Technically, ‘chai’ is the word for tea. In many languages, chai refers to any type of tea steeped in hot water. However, in the West, chai has more recently become associated with a specific type of Indian tea known for its fragrant spices. The spice blend is called masala chai, and it contains a list of ingredients, including cinnamon and cloves.
Chai is thought to have numerous potential benefits alone. However, it’s possible to combine it with the health-boosting properties of adaptogens and supplements, including medicinal mushrooms. As functional mushrooms increase in popularity, people are finding increasingly inventive ways to incorporate them into the diet.
Our chaga chai recipe is an excellent way to start adding mushrooms to your routine. This guide explains how to make chaga chai, what its possible benefits are, and more, so keep reading.
Chaga Chai Tea Benefits
One of the significant draws of chaga chai is that it combines the benefits of both chaga mushrooms and chai tea. This combination could be an absolute powerhouse, packaged nicely within a refreshing, delicious beverage.
First, let’s explore the benefits of chaga.
Chaga mushrooms (Inonotus obliquus) do not really look like mushrooms at all. They look more like lumps of coal or burned cinder. In fact, it may also be called cinder conk or black mass. They grow on birch trees in the colder latitudes of Northern Europe, Siberia, Northern Canada, and the northern parts of Asia.
Although unattractive in appearance, chaga has been utilized by practitioners of Siberian folk medicine for centuries. Its uses are pretty widespread, with chaga tea traditionally being used for immunity and overall health.
Modern science has allowed humans to study chaga in deeper detail. In some studies, such as this one, chaga has been shown to reduce inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines, which can positively affect the immune system.
More specifically, chaga has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels and insulin resistance in diabetic mice. If this can be applied to humans, then it could suggest a potential to treat diabetes.
It has also been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) in rats while simultaneously increasing “good” HDL cholesterol.
So far, most of the studies performed on chaga have focused on animal models, specifically rodents. Nothing can be said for certain until human trials have been undertaken, making it difficult to say what chaga is capable of. That said, early results appear to be promising.
Chai tea could have numerous benefits for the body and health. The exact benefits may depend on the specific chai masala blend you use, as well as how much you use at any one time.
Meanwhile, other spices like ginger can reduce nausea and benefit the gut bacteria to improve digestion.
Some people claim that chai tea is also suitable for weight loss and overall health, while others use chai in place of coffee for an energy boost. While chai is not entirely caffeine-free because it contains black tea leaves, it contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee. There may also be decaf blends available on the market.
The Combined Benefits
All in all, the chaga chai tea benefits are widespread. The chaga serves to potentially boost immunity, while the chai spices provide energy and a host of other possibilities.
Some studies have shown both chaga and chai to be beneficial in reducing cholesterol and blood sugar, as mentioned above, which could make chaga chai a powerhouse for individuals seeking these outcomes.
Be wary of any claims you see online saying that chaga can prevent any disease, as this is not the case. More clinical trials are needed at this time to deeper understand the potential of this adaptogenic mushroom.
That said, mushroom supplements are generally safe to take, so there is no harm in trying chaga chai for yourself. Keep reading below to see our simple chaga chai recipe.
How to Make Chaga Chai Tea
Chaga chai is easy to make. Technically, you can make it with any supplement you want, even supplementing the chaga powder for reishi mushrooms. Chaga mushrooms have an earthy flavor that marries well with the masala chai.
We have included all the ingredients necessary to make your own chai masala at home. If you like, you can substitute the homemade blend for two tablespoons of store-bought chai masala.
Our recipe is a chai tea latte. However, you can skip step four and make a cup of chai tea without milk.
Chaga Chai Tea Recipe
|Recipe Ingredient||Chaga powder|
|Recipe Instructions||Boil the masala chai along with chaga powder in water for several minutes, then stir in milk and sugar. Cook for several minutes more, then pour through a strainer.|
|Suitable For Diet||Vegan|
- 2 tsp chaga mushrooms organic and powdered or 2 VidaCap chaga capsules
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp cloves
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp star anise
- 1 ½ tbsp black tea leaves
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup oat or almond milk
- 1 tbsp sugar (or maple syrup)
Useful to have
- Tea strainer or fine mesh sieve
- Combine all the masala chai ingredients (cinnamon stick through black tea) to a bowl and mix together. If you want, you can crush the larger ingredients with a pestle and mortar, but you don’t want the pieces to be too fine.
- Add the two cups of water to a saucepan over high heat. Add the chaga powder and stir until nicely dissolved – don’t worry if it’s not perfect.
- Add in the masala chai. It should be roughly two tablespoons worth. Bring the mixture to a boil and brew, stirring, for about six minutes. It should become very fragrant.
- Pour in the milk. Keep over high heat, but you may need to reduce the temperature if the milk starts to boil over. Continue stirring for another 4-6 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Taste (careful, it’s hot!) and adjust by adding more sugar if necessary.
- Strain through a tea strainer or sieve to remove the spices, then divide between two cups and enjoy.
Final Thoughts About Chaga Chai Tea
Chaga chai is a wonderfully refreshing beverage that many users love. The chai tea creates a fragrant scent that will fill your home, and the taste will be warming and delicious. The addition of chaga mushrooms ensures that the consumer can access the health-boosting properties of mushrooms without even having to think about it.
For those who want a quicker way to take chaga on a daily basis, check out the chaga capsules in the VidaCap store. Our products make it straightforward to incorporate mushrooms into a daily routine.
That said, it can be fun once in a while to experiment with mushrooms by adding them to exciting recipes like this one. Have you tried our chaga chai recipe? Leave us a comment down below to let us know how it went.
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Audrey has worked as a registered dietitian for 6 years. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree. In 2014 she began an internship with the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, and was hired as an Outpatient Dietitian following graduation. She started her career counseling a variety of patients with different health concerns and disease states. After a few years into practice, she found her passion was working in cancer care, and has spent the last 4 years specializing in oncology nutrition.
In her practice, Audrey has spent a significant amount of time reviewing literature on herbal and dietary supplements in the cancer care setting. Through her work at Vidacap, she hopes to continue to expand her knowledge and understanding of the benefits of supplements in conjunction with promoting a healthy, balanced diet and management of overall health and well being.