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Written by Mathew Normansell of edenwildfood.wordpress.com/
What is Chaga, and why would you want to harvest some?
Chaga is a medicinal fungus, growing primarily on birch trees in the upper part of the northern hemisphere, it is used as an immune supporting supplement, and as a complimentary or natural treatment for various conditions such as Psoriasis, Stomach issues, Diabetes, immune disorders and even Cancer.
Most commonly people drink a
decoction of Chaga as a “tea” for
general immune support, in a
similar way to how people you use
elderberry tea or syrup, as a
winter tonic especially. I usually
replace one cup of coffee a day
with Chaga tea.
For tea I boil 1 to 2 chunks around the size of a golf ball in half a gallon of water then let it simmer for 45 mins to an hour. Chunks can be frozen and reused until the tea becomes weak (usually a few times)
Modern usage and study.
More study is needed, particularly in human trials however there are some promising studies suggesting medicinal benefits, also several of the compounds in Chaga such as Betulinic acid already have studies showing medicinal benefits.
One notable recent study in Korea in 2004 showed human cells pretreated with a water extraction of wild Chaga conk showed a 40% reduction in DNA fragmentation than a positive control (Park et al., 2004) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/biof.552210120/abstract
Along with whole Chaga chunks for tea you will find more potent double extracted
tinctures such as those made by my partner Megan of Megans Herbal Apothecary
which give you both the alcohol and water soluble compounds in an easy to take form.
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