Chaga Chai (Inonotus obliquus)

Chaga Chai (Inonotus obliquus)

Just in time for autumn!  Chai is here with a twist of chaga.  On my summer trip to the Alaskan Interior to mine for gold, I came across this local mushroom (and Alaska has a TON of mushrooms).  I had never heard of chaga mushrooms, and I definitely never knew you could make a tea from it so of course I acquired some and did my research on the benefits of this fabulous fungus.

The Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) grows naturally on live birch trees in northern colder climates (and again, Alaska has a TON of birch).  This fungus will eventually kill the tree because it will absorb nutrients from their host, which means this fungus soaks up all the good nutrients from its source.   

Betulin in birch trees is converted to betulinic acid by chaga which is a compound useful in supporting the immune system, healthy cell division, and a healthy inflammation response adaptogen.  Adaptogens help the body, both physically and mentally, adapt to stress and stay in balance. The apoptogenic properties of chaga may also result in increased physical and mental energy. (Cell Pres, 2011)

Chaga combined with Chai spices (Cardamon, Cinnamon, Anise, Allspice, Ginger, Clove) has extra health benefits.  Cinnamon has been shown to help reduce the levels of total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides by up to 30% in some individual. (“Authority Nutrition - runner”) (Petre,2017)   Ginger can reduce nausea and Star Anise is rich in antioxidants and vitamin A and C to keep you “ageless”.



Works Cited:

Cell Press. "Birch bark ingredient comes with many metabolic benefits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 2011. <>.

 Petre, NS, Alina. "How Chai Tea Can Improve Your Health." Healthline, com, 20 July 2017,

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