Inonotus obliquus

Parasitic fungi on birch and other trees. Generally black in colour and not fruit forming in the initial stages. The chaga spores attack weakened wounds of a tree and penetrate causing a white rot. The fruiting only begins when a portion of the tree has been killed by the white rot underneath the bark.

Family: Hymenochaetaceae

Which probiotic is it in?: Chaga mushroom is a key herb in Sustain.

Habit and cultivation: First discovered thousands of years ago in Russia, Korea, Europe and North America. Grows wherever birch trees are found. Can also be found on oak, beech, alder, but appears as a ‘buried stem canker’ instead of as a charcoal mass.

Actions (known for): Anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-cancer, anti-hyperglycemic, cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, immune modulator.


The name originates from the Russian word for mushroom ‘czaga’ and has been used for thousands of years in medicinal medicine. It has been referred to as ‘A gift from God’.​

Parts used:

Raw chunks of chaga.

Constituents (bio available chemicals):

Polysaccarides, melanin, phytosterols, betulinic acid, triterpenes and sesquiterpenes.

Nutritional constituents:

Vitamins: B-complex, D. Minerals: Zinc, magnesium, copper, iron and potassium.


Arthritis, lowers cholesterol, gut tonic, decreases stress, protects the skin from sun and ageing damage, influenza and Hep C. Topically: psoriasis.


1g daily as a tea for maintenance. 1-2g daily during infection. Dr. Kevin Curran has a great site ‘EthnoHerbalist’ where he discusses how to make tea and tinctures and where it is ethical to buy chaga from.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Cautions for therapeutic doses

High in oxalate, avoid taking with impaired kidneys.

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