Chaga Mushroom Tea (Inonotus obliquus)
Our Chaga Mushroom Tea (Inonotus obliquus) is available for sale in ground, small chunks, as a Chaga Chai mix, or Chaga Chocolate Mix. We even make Chaga Soap. This amazing wild fungi contains significant amounts of antioxidant compounds.
The light vanilla flavour and nutty aroma of wild Chaga mushroom tea will help you clear your head and harness that extra energy you need to finish a hectic day (without the caffeine!). Our Chaga Tea can also be blended with other teas, beverages or enjoyed chilled on a hot day. Wild Chaga Fungi is becoming popular in North America as a super-food. All of the Wild Chaga we sell is hand harvested in an ethical manner from birch trees in Northern Canada.
Chaga chunks can be re-used for multiple pots of tea, or if you prefer a stronger flavour, try the ground. Only a small amount of Chaga is required to make tea (1/8th of a cup will make 2 liters of brew!). We also use this fantastic fungi in our favourite baking recipes, especially brownies. For an added “kick” check out our Wild Chaga Chai, as well as our gourmet Chaga Chocolate Mix.
Only Chaga harvested from birch trees are utilized for tea and medicine. You might find look alikes on species of aspen, willow, or poplar. Please avoid these specimens. Birch bark consists of brown inner bark ~75% and white outer bark ~25%. The outer bark contains fats, fatty acids, resins, suberin and in particular betulin – up to 30%. When harvested directly from the birch tree, betulin is difficult for our bodies to break down and utilize. When wild Chaga develops on birch trees they change the betulin’s chemistry, transforming the compound into a form digestible by humans. The betulin is absorbed by the Chaga mushroom as it grows. Betulinic acid may be the most important triterpene sterol found in chaga. It is said to be useful in supporting healthy function of the immune system, healthy cell division, and a healthy inflammation response
Life Cycle of Chaga Mushroom
Wild Chaga Fungi (Inonotus obliquus) is found in the world’s northern regions. This elusive fungi has a unique symbiotic relationship with it’s host the birch tree. Some, also call it a parasitic relationship. It is hard to tell if Chaga actually causes its host tree’s eventual death or not as there are many factors involved. When the host birch tree dies, so does the Chaga growing with it. Once this happens a rare event occurs in which the fruiting body erupts on the trunk of the birch tree. This fruiting body looks nothing like the sterile conk of Chaga that we collect for tea. Instead, it forms a thick 1-2 inch layer comprised of thousands of tiny spores that blow away in the wind. Insects, other creatures and wind can also carry the spores to new birch trees. Thus the life cycle of Chaga begins once again.
To ensure that the entire life cycle of wild Chaga is completed we do not harm the host birch trees with logging spikes or cut living trees down to access out of reach chaga. This practice is becoming increasingly common in Canada and in no way does Laughing Lichen support this type of wildcrafting. If you are collecting Chaga for your own use please do not dig deep into the mycelium layer (A fuzzy mass of branching thread-like fungal threads) found between the Chaga conk and the trunk of the tree. Damaging this layer will cause conk will stop growing. If you leave it intact you can usually return to the same tree within 3-5 years to re-harvest more Chaga.
It is very important to only use Chaga for personal use that is collected from unpolluted environments and living birch trees. If you are a mushroom and Fungi lover like us, check out this awesome magazine : FUNGI Magazine