Inonotus obliquus - Packaged in 227g bags, Chaga is a popular medicinal fungus used for its earthy caramel, mocha flavour and its many health benefits. Most people use Chaga chipped or powdered like you would espresso, or cold brew coffee, though it can also be used in rubs, spice mixes and tinctures.
Chaga is a parasitic black crusted orange fungus sclerotium that grows on birch trees. The parts of the fungus that are harvested are not exactly mushrooms (not a fruiting body and has no spores) they are a mass of mycelium and birch wood pulp, protruding from the tree like a burl. Rich in antioxidants, Bbeta-glucans, polysaccharides, sterols and betulinic acid, chaga has been widely researched for use in medicine and is used by people for therapeutic effects, post chemo treatments and in a preventative medications.
Chaga's use is a fairly new thing, with the first reported use of it in medicines happening roughly around the 1600's. It does not have a long standing tradition like many other mushrooms, such as the birch polypore that was found on Ötzi the Iceman, however it shows much of the same promise in the medical community as mushrooms such as reishi (Ganoderma) or razor strop (Piptoporus Betulinus).
Our Chaga is handpicked from the Canadian wilderness. Sold in pieces or ground down into a powder.
How to prepare Chaga
Method 1 - To drink a clear tea, take small pieces of Chaga (roughly 1 gram per serving) and place in boiling water. Keep at a rolling boil for 15 minutes. Strain out the mushroom pieces and sweeten to taste.Store in fridge for up to 3 days.
Method 2 - Place 1 gram of Chaga chunks in 8 ounces of water, bring to a boil and leave over night, 8-12 hours. Strain, sweeten to taste. Store in fridge for up to 3 days.
Method 3 - For a thicker darker drink, use a fine powdered Chaga, place two tablespoons for every 6 ounces of water in a pot. Cover and boil for 15 minutes then transfer to a french press let steep for 5 minutes and enjoy. Sweeten to taste. Some of the Chaga powder should make its way through the filter suspending chaga sediment in the drink; the aim is to have a constancy similar to Turkish coffee. Cooking is required to make the suspended solids digestible. This method can become bitter so adding some cocoa powder/butter or cream can improve flavour. Store in fridge for up to 3 days best used fresh.