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How to Identify a Chaga Mushroom

By Sharin Griffin ; Updated July 21, 2017
Birch tree wounds allow chaga mushrooms to thrive and grow.
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Chaga mushrooms are found on the wounds of birch trees in Siberia, North America, Asia and Europe. They are touted with health benefits because of their high protein content and ability to provide vitamins and minerals when consumed. Chaga mushrooms take five to seven years to reach maturity and be harvested.

Examine the color of the mushroom. Chaga mushrooms are black and can crumble easily. They may blend in with the tree wounds, making them difficult to see without closer examination.

Note the shape and size of the mushroom. Chaga mushrooms are large and misshapen. They can measure up to 3 feet long and 1 foot thick, resembling burnt bark.

Break open the mushroom. The inside of the chaga mushroom is yellowish-rusty in appearance. Whitish veins run through the body of the mushroom with the overall color becoming paler as it nears the tree's body.

Feel the inside of the mushroom. Chaga mushrooms have a cork-like texture, proving to be denser than the outer shell.

Examine the inner workings of the chaga. You will find that this mushroom produces porous opening, much like a sponge. Although the pores are large at times, the mushroom does not hold or attract much water.


About the Author


Sharin Griffin has been a freelance writer since 2009, specializing in health-related articles. She has worked in the health-care industry as a certified nursing assistant and medical technician. Griffin's medical expertise encompasses bariatrics and geriatric care, with an emphasis on general medicine. She is completing an associate degree in health-care administration from Axia University.