Chaga (a Latinisation of the Russian term 'чага' and pronouned as chah-ga), ( Inonotus obliquus ), also known as cinder conk, is a fungus in Hymenochaetaceae family. It is a fungus parasitic on Birch and other trees. The sterile conk is irregularly formed and has the appearance of burnt charcoal. It is not the fruiting body of the fungus, as many believe, but in fact a big mass of mycelium, mostly black due to the presence of massive amounts of melanin.
The fertile fruitbody can be found very rarely as a resupinate (crustose) fungus on or near the clinker, usually appearing after the host tree is completely dead. I. obliquus grows in birch forests of Russia, Korea, Eastern and Northern Europe, Northern areas of the United States, in the North Carolina mountains and in Canada. The Chaga mushroom is considered a medicinal mushroom that has a place in Russian and Eastern European folk medicine. Read more...
About chaga Internet
The Internet is now a lot of sites with descriptions of the appearance of the shelf fungus, the "rules of the collection", with "recipes" cooking. Here are many of these sites made by kids who want to make money online in placing advertising on them. Therefore, the information on them, to put it mildly, sucked from the finger, and often simply harmful. The most important thing - it looks chagi. One of the sites I saw a photo trutovika, stood on the page with the "description" shelf fungus. Look at the pictures, I specially photographed these two different mushroom growing near. If suddenly you are thinking of themselves chaga search in the woods, you need to know exactly how it looks, because it is no wonder, and poisoned. Well as various and information on the collection and storage shelf fungus. On one site says that chaga not collect at the roots of the tree, but I have never met chaga growing less than 1 meter above the ground. At another site are encouraged to collect chaga with the tops of birches, allegedly mushroom growing high has just miraculous properties, but I know that mushrooms are growing very high often represent a trash because they do not have enough juice for growth.
How to collect chaga
I cut down chaga only major birch. If Chaga grows higher than two meters, it is necessary to use the materials at hand. I usually find the fallen or dried spruce 5-6 meters, chop or break off the branches and just throws it to the fungus. Well, if I can not reach, there's nothing you can do, have to look any further. It captures the whole process.
First I cut down chaga, then removes the top layer of black, covered with cracks, remove the bark of birch trees at the side and the loose attachment of the fungus against a birch tree. After the cuts, I especially large mushrooms into smaller pieces.