In the past few years, chaga has taken the superfood world by storm. This little wonder mushroom, harvested from the most frigid regions of Alaska and Siberia, has been purported to do everything from fight cancer to ward off disease to reverse aging and much more. While chaga has traditionally been consumed as a tea, enterprising users have found increasingly creative ways to consume the mushroom, including in capsule form. Are chaga capsules worth the bother?
The answer is not really. While chaga capsules might be useful in some instances, they are generally a waste and an inferior way to take chaga. Read on to discover why chaga capsules are not very useful for the conscious consumer.
Many consumers choose to take supplements or capsules due to the fact that they are the only convenient way to ingest certain nutrients. For example, individuals who suffer from vitamin deficiencies will often take vitamins as a supplement to their existing diets. Chaga capsules seem superficially appealing due to their portable nature and the fact that they obscure the taste of chaga, which some consumers do not like. However, they are not an ideal way of using chaga for a number of reasons.
While chaga is edible in its natural form, the reason it has traditionally been consumed as a tea is due to the fact that its full nutritional potential cannot be unlocked unless it is boiled in water. Submersion in boiling water breaks down the tough, chitinous structure of the chaga mushroom, unlocking the antioxidants contained within. Taking chaga in capsule format means that you are missing out on these benefits.
Another issue with chaga capsules is that they are inefficient. When using chaga chunks to make tea, you can serve a large number of people with just one or two chaga chunks used in the process. Indeed, it’s possible to reuse chaga chunks once after using them to brew tea. This allows you to wring the maximum amount of value from your chaga. However, chaga capsules can only be consumed by one person, meaning they are far less economical and give far less value for your money.
A major problem with chaga capsules sold by certain vendors is that the chaga they use is inferior. These vendors use chaga that is grown artificially instead of chaga that has been harvested from birch trees naturally. While lab-grown chaga may be less expensive than chaga found in the wild, it lacks the nutritional content that natural chaga possesses. This is because chaga derives its nutritional content from the birch trees that it grows on.
The best ways to take chaga are brewing it as a tea (or similar recipe that requires you to boil it in water) or as a tincture. The main advantages of chaga capsules is that they are portable and don’t require any preparation prior to use, making them ideal for those who are traveling. Having said that, tinctures are also portable due to their super-concentrated nature. Chaga capsules are also a good way to consume chaga for those who dislike its taste.
If you must take chaga capsules, you are best off preparing them yourself than buying capsules from a vendor that may be selling you an inferior product. To make chaga capsules, you will need chaga powder, a capsule maker, and empty capsules. The latter two items can be purchased from many stores both online and in the real world. Chaga powder can be bought direct from a vendor or you can grind chaga chunks into a fine powder yourself.
The advantage of making chaga capsules in this way is that you can be somewhat guaranteed of the quality of the product. While manufacturing capsules is time-consuming, you can store them for long periods, as the capsules help insulate the chaga from outside contamination. With regards to size, be careful that you don’t take too many capsules in a single sitting, as you can make yourself sick through swallowing too many.
Chaga capsules may seem like an enticing way to consume chaga, particularly for those on the move or those who don’t like the taste. However, while chaga capsules can be useful in some instances, they are far from the best way to use chaga. In particular, the fact that chaga must be boiled in water before its full nutritional content can be released means that chaga capsule users are only utilizing a fraction of the mushroom’s potential.
Having said that, homemade chaga capsules can be useful for individuals who need their chaga in a portable and taste-free container. Be careful when purchasing ready-made capsules, however. You don’t want to spend your money on inferior, lab-grown chaga that lacks the nutrients that make this superfood what it is. Always be careful when it comes to buying chaga, no matter the form that you prefer.