Perhaps it’s popped up in your Instagram feed, sipped on by a popular wellness influencer you follow. Maybe you’ve read about it in health articles online that extol its many virtues. Or you may have heard the name uttered around the water cooler, as one of your more health-conscious co-workers explains the dark mixture in their coffee mug. But what exactly is Chaga?
You’ve come to the right place. This article breaks down all the mystique around the hot new superfood to give you hard facts and actionable advice. What is Chaga? Why are people taking it? And how do you buy Chaga mushrooms online?
What Is Chaga?
Chaga is a mushroom that grows in the Northern Hemisphere on birch trees. In its whole form, it resembles an overgrown truffle or large lump of coal. While the buzz around Chaga is relatively new, its use as herbal medicine isn’t.
Many cultures have independently used the Chaga mushroom as medicine. In certain Cree regions of North America, the mushroom is known as pōsākan, or “good medicine,” and has been harvested for generations. The Ainu people, the original inhabitants of Hokkaido’s Japanese island, brewed Chaga mushrooms for a host of ailments. And the Siberian Khanty people spread the word about Chaga all across Russia, where it was used to treat gastritis, ulcers, and even cancer.
So, why are many people in the west only hearing about Chaga now? As more studies come out on the health benefits of certain traditional medicines, people are taking notice.
Why Take Chaga?
Chaga is what’s known as an “adaptogen,” meaning that it can help mitigate anxiety and stress. If you’re feeling the crunch at work or are overwhelmed by personal pressures, Chaga can help calm the nerves.
It also contains abundant vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Among its various nutrients are:
- Vitamin D
- Amino Acids
- B-complex vitamins
- And potassium
Medical News Today also reports that Chaga may help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation, support the immune system and even slow the aging process caused by oxidative stress. As interest in the traditionally-used mushroom continues to grow, expect to see more studies conducted on the wide-ranging benefits of Chaga.
How Do You Best Enjoy Chaga Mushrooms?
It takes years of experience to master mushroom foraging, and even then, you may not be able to find Chaga in the wild. Luckily, you don’t have to step foot out of your house to get your hands on it.
The easiest avenue to enjoy Chaga mushrooms is online ordering. Find a company that offers quality, purity-tested Chaga without additional sweeteners or sugar. Look for powdered Chaga, which you can mix with boiling water to create a tea. If you want a real treat, look for powdered Chaga that’s been mixed with Eleuthero root – a ginseng-like root that tastes great and amps up the Chaga’s immune-boosting properties.
Hopefully, this article has answered a few of your burning questions surrounding Chaga. Next time someone brings it up around the water cooler, you can confidently pull out your own mug of Chaga and cheers them – to good health!
Featured Photo by Elysabeth Malenfant on Unsplash