Take a look at the Chaga mushroom. The benefits of Chaga mushrooms, how to harvest them, three good ways to use Chaga mushrooms, and their side effects.
Chaga sounds like a dance. Or a foreign dessert. It’s a mushroom. The medical community considers Chaga to be one of the most powerful mushrooms. Intrigued? Was I? Continue reading to learn more about this strange fungus.
What is Chaga?
Chaga is Inonotus Obliquus. It looks more like coffee grounds than it does a mushroom. It is a parasite that takes nutrients from its host trees, which are primarily birch and beech.
Chaga is usually found on trees that are higher in elevation, typically above 4,000 feet. The Ural Mountains of Russia are the origin, but it is also found in large numbers in the Appalachian Mountains where I live. Other boreal forests with higher elevations have also been reported to contain the species.
Chaga is not the fruiting body we see more often on mushrooms, but the mycelium. It is spread by spores that enter the tree through branch injuries or poorly healed breaks. It is a parasite, but it does not have enough strength or size to kill trees.
Chaga Mushroom Benefits
Chaga contains polysaccharides, just like other fungi. These carbohydrates have been shown to slow or stop the progression of cancer cells.
Many studies show the health benefits of Chaga mushrooms, and more are in the works.
It is easier to find in Russia, so it’s often used as tea by the poorer communities. In addition, there are no cancer cases in many of these regions.
It has also been shown to remove free radicals in the body. Free radicals are the main agents that cause cancer. The treatment is also being investigated as a way to treat Covid disease. 1
How to Prepare Chaga
Chaga can be prepared in many ways, just like any other mushroom. You will find below the most popular and useful preparations.
You can use glycerin, glycerine, alcohol, or oil as menstruum.
- Cover the Chaga with alcohol. I use 40% vodka, so when I add the liquid from the decoction to the 50:50 ratio, I get 20% alcohol. This amount of alcohol is sufficient to prevent bacterial growth.
- To get the most out of the Chaga, leave the tincture on for at least three weeks.
- Strain and store it in a dark, cool place.
The tincture can be taken as it is or mixed as described above to get a double extraction.
Chaga can be dried and ground to make tea.
Use one teaspoon per cup and steep it for about 10 minutes.
Mix the tea with other ingredients to make it more appealing. Some people love the taste, while others do not. I mix mine with hot chocolate to reduce the fungal flavor that many mushrooms have.
You can also get it by using a decoction or boiling water for some time.
- Brush off dirt and other debris from your Chaga.
- Place in a non-reactive pan and cover with a thin layer of water.
- Let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes or more if you can.
- Invert the top of the pan so that it forms an inverted dome.
- Cool down to room temperature.
- The fungus can be frozen after removal. Decocting the fungus up to three times can help you get nutrients from it.
You can use the liquid in soups and stews, or you can save it for double extraction.
Chaga contains oxalates, which can cause kidney stones when consumed in excess. To avoid this, it is recommended that you take small doses and do not consume for long periods.
It can also lower blood glucose, so people with diabetes should use caution and consult a physician.
You can enjoy Chaga in many different ways, whether you are interested in its health benefits or simply as a tea. Try it today!
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Chaga, a cheap alternative to tea for Russians who live in forests, is thought to be helpful in treating COVID-19. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quotes Maslennikov, a Russian doctor, about Chaga in his book The Cancer Ward: “He observed that none of his cancer patients.” He investigated this and discovered that the peasants of that town did not drink tea but Chaga in order to save money.