From teas to foods to lotions, if Lynnel Anderson can sell or use it she’ll put Chaga mushrooms in it.
Only, she isn’t just picking the mushrooms and sticking it in a stir-fry, but rather extracting the nutrients out of it and putting them into a bottle of mushroom concentrate.
Three years ago, Anderson took a class at her local arboretum about edible Minnesota mushrooms. Afterward, the hair salon owner said she knew she had to have Chaga mushrooms.
Still, the mushrooms are not easy to find, Anderson said. Only one in 10,000 birch trees have the mushrooms grow on it.
Still, when Anderson finds an area they’re in, it’ll be hard for her not to spot the mushrooms that grow from six to seven pounds on average, Anderson once found one that grew up to 18 pounds.
It took Anderson six months to find her first Chaga mushroom.
She and her family would drink it as a tea, but when that got to be too much to do every day, Anderson turned it into an extract that could be put into anything.
After giving it to friends and family, Anderson said she began providing it to her clients at her salon in Brainerd and got a license from the state to sell it. Thus her line of products, Cha-Cha Chaga was born.
“I just thought it would be a great thing to give to my customers so they all feel great,” Anderson said.
Chaga mushrooms have health benefits ranging from anti-inflammation to anti-bacterial and helping to prevent cancer, Anderson said.
They also purify the blood and liver, she said.
After taking the oil in drinks and food for a while, Anderson said, she then began the process of adding it to lotion.
Anderson said using the lotion helps make the skin healthier due to its anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities, and it can get rid of rashes.
While she said ingesting the oil is a better way to get the benefits, using both the oil and the lotion is better than just using one.
Anderson said she judges all of her products herself to see if she should sell it. If Anderson doesn’t like it, it’s not going to be sold.
“I use all my products myself and if I don’t like it, it gets tossed,” Anderson said.
Anderson has sold her products at the Sprout Growers and Makers Marketplace in Little Falls during the summer, and sells it at her salon Hair It Is in Brainerd.