Cha·​ga ˈchä-gə How to pronounce Chaga (audio)
variants or Chaga mushroom or less commonly chaga or chaga mushroom
plural Chaga or Chagas or Chaga mushrooms
: the dark brown to black, irregularly shaped, sterile, mycelial mass of a fungus (Inonotus obliquus of the family Hymenochaetaceae) that grows parasitically chiefly on hardwood trees and especially birch in temperate climates of the northern hemisphere

Note: The Chaga has a hard, deeply cracked surface said to resemble charred wood and a yellow- to orange-brown, somewhat fleshy interior. It has a bitter taste and is used mainly in folk medicine and as an herbal supplement.

It takes years for Chaga to show itself after growing inside the tree, a phenomenon which is rare in mushrooms.Ella Wilson
Because chaga in its raw form is not the most digestible of Mother Nature's bounty, it's usually ground up and brewed as tea.EmmaJean Holley

Examples of Chaga in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Buddha Teas Herbal Tea Buddha Teas Herbal Tea Chaga stands as a truly exceptional offering in the realm of mushrooms and herbal teas. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 6 July 2023 Then add the small pieces of kindling followed by larger pieces of firewood. 2) How to Start a Fire Without a Lighter, Using a Knife, Quartz, and Chaga Fungus Chaga is a fungus that grows on birch and other trees. Jim Baird, Field & Stream, 28 June 2023 This unique blend of mushrooms, including Reishi, Chaga, and Cordyceps, is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to support immune function,reduce stress, improve brain function, and even reduce inflammation. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 4 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Chaga.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Russian čága, borrowed from Komi (Finno-Ugric language of northeast European Russia) čaga, čaka "fungus growing on a tree (as a pore fungus), tinder"

First Known Use

1957, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Chaga was in 1957

Dictionary Entries Near Chaga

Cite this Entry

“Chaga.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!