A month or two ago my Dad became very interested in foraging. So he’s been learning about some of the mushrooms in our area that are easy to identify, and don’t have any poisonous look a likes. Chaga is a fungus, and it can be found in some of the northern parts of the United States. Like Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, Montana, and others. It is found mostly on birch trees, it can be found on other species but, it’s not going to be as healthy for you as when it’s found on a birch tree.
At first glance Chaga might just look like a big black knot on a tree. But, it’s really a nutrient packed fungus that can help people with arthritis, high blood pressure, it can help lower blood sugar, and it has also been known to slow certain cancers from growing.
Chaga can be harvested by using a hatchet, or a knife(depending on the size). You’ll know for sure that it’s Chaga by seeing how it’s orange on the inside, once you cut it off of the tree.
Chaga is most often made into a tea. I personally am not a huge fan of it, but it is really healthy for you.
First, before you turn your Chaga into a tea, you’ll need to wash and dry it.
- Rinse your Chaga under water.
- Break it into smaller fist sized pieces to help the drying process along.
- Set it on your kitchen counter out of direct sunlight for several days until it’s dry. You’ll know when you Chaga is dried because it’ll be stone hard.
Once dried, you can make Chaga tea. You can do this by either making a large batch of tea at once, or making tea bags for individual cups of tea.
For the first one you’ll want to bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove. And add in several chunks of Chaga. The tea should get very black, but to many it just tastes like weak coffee. Once it has reached your desired darkness, you can either drink it hot, or cold.
If you plan on making tea bags, crush your dried Chaga pieces into a powder. Then you can add the powder inside of empty tea bags until you are ready to make tea.
I hope you enjoyed this interesting post on foraging. Until next time, have a wonderful day!