The Chaga Mushroom: Nature's First Aid Kit

 

Exploring the benefits and uses of Chaga

In present day many old crafts, routines and holistic remedies have been revitalized. This is partly due to some extra time on our hands, partly due to necessity and partly due to a growing interest in health and natural methods of boosting immunity. This trend has enhanced the profile of many medicinal mushrooms. Chaga (Inonotus obliquus), a fungus that grows on a variety of trees is one of those natural remedies that has come into focus.

It is purported that during World War II, soldiers would drink Chaga as a replacement for coffee. The taste is similar to coffee beans; pleasant but less bitter and comes without the unwanted jittery side effects that caffeine can present. The Chaga mushroom is a sterile growth on trees that have been injured or scarred as an ecological defense method that helps to heal the impacted area. Think of them as nature’s first aid kit.

Chaga can grow over a period of 10-20 years and forms a black mass on the tree that is golden inside, one of the main differentiators from tree burls, which are commonly mistaken for Chaga. When harvested, it can be made into powder which can then be placed in capsules or smoothies, a tincture OR our preferred method, a soothing cup of tea.

Hand holding up a large piece of wild chaga mushroom outdoors.

The mushroom is sought after for its high levels of Superoxide Dismutase, a powerful liver cleanser that promotes cellular regeneration and protects the cells from oxidative damage. For this reason, Chaga is believed to contain natural immune boosting benefits as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Chaga can also help with reducing high blood pressure, heart disease and blood sugar levels.

Although one can harvest Chaga themselves, it requires a skilled eye to know what to look for and an area that is deep in the woods, away from cities and pollutants that can be absorbed into the fungus. It should be harvested at the proper time of year and done in a sustainable manner - never take more than 70% of the fungus in order for the Chaga to continue to benefit the life of the tree. This will also help ensure it regenerates so it can be re-harvested by other Chaga hunters until the tree's life cycle ends.  

It is said that only one in 4,000 birch trees will have Chaga growth so finding and harvesting the fungus on your own is no easy task. Fortunately, we are here to do the Chaga sourcing for you and to make sure your cup is filled with the highest quality, sustainably sourced Chaga available. Look for Chaga in our Cleanse blend along with reishi mushrooms, ginger and lemon peel.

Try Chaga today to help detoxify and fortify your immune system with the power of fungi.