The Best Mushroom for Immune and Gut Health: Meet Chaga

Imagine a day where you feel endless energy, a bulletproof immune system and a happy and healthy gut. That’s exactly what Chaga is, the mushroom officially known as Inonotus obliquus, Offers. That, and more.

In the 16th century, this mushroom was used for its ability to help with stomach ailments. Chaga has been used for thousands of years in Eastern Medicine, but mostly in teas. Hot water extracts are commonly used because the main active ingredient in most medicinal mushrooms – beta-glucans – are water soluble. We get our daily dose of Chaga in coffee form, AdaptogenShrooms amazing coffee.

Nicknamed “The Diamond of the Forest” and “Black Gold”, Chaga looks nothing like a traditional mushroom with a cap and stem. While mushrooms like Lion’s Mane and Reishi are fairly easy to identify, Chaga is unique. Found in nature, it looks like a mass of burnt coal, but when collected and opened, the inside has a magical, yellow-brown color. Cultivated as a mass on trees, Chaga is called “conk” by mushroom experts.

Where does it come from?

Chaga loves cold weather and will not grow anywhere that does not have a cold climate. This means that this ‘shroom’ is found in the Northern Hemisphere in forests across Canada, Russia and Northern Europe. We even have a few in the US, including Minnesota.

How He Grew Up

Chaga grows mainly on birch trees. Although it can be found on a few others (such as ash, alder and elm), the relationship between this mushroom and birch is quite strong. Growing on this particular tree allows Chaga to develop a ton of beneficial compounds that simply aren’t present when grown on other trees. As a result, it is considered Chaga grown on birch the real deal.

How? Chaga starts growing inside the birch and slowly expands outwards. As it eats the wood of the birch, it weakens the tree until it reaches a state of decay. By the time Chaga is ready to harvest, the birch is likely dead (or still decaying).

Chaga is growing up very slowly on its host tree and may take up to five years to reach 10 inches in diameter. Over time, however, this “shroom” can grow to over a foot in diameter.

How is it harvested?

The best time to harvest Chaga is winter, as cooler temperatures lead to the highest nutrient density and strongest benefits.

Harvesting companies cut the Chaga from the trees with an ax or sharp knife and must wait until the collar is at least the size of a grapefruit before harvesting.

Another important step? Leaving at least one third of the chaga mass untouched. That way it can regrow once harvested!

There is no need to refrigerate this mushroom after harvesting. It has an extremely hard exterior and does not need special care. It should be stored in a dry environment with enough air flow and can be kept for months.

processed chaga mushrooms

The benefits

Okay, now that we’ve told you all about growing and harvesting, let’s talk about the benefits. Chaga is a great addition to your daily routine and here’s why:

It gives that immunity a serious boost

By all The benefits of Chaga, this is one of our favorites… health is wealth! Filled with antioxidants, vitaminsand beta-glucansit helps protect the body from free radicals so we have game-changing disease protection. Excellent choice in the cold season!

It puts your gut in a good mood

Inflammation can lead to poor gut health and digestive problems. Fortunately, Chaga has it anti-inflammatory properties, which can help bring the gut back into balance. With all these antioxidants, your digestive system can also stay on track.

It boosts your energy

ONE enhancement of physical energy without the nervous ones? Chaga can help with this. Not only will it put a little pep in your step, but it will also help you support physical endurance supporting anyone on the go. Chaga and coffee is a combination of power.

It helps reduce bad cholesterol and supports the well-being of the entire body

There are those antioxidants again! Chaga is believed to help reduction of bad cholesterol on the body. Plus, it’s high B vitamins, flavonoidsand zincthat support prosperity everywhere.

Wondering how to get your daily dose of Chaga? Incorporate a daily companionship with a great cup of coffee. Abra Catabraone of our best-selling blends, it combines the benefits of Chaga and Reishi for a source of creative energy, a line of defense against colds, and serious stress relief.

We have one instant version, very! This way you can bring this magic mushroom with you wherever you go.

Want to learn about our other favorite mushrooms? We have a post about The lion’s maneand will be breaking down Reishi and Cordyceps in the coming weeks.

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