Chaga is a mushroom of unlikely and curious beauty with bountiful effects on immunity and health.  This cold-loving fungus, AKA mushroom, grows on white birch trees and has been eaten as food for as long as recorded history.  This is not a mushroom you will find on the ground so look up in the trees! Chaga benefits have been realized through ancient history; now science is discovering new ways of using chaga tea today. Bonus: chaga tea tastes quite pleasant, earthy, and mild.

The study of mushrooms is called mycology.  If you aren’t a mycologist yet, you may want to become one after understanding how fungi are changing the way we relate to our planet, our biodiversity, and human health.

Birch tree chaga has many names. It can be called the clinker, cinder conk, black gold, black mass, conk trunk rot, and birch canker polypore [R].

In France, it is called carie blanche spongieuse de bouleau, in Germany Schiefer Schillerporling, in Dutch, berkenweerschijnzwam, also birch glow mushroom. In Norway, chaga is kreftkjuke, which literally means cancer fungus.

Image by Melanie Tickell from Pixabay

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