A food-as-medicine ally, Chaga Tea is a comforting, neutral flavored and deep dark brew.
This unique mushroom looks like knotted bark, and is a blessing for those who do not enjoy the common texture and flavor or mushrooms.
Chaga is found in Northern Forests, usually on birch trees, in most of the Northern Hemisphere. Chaga colonizes tree wounds, and while it slowly draws nutrients from the tree, it also offers its antimicrobial properties to protect the wound from invasion of other harmful organisms.
Chaga is most well known for it’s adaptogenic properties. An adaptogen is an herb which helps to slowly strengthen and balance our immune response, stress response and hormone system (which is affected by an excessive stress response). Instead of overstimulating the immune system, which may aggravate autoimmune issues, an adaptogen helps to slowly build up a more proportionate response – one that can better target actual threats such as viral infections. This makes is a great daily tea to drink before the cold and flu season.
Bonus Health Benefit: Chaga has one of the highest antioxidant content of any food!
HOW TO BREW
- Find a good, Organic or Ethically Wild Harvested source of Chaga
- Use 1tsp of small chunks (or 1Tbsp of larger chunks) of Chaga per 1 cup of boiling water
- Combine water and Chaga into a pot, cover with a lid and simmer on low for 20+ minutes (if they are larger chunks you can simmer for 40 minutes)
- Strain into a mug or jar. Keep the Chaga bits! They can be re-brewed until the brown color fades
- Let cool until warm. Enjoy alone, added into Chai tea, coffee, or other teas. Add milk of choice and sweetener as desired
- Refrigerate strained bit and use within the month. Freshly brewed, plain chaga tea can last a couple of days when refrigerated.
Interested in learning more? Check out these sources!
Chaga mushroom extract inhibits oxidative DNA damage in human lymphocytes as assessed by comet assay. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630179
Antiinflammatory and Immunomodulating Properties of Fungal Metabolites https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1160565/
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