Here at Birch Boys, we pride ourselves on a few key characteristics about our Chaga. Sustainable, Adirondack, and Wild Harvested our Chaga has a lot going for it! Keep reading to discover why these aspects of our practice are so important!
Chaga is abundant in birch forests with harsh, rapidly changing climates. This is why the Adirondacks is a great place to find it! We have a 3-step method to ensuring sustainability in our practices.
Firstly, we work with local logging companies to purchase Chaga from birch trees already cut down for logging. This way we save Chaga from being wasted.
Second, we leave fifteen percent of the Chaga growth on the tree. This helps to sustain both the Chaga and the birch tree itself. There is a lot of controversy as to whether birch trees and Chaga have a parasitic relationship or a symbiotic one. Regardless, if you remove all of the Chaga from a birch tree, the tree will perish soon after. By leaving fifteen percent we ensure that the tree survives as long as it can while being a host for the Chaga. In addition, the Chaga will regrow to a comparable size within 2-4 years as long as you leave that little bit attached. Both the Chaga and the birch tree benefit from this practice.
Third, we tag the trees we find Chaga on. This ensures that we won't over harvest from one tree. This also allows for us to go back and re-harvest when the time comes, ensuring a sustainable source of chaga.
To read more about our harvesting practices, check out the Harvesting section of our website.
Birch trees grow in extreme climates like in the Northern United States, Canada and Siberia. Temperatures can get very cold in these places, as low as -94 degrees fahrenheit! Which means the birch tree needs to be strong and resilient to live through these harsh winters. The birch tree survives these extreme temperatures by producing sterols to buffer the cold. These sterols are powerful components that get absorbed by the Chaga as it grows. Inotodiol, Betulin, and Betulinic acid are among these sterols, they help give Chaga it's health benefits.
Because of the vastly varying temperatures in the Adirondacks, Chaga that grows in the ADK goes through a lot more 'stress' than Chaga found elsewhere. This is due to the long, harsh winters transitioning into moderate, short summers. The more stress put on a birch tree (the more environmental changes), the more beneficial sterols it will produce to combat that stress. More sterols in the tree equals more sterols in the Chaga. Adirondack Chaga is a potent form of Chaga harvested from the largest park in the United States.
You may ask, isn't all Chaga wild harvested? The answer is no. Some Chaga is cultivated in a lab, grown on various substrates such as brown rice. It isn't a horrifying procedure, but it does create Chaga that doesn't contain those vital sterols mentioned above. Only Chaga that grows in extremely cold, harsh climates contain all of the healing properties. Research has shown that only Chaga harvested from birch trees going through these harsh conditions contain Betulin, Betulinic Acid, and Melanin.
Chaga can need as long as five years before it's ready to harvest in some cases, this means the Chaga has gone through five cycles of seasons and absorbed all of those beneficial ingredients. Chaga grown for only a few weeks in a lab doesn't have nearly the healing potential that Wild Chaga has.
What are you waiting for? Harness the power of the Adirondacks. Drink a cup of Birch Boys Adirondack Chaga Tea!
"Excerpt from The Cure is in the Forest." Cure is in the Forest. Accessed December 30, 2017. http://www.arcticchaga.com/cure-is-in-the-forest.html.
"Chaga – The Facts." Backgrounds and monographs. November 26, 2017. Accessed December 30, 2017. https://oriveda.wordpress.com/chaga-the-facts/#h-5.
"Meet Chaga, Arctic Birch Fungus." Www.theepochtimes.com. January 26, 2015. Accessed December 30, 2017. https://www.theepochtimes.com/meet-chaga-arctic-birch-fungus_1162672.html.