Called “The Mushroom of Immortality” by the Siberian Russians, Chaga earns its moniker, “The King of the Medicinal Mushrooms” due to it being one of the most powerful antioxidants in the world! Harnessing the power of ancient trees, it draws its nutrients from the inner layers of the bark of the tree which it grows on – normally silver and white birch trees.
Chaga is especially high in a compound called super-oxide dismutase (SOD), this is an enzyme which reduces the damage done to cells by “super-oxide”, the most common free radical in the body. Studies have shown that SOD acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, with researchers now investigating the potential of SOD as an anti-aging treatment as it is known that, as we age, SOD levels drop whilst free radicals increase. Naturally synthesised and with a biological power unmatched, Chaga provides SOD in a highly bioavailable form which we can utilise either topically or internally.
Along with most other medicinal mushrooms, Chaga is rich in beta-glucans – one of the most potent and healing polysaccharides known. It is renowned for its role in in activating the immune system and reducing the blood sugar of people who have abnormal blood sugar peaks.
Chaga for Longevity
There is a rich history of human Chaga consumption, stretching back for millennia, especially in Siberia with legends telling of an amazing birch fungus with miraculous health properties. Accounts date back as far a 1000 BCE in Traditional Chinese Medicine, with it being used to balance the body’s life force or “Chi” energy and to boost the immune system.
The Siberians used it to boost physical stamina and attain a long life – it has been noted by contemporary Russians that in the districts where Chaga was used, there was no cancer. In looking at their close neighbours the Inuits (who did not use Chaga), it is interesting to note that the average life span of the Inuit was 40 – 50 years in contrast to the people from Siberian tribes who regularly lived to be 90 – 110 years old!
If you would like to harness the power of Chaga, here are 5 easy ways to include this miracle mushroom in your diet:-
#1. Chaga Tea
This is done using Chaga Chunks, simply chop up some chunks and simmer in pure water for at least one hour, the longer you can leave it brewing the better. The advice from some of the experts in Siberia is that it shouldn’t be heated to more than between 150 – 180F (65 – 82C) as this is the temperature you will get all the benefits without destroying the proteins, enzymes and sterols. To obtain the results achieved by the Indigenous Siberians, it is recommended that you consume it daily as they did.
Simply add your favourite "Chai" spices to turn your tea into Chaga Chai.
#2. Chaga Soup
Using strongly brewed Chaga tea as a soup stock will take your mushroom soup to a whole new health level! If you use a mixture of medicinal mushrooms such as shiitake and reishi in your soup you will have a seriously powerful concoction on your hands that is also filling and delicious. Check out the recipe here:
#3. Chaga Hot Chocolate
Packed with “Mushroom Nutrition” and providing a myriad of health benefits, our Chaga Hot Chocolate recipe not only incorporates Chaga but combines it with 4 other mushroom powders. Add in the Raw Cacao Powder and this makes for a potent cocktail – ideal in the evening as you relax and unwind. Check out our recipe here:
#4. Chaga Mushroom Fudge
Another delicious way to enjoy the power of Chaga is to incorporate it into chocolate or fudge recipes, it's rich, deep flavour makes it a perfect accompaniment to raw chocolate – both Chaga and Raw Cacao are famous for their dense concentration of phytonutrients – what better way than to marry the two together in this delicious fudge recipe:
#5. Chaga Mushroom Smoothie
Last but not least, you can incorporate Chaga into your daily smoothie. It works really well with berries, nuts and chocolate/raw cacao – we put together this Chaga powered smoothie to get you started!