Chaga mushrooms are a fungus that is best known today as being used in alternative and folk remedies, specifically through the use of chaga tea. Chaga tea is made with raw or extracted chaga, which is a fungus that is actually patristic to its host trees. The most common trees that host chaga are birch trees, although chaga is less commonly found hosted on other trees. Chaga mushrooms are best known for their unique appearance, which makes the fungus resemble a piece of burnt charcoal more than a traditional fungus. The dark black color of chaga comes from melanin in the fungus, which may actually be derived from the trees that host chaga.
Many people wonder where chaga mushrooms are actually grows. Chaga is naturally found in northern climates. It is most populous in Northern Europe, and Eastern Europe, as well as certain areas of Russia, Canada, Korea—and yes, the United States. Many people do not know that chaga can actually be found right in the United States, as long as you know where to look and what type of climate and conditions that chaga needs in order to grow properly.
Chaga needs northern, colder climates to thrive. In the United States, chaga is most often found in North Carolina—specifically the mountainous regions of North Carolina where birch trees are found. The type of birch trees found in the North Carolina mountains are typically sweet birch trees, which are also known as black birch trees and cherry birch trees; their name comes from the smell that is emitted by the leaves and twigs of this tree if they are crushed up; Paper birch trees, also known as white birch trees, are also found in the Appalachian mountain area. Chaga thrives in these areas due the presence of birch trees and the typically colder climate in the mountain areas compared to the lower levels of North Carolina.
If you are interested in drinking chaga tea, you can find some companies who are willing to sell extracted chaga from the United States. If you live in northern states of United States, it may even be less expensive to find locally sourced chaga than to purchase chaga extract or chaga tea from companies that need to import it.
Remember: always ask your physician about chaga and chaga tea before you consume it, because there are certain people who are recommended to not drink chaga due to the potential for side effects.