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How do you recognise a real Chaga mushroom?

When you try to find a Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus), you are primarily looking for gold. And specifically for the gold that is on the inside of the mycelium.

The soft, spongy yellow-orange centre of Chaga can be very helpful in distinguishing it from its closest potential look-alike, the “black knot mushroom” or similar mushrooms.

The great thing about the tree mushroom harvest from is that, firstly, there are practically no poisonous tree mushrooms growing in the northern hemisphere, and secondly, there are not many similar mushrooms or lookalikes.

The most related mushroom is the black tree knot mushroom. It is also a medicinal mushroom, which we refer to as Chaga’s sister because of its appearance. It is also called Meshima “Phellinus linteus”, and is considered a cleanser for the lymphatic system, and can also be used for breast cancer or hypohidrosis.

If you still find it hard to tell the difference between Chaga and the black tree knot mushroom or any other tree mushroom, simply scrape or tap a small piece of the outer layer of the mushroom with a hatchet, knife or stone to see if the stunning golden yellow colour emerges.

IMPORTANT: Do not dig or stab into the birch with a knife like a rabid farmer who only knows the world of tree fungi from YouTube, as this can seriously injure the tree. This is not what we call sustainable harvesting.

If you want to harvest chaga mushrooms ethically and sustainably, then only remove a small piece of the mushroom and leave the rest of the fruiting body on the tree. This allows the tree to continue to protect itself from viruses, bacterial infections or excessive cold.

It’s about respecting and loving nature, after all it produces magical medicine to raise our consciousness and bring our bodies to the highest level of vibrant health.

The spongy, soft golden core of chaga not only makes it easier to identify, but it also contains “lanosterol”, a form of triterpene that can have a strong antibacterial and even anti-fungal effect.

These triterpene elements in the gold content of the fruiting body of Chaga have been proven to eliminate pathogens that cause tuberculosis and thyroid dysfunction, for example, and have a strong cytotoxicity towards carcinoma cells.


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