These mushrooms are in fact magic, but not in the pyscotropic way. Mushrooms have given us all sorts of traditional medicines, including penicillin and anticancer treatments. Up to 40% of Western Medicines utilize mushrooms. The "big three", magic mushrooms, a term coined by Jesse Chappus, are chaga, reishi, and cordyceps.
Lately, I've been curious on the effects of mushrooms in the body. Used traditionally in Chinese and Russian medicine, these mushrooms are increasingly being used in today’s holistic health industry. It is sold most commonly as a tea and coffee base. (find out why later)
Chaga mushrooms typically have the highest ORAC (oxygen radical absorbent capacity) score. The higher the ORAC score, the better it is at protecting us from disease causing free radicals. Because of the high ORAC rate, Chaga mushrooms are known as a high source of antioxidants.
Chaga, also known as "black gold", has been used to treat diabetes and gastrointestinal cancer. Similar to other medicinal mushrooms, chaga requires introduction of hot water or alcohol to break down the cellular walls for us to reap the benefits, which is why Chaga teas, like Black Magic Alchemy are available in such forms as to be added to our common morning beverage. Although mushroom teas are cropping up in popularity in the holistic community, these teas were commonly used during World Wars I and II.
‘Chaga tea’ was used for the treatment of an upset stomach and intestinal pains. Such a decoction was (and still is) especially popular among hunters and foresters, since this drink alleviates hunger, removes tiredness, refreshes, and increases work capacity. Chaga tea is also used as a means of improving the general tone.
Chaga is often called a "tree cancer" because it often kills its host tree. It grows mostly on birch trees and is not meant for spreading spores, like many other mushrooms in their final life stages. Often, the Chaga contains bits of the tree within its mass. The mushroom can be harvested off the tree once it hits three years, and than every ten, until it kills the tree. Chaga mushrooms are a fungus that produces a woody overgrowth, called a conk. Conks are used to produce medicine. The mushroom itself can grow to the size of a human head.
People take chaga by mouth for heart disease, diabetes, stomach and intestine cancer, liver disease, parasites, stomach pain, and tuberculosis.
Chaga is known for its numerous health benefits and is something we should be adding to our daily routine. Chaga isn’t an easy thing to come by unless you’re scavenging.
Why is this mushroom so magic? While further studies are needed, Chaga mushrooms may have the ability to kill cancer cells. Studies have shown in lab animals that Chaga mushrooms killed the cancer cells in the animals and boosted the immune system. It suggests that chaga may protect liver functions but is not recommended for diabetes, as it can lower blood sugar.
So how can we add it to our diets? Black Magic Alchemy has found an easy way to add this magical mushroom to our diets. Found in the form of a liquid, this potion is topped off in our coffees or teas.
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Best source I found for more information on Chaga and its history - Oriveda