Are you lucky enough to have a local source of wild harvested Chaga chunks?
Learn how to do your own hot water extraction and turn those rock hard Chaga chunks into an immune boosting tea by following this guide.
HOMEMADE CHAGA TEA
3 oz (~90 grams) Finely Ground Chaga Powder
1 Gallon Purified Water
Simmer for 3-4 Hours, Strain and Serve
Believe it or not, Chaga isn’t really a mushroom- it’s actually a “sclerotium”- a hard, black mass of mycelium grows on birch trees in temperate forests all over the world. You may even be lucky enough to have to have a source of Chaga in your own backyard!
If you are able to identify and properly harvest chaga chunks, you might be wondering how to actually make use of it. First of all, Chaga is much too hard to be consumed without further processing. Further, the beneficial compounds are locked up in the cell walls of the sclerotium, and require a hot water extraction to pull them out and make them bio-available.
This is best done by making a tea.
Step 1: Pulverize
The first step is to break down the chunks to increase the surface area, and more efficiently extract the compounds. To do this, wrap the chaga chunks in a tea towel, place on a hard surface, and smash with a hammer until the chunks are sufficiently pulverized.
Step 2: Powderize
Further break down the Chaga by turning it into a powder. You can do this with a strong blender or grinder (coffee grinder, vitamix or similar) or by using a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have either of these, then you can skip this step- just keep in mind that the finer the powder, the less time it takes to extract more of the beneficial compounds.
Step 3: Boil and Simmer
A good ratio for the extraction is 3 oz of dried powder to 2.5 – 4 liters of water. Drop your Chaga powder into the water, mix it around and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce it to a low simmer.
The amount of time that you should simmer the Chaga depends on how fine of a powder you are using. A good rule of thumb is to simmer for at least three hours. If you are using full Chaga chunks, or have only pulverized with a hammer, consider simmering for up to 4 hours.
Step 4: Strain, Serve and Store
Once the extraction is complete, strain the liquid through a tea towel, cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer in order to remove any excess fiber. The resulting liquid should be a dark, rich Chaga tea, full of beneficial compounds. The tea tastes very earthy, and is actually quite enjoyable!
You can enjoy it right away, or place it in the fridge where you can store it for a number of days.
Chaga Extract Supplements
Although making your own Chaga tea is super enjoyable, I’ll admit- it is a ton of work. So, if you’re just looking to get the benefits of Chaga without spending an afternoon in the kitchen, consider getting a high quality pre-extracted Chaga supplement that’s ready to be added to coffee or smoothies.
Just make sure that you find a supplement that has been extracted, as some are simply ground up chaga chunks, or even just the chaga chunks themselves.
Also, make sure that the supplement has been prepared from actual Chaga sclerotia. Some supplements are simply Chaga “mycelium grown on grain”, which will not have the beneficial compounds that you’d expect.
In order for the full benefits of Chaga to be present, it needs to grow in naturally from a tree- which is why it needs to be wild harvested.
Our Chaga mushroom extract powder has already been hot water extracted at a 1:1 ratio, so the beneficial compounds are available right out of the bag- no need to do any additional prep. Simply add it to smoothies or coffee for an immune boosting drink anytime!