Chaga fungus is a parasite found on white birch and other tree species that grow in cold places. It has other names such as: gift of God, king of plants, etc. In Spain it is not very popular, but its appearance in food is already being glimpsed. In this post we will talk about what Chaga tea is , flavor, uses and recipes.
Its medicinal qualities have been applied for centuries in countries such as Russia, Korea, part of Europe and the United States. Its properties date back centuries, there are records that in the 16th century it was used in Europe as a remedy to treat gastritis, tuberculosis and even cancer.
Its antitumor properties have already been investigated for decades, its betulin content and betulinic acid are still being studied as chemotherapeutic agents.
Chaga Tea Uses
Due to the number of properties that Chaga tea contains , it is used to protect health and alleviate certain ills.
- Protects the cardiovascular system. Chaga tea has benefits that improve cardiovascular health, due to its content of antioxidants that fight lipid peroxidation (when blood lipids are degraded by oxygen action).
- High nutritional content. It has a number of minerals that benefit health, such as: calcium, selenium, zinc, iron and copper. In addition, it contains vitamin B complex, soluble fiber, proteins and melanins. Also flavonoids, antioxidants and triterpenides.
- It has antioxidants. It has strong antioxidant content, rated with a high ORAC score. It is a laboratory test that consists of evaluating the amount of antioxidants in various foods. It also has high levels of superoxide dismutase which is an antioxidant that works against free radicals.
- Improves digestion. It is said to activate the bile function in the liver, so more toxins are removed from the body. This allows digestion to be better and helps detoxify the body.
- It is anti-inflammatory. Chaga tea allows the formation of cytokines, which are responsible for stimulating white blood cells, thus preventing pathogens from entering the body.
- Control glucose. It is one of the properties from the chaga tea mushroom , lower blood glucose levels. However, it is advised to consume it in moderation because it can cause side effects.
How Chaga tea is consumed
This type of tea is consumed in several of its modalities: powder, infusion, tincture and capsules. It is usually made in the form of a tea. To the buy it powder or capsules, it must be verified that the polysaccharides it contains are high (30% is fine). In addition, it is important that it has betulin and betulinic acid.
It is recommended to consume chaga capsules 2 to 3 times daily. In the case of powder, a teaspoon a day is suggested, however, it is best to follow the instructions on the product.
Chaga tea has an earthy, mild, and woody flavor. If you perceive a bitter taste, it is a clear indication that it is from an inferior quality mushroom. It is recommended to drink this tea 1 to 2 cups daily.
Chaga Tea Recipes
When the chaga mushroom its nutrients are extracted through heat. This is due to its antioxidant enzymes that require high temperatures to release, but can be damaged by boiling.
The mushroom should be heated slowly, over low heat for several hours to release the nutrients in the tea and minimize damage. Let’s see how to prepare it in the form of an infusion.
To prepare Chaga tea you must do the following steps:
- Boil 5 cups of purified water, then lower the heat.
- Add a handful of Chaga mushrooms to the hot water and cover.
- Don’t let it boil, keep warm for about four hours.
- Check that the preparation is not boiling. If it reaches a boil, turn it off, let it rest for 15 minutes and resume cooking over low heat.
- Strain the chaga tea and pour the mixture into a glass jar.
- The dose is three times daily before meals. It is continued for 20 weeks to treat some ailments.
On the other hand, the Chaga infusion can be combined with other teas such as rooibos, oolong, green, etc. Also, it is considered to try it with cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, ginger and honey.
The tincture is used to spray on the face. It is recommended to treat acne, neurodermatitis and psoriasis.
It is prepared as follows:
- Boil 4 pieces of chaga in 400 ml of water for 25 minutes.
- The tincture is the water that remains after cooking.
- Store in the fridge in small jars.
Chaga tea side effects
There are certain precautions that should be considered when consuming any chaga mushroom preparation .
If this is the first time you consume it, you need to try a little piece to rule out possible allergies. In addition, it would be important to consult with your doctor if you are taking any type of medication, because there may be a reaction with the medicine.
It is not recommended in people who take insulin or to treat diabetes, because it could have an impact on blood sugar. Also, the mushroom has a protein that prevents blood from clotting, so it’s best to avoid it if you’re taking blood thinners (such as aspirin and warfarin).
There are certain studies that say that the chaga mushroom has anti-inflammatory effects and it may be that the immune system become more active. In addition, the exact dose is not known, so it is best to consult your doctor before trying it.