties.
The chaga mushroom grows on birch trees throughout the northern hemisphere and is often mistaken for burnt wood due to its dark crusty appearance.
Known scientifically as Inonotus obliquus, chaga is one of the most powerful medicinal mushrooms yet discovered. So much so, it’s been deemed as the “King of the Medicinal Mushrooms”. And in some areas, it’s even been called the “gift from God.” Those are some pretty big titles to live up to, but this fungus is more than deserving.
Chaga contains one of the highest levels of antioxidants. This alone makes it a powerhouse healer. Antioxidants are vital for fighting off free radicals – the very things that attack our healthy cells and make us sick.
Thanks to its high antioxidant concentration, chaga has shown to be beneficial in fighting many different diseases, including certain cancers, diabetes, and even heart disease.
This is primarily because of its ability to build up and boost the immune system — and a healthy immune system is vital for overcoming any type of illness.
Chaga is referred to as an immunomodulator, meaning it adapts to the needs of the immune system, similar to an adaptogenic herb. It’s able to do this because of its rich abundance of beta-d-glucans – a type of polysaccharide found in a variety of fungi. These compounds help balance the immune system by calming an overactive system or stimulating a slow one.
When you’re sick, or on the verge, your white blood cells take a beating. Hence, the lethargic feeling you experience. These cells are your body’s first line of defense when trying to ward off infections, whether viral or bacterial.
Chaga works by stimulating the activity of your white blood cells, giving them the strength they need to target viruses and other infections.
And when you add chaga’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties to the mix, your immune system has the great protective barrier it desperately needs today!
Chaga is harvested and then either dried or ground into a powder for consumption. It can be made into a tea, extract, or tincture, and can also be taken as a dietary supplement in the form of a capsule.
Brewing chaga tea or adding chaga powder into beverages are quick and easy ways to reap its many healing benefits. And because it has a bitter and earthy taste, it can make a great substitute for coffee.
Here’s a recipe for one of my favorite ways to get my daily dose of chaga. It gives you the boost of energy and vitality you need first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon when you’re feeling a bit drained.
Chaga Latte Elixir
- 1 tsp Chaga mushroom powder*
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
- Sprinkle of Nutmeg (optional)
- 1 tbsp Coconut butter
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 cup Hot water
- 1/4 cup Almond milk (warmed)
- 1 tsp Raw honey (More to taste if desired)
(*If you’re using chaga mushroom chunks, brew chaga tea per the brand’s instructions in place of powder and hot water.)
- Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and frothy.
- Pour into a mug and top with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon if desired.
You can easily find varieties of chaga online at Mountain Rose Herbs, Vitacost, or any other reputable supplement company. Check your local health food store as well, as most carry some form of chaga.
With the wide range of chaga supplements, it’s easy to add this mushroom into your diet.
Give it a shot!
Host of Remedy: Ancient Medicine for Modern Illness
& Founder of The Sacred Science
Where can I buy Chaga in the Pam Springs Rancho Mirage, Calif. area. I live in the Rancho Mirage area. Can I buy it on line? Or get it shipped to me? Thanks so much…Carole
This is one of the best online vendors: https://www.realmushrooms.com
When looking for mushroom powders make sure the mushrooms are grown on logs not grain media. You want mushrooms that contain the fruiting body where most of the medicinal compounds reside. The mycelium does contain immune boosting compounds but it doesn’t provide all the benefits you can derive from medicinal mushrooms. My favorite company is Real Mushroom Company. Their blog contains articles on the difference between mushrooms growing on log and those grown on grain media. Many of the cheaper Mushroom powders on the market are grown on grain media.
Thanks for sharing! We love that company, Real Mushrooms.
I have harvested and brewed Chaga for about 10 years now. The Best Way to brew it as a tea or coffee substitut is to heat it in chuncks, to a simmer, let it simmer 5 hours for tea and 8 for coffee, you May want to add more to the brew for coffee substitut as well. The great thing about chuncks, I find, is that if I use too much, I Can brew on it again. Were as fine grounded one tends to drink it.. in the end, when the tea only get a light brown color, you Can ground the chuncks to powder and eat it. 🙂
Awesome! Thanks for your insights and tips!
I have grown shitakes on logs for 25 years. Is there a source for the spawn I could get or has not the spawn been domesticated, or are they only in the wild? I live in the bottom row counties in Michigan about 60 miles east of Lake Michigan shore.
Muy buenas recetas. Gracias!
Thanks for the Garam Masala recipe. I’ve been making my own curry powder for years, which has some of the same ingredients.. I put it in a great recipe for Melagatawney! Addictive!!
You might not have to buy chaga. If you are near birch trees, look for some. I am lucky to have birch trees and we found a giant piece of chaga some years ago. It will take us a long time to use it up.
I have bought mushroom spawn for logs from Paul Stametz.
i love this drink
I think i used to grow this mushroom…possible?
I have been following from past couple of months. Can I mix Chaga mushroom powder with my Jade Matcha drink?
Thank you for this information about the chaga mushroom.
I’m wondering where it can be purchased.
I’ve only found the Host Defense Chaga Mushroom Mycelium Powder. Is the taste and nutritional benefit similar to the mushroom itself?
Thanks for the Chaga info. I see in the recipe you used 1teaspoon. I have Reishi mushroom powder. The instructions say to 1/3 of a tea spoon, so I naturally measure by sight. Do you know why the manufacturers/ mill may advise such a small portion.
Thank you in anticipation of your advice.
Doesn’t chaga need to be decocted and tinctured to get out all the constituents? I am not know that powder will do it. Thank you
Like the suggestion for Chaga Latte Elixir;however, I need substitutes for cinnamon, vanilla and coconut, my blood serum indicates that I experience negative responses and reactions to those foods. I feel sad because like all three. I am always creatively deciding the exchange food source for recipes. Your Chaga Latte Elixir has been a challenge …perhaps, cardamom to replace cinnamon, yet I am puzzled regarding the vanilla and coconut. Thanks for your assistance.
Thank for all thosse recipeis so helpefull.Any ploblen if i use in furure web?
My son told me about chaga tea and chaga coffee about 2 years ago. I had been diagnosed with stage 4 small cell lung cancer. I weighed a whopping 88 lbs. I am down to 1 small spot. I have been doing immunotherapy for about 2 years and drinking chaga tea and coffee. I believe it has everything to do with helping get rid of the cancer. I am now back up to 105 lbs.