March 29, 2022 6 min read

The Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) mushroom is a versatile addition to many people’s wellness routines around the world, usually as a tea or a powdered supplement. Modern research has pinpointed some reasons why this functional mushroom has been used in ancient Chinese and Russian medicine for so many years.

A sample of dried chaga mushrooms before they are ground into powder

For instance, studies show that Chaga is a powerful source of antioxidants that can help prevent free radical damage within the body. Another study suggests that Chaga may stimulate the white blood cell response against harmful bacteria and viruses. Other research has even found Chaga to potentially have a positive impact on blood sugar and cholesterol.

Aside from exploring Chaga’s bountiful benefits, there are other important questions to ask before adding Chaga to your daily routine, like how much chaga should I take everydayand when’s the best time to take Chaga mushrooms?

No worries! Below, we’ll break down what you really need to know about Chaga dosage to help get you started:

Table of Contents
How Much Chaga Should I Take?
What’s the Best Way to Take Chaga?
When Should I Take Chaga?
Who Shouldn’t Take Chaga?
Chaga Dosage FAQs
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Consumers often take 1-2 grams of whole mushroom chaga powder daily, which can equate to roughly 200-400 mg of bioactive chaga extract.
  • The exact dosage you need depends on your health condition, weight, age, and other biological factors. You may need to start with small doses and increase as needed.
  • Some people should not take chaga, like those with blood pressure or blood sugar related issues. Talk to your doctor before adding chaga to your wellness routine.

How Much Chaga Should I Take Daily?

We want to jump right into answering your question–how much Chaga should I take every day–but first we want to make note of a few unique dosing factors to keep in mind.

Chaga dosage varies for every person and by the type of Chaga supplement you choose. For instance, steeping whole Chaga mushrooms will create a weaker solution than mixing whole mushroom powder into a warm beverage. You may also find that you need more or less Chaga to reap its full benefits based on your weight, age, health condition, or other biological factors.

Chaga is sold as a dietary product or as a supplement in the U.S., which means dosage size is not standardized. In most cases, it's best to start in the lower end of the dosing threshold suggested and work your way up to larger doses. With a little work and introspection, you can quickly find the dose that best meets your needs.

Doses between 200-500mg of Chaga extract, or the polysaccharides found in Chaga that offer its potential immune boosting benefits, are common. When taking Chaga on its own, many people take 1-2 grams of whole mushroom powder.

2 grams (2000mg) of whole Chaga powder equates to roughly 400 mg of bioactive polysaccharides in a product where the bioactive content is around 20%, which is standard for a high quality Chaga powder. Lower doses of Chaga may be necessary when taking a functional blend that includes other mushrooms or herbal adaptogens.

If you are taking a multi-functional blend, pay attention to the proper dosage threshold for other ingredients when adjusting your Chaga dosage. These types of formulas are common, and it may be best in this case to just follow the recommended dosage in the label.

What's the Best Way to Take Chaga Mushrooms?

As you search for the best Chaga supplement, you'll quickly see that Chaga powder and capsules are the primary dosage forms available. The Chaga mushroom itself is not edible in its raw form. In fact, the raw mushroom is very tough and woody, and needs to be carefully cleaned free of dirt and debris, dried, and usually powdered before consumption.

Dried chaga mushrooms that can be made into tea for a gentle dosing option

You'll find plenty of people who take their Chaga in the form of tea, made either by mixing Chaga powder into hot water or by steeping dried Chaga mushrooms to extract their polysaccharides and other bioactive compounds.

So, what's the best way to take Chaga? To answer that question for yourself, take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of these three dosing methods:

Dried Whole Mushrooms

We mentioned that whole, dried Chaga mushrooms can be steeped into tea. Although this is the most common traditional method for taking Chaga, it's not the most popular modern method for a few reasons. First, using whole mushrooms makes it more difficult to measure Chaga dosage. It also may make the dosage less effective since many of the beneficial compounds remain stuck in the whole mushroom that get discarded.

Powder

Chaga powder is a convenient, popular option because it allows ultimate control over your dosage. Many people mix it into food, beverages, or smoothies for a seamless dose, although "drink mix" style options are available. For instance, Chaga coffee or tea is a great option for daily dosing that requires hot water or cream to prepare.

Chaga powder is generally a powdered form of the whole mushroom, which means you actually consume the entire mushroom and all its beneficial compounds. Unlike steeping whole mushrooms, nothing is discarded or unused and no nutrients are lost. The downside is that powdered Chaga may have a grittier texture depending on how it's prepared.

Some sources suggest that Chaga powder can offer better absorption since it's usually consumed with healthy fats and plenty of fluids. If you're looking for a functional blend that includes Chaga and other types of mushrooms and herbs, you'll likely find this in powder form since the dosage is usually too large to fit in a few capsules. Pay close attention to the serving size when adjusting the dosage of Chaga powder.

Capsules

Capsules are simply pre-measured, encapsulated doses that are great for daily dosing at any time of day. You won’t need to measure the dosage each time, and many people love this flavorless Chaga dosing option.

When Should I Take Chaga?

Chaga is most commonly taken to support general wellness and boost immunity, so there's no "best" time to take Chaga. The most important thing is to make sure that you take your Chaga dose at or around the same time each day. This helps the body adjust and build a systemic response to your new wellness routine.

As with many functional mushrooms, it may take two weeks to experience the benefits of a Chaga dose since the effects need to "build up" in the body to help create systemic balance.

Some people take Chaga in multiple doses throughout the day, usually in the form of tea. It's not recommended to consume more than 3 cups of Chaga per day, however.

Who Should Not Take Chaga?

Chaga is generally well tolerated and has been used in ancient therapeutic practices for thousands of years with no reports of adverse effects. Currently, evidence regarding Chaga's side effects is too limited to suggest that Chaga has any adverse effects, but there are still some people who may need to avoid taking Chaga. Those who should not take Chaga daily include:

  • People who may have a mushroom allergy
  • Anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Those taking blood thinning medications
  • Anyone expecting to have surgery in the next two weeks
  • People with low blood sugar or who are taking medications or supplements that may lower blood sugar
  • Those who have low blood pressure or take medications to lower blood pressure
  • Anyone sensitive to high-oxalate foods, like those who are prone to kidney stones
  • People who are taking immune regulating medications, such as those prescribed for auto-immune diseases.

As with any changes to your wellness routine, you should talk to your doctor before adding Chaga to your diet, especially if you already take other medications or supplements daily to manage one or more health conditions. In general, adverse effects are often related to poor product quality, so make sure you buy your Chaga supplements from a trustworthy source.

Read "Chaga Side Effects" to learn more. 

Chaga Dosage FAQ's

What's the best Chaga dosage?

Chaga dosage can range from 200-500 mg of Chaga extract daily, or around 2 grams of whole Chaga powder.

Can I take Chaga everyday?

Yes, it is recommended to take a Chaga dose around the same time every day for optimal benefits.

Should I take Chaga in the morning?

Many people enjoy taking Chaga in the morning with a coffee or tea, or just prefer working it into their wellness routine whenever they take other supplements. Other people may split their Chaga dosage into several doses throughout the day. There's no benefit to taking Chaga in the morning specifically, though you should try to maintain a semi-regular dosing routine.

Should I take Chaga more than once a day?

You can choose to take your daily Chaga dosage all at once, or you can split it into 2-3 smaller doses throughout the day.

Should I take Chaga with food?

Some people claim that Chaga causes stomach upset when taken without food, while other people never have this problem. If you find that you feel nauseated after taking Chaga on an empty stomach, try taking it with a small meal or snack instead.

Resources

  1. “Antioxidant effect of Inonotus obliquus” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15588653/
  2. “Immunomodulatory Activity of the Water Extract from Medicinal Mushroom Inonotus obliquus” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774877/
  3. “Antihyperglycemic and antilipidperoxidative effects of dry matter of culture broth of Inonotus obliquus in submerged culture on normal and alloxan-diabetes mice” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18434051/
  4. “Effect of the Inonotus Obliquus Polysaccharides on Blood Lipid Metabolism and Oxidative Stress of Rats Fed High-Fat Diet In Vivo” https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5305591

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