What is Chaga?

What is Chaga?

Chaga products appear all over health and wellness spaces in capsules, coffee, powder, tea, and more. If you're baffled by this sudden emergence and the many purported benefits of Chaga mushrooms, then you've come to the right place! In today's PlantX blog, we'll be discussing just what exactly Chaga mushrooms are, their benefits, and the best ways to enjoy this earthy immune booster.

What is a Chaga Mushroom?

If you're a frequent hiker and live in the right localities, you may have seen Chaga mushrooms growing amongst the foliage and not even noticed! Chaga mushrooms are a type of fungi that grows parasitically on trees. In nature, Chaga mushrooms usually grow on birch trees, so people living in the Northeast of the United States and Canada are most likely to see them. Chaga mushrooms often take on the appearance of a large growth on the outsides of birch trees. Their appearance is a dark, charcoal-esque color on the outside and a light brown, almost orange color when broken open. These mushrooms begin their life cycle in an opening in the tree bark and cause the interior to rot as the mushroom grows. Some of the largest Chaga mushrooms found have been found to weigh as much as 11 pounds! 

What is Chaga Used For?

Chaga has been used as an herbal medicine for centuries and is most famous for its use in the Baltic regions like Russia and Poland. Traditional uses for Chaga include treating gastrointestinal problems, heart and liver problems, and even cancer. While scientific data don't support every traditional use, some studies have shown promising results from these powerful fungi.  Some benefits of Chaga include:
  • Immune boosting properties
  • High levels of antioxidants
  • Inflammation Reduction
Chaga is a nutritional powerhouse full of nutrients like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and more. Some proponents also claim that it can provide a boost of energy without the undesirable aftereffects of caffeine. One proven benefit of Chaga mushrooms is its antioxidant content, found to be even more significant than the amount found in blueberries!

How Can I Use Chaga Mushrooms?

Now that you've decided you want to take advantage of the slew of benefits that Chaga mushrooms can provide, it's time to figure out how you want to enjoy it. Chaga mushrooms can be found in its natural form, but Chaga's chunks can be pretty challenging to prepare, often requiring a mallet or spice grinder. Our favorite way to enjoy Chaga is in pre-prepared products. Are you looking to sip your Chaga in the morning as part of your daily routine? Then Four Sigmatics Chaga Mushroom Coffee Mix is perfect for you. This coffee blends organic instant coffee with real extracts from Chaga, cordyceps, and eleuthero so that you can enjoy the energy boost of coffee without the crash! Don't have time to brew a cup of coffee in the morning? You on-the-go folks can still get your dose of Chaga with Stay Wyld Organics Chaga Mushroom Capsules, the simplest way to get your fungi superfood.   Keep an eye out for the next update to the PlantX blog for more intriguing informational posts about all topics under the plant-based umbrella!