If you’re into superfoods and alternative health, you’ve likely heard of chaga at some point. A nutritional feast, chaga has been used as a folk remedy for generations in the northern parts of the world. Picked from birch trees in the winter months, chaga is sometimes referred to as “black gold” due to its rejuvenating effects on the human body. But how much is chaga really worth?
The answer is that it depends on the quality of the chaga and what form you purchase it in. Chaga can be cheap or expensive based on a myriad of factors. Here is a detailed guide on how much chaga is worth.
The Price of Chaga
Chaga pickers can expect to earn anywhere from $20 to $2,000 a pound for their chaga. The reason for this wide variance is the large number of factors that go into determining chaga’s quality. In general, chaga must be harvested from extremely cold, northern locations that are isolated from civilization, during the winter months. Chaga harvested in these perfect conditions fetches a high price due to its purity, but few people will ever find themselves in a perfect scenario.
In general, the more impure a pound of chaga is, the lower the price. Chaga harvested from anywhere other than frigid locales such as Alaska and Siberia is worthless due to the warmer climates destroying the nutritional content. Chaga that is also harvested outside of the winter months fetches a much lower price, as does chaga that is harvested near cities and large towns.
Chaga pickers that cut corners and try to scam their clients can expect to fetch lower prices for the products. For example, some unscrupulous pickers will mix their chaga with dirt and other detritus in order to make their hauls look bigger than they actually are. Chaga harvesting is a demanding line of work, requiring specialized tools, a tolerance for extreme cold, and a willingness to venture into remote areas of the world, with few people up to the task.
Due to the nature of chaga as a wild mushroom that grows in remote regions, it is unlikely that there will ever be a shortage of it, with countless chaga vendors able to keep the substance in stock.
Like all commodities, the price of chaga is determined in part by the cost of the labor that went into it. For this reason, chaga chunks are usually the cheapest way to purchase chaga, since they only need to be broken up and packaged. While chaga chunks can be used to make tea, users will generally need to grind them in order to use them in other ways.
Chaga powder is generally slightly more expensive than chaga chunks in order to accommodate the labor cost of grinding it before sale. Chaga tea aficionados can also purchase chaga tea bags from some vendors, and these also cost more due to the labor expense in creating the bags.
At the opposite end of the scale are tinctures, which are the most expensive chaga products. This is because tinctures are extremely time-consuming to make, requiring several weeks and a bevy of other ingredients, and can easily go bad if the instructions to make them are not followed correctly. For this reason, many chaga users prefer to make their own tinctures using chaga powder and other ingredients available at home.
There are also a number of specialty chaga products such as chaga cream, chaga soap, chaga gum, and chaga capsules. Depending on the elaborateness of the product, the price will either be higher or lower. Many chaga users embrace a do-it-yourself mentality, preferring to make their own homemade versions of chaga derivative products due to the lower cost and the ability to customize recipes to their liking.
Chaga has earned its nickname “black gold” for a number of reasons. Chaga’s nutritional value is simply too high for it to be ignored by health-conscious consumers. No other food in the world offers such a bevy of benefits, from immune system boosting to digestive health improvements to anti-aging qualities through its antioxidant content. Thanks to the Internet, what was once a folk secret for Alaskans and Siberians is now something the entire world can partake in.
It’s because of this that the price of chaga is what it is. Purer, higher-quality chaga may seem pricy, but given the clear and obvious benefits of the substance, you get what you pay for. In general, you shouldn’t skimp when it comes to your health. You might be tempted to cheap out when it comes to chaga, but the lower nutritional content combined with likely pollutants and other impurities can cause major problems for you. If you want to enjoy chaga, you owe it to yourself to buy the best mushrooms that you can find.