Chaga is a hardened, blackened, crusty formation that looks like a snout or nose coming out from the tree. Do not harvest Chaga smaller than a grapefruit size ( 5/lbs to 10/lbs). Leave these smaller ones to grow for a couple more years. Chaga has been called a “tree cancer” since it will eventually kill its host tree, however, it isn’t completely known whether it occurs to help prolong the trees life or if it is actually cancer to the tree. Chaga has attracted interest for centuries in fighting human cancer and other diseases.
Leave some chaga on the tree to prevent damaging the tree. Do not harvest Chaga from a dead tree! If the tree is dead, the Chaga will be dead as well, and will have 0 medicinal values. Teas made from dead Chaga will be very bitter with a rather unpleasant taste.
Estimates of Chaga parasitizing birch trees range from 1 in 20, to 1 in 15,000. Foresters have yet to do a thorough study of how widespread Chaga infection is in temperate forests. Chaga mycelium is inside many more trees than is obvious when the Chaga mushroom isn’t yet visible on the outside. Be sure you have done your research before you harvest chaga. Most trees that die soon after being harvested for Chaga is caused by the harvesters digging or chiseling into the tree to get all of the Chaga out, this practice results in further damage being done to the structure of the tree.
The tincture is a concentrate of the water-soluble contents and alcohol soluble contents of the chaga. I use 1 dropper on days I don’t have coffee or use my grounds. The grounds only give you the water-soluble contents so I like to mix it up.
Chaga Grounds: 1tsp per day with your coffee grounds. Or it can be steeped for 20 minutes.
Hot water extracts deliver high levels of melanin, polyphenols, polysaccharides, and beta-glucan.
Chaga Tincture: 1 dropper per day.
The tincture delivers higher levels of triterpenes, sterols, and lignin.
This is a study that was done on a tincture that is prepared in the same way I prepare my with a double extraction: