Which chaga mushroom powders are best?
Chaga mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years, but what exactly is this strange-looking fungus and what does it do when ingested? Chaga mushroom powder has recently been touted as both an antioxidant-rich cure-all and a caffeine-free coffee replacement, but you may want to do a bit of research before trying it yourself.
Om Mushroom Organic Chaga Powder is the top pick because it is potent, vegan-friendly and certified organic.
What to know before you buy a chaga mushroom powder
What chaga mushroom powder is
The chaga mushroom is a fungus that grows naturally on birch trees throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In the wild, it resembles a large black chunk of burnt charcoal with a light brown interior. Unlike other mushrooms, the non-toxic chaga typically has an irregular shape and grows very slowly on its host. Practitioners of herbal medicine in Russia, Korea, northern Europe and beyond have used the fungus in their remedies for thousands of years.
- High in nutrients: The chaga mushroom is loaded with an impressive variety of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, magnesium, vitamin D and healthy amino acids.
- Cancer treatment and prevention: The fungus is rich in antioxidants, chemical compounds that are great for preventing the cell damage that leads to cancer and other illnesses. One study also showed that continuous intake of the chaga mushroom could suppress the development of existing cancers.
- Boosts the immune system: Ingesting the chaga mushroom can stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are crucial for fending off illnesses. The fungus has also shown great potential as a treatment for individuals with auto-immune diseases.
- Lowers cholesterol: Some studies have indicated that ingesting the chaga mushroom could reduce low-density lipoprotein, also known as “bad” cholesterol, while increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol that could help in preventing strokes or heart attacks.
Despite the many purported benefits, there are a few risks to consider when looking for a chaga mushroom powder. The fungus may interact with certain medications like blood thinners or insulin, so always check with your doctor before ingesting chaga powder. Similarly, talk with a physician if you have an auto-immune disease or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Like other herbal supplements, chaga mushroom powder has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Lastly, although there have been plenty of studies conducted on animals to verify its effect on the body, there have been very few human studies to determine its safety as a dietary supplement.
What to look for in a quality chaga mushroom powder
Most people stir their chaga powder into beverages like hot coffee or tea, but you can also find the ground fungus in capsule form. Hot liquids are usually preferred since they are better for dissolving the powder, and you can sweeten the beverage with honey or maple syrup.
Look for a chaga mushroom powder that is certified organic by an independent third-party organization like the United States Department of Agriculture. Many products may also be certified vegan and free of genetically modified organisms.
The recommended dosage can vary widely depending on the company, so read the instructions before preparing your tea. That being said, one serving is usually about 1,000-3,000 milligrams of ground mushroom powder that can be ingested once or twice daily.
How much you can expect to spend on a chaga mushroom powder
The cost of a chaga mushroom powder usually depends on the potency and quantity. Most people can expect to spend around $15-$30 for a medium-sized container.
Chaga mushroom powder FAQ
What does chaga mushroom tea taste like?
A. Many people say that chaga mushroom tea has a taste that’s very similar to brewed coffee. Others note a rich, earthy flavor with a touch of bitterness.
Does chaga mushroom tea have caffeine?
A. Despite its use as a morning coffee replacement, the chaga mushroom contains no caffeine. Some users report an energy boost because of its combination of B vitamins and other nutrients.
What’s the best chaga mushroom powder to buy?
Top chaga mushroom powder
What you need to know: This product contains 100 servings of certified-organic chaga mushroom powder.
What you’ll love: This mushroom powder is certified organic by two different third-party organizations, and it is also completely vegan and free of gluten and GMOs. The mushroom was also cultured on wild oats, not in a lab, resulting in a particularly natural supplement.
What you should consider: Some users wished that the mushrooms had been grown on natural birch trees, which is how the fungus grows in the wild.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb
Top chaga mushroom powder for the money
What you need to know: Perfect for people that want to try the mushroom superfood without the commitment, this product comes with 60 servings of high-quality chaga powder at a reasonable price.
What you’ll love: This popular chaga mushroom powder is certified gluten-free and organic. Add one teaspoon to your morning coffee to receive an additional energy boost without the jitters. The mushrooms are grown in the United States.
What you should consider: The powder requires constant stirring and won’t dissolve easily in liquid.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Produced by a leading brand, this powder contains a blend of chaga mushrooms with several other adaptogens.
What you’ll love: This mushroom powder is certified organic, vegan and gluten-free. Alongside a dose of chaga, this blend contains healthy shiitake, lion’s mane, reishi mushrooms and morel. Many users enjoy the smooth, earthy taste.
What you should consider: Each serving contains a relatively small dose of a variety of mushrooms, potentially reducing the possible health benefits.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb
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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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