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PAKURI - a gift from nature


Pakurikääpä / Tschaga or Chaga / Schillerporling / Inonotus obliquus
Many names for what is probably the most valuable medicinal mushroom on earth.


There are over 1.5 million different mushrooms around the world. We know 14,000 - 22,000. About 700 of them are considered edible mushrooms and 400 of them have healing properties.


And we've known about chaga for thousands of years - a naturally occurring nutrient, vitamin and mineral treasure found on deciduous trees and harvested from birches.
It has the highest concentration of antioxidant substances of any plant in the world!

Excerpt from the wonderful, recommendable novel »Cancer Ward« by Alexander Isayevich Solzhenitsyn:


"One of our old patients told me about Dr. Maslennikov. He said it was an old, pre-revolutionary country doctor from the Alexandrov district, not far from Moscow. He had been working at the same hospital for dozens of years, just as was the norm at the time, and it struck him that although more and more was being written about cancer in the medical literature, there was not a single case of cancer among the small farmers who came to him for treatment . Why was that?'

"And he discovered something strange: that the peasants in his district saved the money for their tea and instead of tea they brewed a thing called chaga , or in other words, birch mushroom ..."

“Anyway, Sergei Nikitich Maslennikov had an idea. Couldn't it be the same Chaga that had been curing the Russian peasants of cancer for centuries without them even knowing it?"


Mankind has known about Chaga since primeval times - but this knowledge was lost to us! At least in the western world.
Shouldn't we be turning to nature's bounty first, rather than gorging on synthetic drugs that only make us sicker than they help?

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Why did »Ötzi«, the iceman, carry a medicine bag with two different medicinal mushrooms?  


How is it that Russian small farmers have been able to benefit from the active ingredients of a mushroom for centuries?


And why isn't everyone already using this wonderful gift that grows on our trees?


We're trying to get to the bottom of some of the questions!

Probably many have already seen such growths on deciduous trees. And most of the time they were probably dismissed as tree growths, as something gross. We thought the tree was sick or we thought it was a charred piece.

Appearance / Occurrence

Inonotus obliquus: Inos = fibrous

Noton = black

Oblique = uneven edges

Obliquus = oblique / sloping


The medically most valuable Chaga occurs on the birch as an asymmetrically growing sponge. Black on the outside and coffee brown on the inside. It may resemble a lump of tar or a charred branch.  It can grow up to 1.2 - 1.5 meters in height, up to 25 - 40 cm in width and up to 15 cm in depth and weigh several kilograms. They are usually found from fist size to soccer ball size.

Most harvested mushrooms are 20-25 years old.

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It has a circumboreal distribution.

Although it also grows in Germany and Great Britain, it must be said that the further north it is found, the more substantial and medicinally valuable it becomes. 

Ideal areas to harvest Chaga are the endless forests of Lapland.  





When Ötzi was found and it turned out that he was carrying a bag with mushrooms on his body, many believed that it was Chaga. However, it turned out to be a different kind of fungus. Fomes fomentarius - the tinder fungus, and Piptoporus betulinus - the birch polypore.  But the mere fact that a 5,300-year-old glacier mummy from the Neolithic Age used medicinal mushrooms is fascinating. It is assumed that the man had the mushrooms with him because of their antibiotic effect.


Not only the Russian writer Alexander Issajewitsch Solzhenitsyn took up the connection between the mushroom infusion and the development of cancer for his characters. Siberian shamans recognized the phenomenal abilities of the chaga mushroom as early as the 16th century - or perhaps even earlier.  


In Russia, research has been carried out on Chaga for a long time. In the early to mid 1950s, researchers found that regular consumption of the mushroom infusion improved general health and curbed ulcer growth. 

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Pakurikääpä - the Chaga in Finland:

As early as Aleksis Kivi , the famous Finnish writer, one finds passages about the miracle mushroom Chaga - in his most famous work: »The Seven Brothers« (1873).


Soldiers in the Finnish wars drank the mushroom as a substitute for tea and coffee, called "tikka tea" in Finnish, and for many veterans the drink was a reason they survived the war. »Tikka« means woodpecker in English. Perhaps this bird is also attracted to trees infested with Chaga because of the active ingredients.

Manufacturing / Treatment

The chaga is the most valuable from nature collected in the wild. The following applies: The further north , the harsher the climatic conditions, and the more active ingredients it contains.

A Chaga from Germany has far fewer ingredients than a mushroom that is exposed to the climatic adversities above the Arctic Circle - one from Lapland or Siberia.  



Next rule of thumb: the older the better and more healing properties.


Of course, one should collect the Chaga in the deep forest away from busy roads or industrial plants. 

With the right tool, the fungus must be carefully separated. Best in late fall. You should refrain from using a chainsaw, as the chain oil could possibly contaminate the harvested result.  


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The mushroom is then divided and dried.  Moisture reduction is very important!


After all, you can grind it, prepare it and enjoy it!

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Effect / areas of application

Many well-known people and scientists were able to alleviate their suffering or even heal it through the Pakurikääpä.

One of the most renowned German mycologists (mushroom scientists), Prof. Hanns Kreisel , for example, healed a stomach ailment several times. 

Gerhard Madaus , German doctor and drug manufacturer, mentioned the crooked Schillerporling in 1938 in the "Textbook of biological remedies" .

Christopher Hobbs, fourth-generation botanist and one of the most important medicinal mushroom and medicinal herb specialists in the world, lives in California, USA. He recommends consuming Chaga.  


But why should you consume it?


The following is a long list of positive properties and effective areas:


- For upsets and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract - It alleviates side effects. Especially when taken during chemotherapy, it reduces pain, stimulates appetite and generally increases well-being.

- In colitis and ulcerative proctitis (local inflammation of the rectum) as in Crohn's disease (chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. - Indigestion, stomach cramps, stomach and intestinal flu, in inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (gastritis). 

- Very successful in cancer treatment against gastric cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer and mixed tumor tuberculosis patients benefit from it

- He purifies the blood 

- For heart and liver diseases

- Diabetes patients improve their blood sugar levels with regular consumption. 

- Immune deficiency. It strengthens the immune system.

- The fungus makes tired people fitter and prevents symptoms of exhaustion

- Stomach pain

- In Japan, people with pigment defects trust in its many uses.


Especially in Russia, the Chaga is used a lot and has been examined in countless studies. It is also recommended there for:

- Skin diseases such as psoriasis

- Diseases affecting joints

- for the general improvement of the quality of life and strengthening of the organism


Chaga does not only help to heal ailments or to support the sufferer - it also ensures that the consumer of this natural treasure does not become ill in the first place.

Therefore, healthy people also benefit from the enormous power of the birch mushroom.


Its special effect is even greater if you use it like the peasants from Solyichyn's novel: namely regularly !



Dietary supplements such as the chaga mushroom cannot replace a healthy diet and lifestyle. In case of serious symptoms, a doctor should be consulted!
Notes according to the Food Supplements Ordinance:
Food supplements can compensate for short-term nutritional errors or the consequences of malnutrition, for example through a diet. However, they are not a substitute for a balanced and varied diet.





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Active ingredients / components

The chaga mushroom is nature's perfect plant! The numerous scientific studies prove its effects.


It is probably the most powerful antioxidant in the world that has ever been found.


More than 1600 examinations have been carried out in the past 40 years. For example in 1984 in Helsinki under Dr. Kirsi Kahlonen . It points to the antiviral, antifungal and anticancer properties.


The crooked Schillerporling prefers the birch. It is therefore assumed that the fungus accumulates betulin , an active ingredient in birch. Betulin is anti-carcinogenic - i.e. anti-cancer.


The inner brown and the outer black part contain different active ingredients. While there is more polysaccharide on the inside, the outer part is made up more of colorants, triterpene , and antioxidants .

The best effect is obtained when both are used together.



What do we know

Active ingredients:  


- Various triterpenes - main components of essential oils

- Tannins - vegetable tanning agents

- Alkaloids - organic acids such as hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillic acid and syringic acid


Even if we have already researched the Chaga well - we still do not know which active ingredient is the anti-cancer and stabilizing immune system.  


It also has an exceptionally large amount of superoxide dismutase (SOD). About 25-50 times more than any other medicinal mushroom. 

SOD - a copper-containing antioxidant enzyme - is an important building block in cell metabolism for the organism.


Also worth mentioning are the extensive beta-glucan polysaccharides - they support the immune system.


Chaga slows down the activity of bacteria and viruses. It has an anti-inflammatory effect.


A true miracle cure of nature!


The ORAC value


Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity 

This value describes the antioxidant capacity of a sample. Antioxidants are physiologically important as radical scavengers.


Let's look at the ORAC value of some antioxidant foods:


Goji berries: over 10000 ORAC

Blueberry powder: approx. 6500 ORAC

Green tea: approx. 1300 ORAC

Raw carrots: around 700 ORAC

Tomatoes: about 400 ORAC

Dried, ground chaga powder: approx. 65 000 ORAC


The higher the ORAC value, the more free radicals are neutralized per gram of substance.

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Taste / Smell

The smell of untreated Chaga is very mild and only remotely reminiscent of mushrooms.  The dried and ground powder is more or less odorless.


You can also cut the mushroom straight from the stem and taste it. But the effect and the enjoyment will be limited. It is fibrous, somewhat mushroomy, woody, hard and rather tasteless.


A tea prepared from the powder resembles coffee in appearance, it has a mild and soft taste.

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Preparation / Use

With few exceptions, EVERYONE can drink as much chaga as they want. One looks in vain for side effects.  


- It could only be poorly tolerated by people with mushroom allergies - and even if you have an allergy, it is a good idea to test whether you can tolerate the birch mushroom after all. 

- Do not take at the same time as antibiotics! 

- Unfortunately, with intravenous glucose you have to do without the miracle cure from the far north.


Otherwise, Chaga helps everyone - from babies to old people, from dogs to pigs!


The most common way to ingest the mushroom is to brew it into a tea.  


But even with coffee you can add 1-2 teaspoons of mushroom powder. The taste of the bean drink does not change - but you get a healthier drink.


In Siberia, Chaga is also used to cleanse the body. Also many newborns are cleaned with a birch mushroom infusion.  


Those affected by skin irritations, such as acne, also treat their problem areas with the infusion water. 

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Cooking Instructions / Tips:

On a pot with about 1 to 1.5 liters content:

2 teaspoons chaga powder

Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Remove from the plate and let stand for 5 minutes. The powder sinks to the bottom.


When the pot is almost empty, fill it up again with water. (do not pour away the broth)

Simmer again for 25 minutes.

Enjoy the second portion.


Cook for 35-40 minutes next time.


The chaga releases active ingredients as long as the powder provides color. And that's long. It just takes him longer each time.

You can let it cook for up to 2 hours.

Do not empty the jug at the end of the day. The next day, add a teaspoon of chaga and prepare as you did the day before.

On the following day, add 1 teaspoon of powder again, etc.....

You can do this for several days.


You can also spice up the taste of the infusion. Licorice or honey, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, mint, etc. 
The possibilities are unlimited - but it also tastes very good on its own.


Dosage Recommendations:

3 to 4 months as a cure you can drink as much as you like.


Then 3 to 4 cups a day.


Others say there is no limit. You can't get too much of it. There are no proven side effects.


If you drink it for therapeutic purposes, e.g. to support chemotherapy,  then dose much higher!

Download recipe ideas and tips in PDF format here:

Small gallery of photos of the wonderful Pakurikääpä / Chaga / Birch Mushroom. From tree to cup:

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