An overview of my research on the internet a few weeks back has the Chaga mushroom being basically unknown until the late eighties or 1990’s. Save for in Russia, where it was well known. It is not scientifically proven, but has been used medicinally for years. It is a great anti-oxidant apparently and is also used in everything from diabetes to cancer treatment and is simply enjoyable for a tea it is said. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, the famous Russian writer who wrote Gulag Archipelago, about his time in Russian work labour camps, wrote about it in a book called Cancer Ward. The chaga is very popular for some reason now among mystics, healers, and wild food foragers and the new age set. Has been for a few years. I think right now it is at its peak or approaching it.

It is a cancer itself, that grows from birch trees, - from the inside out and takes years to get big- decades even. People go on searches for it all over North America and apparently there is not much left in Russia and none in China. It is all the rage. I know where lots can be found, - because I go to several forests. I ‘harvested’ some that I was not even looking for, - just yesterday, and am drying it out in my cupboard. I have other daily routines and things to attend to right now. But I shall keep some on hand, and give to friends or family as they want. What is known as gifting, or a fair energy trade, or whatever.

I can see on the basic forest paths people have taken it off trees, - so one has to go deeper. I see there are people that respect it and harvest what they need, and are of a more ‘green’ and holistic nature,- and there are others who I have seen taking all of it and hollowing out the tree with no regard for the future, for others, for the chaga or the tree itself really. 

There is what I call heavy handed and footed people. And there are other, more conscious people.
But I know where some is, in two separate areas- and I left it on the tree, - because one is hard to access, and the other I didn’t need so didn’t take, - don’t want to create unnecessary karma or unbalance as they say. But I took two smaller pieces, and left much- perhaps a third of each piece, on the tree. This is known as ethically harvesting.