Colloquially termed ‘black mass’ due to an appearance resembling burnt charcoal, Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) sits with the likes of Turkey Tail, Reishi and Lion’s Mane as one of the most important medicinal mushrooms in history. It’s been extensively used in traditional medicine cultures throughout China, Northern Europe, Siberia, Russia, Korea, Northern Canada and Alaska.
Absolutely loaded with beta-glucans and anti-oxidants - Chaga mushroom has been used for centuries to increase the immune system, reduce inflammation and boost overall health. Traditionally brewed as a mushroom tea, there are now many other easy ways to take it as well.
As one of the most fascinating and beneficial mushrooms on the health scene, there has been an explosion of producers and manufacturers looking to capitalise and get their extracts on the market.
While this flood of producers can obviously drive the price down, it’s not necessarily a good thing for the consumer with many extracts being of very questionable quality, potency and ethics, as well as often contaminated with moulds, toxins and heavy metals!
Tried, tested and thoroughly vetted, this article will take you through who I’ve found to be the best suppliers of Chaga mushroom extract in Australia ... and the world!
- What Is Chaga Mushroom?
- Who Are The Best Producers of Chaga Mushroom In Australia?
- Bonus Offer For Our Readers!
- Does Chaga Mushroom Grow in Australia?
- How To Use Chaga Mushroom Extract?
- How To Make Chaga Mushroom Tea?
What Is Chaga Mushroom?:
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is a type of medicinal mushroom that is typically found as a growth on birch trees in colder climate regions of the world. It is ‘symbiotic’ with the birch bark, growing as a mesh of woody and fibrous mycelium - leading to many calling it a ‘pseudo-mushroom’.
Fun and crazy Chaga facts - it actually shares more DNA with humans than plants (about 30% more), has been known to heal the birch on which it grows and is also one of the richest sources of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD), known for cell repair and regeneration.
With these super high levels of SOD as well as other healing compounds such as beta-glucans, betulinic acid and polysaccharides, Chaga is known and used widely for strengthening the immune system, reducing inflammation, helping to regulate blood sugar and boosting overall nutrition. It is also a potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic with numerous studies indicating it’s potential for anti-cancer and anti-tumour properties as well.
Who Are The Best Producers Of Chaga Mushroom In Australia?:
Primarily due to its powerful immune-boosting properties, Chaga has recently become extremely popular - and as such, the number of suppliers and producers has also increased.
As with all medicinal mushrooms and natural extracts though, for every high-quality extract on the market, there are 100 you shouldn't anywhere near!
Not only are many extracts low-potency and packed with extra 'filler', but also grown and harvested unethically and often contaminated with heavy metals, toxins and mould.
Below you’ll find my 4 favourite suppliers of Chaga mushroom available here in Australia ... and the world!
All of these extracts are independently tested for potency and contamination and all companies are completely transparent with their growing, sourcing and harvesting processes.
I often cycle between all 4 extracts due to subtle differences in their nature, as well as stock availability.
SuperFeast is fast becoming one of Australia’s most respected and reputable producers of medicinal mushrooms and tonic herbs, now also shipping all over the globe. This isn’t by accident though, there are a number of reasons why people are flocking to this brand:
Customer Service - with some of the best customer service I've experienced from any online retailer, SuperFeast have become quite well-known for having a brilliant buyer experience. Postage is quick, the team is super-friendly and every order comes with a personal hand-written note!
Sourcing Standards - SuperFeast goes to extremes to uphold the Di Tao philosophy, meaning all products are sourced wild or wild-crafted in their home regions. In alignment with their 'Earth First' policy, SuperFeast's Chaga is grown wild on the break of select birch trees, and only harvested at the correct time to ensure maximum potency and sustainability.
Complete Transparency - As a 100% family-owned business, SuperFeast put it all on the table. From internal and independent pesticide, heavy metal & microbiological testing through to regular audits and supplier visits, they are always working to operate to the highest standard. You can view all these practices in detail here.
- Uniquely Processed for Super High-Potency -SuperFeast's Chaga Mushroom powder is dual-extracted in a 10:1 ratio, meaning that 10kg of mushroom is processed down to 1kg of powder. They work with the ‘sclerotia’ which is the complete woody mycelium mix to make sure they retain all medicinal aspects (such as betulinic acid).
5.) Shipping? - Worldwide
Launched back in 2015, Life Cykel exploded onto the health scene with their super high-quality mushroom extracts and unique enviro-products. They are an excellent company with very high sourcing and operating standards - and as such - are gaining impressive notoriety with celebrities, athletes and high-performers around the word!
Some of the features that make Life Cykel one of my preferred suppliers for Chaga include:
- ‘Circular Economics’ - Life Cykel works tirelessly to create a 'circular economy' - meaning they look to reuse resources & recycle wastage at every step. One of their best examples of this is recovering massive amounts of discarded coffee grounds from local cafes, and using them as the substrate for many of their mushrooms.
Liquid Extracts - Alongside powdered extracts, Life Cykel also produce potent dual-extracted 1:2 liquid mushroom tinctures. Many people find these much easier to take than powders.
High-Quality Sourcing - Life Cykel Chaga is sourced and wild-harvested from it’s natural growing regions of the United States. All raw material is extensively and independently tested for moulds, contaminants, metals and toxins, as well as potency!
- Shipping?: Worldwide
The Teelixir philosophy is to use ancient knowledge and healing systems to help people restore balance and increase vitality within the fast pace of the modern world. Through sourcing super high-quality medicinal mushrooms, adaptogenic herbs and natural tonics, they create unique and potent formulas that have quickly made them a highly-sought-after Australian producer.
I use Teelixir powdered extracts for a number of reasons:
1.) ‘Gold Standard’ testing - This is the Teelixir internal benchmarking system that’s been built in accordance with the most stringent testing methods in the industry. This is their commitment to quality and safety in their products - read all about it here.
2.) Complete Transparency - On top of their internal 'Gold Standard', Teelixir is also incredibly diligent regarding the sourcing standards and production processes for all of their products. From start to finish - they are completely committed to the best procedures possible, and transparent with all of their methods too.
3.) Di Tao Sourcing - All Teelixir mushrooms and herbs are sourced according to the Traditional Chinese Medicine 'Di Tao' principles from their natural growing regions and environments for maximum potency and effectiveness.
4.) Shipping? - Worldwide
As the brainchild of the very famous and multi-award-winning mycologist, Paul Stamets, Host Defense is a company that can’t be ignored when it comes to excellent medicinal mushrooms extracts.
There are many reasons to love Host Defense’s Chaga extract:
Easy Capsules - Host Defense Chaga mushroom comes as vegetarian-friendly capsules, making them arguably the easiest to take of any extracts listed here.
Only Mycelium, No Sclerotia - Host Defense opt to use only the Chaga mycelium, not the sclerotia which is the woody mass of mycelium combined with birch bark. Host Defense claim this increases the potency of the extract, however, there are different viewpoints on the benefits of including or excluding the sclerotia.
Mushroom Pioneers- With over 40 years of research experience and publishing, there is no denying that the driving force behind Host Defense, Paul Stamets, is as educated and respected as they come. Paul brings a wealth of knowledge to all of the companies procedures and products.
All-Organic & Grown 'In-House' - All Host Defense mushrooms are certified organic and sustainably grown on their own farm in Washington State, USA. This allows them to maintain a rigorous and well-controlled organic standard, and test everything methodically and extensively.
Shipping? - Worldwide
This should give you all the options you need to find the right Chaga extract for you, both here in Australia and internationally.
All of the extracts detailed above show some subtle differences but are all potent, ethical, safe and of excellent quality.
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Undoubtedly one of the most fascinating medicinal mushrooms out there - here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the ‘clinker polypore’:
1.) Does Chaga Mushroom Grow In Australia?
It is highly unlikely that you will find Chaga mushroom growing here in Australia. It almost exclusively grows on birch trees and generally prefers much colder climates like those found in Northern Europe, Siberia, Russia, Korea, Northern Canada and Alaska.
2.) How To Use Chaga Mushroom Extract?
There are many different ways to use Chaga, mainly depending on whether you prefer a powdered extract, liquid extract or capsule.
Obviously is you prefer capsules it’s as easy as taking it with a glass of water, but if you prefer powder or liquid variants - Chaga works beautifully stirred through coffee, tea, smoothies or even savoury cooking as it isn’t heat sensitive.
Which leads to our last topic ...
3.) How To Make Chaga Mushroom Tea?
When working with a concentrated extract powder or liquid - making a Chaga tea is incredibly simple:
- Add 1 serve of your favourite extract (usually 1 tsp of powder or 1 dropper of liquid) to 250ml of hot water
- Add 1/2 tsp of manuka honey or maple syrup to sweeten lightly
- Stir thoroughly and enjoy!
That's A Wrap:
I hope you've gained some great info and good recommendations from this article, and feel more confident in deciding which Chaga Mushroom supplier you'd prefer to go with!
There is no way we'd be using and promoting any of these companies unless we'd tried, tested and loved their products - I'm confident you'll have the same experience!
Here’s to the ‘Black Mass’!