Learn the Difference Between Chaga and Reishi, and Make the Right Choice for You

If you are hearing about different types of mushrooms and products, you might be asking yourself about the difference between Chaga and Reishi, and how to choose between them. These mushrooms have both become well-known in the blooming mushroom community. With a variety of Chaga coffee and Reishi powders readily available in packets at health food stores, how do you choose what’s right for you? In this article, you’ll learn the difference between Chaga and Reishi, so you can make an informed choice. (And, in fact, there are many differences between the two ‘shrooms!)

What is the Difference Between Chaga and Reishi?

Studies show that both Chaga and Reishi contain compounds that promote normal cellular turnover, as well as immune and liver function.* There are many differences between Chaga and Reishi, including taste and texture, how we can source them, as well as health-promoting qualities.*

Chaga Mushroom 101

A key difference between Chaga and Reishi is where these mushrooms come from. Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) grows primarily on birch, alder, and elm trees, and can be found throughout Siberia, Poland, Russia, and North America, particularly Canada. Chaga are hard, dark black, burnt-looking conks, and can grow as big as your head. Chaga will typically develop a symbiotic relationship with the tree on which it grows, ultimately becoming part of it and its root system. Traditionally, Chaga has been used in Russia to help maintain digestive and immune function.* In Western Siberia, Chaga was used to support internal detoxification, and externally it was used as a wash.*

While Chaga has been called the “King of Mushrooms,” it is important to note that it is only found on about one in 20,000 birch trees. Though Chaga has amazing qualities, it may be important to limit its use — overharvesting is a problem. Finding a source that harvests ethically and also contributes to this mushroom’s growth and production is important! This is why we only use Chaga in blends at Mushroom Revival, and we do not sell it as a stand-alone extract.

Reishi Mushroom 101

Red Reishi’s Latin name is Ganoderma lucidum. “Gan” means shiny, “derm”means skin, and “lucidum” means brilliant, which pays homage to its shiny, preserved look. This mushroom also presents as six different colors and species in dense, humid coastal parts of China, frequently showing up on hardwoods, typically oak trees, or on decaying stumps of chestnut and other broad-leafed trees. Different species also grow in the US and across North America and Europe.

Taoist priests in the first century C.E. included the mushroom in concoctions intended to promote longevity and immortality.* In folklore, Japan, Reishi was discovered when the emperor of the Chin dynasty sent ships East in search of this amazing mushroom! You’ll find this lovely mushroom on plum trees in Japan. 

Red Reishi is typically known for its bitter taste. This is caused by terpenoid constituents, which support the body’s response to occasional inflammation due to the wear and tear of everyday life.* Reishi is an adaptogen, and it helps promote healthy sleep.* It can also be taken for longer periods, and it helps the body maintain energy and stamina.* 

Reishi has been shown to have many other health supporting qualities, such as promoting cardiovascular function.* Click here to explore our blog for more Reishi info.

Experience the Impact of Chaga and Reishi in Products from Mushroom Revival

So there you have it: Reishi and Chaga are two wonderful mushrooms with overlapping, as well as distinct supportive properties.* Now that you have learned the difference between Chaga and Reishi, explore our products! At Mushroom Revival, we make a Mush 10 powder and tincture that combines Reishi and Chaga with 8 other powerful functional mushrooms. Our simple Reishi tincture is potent with a delicious bitter chocolatey flavor. Spread the word, follow our Insta and become a part of the myco-family at Mushroom Revival!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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  1. Medicinal Mushrooms – Ancient Remedies for Modern Ailments, Halpern & Miller
  2. Medicinal Mushrooms – An Exploration of Tradition, Healing & Culture
  3. https://unitedplantsavers.org/the-two-sides-of-chaga/

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