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April 15, 2022 3 min read
While Chaga mushrooms may not be the mushroom you’ll find at your local grocery store, they are becoming more and more commonplace in North America – and for good reason. Many people are turning to Chaga mushrooms for their demonstrated health benefits as we seek natural remedies and solutions for stress and other health concerns. Chaga mushrooms are known for their ability to support the body’s natural immune defenses and maintain a healthy stress response, making them a ‘shroom you’ll want to get familiar with! Read on for a deeper dive into the world of Chaga and for tips on how to prepare Chaga mushrooms.
Chaga is a fungus that grows on birch trees in colder climates throughout the northern hemisphere. On the exterior, they have a charcoal rock or dirt-like appearance but on the inside, they are a deep burnt orange color.
Chaga mushroom is considered a superfood because of the multiple compounds they contain that are beneficial to human health. For example, popular superfoods like acai and turmeric are known for high levels of antioxidants, but did you know that Chaga can be up to 5 times more concentrated in antioxidants than those superfood staples? Chaga mushrooms are also extremely rich in dietary fiber, which is an essential component of a healthy diet. Not only that, but they are low in calories and can provide some amazing benefits to the skin and overall health.
Because Chaga is chock-full of nutrients, they can support healthy body functions in a variety of ways.
First and foremost, Chaga mushrooms are best known for their immune system support. They have been long revered in Eastern cultures for their ability to support a healthy immune system. They do so by regulating the production of cytokines in the body, which in turn regulates the immune system. Chaga also contains high levels of Beta-glucans which are also known for their ability to maintain and optimize immune health.*
Not only are Chaga mushrooms a superfood, but they are also considered to be an adaptogen, which are plants or substances that help to manage stress by decreasing sensitivity to stressors and promoting mental equilibrium. One study suggests that not only can adaptogens have a therapeutic effect on stress-induced and related disorders, but they can also positively impact the quality of life for patients experiencing a variety of physical and chronic health conditions.*
For a complete list of Chaga health benefits, click here.
While Chaga mushrooms aren’t likely to be found in your local corner store, it is still possible to acquire whole Chaga at farmer’s markets or by foraging and harvesting it in the wild. You can find more information on foraging it yourself here. Once you have your Chaga, tips on how to prepare Chaga mushrooms include:
Most people prefer to consume Chaga as a tea, though once you have the tea you can use it to cook by swapping out some stock for Chaga tea in your favorite recipes, or by adding a few tablespoons of the tea to your dough or batter when you’re baking.
That said, there are some easier ways to get your Chaga fix. One is by using a pre-made Chaga powder, like Rritual’s Chaga Immune Elixir. This convenient powder can be used daily by adding it to warm water to make a tea, or to enhance your favorite bevy – think luscious lattes, superfood smoothies, or even soothing soups! The sky's the limit, but you can find our top 5 Chaga powder recipes here.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease.
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