Chaga, a mushroom that grows on decaying birch trees, is said to have a bunch of great compounds that can kill and help control cancer cells and stimulate the immune system, among other benefits.

And there is a long history of people taking advantage of the compound, as the BDN’s Anthony Brino recently reported:

Washburn resident Christie Smart Cochran remembers her family drinking chaga tea when she was growing up in Aroostook County during the 1950s and ’60s, and now she drinks it regularly. She thinks families like hers, from English and French lineages, would have learned about chaga from Micmacs and other Native Americans as their ancestors moved from northern New Brunswick and Maine generations ago.

“In ancient times, chaga was probably considered a gold among medicines,” said George Paul, a Micmac cultural interpreter at the Metepenagiag Heritage Park in Red Bank, New Brunswick.

[‘Medicinal’ forest fungus chaga grows mainstream following]

If you’re interested in trying it out, here are a couple videos from Michael Barton, who posts a ton of useful tips on his YouTube channel.

First, Barton shows you where to find chaga.

And this is how he makes tea out of it.

Have you tried chaga? How do you use it?

[Farmers, herbalists look to chaga mushrooms for health benefits]

Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News. He's an Orland native who moved to Portland in 2002 and now lives in Unity. He's been a journalist since 2008, and previously worked for the...