LOCAL Chaga Mushroom Profile
Also known as
Inonotus obliquus, Cinder conk, Chaga, Clinker polypore, Birch mushroom, Black Birch Touchwood, Crooked Schiller-porling
Chaga is a mushroom, a parasitic carpophore that looks like the
charred remains of burned wood on the side of a birch tree (sometimes
growing on Elm and Alder, but Birch is its favorite). The parasite
enters the tree through a 'wound' in the bark of a mature tree. It then
grows under the bark until it erupts in a deeply cracked, black charcoal
like extension. It usually takes another 5-7 years for it to fully
mature, at which point it falls to the forest floor, most times killing
the host tree in the process. Chaga has been a part of folk medicine in
Russia, Poland, China and numerous Baltic countries for many centuries.
It was documented by Chinese herbalist Shen Nong in his herbal texts as
early as the first century B.C.E. Traditional Chinese medicine reports
that it is helpful in maintaining a healthy balance, preserving ones
youth, and promoting longevity. Russian folk medicine used it for
ailments of the stomach, liver, and heart, as well as a general tonic.
It is still used in Russia as a tonic, blood purifier, and pain
reliever. In Siberia it is still used as a tea to treat tuberculosis.
The entire mushroom is used in all preparations noted.
Chaga is typically and historically ingested as a tea, but it
also has been made into a tincture, and less commonly into powder that
is then used as a tea; Encapsulation seems to be rare. There have been
reports of it being the base for liqueurs and as a substitute for hops
in beer. In Russia, it can be found as a syrup, a tablet, an aerosol,
and even as a suppository.
Chaga is predominantly found in Poland, Western Siberia, and
throughout North America. Even in the most prime Northern regions,
Chaga conks are somewhat rare. Recent studies in China and Korea have
shown that that Chaga is extremely high in anti-oxidants, but the
studies have yet been able to pinpoint why this is. It has been sold in
Russia since the 1960's as Befunigin, as a cancer cure, and is commonly
found in many Russian households where it used as a tonic.
None have been historically noted, but caution should be used
when pregnant or breast feeding, and before giving to children.
Discontinue use if allergic reactions occur.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is
not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 04 November, 2010.