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Inonotus obliquus, commonly known as chaga mushroom (a Latinisation of the Russian term ‘чага’), is a fungus in the family Hymenochaetaceae. It is 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, but a sclerotia or mass of mycelium, mostly black because of the presence of massive amounts of melanin. The fertile fruiting body can be found very rarely as a resupinate (crustose) fungus on or near the clinker, usually appearing after the host tree is dead. I. obliquus grows in birch forests of Russia, Korea, Eastern and Northern Europe, northern areas of the United States, Alaska, in the North Carolina mountains and in Canada.

The chaga mushroom is considered a medicinal mushroom in Russian and Eastern European folk medicine.

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hi guys David handle tracker channel hey we'll do an out there today some real cheap fun I'm going to be going on a checker hunt and that don't work out I'm going to keep my eyes open for fat word loss Jagger Jagger is known as the gold of the woods it's a medicinal fungus that grows on the birch tree it's also very good for making in their fires sustain the ember and can be used in friction fire but not when it's damp which normally always is when you pick it off the tree fresh so I'm looking for birch trees I'll see a growth over there I'm gonna make my over there have a good look looking for chuggers very simple you find a birch tree you look at it and if you see it you found Chagga I'll come on collecting back axe saw cut the noise let's get to work try gout grows on birch trees and because chago is a slow growing fungus you're more likely to find it on an older birch tree that I knew it but actually even younger birch trees can have it growing on it there's no real rhyme or reason there you're more likely get on the older birch trees another little tip is you want to look out for gnarly looking bent over like damaged almost what I'm looking bird Street offer just my experience that they tend to often contain the sugar a lot more times than just a straight up and down healthy-looking birch tree so got a few beyond me simple procedure you just get out in the woods look at the birch trees if you see a big black gnarly thing on it it's probably a checker so the best Chang at a medicinal chugger I've been led to believe I'm not a doctor so the medicinal properties of jagger you have to research do your own research on but apparently it's very good for diabetes general well-being and asthma and stuff about chronic diseases there's some active ingredient sugar which could really improve your health this is a very early stage Jagger before that all begins it's not harvestable in I guess several years it will be harvestable it's recognized by what I like to call this tobacco staining is like a heavy smokers fingers you get this brown tobacco pipes painting down the tree and actually the start of the chugger is a soft flaky you see this black-ish brownish crust which starts to form and it often forms on a wound on the tree you see this small branch is broken off sometime in the past which is created a small wound which is the neighborhood the Chagga spores to enter the the birch tree and then start the grow so eventually this will become a harvestable jagger just at the moment this is an early stage checker which I think it's interesting to show you can see to be able to recognize it if you're not already familiar with this so telltale tobacco staining the flaky brownish irregular surface often focused on a wound in the tree here we got an old granddaddy birch and about half way up at the top of the flame is a tiger it's about on the flea a full pound tagging out there to life meet again we've seen a baby tiger we've seen a granddaddy Chagga on a granddaddy birch tree got to keep looking I did find a small example the Chagin it was harvested in soon after tea in this large checker on this old tree is a much smaller example but it was harvested got so excited I forgot to turn the mic on here's another angle of it and you can see how it sticks out is very now actually this one they come in all different shapes if you can see it's like and now sticks out like a fin from the tree so you got a black crusty bit I'll just bring the camera around it and you can see out is very orange on this side it's the back side of it from where we started off and you can see the orange or the inner layer current contrasting with a black across the outer layer now we're going to count it off scan or thousand damage the tree in any way whatsoever you just want to get you nice or small acts get this close to the bark of the tree as you can get it under it and it comes off simple as that so here we go with the gold of the woods you see this is a bit that we just attach the tree and this is like orange it's just quite sponging and when you're getting off the tree there's full of water this is probably weighs a couple of hundred grams just now but when this dries out it will be much lighter so you can see this is like a Corky spongy parts in a bit in this inner part this is the part that's best for your fire making it's this outer part this black crusty layer so you can see the division goes just about there this is what you call your in all energy part which is your black plastic part the black crusty part is the most medicinal part this is the best bit for making the tea getting the goodness out of it you can't use all of it for making the tea but this crusty bit out here it's not good for starting fires with you want a spongy orange a bit for making your fire alright I'm going to keep looking normally when you find one you find another one quite quickly I've been searching for a good couple of hours and I was just about to give up when I saw this tree stump I look down underneath the blackened with this large checker or medium size we sailed on a big enough too much and there it was great I really give it up hope for the day and I found this this really subside checker which made the whole day worthwhile now these larger one you can try getting with the knife you can but it's a Dupree are tough job getting off a Segway like this with a knife so really you want to go through your axe what I find is if you give it as a brisk shot from the top and it comes very loose and it just falls off and then you're good to go it just falls off like that after a couple of just loves react an Asian see this one is really golden all ng Chagin and driving see the outside you've got this like novel like drive love like frustration the black stuff and if the black stuff which is actually this is tough the medical stuff and it's the OMG spongy part looking at here this spongy part this is what sister sighing sighs and this is a like coffee and it is in this plane you first full of the trees but a lot moisture wait a second Chambliss over never fear yeah the gold of this is a total harvest just a big piece off the tree stump and that's a smaller piece for golf the span entry little tip is when this dries at the moment it's full of moisture so it's heavy you can feel the dampness in it this dries out when it dries out if the obviously much lighter and you can use it for the Firestone methodology but when it does dry it becomes hard as a stone and very difficult cut up you can cook you basically just to crush it up once it's dried so if you want it in smaller chunks from this what you want to do is when it's still fresh is to cut it up and then it's actually quite easy to cut up I'm going to take cut this one down so I've got the good tea making bit on that side and the fire making bit on that side and actually I think I've cut that down a little time so it's just personal preference if you want big chunks or small chunks just to cut it up when it's wish and it's easy to cut out then next time enjoy the fruits of the labor I'll get some water one boiling all make some charity so this is just straight-up water so I just take a few chunks of check I've already put some in this is just an extra bit I didn't film it you just put it in and you just let it boil up charcoal is in that common if you look it up on Wikipedia things like that it says it I can't remember this or I've seen a few different things written down by which ones accurately says checker grows on wine and 5,000 Birds trees forgive me if I've read one and 15,000 I think that must mean all the first reading the entire planet because check only grows at a certain northern latitude so if you're too far self you won't find it but at least in my area of Sweden in the Stockholm region of Sweden I'm guessing maybe I find it in on one in every 50 trees one maybe 75 one every hundred I mean honestly I've never actually Canada me trees a loser so I'm just given a ballpark number it's definitely not the fouls I was out to collect this checker and I found that one very decent sized checker they met smaller retreat Jagger and welding that more watch on a little bit of time I'll figure I was out for couple of hours maybe up to 50 hundred trees so there you go your mileage may vary as I say but adjusted my wears it's called thing I've got my pot hanging on a cut the end off to make it easier to get off and on while I was off-camera and lowered the pot try football still boy I'm gonna let it boil for a good long time let all the juices all the goodness come out at Jagger and now I'm going to decant it off because you know you don't all the bits you don't be drinking the pitchers just wanna be drinking the juice so then you can you can off carefully into a cup in the just drinking like regular tea it is then guys we just chopped it up a little bit you just get a brownish you're going to see in this glammed up it just it turns out like a light brownish tea that's all it is what does it say stop let me see if I can describe the taste of the sugar kind of got like a vanilla wheat ice it's not a doesn't taste bad at all it doesn't taste strong doesn't have for me I haven't got a strong case it's got like a vanilla II outdoorsy not an earthy taste sweet vanilla subtly sweet vanilla taste alright guys thanks for joining me on this little check a hand and chaga tea brew up hope you found it enjoyable it was good few hours out there walking around my fault is going to be not so successful it's just going to end up that little one they just wore at the last minute then when I was actually given up I found that big one on that tree stump which made it worthwhile thanks for watching take care out there and I'll see you next time for

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25 Comments

  1. people say don't take chaga off a dead tree. I always check. Many times it's still good. If questionable at all I save for tinder. I don't use it for that but for bug repellent incense. Usually during spring and summer when cleaning chaga or reishi I'll light up a corner of a couple chunks and place up-wind. The bugs hate it , smells great.

  2. You are harvesting it wrong when you break it off. When you break it off it doesn't regrow. You should always saw it off and most will grow back when harvested in the cold winter months. Use a small hand saw always. Never boil the chaga. Simmer at low heat or you kill most of the powerful nutrients. Now you know.

  3. This guy is an arrogant asshole. Just read how he responded to me when I said that chaga should not be boiled – boiling destroys certain properties. You're a jerk, and you're just riding the chaga and that bushcraft thing like so many others. Sorry, you're no Ray Mears. Your knowledge is nothing YOU found out. Centuries before you people knew this, and you're now making money of old knowledge. "Humble" Trekker my ass. You're nothing but an arrogant limey. Get a real job. And since you're too lazy to do your own research and you're just repeating the same old shit, here is some, pre-digested for you: https://www.faim.org/sites/default/files/documents/PPNF-Journal-Chaga.pdf

  4. Thanks for taking the time to make an educational video. There is a lot of disinfirmation and misunderstandings about this fungus. Unfortunately you have shared some of it yourself. Please accept my humble offering of correct information to assist you in educating people.
    The first chaga you harvested was small and immature enough to have a very minimal medicinal benefit. It has simply not been working long enough to have concentrated the medicines in an amount beneficial to us. The chaga should be more than a handful before harvesting. Larger than a softball or grapefruit.
    The second chaga was harvested from a dead tree and therefore was a dead chaga and most likely quite contaminated and not a good source of medicinal and nutritional benefit. The chaga concentrates the beneficial ingredients from the birch host itself. If the host is dead the chaga concentrates toxins and contaminants from the decomposition process and the medicines degrade quite quickly. It is rather counterproductive to ingest dead harvested chaga.
    You also teach folks to boil the tea for a good long time. This seriously degrades the medicinal and nutritional value of the chaga which wastes the time you spent harvesting and preparing.
    Simmer the water very gently if you want it stronger than a simple steep. Dont boil it if you want benefit. You're not cooking potatoes. You need to gently coax the medicines out.

    Then re-dry and use several times.

  5. It here in New Brunswick Iam thinking of geting some for my self and thanks for the video wasn’t shour what it looked like

  6. I love your accent and I love the raw, rich, woods brew! Probably one of my favorite chaga videos!!

  7. I've just gotten a few secs in but I can already tell you are a reliable woodsman. I really would like to tag along hunting for changa cos I know you can fight bears, befriend wolfs, ride mooses AND sniff down plenty of changa

  8. My hunch is chaga attacks weak birch . Weak birch probably can be found near northern cities . All trees have been shown to be more disease prone near large cities. I think poor soil nutrition could also weaken birch trees . So check around those areas and leave some on the tree for the next generation to use .

  9. Can I ask you a question mate ,is chaga the same as that horses hoof fungus you can get on birch in the UK ? Thanks.

  10. Great video, love your friendly presenting style. Looking forward to going out chaga hunting myself👍🏻 All the best.

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