Chaga (Inonotus obliquus): This mushroom shows up as a sclerotia (growth) that is found mostly on birch trees in the northern regions of our planet. It has been used for at least several hundred years in Russia and Eastern Europe and is well known and used extensively by indigenous people of northern Canada, Europe and Siberia.
As a superfood and medicine Chaga has gained much popularity over the last 10 years, mostly due to its heavily researched anti-tumor and immunomodulating properties. Chaga is also employed as a potent antioxidant for which it is starting to get quite a reputation.
Some studies suggest Chaga can be used as an anti-inflammatory, reducing pain sensations and has blood sugar regulating properties. Like other superfood mushrooms Chaga must be prepared in a way that makes its compounds available for absorption in the body. This means cut pieces of the mushroom must be lightly simmered as a broth or a decoction style tea, prepared was a dual extract tincture, or pre-extracted edible powder form.
The tea has a nice flavour with hints of vanilla, it can be used as a base for smoothies, hot drinks or soups, the tincture or powdered extract can be consumed on their own or added to food and drinks.