WHERE DOES CHAGA GROW
A large amount of Chaga mushrooms are found in regions like Finland, Estonia, Russia, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Belarus, Canada, Scotland, North America, as well as other Northern and Eastern European countries.
These mushrooms grow best on the outside of yellow and white birch trees. You can find chaga mushrooms in abundance in the northern hemisphere where it has higher forest altitude, like the northern deciduous forests. Chaga thrives in cold, damp conditions, and has a great tolerance for surviving hard winters.
Here are tools you want to bring with you when going chaga “hunting”. Keep in mind the average diameter of chaga is 10 to 20 centimeters, depending on the maturity of the fungi.
- A basket, container or a bag
- Axe or an hatchet
- Sharp knife
Never harvest immature chaga, it takes up to 20 years for the fungi to be considered fully mature. So make sure to only harvest what you need and try to avoid the younger growths. Always leave about 20% of the chaga in the tree, this allows the sclerotium to grow back.
The best time to harvest chaga is during fall or winter, when the visibility is better due to fallen leaves and temperature is below 5 degrees Celsius. That’s when the sap starts to run, which is the fluid found in chaga that contains dissolved mineral salts and nutrients.
FIND CHAGA FROM RETAILERS
Nowadays you can find various different companies, products and suppliers of chaga. The choice from teas, coffee powders, extracts, supplements and much more.
You’ll very likely find chaga products in your local health food store. If you prefer to order home, there are multiple online stores and local companies delivering everything from chaga chunks to ready-made elixirs.
The three product groups you’ll find the most are following:
Chaga powder, is the chunks of chaga grounded, which is used to make chaga tea, broth, tincture and more. Check out our recipes for more inspiration.
2. Dual extract
Dual extract stands for the double extraction method, which enables to extract both water-soluble and non-water-soluble bioactive ingredients of ‘the king of the mushrooms’. The double extraction method uses high temperatures combined with high pressure and hot ethanol (alcohol). Drawing out the bioactive ingredients. Therefore this method extracts the non-water-soluble bioactive ingredients, such as betulinic acid and phytosterols that hot water extraction alone is not able to do.
That’s why you’ll find genuine dual extract products to be more expensive than unprocessed chaga.
3. Dried chunks
By that we mean raw harvested chaga that has been cut into pieces and dried. You’ll be able to grind the chunks in a food processor or a coffee grinder easily , and experiment with interesting recipes to corporate chaga into your diet.