A fungus that grows in trees
The Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) also called the Oblique Polypore is a close cousin of the Birch Polypore(Piptoporus betulinus). It is a parasitic fungus that grows on the trunk of the birch tree and feeds on the sap of the tree. Very present in the humid forests of Europe and America, this mushroom is part of the polypores characterized by a large cap and the absence of foot. It is not possible to consume the mushroom because its flesh is too tough which makes digestion impossible. This explains the different forms in powder or capsule offered for sale.
An exceptional nutritional composition
Despite its disgusting appearance, the Chaga represents in reality an enormous wealth by its composition in nutrients, betaglucans and vitamins of the B group. This constitution allows :
- to stimulate the immune system which is more effective to fight microbes;
- to maintain all the metabolisms of the body (fat, protein and sugar);
- to fight the oxidative stress which is responsible for a premature ageing of the organism and the cells of the body.
A use by the men since the Prehistory
This mushroom has been known since prehistoric times as can be seen from the discovery on September 19, 1991 of Otzi near the Similaun alpine peak in the Otztal massif. Also known as the Similaun Man, he is a man who was naturally mummified by freezing under the snow. With him, a Birch Polypore and a Chaga were found.
Chaga : what medicinal virtues ?
By the study of Otzi, it is assumed that the Polypores were used :
- as antibiotics ;
- as a natural bandage to heal a wound after a warlike fight;
- as a vermifuge to kill trichinosis, a parasitic infection.
How to consume it ?
- It is also possible to infuse strips of this mushroom in hot water for 20 minutes;
- To take full advantage of the medicinal properties of Chaga, it is advisable to consume it in powder form in a smoothie or in yogurt;
- The consumption of this mushroom is not responsible for notable toxic effects. The consumption of this mushroom is not responsible for notable toxic effects. But be careful not to eat the whole flesh at the risk of indigestion which can worsen in occlusion of the intestine.
Updated on 20 January 2023 at 20:14