The Chaga mushroom and the associated Chaga tea are considered to be the silver bullet of alternative remedies. It has long been used in Eastern Europe and China as part of traditional Chinese medicine. Now he is also enjoying increasing popularity in Germany.
In the following article we would like to give you an insight into the topic of Chaga tea. We will answer the most important and most frequently asked questions about Chaga tea.
the essentials in brief
- Chaga tea is made from the Chaga mushroom. This grows mainly on birch trees in cold, damp regions and differs enormously from classic mushrooms.
- Chaga and Chaga tea are said to have a healing effect. It is said that it can help in the healing of many diseases, such as thyroid disease or cancer.
- The effect of Chaga tea has not yet been sufficiently scientifically proven. Most of the studies took place with cultured cells and cannot be transferred one-to-one to humans.
Background: What are Chaga and Chaga Tea?
Chaga tea is not very well known in Germany and therefore often raises a few questions. In the following we would like to answer them and expand your knowledge in the field of Chaga and Chaga tea.
What is chaga?
Chaga is a special mushroom. It is also known under the names Inonotus obliquus, birch mushroom or slate schillerporling. It is called a special mushroom because it has over 200 active biological substances. Some of the main active ingredients are polysaccharides, polyphenols and triterpenes.(1)
The shape and consistency of the Chaga mushroom differs enormously from classic mushrooms. He's hard as tree bark. (Image source: unsplash / Bluebird Provisions)
It has been used against various mental and physical problems in areas such as Scandinavia, Asia, Russia and Ukraine since the 12th century. It is said to have a healing effect and has been gaining in importance in Germany for some time.
Where does the chaga mushroom grow?
The Chaga mushroom is found in Europe, Scandinavia, North America and Russia, but it can also be found in the Baltic region. The fungus can be found all year round, but prefers a cold, damp environment, which is why it is found in Germany, especially in the Baltic Sea region.
The Chaga mushroom is parasitic and saprophytic on birch trees.
The Chaga mushroom grows mainly on birch trees. It is a very dry and hard fungus that is parasitic and saprophytic on birch trees.
How is chaga tea prepared?
The preparation of the Chaga tea differs from that of a classic tea. In most cases, Chaga tea is prepared from the mushroom pieces and not with a tea bag. There are three methods of making chaga tea.
|Classic preparation||About 10 grams, which corresponds to three to four pieces of the mushroom, are brought to the boil in a stainless steel pot with 400 ml of water. You should let this boil for at least 10 minutes and then filter the tea through a sieve.|
|infusion||Three to four pieces of the mushroom are infused in a cup of boiling water. The tea should then steep for four to six hours. Alternatively, it can also infuse overnight. Then pour the tea through a tea strainer.|
|Chaga concentrate||You get this concentrated version of Chaga tea by boiling three or four pieces of Chaga mushroom in about 400 ml of water for half an hour. You'll end up with about 250ml of chaga concentrate.|
When preparing Chaga tea, you should always make sure to filter the tea using a tea strainer. Otherwise, unpleasant residues of the fungus will remain in your tea. Alternatively, you can also make chaga tea with chaga powder.
Chaga pieces can be used up to 15 times.
Basically, the Chaga mushroom is very economical, so you can use the same pieces about 10 to 15 times. Simply keep them covered with water in the fridge. As soon as the tea color is only light brown, you should add a new piece, you can still leave the old ones in the pot, they will continue to release active ingredients.
How should chaga be dosed?
In order to get an effective Chaga tea, a small dosage is usually sufficient. With 400 ml of water, only a 10 gram piece of the mushroom is usually needed to prepare a tea.
The Chaga tea can not only be prepared from the Chaga mushroom pieces. It is also available in powder form, which can also be made into a tea. (Image source: unsplash / Elysabeth Malenfant)
If you want to use other forms of the Chaga mushroom, such as a Chaga powder, tablets or capsules, you should always consider the dosage recommendation on the package. This way you can avoid overdosing.
When is chaga tea used?
The possible area of application for Chaga tea is very large. Chaga has been used to cure disease and reduce pain since the 12th century.
The chaga mushroom can have a positive effect on the stomach, liver and spleen. It is not only used for indigestion, but also for ulcers or inflammation in the stomach.
Chaga tea can have a variety of positive effects on the body if you consume it regularly. (Image source: unsplash / Manki Kim)
Furthermore, Chaga is said to be effective against allergies, such as eczema or psoriasis. The reason for this assumption is that these often occur with a weakened immune system and Chaga is supposed to support it. Furthermore, Chaga is used as an alternative cancer therapy.
What are the effects of chaga tea?
Chaga tea is said to be very effective in many areas. In the following table we would like to give you an overview of possible areas of application and the effect of Chaga tea.
|area of application||Effect|
|Strengthening of the immune system||Chaga is said to have antioxidant and antibacterial effects. Chaga tea is said to help protect the body from viruses and bacteria.(2)|
|thyroid disorders||Chaga tea can have a stress-relieving effect. This can have a positive effect on thyroid diseases, such as hypofunction or Hashimoto's.|
|diabetes||Chaga may help reduce the likelihood of inflammation and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. (2)|
|chronic inflammation||Chaga tea is often used for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Chaga tea can have a supportive effect on sensitive stomachs.|
|Cancer||The Chaga mushroom is said to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and in some cases even kill them. At the same time, antioxidants are said to be able to prevent the development of cancer cells. (2.3)|
However, these effects cannot be fully proven scientifically, because so far hardly any investigations and studies have been carried out with humans. Most studies have been done with cells grown in the laboratory.
Accordingly, you should not rely on the effect. It is advisable to observe the consumption of Chaga tea and the influence it has on your own body. Consequently, you can draw conclusions as to whether the consumption of Chaga tea makes sense in your situation.
What side effects can chaga tea have?
Chaga tea can not only have a positive effect. Gastrointestinal disorders may occur, especially at the beginning of the intake.
Overdose can cause kidney damage.
If a very large amount is taken over a long period of time, other side effects may occur. Chaga mushroom contains high concentrations of oxalate.(4) This can, in some cases, lead to kidney stones and kidney damage.
So you should be careful not to exceed the recommended dosage. At the same time, we recommend that you consume small amounts at the beginning of the Chaga tea therapy and slowly increase it.
Are there alternatives to chaga tea?
Finding an alternative to chaga tea that is said to have the same effect is very difficult, as chaga tea has a positive influence on many different areas of the body. However, it is possible to find alternatives for certain sub-areas.
- Strengthening of the immune system : You can support your immune system with trace elements such as zinc, selenium, copper and iron. Make sure you have a balanced diet. Ginger and rose hips are also considered an insider tip for a strong immune system.(5)
- Thyroid disorders: Rooibos teas are often recommended to support the thyroid. But fennel tea can also help to activate the thyroid gland. Iodine deficiency can also lead to thyroid disease, so make sure you're getting enough iodine from your diet.(6)
- Chronic inflammation: Regular consumption of fennel, chamomile or peppermint tea can help with chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. At the same time, you should pay attention to stomach-friendly food .
These remedies can help. Nevertheless, a professional examination by a doctor should not be dispensed with. These remedies cannot completely replace medication, but are considered additional support.
Various positive properties are ascribed to the Chaga mushroom and the Chaga tea obtained from it. However, these have not yet been sufficiently substantiated by scientific studies. There are some studies on chaga, but most have been done on cultured cells or animals.
So it is still largely unclear whether and to what extent the Chaga mushroom actually helps with cancer or other diseases. Accordingly, you should not rely on this effect, but there are no scientific objections to the consumption of Chaga tea.
- www.biothemen.de. Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) Source
- Duru KC, Kovaleva EG, Danilova IG, van der Bijl P. The pharmacological potential and possible molecular mechanisms of action of Inonotus obliquus from preclinical studies. Phytother Res. 2019 Aug;33(8):1966-1980. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6384. Epub 2019 Jun 17. PMID: 31209936. Source
- Géry A, Dubreule C, André V, Rioult JP, Bouchart V, Heutte N, Eldin de Pécoulas P, Krivomaz T, Garon D. Chaga ( Inonotus obliquus), a Future Potential Medicinal Fungus in Oncology? A Chemical Study and a Comparison of the Cytotoxicity Against Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cells (A549) and Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells (BEAS-2B). Integr Cancer Ther. 2018 Sep;17(3):832-843. doi: 10.1177/1534735418757912. Epub 2018 Feb 27. PMID: 29484963; PMCID: PMC6142110. Source
- Kikuchi Y, Seta K, Ogawa Y, Takayama T, Nagata M, Taguchi T, Yahata K. Chaga mushroom-induced oxalate nephropathy. Clinic Nephrol. 2014 Jun;81(6):440-4. doi: 10.5414/CN107655. PMID: 23149251. Source
- Butt MS, Sultan MT. Ginger and its health claims: molecular aspects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2011 May;51(5):383-93. doi: 10.1080/10408391003624848. PMID: 21491265. Source
- Kvícala J, Zamrazil V. Effect of iodine and selenium upon thyroid function. Cent Eur J Public Health. 2003 Jun;11(2):107-13. PMID: 12884559. Source