There are a few different types of mushrooms that can have impressive effects on your health, and chaga is one of them. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at everything you should know about chaga. We’ll explore “What is chaga?” and we’ll even go over how to harvest chaga mushroom.
What is Chagas?
Chaga is a mushroom that is known as inonotus obliquus, though the name chaga comes from a Russian word. It tends to act as a parasite on birch trees, though other, similar trees may also become hosts for it. The mushroom itself features a grey, white, and black conk that resembles burning charcoal.
Due to the large conk, it’s called the sterile conk trunk rot of birch, such as in the United Kingdom and in Canada. This is due to how the fungus causes white heart rot to develop in the trees that it is attached to. Once the host tree starts dying, the fruiting bodies will begin to form.
What is Chaga Mushroom Good For?
Chaga mushrooms have a few key health benefits, including their ability to help deal with inflammation. Studies have shown that chaga is able to help fight viruses and bacteria by preventing cytokines from being sent out, which are protein messengers that tell the body to mount an inflammatory response.
Aside from helping deal with inflammation, the chaga mushroom has been extensively studied for its purported ability to help slow down the spread of cancer. A study on mice showed that chaga helped reduce tumour sizes by up to 60%, and other studies have shown that it may also slow cancer growth in human livers.
Can You Eat Chaga Powder?
Unfortunately, you can’t eat chaga powder straight because of its cork-like consistency as well as the fact that it needs to be extracted so that it can become bioavailable. However, some powdered chaga may have already been extracted, so be sure to check and see if that’s the case when buying your supplement.
Does Chaga Tea Have Caffeine?
Chaga tea may be called tea, but it’s nothing like traditional black teas which tend to contain caffeine. Since this tea is derived from a fungus, it does not contain any caffeine, so you won’t have to worry about getting the jitters from it and you can still consume it if you’re sensitive to caffeine.
How Much Chaga for a Cup of Tea?
If you’re going to be making chaga tea, you may be wondering how much of it you’ll need to add in to get the right effects. For every cup of water that you’re brewing, you’ll want to add between two and three teaspoons of the ground powder to a tea bag or a tea ball before pouring boiling water over it.
How to Find and Harvest Chaga
First off, you’ll need to find birch trees in your area. After you’ve found a chaga formation, you’ll want to make sure that it’s mature enough to harvest. It should be about the size of a grapefruit. Using a knife, lever the chaga off of the tree, but be sure to leave at least a third of it behind so that it can continue growing.
How to Make Chaga Soap
Chaga soap is made using the saponification process, and this occurs when fatty acids come into contact with a base. In most cases, this base consists of lye, though it’s essential to be careful about the amount of lye going into the soap, as too much lye can result in an overly harsh soap.
Where Does Chaga Grow in Canada?
There are a few specific regions in Canada where you’ll be more likely to find Chaga, and they’re typically areas that have relatively large birch forests, which comes as little surprise. Here are the regions:
- Sault Ste. Marie
- Northern BC
- Northern Alberta
How to make Chaga Skin Cream Recipe
In a double boiler, add in 9 tbsp of shea butter, 6 tbsp of coconut oil, and 3 tbsp of cacao butter. Be sure to keep it on low heat until everything is melted. After that, add in 10 drops of tea tree oil and 2 tsp of chaga extract. Using a whisk, combine it all together and store it in the fridge. Wait until solid and then store at room temperature.
Can You Mix Chaga and Reishi Together?
Yes, chaga and reishi can both be blended together, allowing you to use them in teas, smoothies, or any other method of consumption.
Does Chaga Help You Lose Weight?
Chaga features a lot of fibre in it, which makes you feel fuller sooner. The more full you feel, the less likely you are to take in more calories, which can help you cut down on your weight.