Stay Healthy this Winter with Chaga | Tales of a Ranting Ginger

Stay Healthy this Winter with Chaga

As I become older I am more and more aware of what I am putting in my body. Whenever possible I choose to consume all natural foods that are good for me. When it comes to my health, I choose to do the same as well. With winter here I am finding I am being proactive about my family’s health and my own. If we get a cold or the flu it seems to linger for weeks knocking down everyone in its path. A part of my plan is to eat healthy foods, get plenty of exercise and fill up on antioxidants.

Recently I was sent Chaga to try out. You may remember I shared a post from them a few months back here.

What Is Chaga?

To the average eye, it might not look like much – as a mushroom-like growth on birch trees, Chaga often appears like charcoal and contains a non-toxic parasitic fungal growth, known as Inonotus Obliquus. The inside of Chaga is softer in color, usually a rust-brown interior that is then broken down into chunks or ground into powder.

Chaga grows best in very cold climates, most notably in the wild forests of Korea, Eastern Europe and Russia – specifically in Siberia. In Northern America, Chaga is found in the upper regions of the United States and throughout Canada. The quality of Chaga depends on where it is harvested – at Siberian Empire, we harvest all of our premium products from deep within the Siberian forest, untouched by environmental pollution.

Despite Chaga being available for centuries, it is now experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Due to its positive effects on a range of health conditions and diseases, it has been classified by the World Trade Organization as a medicinal mushroom.

Health Benefits Of Chaga

Chaga has a long history of being used for a number of health conditions. The mushroom has shown promise in:

  • Supporting the immune system – There is a high level of Beta-D-Glucans within Chaga, helping boost the immune system. Early studies have also showed that Chaga plays a positive role in combating cancer cells and can be effective when combined with other medical approaches.
  • Improved gastrointestinal health – Chaga provides additional support to the digestive system, working to reduce harmful bacteria that causes further complications, such as Helicobacter pylori in the development of ulcers or gastritis.
  • Balances blood pressure and cholesterol – Acids found in Chaga have been shown to break down ‘bad’ cholesterol, known as LDL, in the bloodstream, reducing the risk of high blood pressure and complications that arise from high cholesterol.

Antioxidants In Chaga

Aside from the number of health benefits associated with Chaga, it’s also an exceptional source of antioxidants. Some of the most notable include:

  • Polysaccharides – Promotes healthy blood sugar levels, improves cardiovascular health and boosts energy levels naturally.
  • Super Oxide Dismutase – These enzymes are vital for the body and work to protect it against free radicals and oxidative stress.

Chaga also contains many nutritional elements, including minerals like iron, zinc and potassium. By balancing out the body’s internal system with the help of these powerful antioxidants, the risk of disease is dramatically reduced!

How to Prepare Chaga

Preparation is key in order to extract all of the nutritional ingredients and antioxidants from the mushroom-like growth. Siberian Empire offers Chaga in three variations:

  • Chunks
  • Powder
  • Tea cut

Each of these options allow you to prepare the beverage as desired, while also ensuring you reap the most health benefits after consumption. Within each chunk of Chaga are antioxidants and nutritional minerals – but the tough outer exterior means an extraction process must take place in order to release those vital nutrients.

One of the most common forms of extraction is done using hot water, similar to the way you brew coffee or tea. A simple option is to place chunks of the Chaga into a cup of hot (not boiling) water and allow it to steep, thus opening up and releasing the healthy compounds. Once the Chaga is fully steeped, you simply strain the water and sip the beverage.

Making Chaga Tea

It’s important not to use boiling water with Chaga, as that will destroy many of the important active ingredients. Instead, bring water just to the boiling point – about 75 degrees Celsius (165 degrees Fahrenheit) and then reduce the heat just before the water starts to simmer. Optimal steeping time for Chaga is about 15 minutes.

Another option for preparing Chaga is to use a grated form of the mushroom, which will infuse the water even faster. Fill a tea strainer with the ground substance and then place in water, allowing it to infuse for at least 10 minutes before enjoying. While using tea cut Chaga is faster, some loss of nutrients is to be expected compared to using the chunks.

Alternative Ways to Consume Chaga

While consuming Chaga as a tea is the most popular, there are also other creative ways to incorporate this superfood into your diet.  

You can sprinkle some of the Chaga powder on finished dishes or as a spice for sauces that don’t reach boiling point. Since Chaga is generally flavourless, you don’t have to worry about it altering the taste of your dish!

Try incorporating Chaga powder into your coffee and prepare it using a drip coffee machine or French press in a similar fashion as to making tea – a healthy dose of antioxidants and minerals with your morning coffee is a great way to start the day.

Add Chaga to your:

  • Fruit juices or smoothies
  • Protein shakes
  • Soups

There are no limits to how you can prepare Chaga – use it to fit your lifestyle and reap the health benefits with every meal!

I drank some of the Chaga in warm water. As far as taste it reminded me of an earthy taste. It does not look pretty but it seems to do the trick and did not have a bad taste. I really am unsure what to compare it to. Some say it helps with energy and some think it gives them a clear mind. Having anxiety I was interested in the benefits it has to reduce stress.

Chaga has been proven to boost the immune system, reduce oxidative stress and promote cardiovascular health.

If you are looking for a natural product to help with your health you should check out Chaga. You can read more information and order it online at siberianempire.com

Have you tried Chaga? What did you think?

Disclosure-The above post was brought to you by Siberian Empire. All opinions are my own 

Comments

  1. I honestly have never heard of Chaga, but thanks to THIS – I’m excited to try it out!

  2. I have heard about chaga many times but never saw it. Got to see it first time here.I think it looks like a mushroom. It must be healthy.

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