CHAGA MUSHROOMS ARE ABOUT TO REVOLUTIONIZE THE HEALTH INDUSTRYWhen I first heard of Chaga mushrooms, I thought that it would be very weird to brew a rock hard black mushroom in hot water and then drink the liquid. And I grew up foraging edible mushrooms, like chanterelles and boletes, and I enjoyed eating them, but the thought of drinking mushrooms or collecting mushrooms from trees was still weird. Luckily, being weird never stopped me from doing it.
Most people quickly assume, when they hear about Chaga, that it’s some unproven health food fad, or that it’s part of the magical mushroom realm for hippy forest dwelling people with long hair and lumberjack beards. Heck, that’s what I thought, but I was wrong.
Be Shrooms versus “shrooms”
When people say medicinal mushrooms, understand that it isn’t a reference to something “magical” that get you high and transport you to a world of colors, talking plants and journeys tumbling through the galaxies.
No, when people say medicinal mushrooms, it’s in reference to a small group of evidence-based, health promoting, mushrooms that are part of a whole kingdom of life forms known as Fungi.
And Fungi is not to messed with.That’s right, half of what you’re made up of, genetically speaking, is nearly half of what constitutes a mushroom. And that’s why at the beginning of the 21st century, medicinal mushrooms were involved in the industrial processing of more than half of the 20 most profitable products used in human medicine, including drugs for high cholesterol, antibiotics, and immunosuppressants.
What is Chaga?
Chaga is a mushroom that grows on birch trees mostly throughout the northern regions of Canada, and the United States, as well as Russia, the Nordic countries (Finland in the house), and part sof Northern China.
This powerful mushroom is hard in texture, with a slightly squishy interior. It takes at least 5 years of growth before it can be sustainably harvested, but can reach a prime age of 25+ years old. And all this time, it grows in very harsh and cold conditions which condense it’s healing properties.
Chaga is typically found on birch trees that are at least 40 years old and it takes between 3-5 years for the fungus to reach maturity before you can see it growing on the tree.
Here are 5 reasons why chaga should be included in your everyday diet.
- It has the highest ORAC level of any natural food..
And contains extremely high levels of antioxidants which help to fight free-radicals that can cause cell damage. Chaga is especially high in the liver-cleansing, cell-membrane protecting, longevity enzyme, super antioxidant called superoxide-dismutase (SOD). Chaga has gram-per-gram the world’s highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) value. Dual-extracted wild chaga can have an ORAC of over 100,000. Compare that to the ORAC value of blueberries (3,200), açai (18,400) and goji (25,000).
- Chaga is one of the most alkaline food on the planet
According to the theory of what’s alkaline, popularized by books such as The Acid/Alkaline Balance and the pH Miracle, Chaga is the most Alkaline food on the planet due to its vast mineral contents. When your body is in an alkaline state, it’s nearly impossible to develop any form of cancer. Chaga contains ridiculous amounts of minerals; both major minerals (like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sulfur) and important trace minerals (like copper, germanium, manganese, selenium, zinc). Chaga has more potassium than a banana, more rubidium than green tea, more zinc than raw cacao, and more germanium than turmeric.
- Protects against the growth of bacteria
Chaga, like all medicinal mushrooms, can be consumed by everyone (young or old, advanced or beginners) because they are foods for our immune system. This is one of the few things you can take daily that won’t cause damage or bodily dependence. Drinking Chaga tea daily creates a compound effect with your immune system, making you bulletproof to illness.
Of all the compounds found in chaga, the most well-known and most studied is a type of polysaccharides called beta glucans. Over one thousand research studies have been done on beta glucans, and they show that it can activate and aid your immune system. They activate white macrophage blood cells to destroy foreign substance in our bodies and stimulate other body protecting cells (like Natural Killer cells and T-cells). They are the bootcamp to your immune system.
- Naturally Reduce Sun Damage. Protecting your skin and boosting your health so you can handle more sun exposure.
Melanin is the pigment in your skin, your eyes and hair follicles. It’s responsible for whether you have blue eyes or brown, red hair or blonde. Taking melanin in the form of Chaga beautifies the skin, hair, nails and overall radiance. It is also the #1 nutrient for the expansion of the pineal gland …and guess which mushroom contains the highest source of Melanin? (It’s chaga)
Chaga also naturally contains high amounts of Vitamin D, which can help protect your skin as well.
- Adaptogen - Adapts to the body and provides it with what it needs.
Adaptogens are the “creme de la creme” of all superfoods and super herbs. They are natural substances that help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes. They uplift without harsh stimulation, and relax the body without being too sedative. Well-known examples are ginseng and maca root. There are only 15-20 foods in the world that would qualify as real adaptogens, and chaga is one of them.
The quote below from a Nobel winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn explains chaga’s power quite well:
“He could not imagine any greater joy than to go away into the woods for months on end, to break off this chaga, crumble it, boil it up on a campfire, drink it and get well like an animal. To walk through the forest for months, to know no other care that to get better! Just as a dog goes to search for some mysterious grass that will save him…” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward, 1968
There are few super tonic herbs you can take everyday …and Chaga is one of them!
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