CAVEMASTER DEMO PARTY
a burnt-looking cork-like clump
Chaga is a rare fungus (Inonotus obliquus) that grows mainly on birches. It looks like a blackened knot growing on the tree. Like Amadou, it is pounded into fibrous chunks or powder and used for tinder.
Tea made from chaga is pleasant-tasting and used as medicine. It has potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Like the more common Amadou, it can be used to treat wounds.
The chaga fungus infects a birch tree and spreads invisibly for at least five years. Sometime during the next 15 years, when the tree can no longer survive, the fungus forms a fruiting body, the homely charred-looking chaga “conk”. The tree usually (but not always) dies soon after.
Other names for chaga include “True Tinder Conk” and “Tinder Polypore”.
Otzi the Iceman carried chaga with him.