Chaga: What is it anyway?

Chaga: What is it anyway?


Säpp's Strawberry Lavender and Apple Ginger drinks contain chaga, an adaptogen that is starting to gain some buzz in health-driven communities. Don't know what an adaptogen is? Neither do most people. That's why we wanted to post some reliable reading on why chaga, which grows exclusively on birch trees, is good for you. Read on!

Chaga, arguably the most antioxidant-rich substance on the planet, is one of herbal medicine’s indispensable medicinal mushrooms-- or rather-- slow-growing parasitic polypore fungus. A relatively new colloquialism to our Western herbal repertoire, chaga’s medicinal properties have been touted for centuries in places like Siberia, Russia, and Northeast Asia. Boasting the highest known ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score of any substance, chaga contains 25- 50 times more antioxidants than vitamin C, wild blueberries, Co Q10, strawberries, seaweeds, and fish oils. Chaga is an extremely effective detoxifier. Helpful as part of holistic cancer protocols, chaga is specifically indicated for inhibiting tumoral growths. 

Unsurprisingly, chaga has many other health benefits as well. It is also endurance enhancing, anti-inflammatory, improves insulin resistance, lowers LDL and high blood pressure, is anti-fungal, -viral, and -bacterial, and immune system modulating. Chaga is additionally nootropic; one study done in Japan demonstrated the beneficial effects of chaga mushroom on cognitive function in mice with amnesia. In previous studies, chaga has been shown to display therapeutic neural effects, lower oxidative brain stress, and restore the levels of acetylcholine which promotes learning and the formation of memories.

Chaga contains naturally occurring vanillin, similar to the vanilla bean and has a slight vanilla flavor when properly prepared. Chaga also contains the compound melanin, and minerals like manganese, iron, copper, calcium,potassium, and zinc. It is commercially available as a tincture, powder, prepared drink, or tea. Often sold in raw chunks, chaga can be decocted-- that is, boiled for at least 20 mins or until the water becomes a deep brown color. Chunks of chaga may be reused in decoctions until they stop releasing their brown color.

Viable chaga grows exclusively on birch trees in very cold climates and can be found in the birch forests of Russia, Korea, Eastern and Northern Europe, Northern United States, and Canada.

You can find chaga infused into Säpp's Apple Ginger and Strawberry Lavender drinks. 



Amelioration of scopolamine induced cognitive dysfunction and oxidative stress by Inonotus obliquus – a medicinal mushroom, Vijayasree Vayalanellore Giridharan, Rajarajan Amirthalingam Thandavarayan and Tetsuya Konishi, Food Funct., 2011


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Harvest Chaga