Chaga (Inonotus obliaquus)
Termed by many the “King of Medicinal Mushrooms” the Chaga Mushroom is a potent medicinal mushroom that has been around for centuries. Native Russians, known as the Khanty people, living in the Western Siberian Mountains region smoke it, ingested Chaga powder in powder form, smoke it, applied it to skin, and brewed it to make tea.
Soon, chaga spread around the hunters and foragers of Russia to increase their capacity to work and to promote endurance. In the 12th century, Tzar Vladmir Monamakh attributed the disappearance of his lip tumors to Chaga.
During the 26th century, Chaga was dubbed the ‘King of the Herbs’ by Shen Nung Pen Ts’ao Ching, and is now widely used throughout Asia. In 1955, Chaga was acutely studied and recognized as a medical treatment in Russia by the Russian Medical Academy of Science. In 1968, A. Solzhenitsyn, a Russian novelist and historian published The Cancer Ward making Chaga available to the West. Chaga is used in Europe, United States, Canada and Asia in teas, skin care, coffees, and medicinal purposes to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, enhance liver health, and fight viruses.
BOTANY & FORAGING
Chaga mushroom is found on the Birch tree as a parasite. The burls, the outer black surface is what is most noticeable of the Chaga sclerotium. Sticking out from the trunk of a birch tree is somewhat gnarly in appearance and has a very tough texture. The stem is buds that can elongate to become shoots, and each of these shoots similarly has buds that can become shoots themselves.
Cut open a burl and instead of straight grain you find waves and swirls of wood, marbled and feathered wood, perhaps some “eyes” staring back at you. The interior color is an amber or a rusty yellow-brown. A fully grown Chaga can reach up to 50 cm (19”) in width and height and is can have an overhang of about 30 cm.
Chaga can be found in the Northern hemisphere in very cold habitats in the birch forests of Russia, Korea, Eastern and Northern Europe, Northern areas of the United States and in Canada. Harvest from living trees only. Chaga must be broken down into a powder form.
The Chaga mushroom supports your body’s general health and wellness, and is full of nutrients, mineral, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. These benefits have been used for centuries for medicinal purposes and food.
- Cancer Treatment and Prevention
- Increasing Immunity
- Potent Anti-Viral
- Reduce Inflammation
- Improve Physical Endurance
- Anti-Aging and Skin Benefits (Treat Psoriasis)
*for educational use only. The information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult a qualified physician or health practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any condition. This site is also not to be used as the final word in identification. Never eat anything you haven’t positively identified at least three times before. Please use your common sense and be safe!
- Birch Boys. (2018). A short history of Chaga. Retrieved from https://birchboys.com/blogs/about-our-chaga/a-short-history-of-chaga
- Sayan. (2018). From ancient Siberian folklore to worldwide reputation as a medicinal mushroom. Retrieved from https://sayanchaga.com/chaga-history/
- Dr. Axe. (2018). Chaga Mushroom: 5 Health Benefits of this Ancient Remedy. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/chaga-mushroom/
- ChagaHQ. (2018). Chaga Mushroom Benefits: The Facts. Retrieved from https://chagahq.com/harvest-chaga/
- Edible Wild Food. (2018). Chaga. Retrieved from http://www.ediblewildfood.com/chaga.aspx