Which is the best chaga tea?
The idea of drinking mushroom tea might not initially sound appealing, but chaga has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years. Chaga — Inonotus obliquus — is a fungus that grows on birch trees in northern regions of the world like Siberia, Canada and Northern Europe. It has a black outer crust with an orange flesh, which gives the tea a reddish-brown color. It offers many potential benefits including anti-inflammation, cancer prevention, improved liver function and so on.
Despite there being many great chaga tea options, we slightly preferred the Maine Chaga Tea Fine Mushroom Powder to the others. The chaga is sourced from the Northern United States and Canada, and it is wild-harvested with the black crust intact in the extract.
What to know before you buy chaga tea
What are the benefits of drinking chaga tea?
Mushrooms are a great source of essential nutrients like Vitamin D, potassium and folic acid. Chaga not only offers many essential nutrients, but it has also been found to boost the immune system, assist with preventing tumors, promote liver and digestive health and reduce inflammation. The most widely studied benefit seems to be cancer prevention, but people take it for a plethora of different reasons and treat it as an elixir of sorts.
How does chaga tea taste?
Most people don’t enjoy the taste of chaga tea by itself. It tastes similar to other mushrooms with an earthy flavor and a tinge of bitterness. It is by no means an awful flavor, but it isn’t particularly delicious either. One way to improve the taste is to add a natural sweetener like honey, maple syrup or stevia to the mix.
Do chaga mushrooms sourced from different regions have different effects?
It is pretty common to see chaga sourced from a particular region or area such as Maine, Canada or Siberia. It can lead to confusion since it could suggest a Siberian chaga tea might have different health benefits than a Canadian chaga tea. However, a study done on French chaga found that the nutrients and compounds found in chaga from other regions were also found in the French chaga. You can buy chaga from any region and rest assured that it will offer the same health benefits.
What to look for in a quality chaga tea
The best chaga teas available online contain just chaga tea with no additional additives. Certain chaga teas will have just the chaga extract while others will contain the black crust — which contains a high concentration of melanin — from the exterior of the fungus. Both options are fine as long as no additional ingredients are added to the tea.
Harvested from wild trees
Chaga can come naturally harvested or farmed. There are claims that the farmed chaga doesn’t contain as much of the black crust and that the naturally harvested chaga has the most antioxidants. If this is a concern, it would be wise to try to buy a tea that is naturally harvested.
Ground or tea bags
Chaga tea can come in a finely ground powder or extract or pre-packed in tea bags. This comes down to personal preference. Those who want a quick and easy experience can go with pre-packed tea bags. Others might prefer the ground chagra despite the extra work. The advantage to going with a ground chaga extract is that you can decide exactly how much chaga is in each serving.
How much you can expect to spend on chaga tea
Chaga teas range from around $8-$30 for about 18 tea bags or 5 ounces of extract. The fine powder tends to be more expensive than the pre-packaged tea bags.
Chaga tea FAQ
Are there any risks with consuming chaga?
A. Chaga is very safe for most people to consume. However, people taking insulin should consult with a doctor before buying chaga tea since chaga lowers blood sugar.
How many times a day should I drink chaga tea?
A. It is always best to start with one cup per day to see how you react to it. Once your body is used to it, you can drink chaga tea up to three times a day during the morning, afternoon and evening.
What’s the best chaga tea to buy?
Top chaga tea
Maine Chaga Tea Fine Mushroom Powder
What you need to know: This is wild-harvested chaga tea that comes from the forests of Maine and Canada with the black crust of the fungus included.
What you’ll love: This chaga is loaded with a high concentration of antioxidants since it is harvested from wild trees. There are no other additives. It is gluten-free and sustainably harvested.
What you should consider: This chaga is grainier and less finely ground than some other chaga teas.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top chaga tea for the money
Buddha Teas Chaga Mushroom 18 Tea Bags
What you need to know: Buddha Teas chaga is additive-free, sourced from Canada and comes pre-made in teabags.
What you’ll love: This is more affordable and comes pre-packaged in tea bags. This chaga tea has a great flavor on top of being antioxidant rich. It is organic and contains no additional ingredients.
What you should consider: The labeling does not say how much chaga is inside each individual tea bag.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb and Amazon
Worth checking out
Micro Ingredients Organic Chaga Mushroom Extract 100:1 Powder
What you need to know: This is a 6-ounce bag of organic chaga extract sourced from the USA that comes with clear serving sizes and a convenient scoop to measure each serving.
What you’ll love: There are no additional ingredients, only chaga extract. The serving sizes and amount of chaga are labeled, and a scoop allows you to measure out each serving. All of the chaga is sourced from the USA.
What you should consider: This is more expensive than some of the other chaga teas, and the 100:1 ratio is a little bit hard to believe.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Stephen Morin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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