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The Importance of Wildcraft Chaga Tea

Tea drinkers today are becoming increasingly aware of the presence of potentially harmful pesticides, additives, flavorings and other chemicals that are often included in many of the name brand teas. Seeking a healthier and more natural alternative, many herbal- and natural-tea drinkers will depend exclusively on teas that are certified organic. In most cases, choosing organic herbs or teas offers a guarantee of quality, as organic farms do not rely on any synthetic chemicals in the growing or harvesting of their plants, making it a safer farming method for the consumer, farmers, harvesters and the environment as a whole. However, there are some herbs which, for various reasons, are either impossible or impractical to farm organically. The unique nature of the chaga mushroom makes it one such herb, where the best quality is not obtained from organic farming, but from harvesting the mushroom in the same way it has been harvested for all of history – from the birch forests where it is naturally found.

BuddhaTea Chaga Tea - wildcraft

Why Not Organic?

Chaga is one of several mushrooms to be used as herbal medicine, akin to other well-known names such as reishi and shiitake mushrooms. As the latter two have both been successfully cultivated on organic farms, efforts have been made in recent years to do the same with chaga. The results, however, were far different from the expectation. On testing, it was revealed that the cultivated chaga possessed almost none of the powerful medicinal benefits found in chaga mushrooms that were harvested in the wild. Though the reason for this difference has not yet been determined, it has been theorized that many of chaga’s benefits come from its struggle to grow and thrive in its harsh natural environment, while cultivated chaga does not face such hardships during its growth. Scientists hope to one day develop a way to cultivate chaga with the same potency as its wild counterpart, but until such a method has been created, the best way to experience the full benefit of chaga is by consuming mushrooms harvested from the wild.

Preparation Matters

BuddhaTea Chaga Tea - wildcraft3When choosing a high quality source of chaga tea, it is important to look at the method of preparation. Many of the benefits found in chaga are not only located in its orange inner flesh, but in the black outer layer that surrounds the mushroom as well. Known as the sclerotium, this outer layer sources several of chaga’s key constituents, including melanin, 30% betulin and a number of its powerful antioxidants. Thus, anyone looking to enjoy the full benefit of chaga must seek a supplier who knows that the best chaga tea is prepared from the whole chaga, and not merely one part of it.

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