On its own, tea is packed with health-giving antioxidants and can help protect your heart, skin and can actually improve your overall health. However, that being so, there are ways to make your tea more healthier; and that's where chaga comes in.

What is Chaga?
The word 'Chaga' comes from the Russian word for mushroom. Chaga is a type of wild mushroom that grows on the birch trees in Canada, northern Europe, Asia and the northern areas of United States. Long used in folk medicine, this simple mushroom carries very potent antioxidants. It also contains a variety of substances like polysaccharides, inotodiol, flavonoids, enzymes, phenols, B vitamins, and minerals, thus offers numerous health benefits.

One of the best ways to enjoy this wild mushroom is in the form of tea. The mushroom has a rather hard texture, so it's normally made into a powder and then brewed for a period of time in hot water to create Chaga tea. Below are the numerous health benefits offered by Chaga tea;

1. Supports the Immune System
Having a healthy immune system is essential to living a healthy life. Chaga tea contains Beta-D-Glucan which help balance and manage the immune system. Whenever needed, it can boost your immune system helping the body fight illness, and can also slow it down whenever it is overactive.

2. Normalizes Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
If you have high cholesterol levels or blood pressure, Chaga tea may be of great help to you. Research studies show that it has high anti-microbial and antioxidant activity which can greatly help normalize the blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the body.

3. Improve Physical Endurance and Mood
Drinking a cup of this tea can help improve your overall physical endurance and mood. Studies show that the structural polysaccharides it contains help to provide long-lasting energy by giving fuel to the muscles.

4. Helps With Weight Loss
Well, weight loss is primarily about taking fewer calories than you are burning. Chaga tea is rich in minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. Combining these beneficial qualities with its' effects of reduced appetite results in moderate weight loss. By consuming this tea, you take few calories, yet feel fuller for longer.

5. Protects Your Skin
Chaga is great for your skin since it contains melanin (i.e the pigmentation that's in your skin responsible for sunlight protection). It also helps combat infection, promotes good blood circulation and reduces inflammation. This leads to a strong, healthy and vibrant skin.

6. Helps Battle Cancer
According to recent studies, Chaga shows promise as an effective aid for battling cancer. If you are suffering from cancer, the tea can activate the immune cells that are responsible for combating cancer initiation.

7. Mitigate DNA Damage
The free radicals in the body can damage your DNA. Fortunately, the antioxidants contained in Chaga can greatly help reduce the damage from these free radicals.

Chaga 101 Recipes

* Chaga Guide Recipe 1

Ingredients

- Chaga chunks
- Honey
- One liter of water

Using Whole Chunks

Step 1; Break the Chaga into small chunks that are about an inch in size.

Step 2; In one liter of water, drop a handful of chunks and then let them boil.

Step 3; Allow the chunks to simmer for about an hour til the water in the pot turns a reddish brown color.

Step 4; Strain the Chaga tea into a cup and then add some honey to taste.

** Chaga Guide Recipe 2

Ingredients

- 500 ml of hot water (about 75C)
- 2 teaspoons of Chaga powder
- Vanilla seeds
- A handful of goji berries
- Coconut sugar

Step 1; Heat the water using a saucepan but do not let it reach boiling point.

Step 2; Add the Chaga, goji berries and vanilla seeds.

Step 3; Leave to stand and infuse for about 5 -8 minutes.

Step 4; Strain the Chaga and sweeten with coconut sugar.

Author's Bio: 

Hey there, I’m Nancy and I’m absolutely in love with food and health blogs. I’m on a mission to share my insider cooking, food and health tips with all of you…