Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) is a fungus in the family Hymenochaetaceae. It is parasitic on birch and other deciduous trees, but it takes on the nutritive properties only while growing on a birch tree. Picked and prepared in winter 2018 in the Vologda region.
In traditional medicine chaga had been used as a tonic and stimulant, both internally and externally (in case of skin diseases and arthritis). In a modern medicine it is also widely applied as a treatment remedy of cancer and gastrointestinal diseases (gastritis, peptic ulcer disease). The active ingredient is a pigment that is organizing a chromogenic polyphenolcarboxylic complex.
Chaga mushroom is to be brewed for the medical use by soaking it in a warm boiled water (at the temperature above 60 ° C, it’s nutrients begin to break down) within a few hours. As a general tonic and stimulant it can be taken as a herbal tea, by brewing it in a boiled water in thermos during 15-20 minutes. The proportion: 10 g per 500 ml of water. The ready brew taste is pleasant, slightly tart, sweet, woody, reminds of a chicory brew.
For the use in medical purposes you should consult a doctor.