For the past 12 years I have been taking super food and super anti oxidant supplements and I have never witnessed anything as powerful as this. I eat super foods because we live in a super polluted world, breathing toxic air, drinking toxic water from plastic bottles, eating toxic ‘chemistry experiments’ for foods and lathering our bodies with toxic chemical ridden personal care products. If you are not detoxifying your body you will develop any number of a host of thousands of diseases that fill your body with pain and illness.
This past year I have been spending my time researching and discovering many of the powerful foods that are right in my back yard. I believe we have the ability to change any physical challenges we may have and the answers are never too far from own homes depending on where you live. Perhaps I should point out that I live in a rural area far from the pollution of urban centers.
When I started this journey to regain my health over 12 years ago I would never have imagined it would lead me right back to my own yard and the discovery of the world’s most powerful herb. I know most people are looking to improve their health, overcome pain, feel vitality and slow the aging process. Many are looking for miracle cures which will help them with their afflictions and many never find them.
I have often said in this blog, “There are no miracle pills, there is only the miracle of your body healing itself when we provide it with the proper nutrition and the proper emotional environment”. But lately, I have discovered something that is so natural and so powerful I find it hard to believe we have missed this herb for so many years and it can truly perform miracles within our body.
A bit of history, this past summer we ran a workshop through our Holistic Health Harvest Conference and had David Wolfe as our guest speaker. As you may be aware, David Wolfe is world renowned for his work in the nutrition field. Here is a man that has traveled the whole world searching for the purest of spring waters and the most powerful ‘Super Foods’ nature has to offer us. David, really opened my eyes when he stated, we here in Northern Ontario, live in one of the purest places in the world. The Canadian Shield with its purest of artesian springs and all its medicinal herbs growing in our pioneer forests cannot be found in many other places on the planet. His presentation went on to include all of these wonderful herbs and foods which I have been walking past my whole life without any consideration. But there was one herb in particular which caught my attention above all the others, to the point where, the day after the workshop I went searching for this “King of the Herbs”, Chaga.
Growing up in the country I was familiar with using Chaga as a fire starter (Tinderwood) but I had no knowledge that we could be using this wild mushroom for the powerful healing properties it contains.
Chaga is a charcoal looking mass that grows on around 1 in 5000 of the white or yellow
Chaga growing on a birch tree
birch trees in our area. It takes over 20 years to grow and it extracts some of the most powerful compounds from the pioneer (birch) trees that can be found. The two compounds which interested me the most were Melanin and Betulinic Acid.
Betulinic Acid is being studied for use as a chemotherapy agent to reduce tumors without any side effects or causing damage to healthy cells. Since the early 1960’s, Russia, has used Chaga extract as part of their natural cancer treatment. For thousands of years Chaga tea has been used by the local peoples of the Siberian Mountains for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Due to their regular consumption of Chaga, many of these indigenous people have been documented to live for over 100 years, illness free. Chaga is used as a tea, smoke cleansing and rubbed on rashes and wounds to promote healing.
The second component of the Chaga which intrigued me, Melanin, is needed by our bodies
Chaga showing outside and inside makeup
to give us healthy skin and is responsible for the absorption of UV rays. Melanin absorbs over 99% of Ultra Violet rays which can burn our skin and harm our bodies. It then converts UV into Vitamin ‘D’ in our bodies. Vitamin ‘D’ is being hailed as our most powerful Vitamin because it rebuilds and maintains our autoimmune system. Hundreds of scientific studies have been conducted as to why we so desperately need this important vitamin on a daily basis. Melanin is a major building block needed for our health and longevity.
On the Chaga mushroom the black hard charcoal looking outside is where the most Melanin exists. The inner corky looking substance is where higher levels of the Betulinic acid can be found.
It is the inner corky part that we use to start and carry fire with. It does not flame because
Using Chaga for carrying fire or as an incense
of the absence of vapors and gases. When sparked it will merely glow and give off heat which is enough to build a fire around. The Chaga smoke is a very mild incense smell and fills your home with a light fragrance close to the smell of sandalwood incense. Although I am not sure of the healing properties of the smoke, I do know that it does not appear to effect or aggravate any breathing problems. I have never been able to be in a room with fragrances of any kind as they bother my lungs and sinus. It is wonderful that I can finally fill the home with this lovely fragrance and not be effected in any way.
I guess you are wondering just what this powerful can do for you? There are many claims on the internet about this mushroom but I wanted to speak to you from my own personal experience and the experiences of others who I have shared this with. If you want to check out other claims, the best source I have found is the Chaga Mushroom Guide website at http://www.chagamushroomguide.com/ .
Or, you can pick up a copy of David Wolfe’s “Chaga King of the Medicinal Herbs” book by clicking this link.
As I stated earlier, taking super foods and super antioxidants is something I have been consuming for the past 12 years. I am sent and given product samples by hundreds of different health & wellness companies from across North America for evaluation. When I was regaining my health years ago, super food products would make me feel different inside, but since 2005 not much has had a noticeable physical effect on my body. I know we have to have foods high in antioxidants to maintain or regain our health so I have never stopped eating the proper foods or supplementing my diet in some way. I feel great and rarely get any sort of a cold or flu, but I do have a condition in my body that has given me physical challenges for the past 34 years. Thirty four years ago my lungs and sinus were burned and scarred by walking through a Nitric Acid cloud which flooded parts of a factory where I worked. Since that time I have had challenges with my ability to breath properly and become winded very easily.
In October of this year I drank Chaga tea for the first time. I could hardly believe that within 15 minutes my breathing became noticeably easier. It just so happened that this time of the year was a peak time for people suffering colds and coughs. Quite a few people I know were suffering from this ‘six-week-cold’ that was going around. The cold was brutal on the respiratory system and also plugged your sinuses up so I shared some Chaga tea with them and noticed that within 15-20 minutes their symptoms improved greatly even with those suffering from allergy symptoms. As we shared the tea with more and more people we began hearing more and more stories of how they had greater mental clarity, higher energy levels, and were now experiencing regular bowel movements again. I must say I was noticing the very same reactions in myself too. It was always funny to watch their faces as they drank the tea, “Is this going to taste like mushrooms or tree bark?” would be their first question as they scrunched their faces up. All I would say is, “You are going to be surprised”. Chaga tea tastes like nothing more than water with an extremely light hint of vanilla, quite good really.
What interests me about all the energy this tea gives you is that it is 100% natural with no caffeine, no sugars, no added ingredients just the complex makeup of compounds within the powerful mushroom itself. It has already been perfected in nature and requires no additional processing or additives to make it taste good or to give you a jolt.
Harvesting Chaga is a very simple process once you find one. They can range in size from the size of the palm of your hand and I have collected them as big as 35 pounds. A big Chaga will nourish your whole family and friends for a year or better. You cannot mistake it from any other mushroom or fungus growing in the forest. Number one they only grow on birch trees. The outside of the Chaga looks like hard black charcoal and once removed from the tree the interior looks like cork. To remove a Chaga from a birch tree I simply chop it with my axe around the top of the conch in 3 places and then peel it away from the tree. I scrape any remaining cork looking parts from the tree into a bag and take the whole thing back to my house for drying. You may want to wash the outside lightly with water to remove any dirt from the outside although it is not always necessary. I like to collect mine after a good rain.
Small Chaga broken into chunks
Take the Chaga break it into smaller pieces and allow it to air dry for a few days. After it has dried you can run it through a hand grinder or break it up in a mortar and pestle. It is important to note that you do not want to heat the Chaga up as it kills the living melanin and other phyto-nutrient properties of the mushroom. This is why I choose to uses a hand grinder to slowly grind the pieces into powder. If you do not have a grinder, that is not a problem, just use some pliers to break the big pieces into smaller chunks and begin making tea with them.
Slow hand grinding to make Chaga powder
The powder created from grinding is well blended to give you a great mix of both the inner and outer parts of the herb.
The Chaga powder requires less ‘steeping’ time to make a great cup of tea which is much darker than using the chunks.
Chaga Powder looks like ground coffee
After grinding, I store the powder in a dark container and use it for making tea OR, I package the powder into air tight vacuum sealed bags to preserve it for longer periods of time.
If you have Birch trees in your neck of the woods, get out into the forest and discover this powerful herb for yourself, it is a great time to reconnect with nature.
You can purchase a 50 gram bag for $15 plus shipping and handling by clicking on the ‘Buy Now’ link below. You can find other sources on the internet however, I guarantee that each bag of powder is processed to very high standards as not to disrupt any of its potent capabilities. There is no fancy packaging, just a vacuum sealed bag and an information sheet explaining more about the product and how to make tea with it. 50 grams is roughly 18 big teaspoons which in turn can make up to 27 liters (over 100 cups) of tea (that’s a lot).
In our next post I will show you how to make Chaga tea and how to enjoy this powerful ‘Gift From God’.
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