Chaga, Tschaga, Clinker polypore, Woodpecker tea, Birch mushroom, Tschagapilz, kreftjulce (Norway), tikkatee (Finland), kabanoanatake (Japan) (Polyporus obliquus or Poria oblique)
This mushroom looks like a burned piece of wood or an ugly tree scab but it has long been held in high esteem in several countries for its healing abilities.
Chaga can be collected any time of the year from living trees, usually a birch, but this usually requires a saw or an axe.
The black fungus have a sterile orange-brown area and can grow to be more than two kilograms (5 pounds) and up to two meters (6 feet) in size.
True chaga will have a serrated edge underneath while a false chaga is smooth.
Native American Cree used the fungus as a sweet-smelling incense and as a fire-starter. It was also used in pipes to keep tobacco or herbs burning longer.
Other tribes used it to relieve arthritic or rheumatic pain.
Russians have long used it to treat various cancers, including Hodgkin’s disease, and other such conditions as tuberculosis, worms, and liver disease.
Evidence-based healing benefits of the Chaga mushroom include:
Studies from other sources include the following benefits: