By Lori Bosworth
I became familiar with Annanda Chaga Tea at the recent Green Living Show in Toronto and requested a sample to try at home. Chaga mushrooms are not new: they were consumed for thousands of years by native Americans and Europeans due to their ability to support the adrenal glands and digestive organs.
Annanda Chaga hand picks and packages their wild harvested chaga mushrooms at their farm in Tiny Township and in Northern Ontario. They harvest chaga responsibly to maintain its sustainability. I had never heard of Chaga mushrooms before, but apparently they grow both internally and externally with the living tree host, but only the external pieces are harvested.
Here’s the lowdown on this powerful super food: Chaga mushrooms:
- are a powerful antioxidant;
- are a source of 200+ phyto nutrients;
- contain B vitamins, flavonoids, phenols, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc, iron and enzymes;
- contains significant amounts of riboflavin and niacin;
- are a great source of pantothenic acid, which is needed by the adrenal glands as well as digestive organs.
Chaga’s most potent ingredient is superoxide dismutase (SOD), which halts oxidation, especially the toxicity of a free radical known as singlet oxygen, responsible for damaging the tissues and aging.
To prepare the Chaga tea, I boiled filtered water and then let it cool for a few minutes so that it was just hot. I put a tablespoon of Chaga tea into a tea ball, placed it in a large mug and poured the hot water over it. I steeped the tea for at least 15 minutes as recommended on the package and then had a taste. It goes without saying that you should really like mushrooms before trying this tea. The tea has a strong earthy taste with a fairly strong mushroom flavour. Drinking Chaga mushroom tea might be similar to eating mushroom soup without cream. I quite enjoyed the taste although, as I said, if you are accustomed to sweet teas, Chaga tea is earthy and not sweet at all.
Once you’ve steeped your tea, keep the tea in the tea ball to reuse 3-5 times and store it in the freezer in between uses. Caution: Chaga mushroom tea acts as a blood thinner so consult your physician or naturopath if you are taking blood thinning medications or blood thinning herbs.
You can purchased Annanda Chaga tea online or at Toronto health food stores including The Big Carrot at 348 Danforth Avenue and Food For Life Health Foods at 2184 Bloor Street West. Two ounces of Chaga tea is $19.99 and four ounces is $39.99.