Chaga (Inonotus Obliquus) is a mushroom that typically grows on birch trees in colder climates across the Northern Hemisphere.
Technically, chaga is a highly-concentrated black mass of mycelium that protrudes from birch trees infected with parasitic–but non-toxic–fungus Inonotus Obliquus.
The dark, hard and cracked exterior, which often appears like burnt charcoal, is called the sclerotium. Chaga helps boosts the immune system when necessary, but slows it down when it’s overactive. This makes chaga a natural Biological Response Modifier (BRM).
In traditional medicine systems, chaga is used to treat a variety of ailments, ranging from gastritis to cancer.
It has a particularly long history in Russian folk medicine traditions, and the mushroom was even rumoured to cure the lip cancer of Duke Vladimir Monomach in the 12th century CE.
Chaga has been consumed for centuries in the East, most typically as tea, where its health benefits are well established. More recently, chaga has been gaining popularity in the West, where its numerous health benefits are now being recognized by many health gurus.
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