This is one interesting recipe I have for you! Chaga Chai Latte Recipe. As a Nutritionist and a lover of spices and herbs I often explore the world of Western Herbalism and Chinese Herbalism. And I become fascinated with their findings and results just as much I do when I learn about Ayurveda.
There are over 14,000 types of mushrooms in the world and only 3,000 are edible. Approximately 700 have medicinal properties. However when I talk about “Mushrooms” I am not really talking about the small white button mushrooms or even the portabella or oyster mushrooms. I am strictly speaking of the medicinal mushrooms that grow on a tree.
Today I will tell you about Chaga mushroom that is known as the “King of the Polypores.” A polypore is a woody pore fungus that comes out as an external growth on living or dead trees. “Chaga” is a Russian word – therefore Chaga mushrooms are essentially Siberian medicine. It grows on birch, alder, ash, beech and elm trees.
On my last visit to the Whole Life Expo (Toronto) I met two herbalists who were selling Chaga mushrooms that they harvested in Canada. According to lore, Chaga grows well when it is minus 40 in winter.
Why I love Chaga:
- It is very high in ORAC value as it contains antioxidants that boost our immune system.
- Contains anti-aging and anti-inflammatory phenols.
- It has complex polysaccharides that support the immune system.
- Contains anti-tumor compounds such as betulinic acid (also present in the white part of the birch tree bark).
- Rich in phytochemicals, and nutrients such as Melanin. Melanin is present in human skin, I retina, and neurons in the brain stem.
- It is known to be used for kidney stones, ulcers, diabetes and hormonal balance.
Make sure you purchase sustainably harvested Chaga mushroom. If you find your own Chaga make sure you are allowed to harvest and learn how to properly prepare Chaga for consumption.
I have heard many stories of Chaga healing skin conditions such as psoriasis however I have not yet experienced it myself. I personally love Chaga for the range of benefits it demonstrates and also because the recipe I am about share replaced my regular coffee habit. Not like I don’t drink coffee at all but most of the times I am looking for a better way to nourish myself.
Although medical mushrooms are not popular in Ayurvedic texts and also considered tamasic, I would think they are speaking of regular edible mushrooms rather than the medicinal kinds. It does talk about using mushrooms for certain medical conditions but asks not to use it extensively like the other herbs and spices. However I truly believe times have changed and LOTS of research has been done on medicinal mushrooms.
This recipe that I have for you mixes my most loved spices with Chaga. Enjoy.
- • 1-2 cups of raw milk or organic milk
- • 1 Tbsp. of Chaga (grounded)
- • 3 cups of filtered water
- • 2 tsp. of yogi tea spice (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger)
- • A pinch of black pepper
- • Raw unpasteurized honey
- Bring water and milk to boil in a pan.
- Add the Chaga and spices.
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes,
- Use a hand blender to make froth after the tea is made.
- Strain and add honey.
- Drink with your favourite homemade cookie!