Where Chaga Grows – Harvesting chaga is the first step to making chaga tincture
Chaga, seen above, is a black mass which primarily grows on birch trees. It is easiest to find in the winter when the leaves are no longer on the trees. Along streams and rivers where birches are abundant, and along old logging roads where trees may have been scraped are good places to look for chaga. Chaga is consumed in two different forms: as tea and as chaga tincture. The chaga tincture has a more complete profile of compounds found in chaga because it uses both hot water and alcohol to extract.
Chaga is a powerful mushroom that is mostly found in northeastern US, Canada, and Siberia. In Siberia the Khanty people have used it for hundreds of years as a cure all. Chaga has been used by the Khanty as a cure all because it helps to support a healthy immune system. It can stimulate the immune system to create more killer t cells and macrophages which hunt down bacteria, viruses, and cancerous cells and kills them. This impacts all aspects of the body helping to remove waste and potentially harmful cells so new healthy cells can arise. This is one of the reasons many people have experienced support of healthy skin through using chaga tinctures.
Fungi Ally chaga tinctures are created using three extraction processes. Alcohol, cold water, and hot water are all used in order to prepare our tincture. This ensures all the different compounds in the mushroom are extracted into the tincture. Some compounds are not soluble in alcohol while others are not in hot or cold water. By doing all three we ensure the maximum amount of compounds in the chaga are extracted into the tincture. Our aim is to extract as much of the following constituents as possible.
- beta glucans
- betulin (alcohol soluble)
- betulinic acid (alcohol soluble)
- phytosterols (alcohol soluble)
We then maintain a roughly 30% alcohol content to stabilize the compounds in the chaga tincture.
You can purchase our chaga tincture here for $25.
There are two key points that make our chaga tincture different than other companies .
- We only use dried wild harvest chaga mushrooms from New England. We do not use ANY mycelium grown on grain or chaga imported from other countries. This ensures the chaga we use is not contaminated with radiation, or other pollutants. The cheapest way to make chaga tincture or powders is to cultivate the mycelium on grain, dry it and then extract or powder that product. There is no traditional use of chaga in this way and all research that has been conducted, primarily in Russia, uses fruiting bodies. Growing the mycelium is cheaper and easier to mass produce but leads to a lower quality product. The betulin and betulinic acid which are derived from the birch tree are not found in these products.
- We use a triple extraction method. In order to extract the vast majority of the compounds in chaga multiple methods are needed. By using cold water, hot water, and alcohol extraction maximum amount of compounds can be made available in our chaga tincture.
Want to learn more about chaga and its potential health benefits? Check out our recent blog post discussing chaga mushrooms as ancient medicine. A couple of other sites and articles that may be useful are: