Chaga is a dark colored mushroom found mainly on birch tree. It is easily recognizable because of its burnt look and rough tree bark like texture. It is widely seen in birch forests across all over Eastern Europe, Russia and some Asian countries. It has long been a staple ingredient in ancient medicinal traditions because of its high concentration of nutrients and health boosting properties. In Siberia where you can find it most plentifully, local people call this mushroom as the Elixir of Life or Gift of God for its surprising health benefits and nutritional profile. Here are some of the interesting facts about Chaga mushroom.
The appearance of the mushroom is similar to that of charcoal and the texture is more akin to cork.
Chinese used it in their medicine for thousands of years.
Some studies reported it can stop the growth of cancer cells if taken in the early stage.
It has a bustling nutritional profile with high concentration of vitamins, minerals, acid polyphenols, phytochemicals, flavonoids and antioxidants.
Chaga is mostly consumed as tea because of retaining most nutrients.
Preparing Chaga Tea
For most people getting Chaga mushrooms from the bark of birch trees is difficult until he stays in a natural surrounding with plenty of such trees. Today the mushroom is widely available in packaged form across the web stores. You also can grab the ready Chaga mushroom tea bags for a quick dip and enjoy a cup of high nutrient tea.
From raw Chaga mushroom preparing the tea is much easier. Let us describe the preparation of Chaga tea in simple steps.
Cut the uneven block of Chaga mushroom into small pieces.
Now pour 2 liters of purified water and the Chaga pieces in the same covered pot and boil the solution for a minute or so.
Following the first minute of boiling, continue warming the solution in simmering heat for an entire hour. Do not cover the pot now.
Now again cover the pot and simmer for another hour.
At the end of the process you will have 1 liter of Chaga tea ready for consumption.
Natural Healthy Components in Chaga:
Chaga is well known for its rich reserve of healthy nutrients including a wide variety healthy acids such as amino, Betulinic, pantothenic, Trametenolic and Vanillic acid; minerals such as manganese, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus; a whole array of vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, D2 and K.
Chaga is a treasure trove of natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phenols along with the great health boosting acid compounds like Betulin and Betulinic acid. Both of these acids offer anti-tumor effects making Chaga a great anti-cancer natural element. Betulin is also capable to play a positive role in curing metabolic disorders.
It can also have a natural anti cancer ability because of immune boosting properties and a significant level of antioxidants. Another striking benefit of Chaga is its ability to cure psoriasis which as a disease has notoriously lower response rate to treatments. A natural compound called Ergosterol found liberally in Chaga and some other elements offer robust anti-inflammatory effect on the body. While majority of chronic disorders and some life threatening ones are caused from inflammation, the anti inflammatory properties of Chaga can prevent them from settling in. In many countries and across various local medicinal traditions Chaga is also used as a powerful topical medicine to prevent allergies.