Shailene Woodley’s Must-Have Healthy Tea (Made in a Slow Cooker!)

04/22/2014 at 12:56 PM ET

Shailene Woodley
Kevin Mazur/Wireimage

The secret to Shailene Woodley‘s favorite tea? Here’s a hint: She picks it herself — literally.

The Divergent actress likes to brew a medicinal tea using chaga — a wild mushroom that grows on the trunk of the birch tree — that she often forages herself, she says in the May issue of Natural Health magazine. Although you can pour boiling water over chaga and brew it like traditional tea, Woodley prefers to make a big batch in her slow cooker.

She then uses the tea, which tastes bitter on its own, to give a healthful boost to coffee or soup — the fungi are known for their antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Chaga tea is just one example of Woodley’s back-to-basics approach to food, which comes from her passion for nature and commitment to the environment. “As a teenager, I started researching factory farming and genetically engineered foods and agriculture, and I found myself asking ‘what’s the point of environmentalism if we keep separating ourselves from nature?’” she told the magazine.

You can order chaga online (Woodley likes chaga powder from Surthrival), though she’s also been known to grind the ones she’s picked herself into a powder before turning them into tea. (Flaunt magazine also reported that she makes her own cheese and gathers her own spring water, reports The Daily Mail.)

Picking ‘shrooms in the woods might sound extreme to some, but Woodley offers a matter-of-fact explanation about why she thinks being a “sovereign human” is so important: “For me, having my basic necessities covered and being able to take care of myself is reassuring. If the power goes out, I know how to make a fire and where a water source is and how to find my own food,” she told Natural Health.

Shailene Woodley
Courtesy Natural Health

Shailene Woodley’s Mushroom Tea
Makes 1 liter

1 packet chaga powder or 1-2 tbsp. dried chaga (such as Ecstatic Earth)
1 liter spring water

1. Add water and chaga to slow cooker and simmer for six hours.

2. Strain chaga and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Cook’s notes: You can adjust cooking time and the amount of powder or mushrooms based on your taste preferences. When the refrigerated liquid starts to turn lighter in color, it’s time to discard and make a new batch.

—Lexi Dwyer

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Janie on

My favourite is how she says she can build a fire and forage for food when the power goes out. As someone in a northern climate with plenty of power outages, I’ve never had to forage for food (and get the feeling our fireplace might not meet her build a fire expectations).

But ya know, girl is set for real life “revolution”. She’s fun. Wealth makes people nutty, but I dig her type of nut. I want Shailene Woodley style goop. Delivered to my door on birch parchment by carrier pigeon. Sign me up!

Jay on

Get ready for a small number of deaths of people who decided to go forage for their own mushrooms to make tea, and they picked poisonous ones instead.

Macy on

This is a common occurrence in places where people are living in country settings. Foraging for food still exists, building fires in places other than fireplaces still exists. Here in the country men hunt and gather all the time for their families. And shockingly enough, people are happy here, healthy, and well adapted to survival situations. Should there ever be a serious enough war on American soil and thing get scarce-people like her and others I know will not just survive but still thrive without everything being handed to them. We still grow our own food and make preserves around here.


Whatever. Somebody pass me a Ring Ding.

kalebcapes on

Wow, she is awesome. Never did I ever think a “celebrity” had a brain. Congrats on re-wilding yourself. You are a beautiful wise fellow neo-aboriginal spreading self-reliance. 😉

Tom on

I always wonder where people get their Chaga and it sounds like Shailene might be missing out. I recommend wild Chaga from Alaska to everyone I know and my favorite character company is

Danny B on

Cool to hear, but I agree with Tom! Wild chaga chunks make the best tea! I haven’t tried any from Alaska, but I can vouch for … they’re from Canada and I haven’t been let done so far.

A bonus with the chunks is that after brewing a batch, I always keep the chaga I used and brew it a second time. The tea is always weaker, but I figure I’d rather drink extra tea that’s weak than no tea at all!

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