Birch Water + Chaga: A Symbiotic Relationship

Many Säpp fans often ask- what's up with the chaga addition to all your flavored varieties?  We've teamed up with leading herbalist Micaela Foley (from The Alchemist's Kitchen NYC) to describe the amazing benefits of this super herb.  Given that chaga grows exclusively on birch trees, we are proud to keep harnessing the power of forests and birch trees specifically in our new flavors!

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus), arguably the most antioxidant-rich substance on the planet, is one of herbal medicine’s indispensable medicinal mushrooms-- or rather-- slow-growing parasitic polypore fungus. A relatively new colloquialism to our Western herbal repertoire, chaga’s medicinal properties have been touted for centuries in places like Siberia, Russia, and Northeast Asia. Boasting the highest known ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score of any substance, chaga contains 25- 50 times more antioxidants than vitamin C, wild blueberries, Co Q10, strawberries, seaweeds, and fish oils. Chaga is an extremely effective detoxifier. Helpful as part of holistic cancer protocols, chaga is specifically indicated for inhibiting tumoral growths. 

Unsurprisingly, chaga has many other health benefits as well. It is also endurance enhancing, anti-inflammatory, improves insulin resistance, lowers LDL and high blood pressure, is anti-fungal, -viral, and -bacterial, and immune system modulating. Chaga is additionally nootropic; one study done in Japan demonstrated the beneficial effects of chaga mushroom on cognitive function in mice with amnesia. In previous studies, chaga has been shown to display therapeutic neural effects, lower oxidative brain stress, and restore the levels of acetylcholine which promotes learning and the formation of memories.

Chaga contains naturally occurring vanillin, similar to the vanilla bean and has a slight vanilla flavor when properly prepared. Chaga also contains the compound melanin, and minerals like manganese, iron, copper, calcium,potassium, and zinc. It is commercially available as a tincture, powder, prepared drink, or tea. Often sold in raw chunks, chaga can be decocted-- that is, boiled for at least 20 mins or until the water becomes a deep brown color. Chunks of chaga may be reused in decoctions until they stop releasing their brown color.

Viable chaga grows exclusively on birch trees in very cold climates and can be found in the birch forests of Russia, Korea, Eastern and Northern Europe, Northern United States, and Canada. Due to a dwindling number of birch trees, chaga must be harvested sustainably; only the outer conk should be removed from the tree, with 15-20% of the growth left, and only in the late fall and winter, before the tree’s sap runs. High dose usage of chaga should be reserved for the very ill, and chaga should always be sourced from a company that practices sustainable harvesting and manufacturing, and commits to planting new birch trees.


Amelioration of scopolamine induced cognitive dysfunction and oxidative stress by Inonotus obliquus – a medicinal mushroom, Vijayasree Vayalanellore Giridharan, Rajarajan Amirthalingam Thandavarayan and Tetsuya Konishi, Food Funct., 2011

Chaga -- The Facts

Harvest Chaga

Yaroslav Khromyak
Breakfast Smoothie Bowl Recipe: Kale, Birch Water and Granola

For those mornings when you can't decide: granola or smoothie? Just have both, because why not! In less than 10 minutes (with just a bit of pre-prep), you can be tucking in to this deliciously nutritious combination of kale, birch water, chia seeds and granola. It's utterly filling with a beautiful crunch from the granola. The banana gives it a rich frozen yogurt-like texture, and those chia seeds will give you a whack of antioxidants and fiber to get you going.

Makes one smoothie bowl:

  • Handful kale (keep a bag in the freezer for such occasions)
  • 1/3 cup of Säpp organic birch water
  • 1/3 cup of Rude Health Oat Drink
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp activated chia seeds (i.e. soaked for at least 30 minutes or overnight)
  • 1 tbsp toasted coconut
  • 6 raspberries

Put all ingredients apart from coconut and granola into blender and blend until smooth. Then pour into a bowl and top with granola, a few extra raspberries, and the toasted coconut. If you have some other bits and bobs lying around that you're keen to use -- throw them in as well! Keep it playful pals.

Yaroslav Khromyak
Birch Water, Berry and Oats Smoothie Recipe

For a tart, sweet and deliciously nutritious start to your day – we've partnered up with the fabulous folks at Rude Health to come up with this sippable smoothie recipe for you to enjoy. With a whack of potassium from the banana, fibre from the oats and flaxseeds, and manganese from the raspberries and birch water – you'll be full, fresh and ready for the day.

Makes one smoothie:

  • 6 raspberries

  • 1/3 cup Rude Health Organic Ultimate Almond

  • 2 tbsp Rude Health Smoothie Oats

  • 1/3 cup Säpp organic birch water

  • 1 tsp flaxseeds

  • 1/2 a frozen banana

  • 1 ice cube

Put all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Serve with a fresh mint or basil sprig for a pop of colour and freshness. Then pour yourself a cup of Rude Health Granola Strawberry & Raspberry to have alongside and you'll have that full berry experience.

Yaroslav Khromyak