Inonotus obliquus

The chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) has been used in Siberia and Russia for its medicinal properties since the 16th century.

Chaga is a parasitic fungus that grows on hardwood trees – particularly birch trees – in cool climates.

It can be found in the forests of Russia, Northern and Eastern Europe, Korea, parts of Canada and in the northern United States. From the family Hymenochaetaceae, chaga has a worldwide reputation as one of the most medicinally valuable fungi.

In China, it is called “King of all Plants.” The Siberians call it “Gift from God.” In Japan it is referred to as the “Diamond in the Forest.” Its Norwegian title –”kreff juke”—translates to “cancer polypore.”

The chaga mushroom extracts nutrients from the birch tree over the course of its growth. By the time the mushroom reaches maturity it is nutritionally dense, filled with phytochemicals (plant chemicals). It is hard and black in appearance and contains high concentrations of melanin.

Moscow’s Medical Academy of Science has identified the mushroom as a powerful adaptogen – a compound that can help mitigate and protect against the effects of stress.