Can you eat chaga mushroom raw?
You could, but it would not be the most delectable way to consume it, and may be quite dry and hard to enjoy. Another great way to consume chaga and get a potent dose of the health benefits is through consuming chaga tea.
People who are aware of the ways in which chaga mushroom powder is consumed, will add it into their fresh brewed coffee or tea, and others might choose to have a warm cup of lemon water mixed with chaga powder.
Chaga mushrooms powder is extracted from raw mushrooms, buffered down to a powder that can be added to a warm cup of water, or to tea, coffee, or even soup. The great news is, all chaga products can be put in capsules, making this a simple way to consume chaga mushrooms on a daily basis.
A capsule that contains an extract powder will deliver nutrients, but watch out for imported chaga. Raw chaga needs to be steeped in hot water in order for its nutrients to be released, so swallowing a capsule containing a raw powdered chaga will not deliver the precious benefits chaga does. You can make a chaga tea by mixing the powdered chaga into hot water, following a process similar to making a herb tea.
To make it easier for future storage and use, you can mill the chunks, about the size of your fist, to a fine powder, which you can use for making chaga tea, and can be stored in your kitchen cupboard with ease. Once you harvest the chaga itself, you need to clean it up and dry it out before using it for making tea, or making an extract or tincture. When harvesting chaga on its own, try and leave a third of the mushrooms attached to the tree, as this will continue to grow, allowing future harvests.
You can read up on all of the medical and scientific studies about chaga here, see the infographic below, and continue reading for a breakdown on extracting all of the fungi goodness from your chaga. If heading out to the woods in search of the funk-looking fungus is not your cup of tea, you can still reap the benefits from the chaga itself.
As stated before, most Chaga mushrooms nutritional value can only be obtained by boiling in water, releasing its properties from its chitin-like walls. While you may not have major problems eating raw Chaga, except maybe stomachaches, you are not going to be digesting the mushroom. It is probably unreasonable, and definitely not fun or tasty, to attempt raw Chaga, straight off a Birch Tree.
Some folks might opt to stir the chaga into a fresh brewed cup of tea or coffee, and others would toss it into a warm cup of water, adding in a little squeeze of lemon to taste. Chaga Powder is a versatile superfood to add into hot drinks such as tea, coffee, or just a glass of warm water.