Mushrooms always fascinated me. I was always telling myself that I would take the class, do the walk, and/or read the book. But it rarely happened.

And then one day, I shut down the procrastination and I set about the business of learning more about these fungal wonders 😉

I was immediately enamored. Yes, enamored is the perfect word to describe it. I am still far from an expert. I wouldn’t even call myself an avid shroomer. BUT … I do know quite a bit about the fungi kingdom at this point.

And I’m still learning! So, who knows, what title I might acquire for myself in the future. Right now, I am rather enjoying the position of ‘Seeker of Fungi Knowledge’ ❤ Sounds quite important, doesn’t it?!?!

Chaga was the gateway mushroom to my new and improved relationship with the fungi kingdom. And my love for her has never waned, even for a moment, ever since we first danced together.

I am beyond thrilled to live in a place where she grows so prolifically. And my son has harvested a great deal of this mushroom already this year. It is chopped, dried, and hanging out in the tea cabinet just waiting for us to indulge (not that we haven’t already) in steamy cups of chaga mushroom goodness this winter 😉

He harvested what we have now just recently. We didn’t have anything but powder on hand and longed for chunks because they are easier to brew. And we are glad to have it because it certainly has both nutritional and healing properties as is. But the fact is, Chaga is best harvested in late fall or winter, after there have been 3 consecutive nights of 20 degrees or less. It is then that it’s host, the birch tree, goes into dormancy, resulting in the maximum amount of nutrients being present in this amazing mushroom.

When harvesting chaga it is important that you leave behind AT LEAST 20% of it (leave more, please leave more!). This will ensure that it continues to grow. This is not generally necessary with any other mushrooms. At least none that I’m aware of.

Overall, mushrooms are like fruit on a tree. Picking them does not effect the mycelium they grow from at all. You do not have to be careful of how many you take because they will replenish themselves. Chaga is an exception to this rule.

You must also be certain that you harvest chaga from a living tree. If you find chaga on a dead tree, it is also dead. And, therefore, useless to you 😦

My very favorite way to use this mushroom is as a mood booster. It’s a simple and straightforward use that works well for most people. Tea is probably one of the most enjoyable ways to take chaga for this purpose. It is really very tasty and feels like a pretty indulgent treat ❤ But I have also taken it in capsule form for this use.

My second favorite use for this mushroom is to improve cognitive function. I always feel organized and completely on top of my game while taking chaga and I’m willing to bet you will too 😉

This mushroom is considered a super-food. It contains a great deal of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, including; B complex vitamins, vitamin D, potassium, fiber, amino acids, zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, and many more.

It is often used to reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure, making it a great ally for heart health. It promotes cell communication and carries antioxidant properties which support the immune system.

This mushroom has anti-inflammatory properties making it useful for joint pain, tissue inflammation, and diseases caused by chronic inflammation.

Viewing chaga mushroom from a doctrine of signatures perspective shows us that it is good for remedying tumors.

It is quickly becoming a high-risk entity and should always be harvested and used with consideration of that fact 😉

Do you have any experience with chaga? I’d love to hear about it! So share with me in the comments, please.

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

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