Green Mountain Chaga Girl
Information & FAQ
See Links and Video for more information. Contributions to this page are appreciated and encouraged.
What is Chaga? It is a hard mushroom (fungal parasite) that grows on birch trees which is used for making tea which supposedly has medicinal values. The black outer layer is used for tinder when making fires.
Where is it found? It is found mostly growing on birch trees in cold U. S. climates such as New England, Minnesota, and Canada. Cold areas of Russia are one of the places where it originated and studied.
Is it safe to ingest it? Yes, but normal precautions should be taken before using anything you harvest from the woods. Normally it is boiled in water to make a tea.
How do you make it into tea? Chunks or ground chaga is added to boiling water and simmered for 20 minutes or so. It can be reused until it loses its flavor.
Where can you buy it? It is sold on the internet and in health food stores. Usually it can be found on Ebay auctions.
How much does it cost? It is sold from anywhere from $3,00/lb to $40.00/lb depending on how it has be prepared and processed. It is a very woody mushroom which is hard to break up requiring crushing or grinding.
What are its medicinal benefits? For hundreds of years chaga has been thought to have medicinal benefit to fight cancer, but it has never been proven.
Can it be cultivated? It has been cultivated in the lab and is sustainable. Some say such chaga lacks the true benefits of natural chaga. Others maintain cultivated chaga has none of the bad pests sometimes found in the natural mushroom and limits the bad ecological effects of over harvesting the forest.
How is it harvested? Most people use a heavy knife, saw, or hatchet. Care should be taken that the tree, if live, is not damaged.
How is it prepared for use? Most people cut it up into 1" - 2" chunks or grind it up finer to make tea.
What Chaga products are available? Whole pieces, Chunks of all sizes, ground in various sizes, powdered, and extracts.
Is Chagas Disease related to Chaga? No. See Information below.
I live in Alaska, and there is a fungus that grows on Birch trees called 'Chaga'. I have been drinking Chaga Tea daily for a year and while it didn't turn me into a superhero, it has seemed to boost my metabolism and health in general.
Anyway, what are your thoughts on including this in my new PB Diet? I know this mushroom was known at least 5000 years ago, because it was found in Otzi The Iceman's pouch. (Otzi is the 5000 year old mummified guy they found in the Italian glacier a few years back. (unknown person)
Chagas Disease (Mayo Clinic)
Chagas (SHA-gus) disease is an inflammatory, infectious disease caused by a parasite found in the feces of the triatomine (reduviid) bug. Chagas disease is common in South America, Central America and Mexico, the primary home of the triatomine bug. Rare cases of Chagas disease have been found in the southern United States, as well.
Also called American trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease can infect anyone, but is diagnosed most often in children. Left untreated, Chagas disease later can cause serious heart and digestive problems. Treatment of Chagas disease focuses on killing the parasite in acute infection and managing signs and symptoms in later stages. You can take steps to prevent the infection, too.
CDC(Search on Chagas Disease)
Not related to the Chaga Mushroom