Chaga Herbal Supplement: How to Source Responsibly

The Importance of Choosing Sustainably Harvested Chaga Herbal Supplement*

If you live on the East Coast, where chaga is most prolifically grown in North America, chances are you’ve come across many products that contain chaga. Chaga herbal supplement comes in tea form and is added to coffee, honey, maple syrup, tincture, and even skin care. Chaga is a special mushroom that has a great reputation for supporting overall well-being.*

The popularity of Chaga mushrooms is increasing every day, which unfortunately causes overharvesting of this rare fungus. While many functional mushrooms can be cultivated, there are some species, such as Chaga, that are only available wild-crafted. In addition, Chaga’s slow and unusual reproduction adds to the obstacles to securing sustainable sources of Chaga. Here at AdaptogenShrooms, we’re committed to sustainably sourcing the Chaga we use in our products, like the Daily 10 Mushroom Mix.*


Sex life of Chaga

The part of the fungus we use is in our Chaga herbal supplements is not technically a mushroom. It is not the “fruiting body” of the fungus, but rather a sterile grain, which many mycologists refer to as scleroderma or hardened mycelial mass. One to two years after the death of its host tree, the fungus will create tubular pores under the bark, where it will remain hidden until it is ready to sporulate. Finally, a fruiting body will emerge from the bark of the tree, where the ephemeral, nutrient-dense mushroom is immediately consumed by beetles and other hungry organisms.

To make things more mysterious, the orientation of the fruiting bodies of the fungus matters:

“Chaga is aptly named Inonotus (to penetrate) oblique (an angular shift in degrees) due to the fungus penetrating tree wounds to attack and feed on the heartwood. and the angular tubes containing its reproductive spores are inclined 20-30 degrees upwards towards the sun. Mycologists believe this is done to enable spore dispersal by allowing wind currents to carry spores to infect nearby damaged trees. Interestingly, it is almost at the same level as the angular deviation of the Earth with respect to the Sun.’ – Excerpt from Ananda Chaga2019. (1)

The thing to keep in mind is that the fungus often won’t have a chance to reach this stage of its life cycle if all the Chaga sclerotia are collected. When we make Chaga, we essentially take the fungus’s food storage – which it relies on to survive for about 2 years – and still have enough nutrients to penetrate the bark of a tree and produce mushrooms.

Consume Chaga Herbal Supplements Consciously

Now that we recognize the complexity of Chaga and its susceptibility to risk, let’s consider what we can do as conscious consumers.

1. Don’t take more than you need. Herbal Chaga supplements are great and there is a lot of anecdotal evidence of their ability to support health.* With this in mind, consider stopping Chaga intake unless you feel it is something your body really needs.

2. Leave some Chaga behind. If you go foraging for Chaga in the woods and find a good amount, make sure to leave at least 30% of the grain behind. The less you get, the better for the fungus. If it looks like a Chaga patch has already been selected, consider leaving it alone and looking for other samples.

3. Buy your Chaga from Siberia. Yes, local and wild mushrooms are two shiny qualities that we all look for in many of our food products, but there are cases when this is not the best choice. Chaga is very abundant and responsibly harvested in Siberia, Russia. There are also anecdotes that the Siberian Chaga is the strongest form on the market due to the harsh climate.*


Chaga Herbal Supplement by AdaptogenShrooms

At AdaptogenShrooms, we consider all of these factors when sourcing mushrooms to make Chaga herbal supplements. The Chaga found in the Daily 10 blend is sustainably sourced from Siberia and is so potent that it doesn’t take much to reap the benefits! Try our products today and feel good about the careful sourcing and processing of this special superfood!*

Did you know that for every item AdaptogenShrooms sells, a tree is planted?
Learn more about ours One Tree Program here.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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