About six weeks ago, the lovely folks at the RAD Soap Co. passed along a re-launched product of theirs for me to try. Wonderland Chaga Tea is made from the same mushrooms that RAD uses in its chaga soaps and body cream. It was previously available as teabags, but now comes loose in a fun circular canister with a classic Alice in Wonderland image on the label.
Chaga mushrooms have been used medicinally in many cultures for centuries. With one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants available in nature, chaga is purported to have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties due to an ability to boost the immune system. Antioxidants combat free radicals in the body, which can help prevent cell damage and protect against cancer. Chaga naturally grows on birch trees, imparting it with betulinic acid, which may aid in lowering cholesterol. Other reported properties include lowering blood pressure and improving skin.
I’ll admit that I’m not one to jump on the idea that a single product can have so many benefits. But I’m not about to say no to tea!
Wonderland Chaga takes a bit more effort to prepare than your standard teabag-type tea, but it’s still fairly easy. The instructions on the tin are for a full gallon (128oz), but I’ve been scaling it down to make a few servings at a time. The preparation is the same regardless of how much you make: place distilled water in a saucepan, add a measured amount of chaga and boil for 5 minutes. Once it’s cool, it’s ready to drink! I store the leftovers in a mason jar in the fridge, heating it up in the morning to have with breakfast.
I started drinking Wonderland Chaga without any expectations as to what it might or might not do. Not to say I didn’t think it would do anything; I just didn’t know what to expect. The folks at RAD told me that you can feel a difference since you’re flooding your body with antioxidants on a daily basis. And you know what? They were right! At first I didn’t notice much, but after a while I realized that I was seeing benefits. My sleep has been much deeper and more restful and my skin has been clearer.
The latter is a big deal because I’ve suffered with a condition called keratosis pilaris since I was a teenager. In KP, the body produces too much keratin, which then shows up as little white or red bumps. It’s extremely annoying and unattractive, and thus far the only thing that made any improvement was giving up dairy. Even then it didn’t go away completely. Dermatological treatment for it is always full of chemicals and very expensive. But with chaga, I’ve seen much smoother skin and barely any bumps at all.
As far as sleep goes, I thought I was sleeping pretty well until I started with the chaga. I never realized how restless I was before. Now I’m sleeping like a log every night, and no matter when I go to bed I find that I can fall right to sleep. It’s pretty amazing, and helpful since I tend to get up very early to get a workout in before I start my day.
At $40 a tin, Wonderland Chaga may seem expensive, but each tin makes about 85 6-ounce servings of tea. That’s about 47 cents per cup, which isn’t bad at all! I’ve been going for six weeks on the tin that RAD gave me, and there’s still plenty left. I can’t say that everyone will experience the same things I have been while drinking chaga, but it’s definitely worth a try. The flavor is mild and it has no stimulant properties, so you can drink it any time of day and see how it benefits you!
Please note that few human studies have been done with chaga. Wonderland Chaga tea is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.