Cho-Wa Review: Pro, Cons, and How It Works

This review is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure factually accurate information.

With strict editorial sourcing guidelines, we only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, when research is available, medically peer-reviewed studies. Note that an extensive list with all used Sources is available at the end of the review.

The information in our reviews is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Kumato Labs Cho-Wa (or the “Original Tiger Shogun formula” as commonly advertised online) is an organic herbal supplement specially formulated to support relaxation, stress relief, internal balance, immune system, and overall health. 

Cho-Wa may also enhance mental acuity, cognitive functions, and memory due to the inclusion of several popular herbal extracts such as Ginkgo Biloba, Rhodiola Rosea, and Ginger root.

The original formula has its roots in imperial Japan and is believed to have its origin from the Shogun centuries ago. In fact, the story behind this unique formulation is fascinating, but more about that in our Cho-Wa review below.

Quick intro

Kumato Labs Cho-Wa has been around for almost a decade, and it’s one of the first dietary supplements introduced as a simple, easy-to-prepare tea beverage. 

Each packet contains a mixture of various herbal ingredients rich in antioxidants, which strengthens immunity. The formula also helps get rid of toxins in the body. 

Read our full Cho-Wa review below for an in-depth analysis of all the key features of this herbal supplement. 

Our review will provide you with valuable information on the company behind the product, claimed benefits, core active ingredients, who is suppose to help, value per serving, where to buy it from at discounted price, customers’ take on the product, potential adverse effects, and our final take on whether you should consider trying the product or not.

About Kumato Labs

Cho-Wa is made by Kumato Labs, a small family business located in Signal Hill, California. Dr. Kumato founded the company to foster traditional Japanese medicine to the rest of the world.

The company specializes in developing and producing natural supplements inspired by old Japanese recipes. Besides Cho-Wa, Kumato Labs also makes Nemuri (supports restful sleep) and Comoxin (internal bowel support).

How to contact Kumato Labs:

  • Address: 2646 St. Louis Ave., Signal Hill, CA 90755
  • Website: cho-wa.com
  • Email: info@kumatolabs.com
  • Phone: 800.882.0565

Cho-Wa ingredients

Cho-Wa’s formula contains 3,000 mg of a proprietary blend of the following ingredients:

  • Green tea (leaf extract)
  • Rhodiola Rosea (root extract)
  • Ginkgo Biloba (root extract)
  • Epimedium (aerial plant)
  • Astragalus (root extract)
  • Lycium (fruit)
  • Euphoria (fruit)
  • Ginger (rhizome)
  • Tangerine (peel)
  • Shiitake mushrooms (fruiting body)
  • Reishi mushrooms (fruiting body)
  • Maitake mushrooms (fruiting body)

Health benefits

Let’s start with the fascinating story behind the unique Cho-Wa formula. According to Kumato Labs, the tea has been used for centuries in Japan. It was supposedly concocted by a sensei solely for use by the Tiger Shogun. Even after his death, only his descendants were permitted to drink the secret tea formula. 

After centuries, the secret formula was passed down to Dr. Kumato’s sensei, a traditional healer who spent most of his life in a small hut in the mountains. 

Dr. Kumato learned how to brew the tea from this healer, and he then took it out of Japan to California, where it is now produced by Kumato Labs, making it available for purchase by the masses.

So what exactly is inside this ancient, secret tea formula?

This next part of our Cho-Wa review will analyze some core active ingredients included in the formula.

Green tea

Green tea is believed to be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. It’s packed with antioxidants with countless health benefits, ranging from protecting your cells from free radical damage to enhancing cognitive function.

People used green tea in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine to heal wounds, control bleeding, improve mental health, aid digestion, improve heart health, and control body temperature. 

Modern-day clinical studies and research seem to validate these ancient beliefs. Based on current data, green tea may positively affect weight management, inflammatory skin conditions, liver disorders, type 2 diabetes, working memory, Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive health, and more.

Green tea contains several potent active ingredients, such as caffeine, which is a recognized mental energizer. Green tea also includes the amino acid L-theanine, which produces a relaxing effect by boosting the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. It also increases the production of alpha waves and dopamine in the brain, which regulates mental alertness.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea has been utilized in ancient medicine for centuries, particularly in cold, mountainous areas in Scandinavia and Russia, where people believe the herb can treat fatigue, anemia, anxiety, depression, and headaches.

Numerous researches have been conducted on the plant. As a result, many researchers have classified the plant as an adaptogen, meaning that it makes you less prone to emotional and physical and emotional. 

As a matter of fact, Rhodiola root extracts are among the most frequently used ingredients in brain supplements, mainly due to its root containing over 140 active ingredients, the two most potent being salidroside and rosavin.

Ginkgo Biloba

The Ginkgo Biloba tree is one of the oldest living tree species. Traditional Chinese medicine used different parts of the tree, but nowadays, most ginkgo biloba extracts are obtained from the dried green leaves of the tree.

The most valuable components of ginkgo are terpenoids, which help improve circulation by reducing the “stickiness” of platelets and dilating blood vessels, and flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants protecting against oxidative stress cell damage from harmful free radicals. 

Ginkgo Biloba is also used to treat or prevent age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, anxiety, fatigue, asthma, and multiple sclerosis. 

Shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) have grown in popularity in recent years. They contain an abundance of chemical compounds that shield your DNA from oxidative damage, which is partially why they’re so beneficial. 

One of these compounds is Lentinan, which heals chromosome damage caused by anticancer treatments. Meanwhile, eritadenine substances found in shiitake mushrooms support cardiovascular health and help decrease cholesterol levels. 

A study published in August 1995 by a team of researchers at Shizuoka University in Japan showed that eritadenine supplementation significantly reduced plasma cholesterol concentration.

Shiitakes are also unique for a plant because they contain a type of essential fatty acid called linoleic acid and all eight essential amino acids. 

Linoleic acid helps with building muscle and weight loss. It also has bone-building benefits, lessens food allergies and sensitivities, and improves digestion.

Ginger

Ginger root extract is typically used in supplements for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. 

For thousands of years, Arabic, Indian, and Asian healers prized ginger as food and medicine. In the same bo­tanical family as cardamom and turmeric, this tropical plant was effectively used to relieve vomiting and nausea caused by sea sickness and illness.

Today, ginger has been researched for a wide array of medical conditions, including:

  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Morning sickness
  • Joint pain (arthralgia)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Motion sickness
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia)
  • Muscle pain (myalgia)
  • Diabetes
  • Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea)

Reishi mushrooms

Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum) have been a part of traditional medicine practices for more than 2,000 years. They are regarded as a “superfood” and commonly referred to as “the king of mushrooms.”

Reishi mushrooms are best known for their antioxidant and adaptogenic benefits. Beta-glucans (unique compounds found in these mushrooms) have been shown to support immune health and function.

Furthermore, clinical studies showed that reishi mushrooms could also promote mental clarity, reduce stress and anxiety, and support feelings of calm.

Price & where to buy

One box of Cho-Wa (30 packets) costs $59.95. The product is available directly from Kumato Labs’ store or several online retailers such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.

Cho-Wa is typically on sale on Amazon, but you can also find decent deals on the official Kumato store if you are willing to order at least six boxes – six boxes cost $215.82 ($35.97 per box) and nine boxes cost $269.73 ($29.97 per box).

Cho-Wa review – Pros and cons

Pros

  • One of the few dietary supplements with an interesting “origin” story
  • May support relaxation, stress relief, internal balance, immune system, and overall health
  • Most of the ingredients are thoroughly researched and proven over centuries of use in many traditional medicine practices
  • It’s available in an easy-to-use form – packets that can be prepared as you would typically brew a tea

Cons

  • The entire formula is listed as a “proprietary blend,” making it impossible to know how much of each ingredient was included in each packet
  • More expensive than other similar herbal supplements
  • Not much information available on the official Kumato website, but plenty available online if you are willing to do the research

Cho-Wa testimonials

OneBrainReviews Avatar

I quit the coffee and chocolate and started taking Cho-Wa. It has been about three weeks, and I feel a “gentle lift” in the morning. BUT, if I did not sleep well or had a hard day previous, it was not a magic potion. If your adrenals are exhausted like mine were, it takes a lot of time and patience. Yes, I agree with some reviews. I did get dizzy and […] Read full review


OneBrainReviews Avatar

My work is in holistic health, and I do things daily to take care of my health, so maybe that is why it seemed to strongly affect me, while some reviewers have noted no effect. It also did give a nice kick of energy. I enjoyed the taste of the tea, although […] Read full review


OneBrainReviews Avatar

This is a lovely tea. It’s supposed to balance your blood sugar if you drink it regularly, it tastes good with honey; it also makes an excellent gift, I gave a box to my psychiatrist, and it seemed to have gone over pretty well, the box […] Read full review

Recommendations, adverse effects, and warnings

Kumato Labs Cho-Wa is advertised as safe to use with no associated dangerous adverse effects. Still, we advise caution since it contains a good amount of green tea, which has caffeine in it. 

Furthermore, given the many herbal extracts included in each packet, some consumers may experience mild side effects, typically in response to how their bodies adjust to the product.

Cho-Wa side effects may include:

  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches

Dosage and how to take Cho-Wa

As a dietary supplement, take one (1) packet daily, as needed. Brew the beverage in about 240 ml of hot water. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes, as you would do with regular tea. For better results, drink the tea slowly during long breaks. 

Cho-Wa contains green tea extract, which has a significant amount of caffeine. Do not use more than one (1) packet daily.

Comparison with competitors

Before we conclude our Cho-Wa review, let’s take a quick look over several other herbal supplements that may represent good alternatives for those not convinced by this formulation’s benefits.

Kava Stress Relief made by Yogi – This stress relief tea supplement is a naturally spicy-sweet and warming blend of organic Kava, Indian sarsaparilla root, cinnamon, and carob pod. 

Unlike Cho-Wa, Kava Stress Relief doesn’t contain caffeine, making it a better alternative for those trying to avoid stimulants. 

Yogi Kava Stress Relief tea is also cheaper. A six-pack (96 tea bags) costs $23.88. You can combine it with several other teas made by the same company – Yogi Bedtime, Honey Lavender Stress Relief, or Sweet Tangerine Positive Energy – for better results.

Stress Ease made by Traditional Medicines – This cinnamon tea claims to relieve stress, tension, and irritability. Each tea bag contains a mixture of skullcap, cinnamon bark, and licorice root for a fast-acting, unwinding, and grounding experience.

Stress Ease is affordable – a six-pack (96 tea bags) costs $24.00 – and one of the best-reviewed stress relief teas on Amazon.

Alpha Brain Instant Memory & Focus made by ONNIT – This more traditional, supplement-type approach could be another good alternative to Cho-Wa. 

Each packet contains Alpha GPC Choline, Cat’s claw, L-theanine, and Bacopa monnieri for attention, memory, energy, clarity, and cognitive support. Furthermore, Alpha Brain Instant Memory & Focus is a stimulant-free brain supplement, meaning no dreaded afternoon crash.

As a downside, the supplement is more expensive than Cho-Wa, with one box (30 packets) costing $59.95.

Our final take

There is no doubt that Kumato Labs Cho-Wa tea supplement is an excellent option for those looking for a more traditional approach and an alternative to daily dietary supplements for stress relief.

Are we to believe the story behind this “ancient and secret formula?” Probably it’s just a story intended to help to sell the product. But regardless of that, Kumato Labs was able to put together a decent formula combining well-known and well-researched ingredients with proven benefits for cognitive health.

In the end, Cho-Wa gives you a simple option: rather than taking tablets, you take this as a hot beverage. 

The product is reasonably priced for a supplement, and online Cho-Wa reviews and testimonials are pretty positive, with many buyers raving about the burst of energy and the mental sharpness this product gave them.

Frequently Asked Questions


Kumato Labs Cho-Wa is an organic tea supplement specifically formulated to support relaxation, stress relief, internal balance, immune system, and overall health.

Cho-Wa contains a good amount of green tea, which has caffeine.

Cho-Wa can be used daily, but not more than one packet per day. Open the packet and pour the contents in hot water. The product will dissolve, and you can drink it as a hot beverage. You may also add some sweetener like honey.

Kumato Labs offers a 45-day return policy. Simply return the item within 45 days of the original purchase date, and you will be eligible for a full refund, minus the shipping charges.

The formula contains various organic herbal extracts. Some ingredients may cause mild adverse effects in some users. For instance, Ginkgo Biloba may cause constipation, dizziness, restlessness, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, palpitations, and allergic skin reactions in large doses.

One box of Cho-Wa (30 packets) costs $59.95. Discounts may be available depending on the store you get it from.



Sources

At OneBrainReviews, we only use primary references for our articles, including peer-reviewed medical journals or well-respected academic institutions.

  • Sabu M. Chacko, Priya T. Thambi, Ramadasan Kuttan, and Ikuo Nishigaki – Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review. Published on April 6, 2010. Retrieved on June 15, 2021. [Source]
  • A. Nehlig, J. L. Daval, and G. Debry – Caffeine and the central nervous system: mechanisms of action, biochemical, metabolic and psychostimulant effects. Published in August 1992. Retrieved on June 15, 2021. [Source]
  • Silvia A. Mandel, Tamar Amit, Orly Weinreb, Lydia Reznichenko, and Moussa B. H. Youdim – Simultaneous Manipulation of Multiple Brain Targets by Green Tea Catechins: A Potential Neuroprotective Strategy for Alzheimer and Parkinson Diseases. Published on November 11, 2008. Retrieved on June 15, 2021. [Source]
  • Ion-George Anghelescu, David Edwards, Erich Seifritz, and Siegfried Kasper – Stress management and the role of Rhodiola Rosea: a review. Published November 2018. Retrieved on June 15, 2021. [Source]
  • D. Edwards, A. Heufelder, and A. Zimmermann – Therapeutic effects and safety of Rhodiola Rosea extract WS® 1375 in subjects with life-stress symptoms – results of an open-label study. Published in August 2012. Retrieved on June 15, 2021. [Source]
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  • P. L. Le Bars, M. M. Katz, N. Berman, T. M. Itil, A. M. Freedman, and A. F. Schatzberg – A placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial of an extract of Ginkgo Biloba for dementia. North American EGb Study Group. Published in October 1997. Retrieved on June 15, 2021. [Source]
  • H. Woelk, K. H. Arnoldt, M. Kieser, and R. Hoerr – Ginkgo Biloba special extract EGb 761 in generalized anxiety disorder and adjustment disorder with anxious mood: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Published on June 30, 2006. Retrieved on June 15, 2021. [Source]
  • K. Sugiyama, T. Akachi, and A. Yamakawa – Hypocholesterolemic action of eritadenine is mediated by a modification of hepatic phospholipid metabolism in rats. Published in August 1995. Retrieved on June 15, 2021. [Source]
  • Won Chull Bak, Ji Heon Park, Young-Ae Park, and Kang Hyeon Ka – Determination of Glucan Contents in the Fruiting Bodies and Mycelia of Lentinula edodes Cultivars. Published on September 30, 2014. Retrieved on June 15, 2021. [Source]
  • Sissi Wachtel-Galor, John Yuen, John A. Buswell, and Iris F. F. Benzie – Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. Published in 2011. Retrieved on June 15, 2021. [Source]
  • Wenbo Tang, Yihuai Gao, Guoliang Chen, He Gao, Xihu Dai, Jinxian Ye, Eli Chan, Min Huang, and Shufeng Zhou – A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract in neurasthenia. Published in 2005. Retrieved on June 15, 2021. [Source]
  • Behrouz Ilkhanizadeh, Alireza Shirpoor, Mohamad Hasan Khadem Ansari, Samira Nemati, and Yusef Rasmi – Protective Effects of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Extract against Diabetes – Induced Heart Abnormality in Rats. Published on February 19, 2016. Retrieved on June 15, 2021. [Source]

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