Chaga mushrooms grow on damaged areas of birch trees, as when a limb is knocked down or off by high winds the chaga grows to cover the wound in the tree and seals out any bacteria thus saving the tree. It then lives on for many years. Looking like a black tumor on the outside and an orange color on the inside, chaga has many health benefits and has been used since the middle ages when they decided that an herb looked like what it would heal.
In chagas case it looks like a black tumor and so it is reputed to kill tumors. Mother Earth News shares a lot of info on how to harvest the chaga so as not to harm the birch it grows on and tells us of all the health benefits it provides like, “they help to bring the body back into balance and have beneficial effects on the nervous system, immune system, the GI tract, the cardiovascular system and the endocrine system. By supporting the body and mind in these ways, adaptogens help us to cope with stress, stay healthy during the cold and flu season, fight cancer, and lift us out of the dark depths of depression and adrenal burnout. They have immune-modulating properties that make them helpful in treating auto-immune diseases and have high levels of anti-oxidants that protect cells from damaging free radicals.”
You can find chaga in differnt forms, you can buy the actual chaga mushrooms or you can buy it in a tea form or powder, liquid extract and even in capsule form. There is even a book if you would like more info on Chaga. I think I will read the book before I try the chaga but from what Mother Earth News ( I trust them, they have been around for years and years), says I feel pretty certain that I will be trying it in the near future.