What is Chaga Mushroom and how it Benefits you

What is Chaga Mushroom and how it works

Posted by Heather & Blair on

The medicinal mushroom Inonotus obliquus is an ancient folk remedy that has been valued for its beneficial effects for centuries.

Helping to remove free radicals, reduce oxidative stress and destroy tumor cells. Chaga mushrooms are often compared to similar fungi like the Reishi, Shitake, Maitake and Oyster mushrooms.

Chaga is an Ancient Folk Remedy

Chaga mushroom inonotus obliquus looks like burnt charcoal protruding from a Birch tree. The clinker polypore mushroom grows on birch trees in cold climates and creates concentrated amounts of natural tree medicine.

The use of the medicinal mushroom inonotus obliquus is not widespread in the West. However, it has been used as traditional medicine by indigenous peoples for hundreds of years.

A unique clinker polypore fungi that grows on living trees forming a symbiotic relationship. The mushroom and its host can sustain one another during their entire lifespan of up to 20 years. 

chaga mushrooms on birch tree

The fungus looks like burnt charcoal found on wounded or dying Birch trees in temperate forests throughout the Northern hemisphere.

It grows out of wounds sustained after storms and other impacts. Covering the tree's wound protecting it from invading microorganisms. The host tree and mushroom can co-exist in cold climates for many years.

The Power of Tree Rot Fungi

Polypore fungi like chaga mushroom Inonotus Obliquus are unlike fleshy mushrooms and can be found all year long.

Polypore fungi can be easily distinguished from the other fungi by their hard exterior and "non-mushroom" shape. They typically grow on wood acting as forest decomposers. Helping to recycle nutrients and minerals from dead or dying trees. A process that can often take several hundred years from a single downed tree. 

Wood decaying fungal polypores use two different methods to rot or breakdown their host.  

 white and brown rot fungi

Wood is composed mostly of cellulose (white) and lignin (brown). Cellulose makes up the primary wall of all plant cells. Many plants have a secondary wall of lignin inside the primary one, especially in wood.

Brown rot fungi degrade the white cellulose leaving the brown lignin behind. White rot fungi degrade the lignin and leave the white cellulose behind. Brown rot fungi degrade the primary walls and leaving the secondary lignin behind. Thus brown rotted wood crumbles to dust since there is no primary wall structure left behind. 

White rot fungi leave the cellulose of the primary walls behind. Inonotus Obliquus is a white rot fungi. 

It's ability to degrade wood and lignin makes the nutritional value of the host digestible to insects, animals and even humans.

The enzymes of white rot fungi can so degrade toxic waste. Including toxins with the same chemical configuration, such as PCB's and PCP's. It is generally known as non-toxic fungi because of this fact. 

 what is chaga, chaga fungus as it grows inside tree

Fungus Inonotus Obliquus penetrates the heart of the host tree to access nutrients.

Once it penetrates the heartwood of the host tree it begins breaking down the tree's naturally occurring cellulose to feed. The digestive process expels massive amounts of nutritional compounds. Which then slowly accumulate and bulge into the tumor like growth known as Chaga.

The outer fungal cell walls are protected by structural polymers known as 'chitin'. In order to access the nutritional compounds within, the harvested fungus first needs to be prepared for extraction.

Once harvested and dried the mushroom can be ground into tea or powder for future use.

What is Chaga Mushroom Used For?

The mushroom can be steeped as a Tea or matured into a potent methanolic extract by soaking it in alcohol. Both the hot water soluble and alcohol methods are different ways to extract separate nutritional compounds from the mushroom. 

Chaga can be consumed as a powder and sprinkled into soups, stews, smoothies etc. for added nutritional value. However, to benefit from the high concentrations of mushroom polysaccharides, it is advisable to use some means of extraction instead.

benefits of chaga

Understand and learn about the health benefits, dosage and side effects of chaga mushroom before taking any chaga supplements. Refer to your healthcare professional and seek medical advice before taking medicinal mushrooms.

What are the Health Benefits of Chaga?

Chaga tea benefits include use as a nerve tonic and anti inflammatory and powerful cancer fighter. Chaga mushroom benefits also include prevention against many of the top killers in North America.

Used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine and considered as one of the most powerful healing plants on Earth.

  • Improve the immune response
  • Lowers blood sugar levels and combat cancer cells
  • Helps reduce inflammation
  • Fights heart disease
  • Helps prevent blood clotting
  • Relieves pain and purifies the blood and the liver
  • Adaptogen for the body to heal.

Studies shows that Chaga Mushroom is an amazing fungus that supports our health and well being.

Chaga is an Adaptogen

Adaptogens are herbs and plants used to help the body cope with stressors of all kinds. 

Chaga is an adaptogen, chaga adaptogen, chaga benefits

The adaptogens in Chaga have beneficial effects on the immune system and help to stimulate the endocrine system.

Adaptogens help us cope with stress and keep us healthy during the cold and flu season.

Adaptogens also help fight cancer and lift us out of the dark depths of depression and adrenal burnout.

Birch tree chaga has health benefits that are helpful in treating autoimmune diseases. Birch Chaga helps protect cells from damaging free radicals.

Chaga mushroom inonotus obliquus should be taken for a minimum of two months to experience the health benefits. 

See a complete list of possible chaga side effects that can occur when taking chaga tea daily.

Boosts your Immune System and Fights Inflammation

Ingestion of chaga mushroom helps to stimulate the immune response and lower high blood sugar levels.

Chaga nutrients help to optimize your immune system and offer protection against viruses and other pathogens.

By helping to promote the formation of special proteins chaga regulates the immune system and prevents disease after long term use. 

Chaga stimulates the formation of white blood cells with are essential to fighting off bacteria and viruses. 

The fungus fights inflammation, relieves pain, purifies the blood and protects the liver supporting our overall health and well being. It has also been known to help prevent renal disease after long term use and aid in pain relief in end stage renal disease.

Chaga tea explained, all about chaga tea

Learn Everything you need to know about Chaga Tea

Findings based on studies with diabetic mice.  Not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or condition.  Consult your family physician or health care professional prior to take mushrooms.


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