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June 02, 2021 3 min read

What Are Chaga Mushrooms?

Chaga Mushrooms have been used as a traditional form of medicine in Russia and Northern European countries and are known to thrive in very cold climates. In fact, did you know that Chaga comes from the Russian word for mushroom?Psst: they’ve even been referred to as “black gold.” Pretty cool, right?

When you come across this superfood mushroom in its natural habitat, they’re hard to mistake for any other mushroom. They look similar to burnt wood with their charcoal colour, have a lumpy exterior and can even grow in a clump as big as a human head. 

Interested in the benefits of this “black gold” fungi? Thought so. Like most herbal supplements and mushrooms, Chaga requires hot water (hello, tea or coffee!) or alcohol to break down its tough cellular walls to make the benefits available for consumption.

Chaga Uses And Benefits

Chaga mushrooms can be enjoyed in coffee or tea on their own or with other mushrooms like cordyceps. Mushroom-based coffee is said to be less acidic and also has less caffeine compared to a regular cup of joe. Hot mushroom-based beverages may seem like a relatively new idea, but (fun fact #2) Chaga was actually used as a coffee substitute during World Wars I and II. 

If hot beverages are not your thing, opt for supplements instead. You can enjoy this benefit-rich mushroom in powder form by adding our single-serve Chaga Immune sticks into your daily smoothie.

So why should you add Chaga mushrooms or Chaga powder to your grocery list? According to natural health expert, Dr. Axe, these mushrooms are loaded with both physical and mental benefits which include:

  • Healthy immune function
  • A balanced response to stress
  • Optimal Digestive function

What is Lion's Mane Mushroom?

Native to North America, Europe and Asia, it’s not hard to see why lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) have been a serious staple for traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. Loaded with health benefits, this unique and aptly named mushroom has seen an uptick in popularity in recent years. However, lion’s mane has been used in Japan for centuries and is still revered by Buddhist monks as almost a mystical source of nutrition. 

Unlike most mushroom species, the spines of lion’s mane project outward, giving it that unique look of a lion’s mane. They grow on both living and dead broadleaf trees alike and thrive in the late summer and fall months.

Lion's Mane Uses and Benefits

Unless you have access to an Asian grocery market, lion’s mane mushroom in its raw form isn’t readily available to many North Americans. However, all is not lost! You can still get lion’s mane in supplement form in our delicious, grab-n-go Lion’s Mane Focus Sticks or from our Lion’s Mane Focus Canister. 

Much like Chaga, lion’s mane can be enjoyed in your favorite hot beverages like coffee or tea by popping one of our stick packs or scoops of powder into your daily drink of choice. 

Although used for centuries as a food and herbal remedy source in Asian countries, lion’s mane has attracted a lot of attention during the past decade because of its potential therapeutic capabilities. 

According to the Journal of Restorative Medicine, in Chinese and Japanese medical systems, lion’s mane has traditionally been used to nourish the gut and fortify the spleen. This mushroom has also been said to be nutritive to overall health, promoting good digestion and strength.

It’s hard to pinpoint the vitamin and mineral content of lion’s mane, but according to Dr.Axe,  it’s believed to contain  potassium, zinc, iron and selenium. In addition, this mushroom contains polysaccharides (complex carbohydrate structures, like glucose) which are known to have correlations with various health benefits like maintaining health and immune responses.

Some other benefits of adding this luscious mushroom to your diet include:

  • Helps to improve overall well-being by improving sleep
  • Supporting digestion digestion 
  • Supports heart and circulatory system
  • Helps memory function and mood booster 

Chaga vs. Lion's Mane

I hate to say it but In this battle of the mushrooms… I declare a draw! There are just too many benefits when comparing Chaga vs. Lion's Mane. This fact, paired with their unique and delicious powder-form taste justifies a tie. However, maybe you can incorporate these powerful mushrooms into your day depending on your goals or plans. 

For example, if you know you need to focus on a particular day, opt for lion’s mane. If you want to support healthy immune function and de-stress, pop some Chaga powder into your morning coffee or evening tea. The main takeaway is that you can always depend on these mushroom varieties to help you live your best, healthy life.

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