Chaga (Scientific Name: Inonotus Obliquus) is a non-toxic mushroom that has numerous medicinal qualities. Chaga is one of the highest food antioxidants in the world and it has the highest level of superoxide dismutase or (SOD) detected in any food or herb. Chaga is a tree mushroom, but unlike other tree mushrooms that grow on dead trees, Chaga grows on living trees. Chaga is a fungal parasite that draws its nutrients and derives its extracts from the inner layers of the bark from the tree which it grows on. Chaga grows wild in cold northern climates on different species of trees. Chaga has the same consistency of wood and resembles a knot or wood growth on a tree. Chaga looks like burnt wood or charcoal on the outside, although the inside is orange in color. Due to its wood-like texture, it cannot be consumed in the same fashion as a portabella, unless you want to chance breaking a tooth. The two most beneficial ways to consume the properties of Chaga are grinding it into a powder and brewing it as a tea, also known as a hot water extraction or a tincture can also be made from Chaga with an alcohol or vegetable / glycerin extraction method. Chaga has naturally occurring vanillin, the same content found in vanilla bean, therefore it takes on a slight hint of vanilla flavor when prepared as a tea – it tastes nothing like a mushroom at all.
The active constituents of Chaga are thought to be a combination of Amino Acids, Beta Glucans, Betulinic Acid, Calcium, Chloride, Copper, Dietary Fiber, Enzymes, Flavonoids, Germanium, Inotodiols, Iron, Lanosterol, Manganese, Magnesium, Melanin, Pantothenic Acid, Phenols, Phosphorus, Phytonutrients, Polysaccharides, Potassium, Saponins, Selenium, Sodium, Sterols, Trametenolic Acid, Tripeptides, Triterpenes, Triterpenoids, Vanillic Acid, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin D2 (Ergosterol), Vitamin K and Zinc.
The most valued property in Chaga is betulinic acid, however, in order for Chaga to be effective, it’s imperative that Chaga is harvested from only birch trees. Birch trees are the ONLY trees that contain betulinic acid from which Chaga grows on. We at Chaga Mountain, Inc., wild harvest Chaga from ONLY birch trees. Chaga Mushrooms harvested from birch trees converts the betulin present in the bark of the birch into a soluble and ingestible form of betulinic acid. Please read the importance of betulinic acid on our Health Benefits Tab.