Chaga: King of the medicinal mushrooms

David Wolfe often says, ‘why take medicinal mushroom or herb number 100 or thousand when you can have number one?’ And that number one is chaga.

Chaga is something amazing given to us from nature. It is also the most fascinating. Once you discover it you really get hooked on finding out more about this amazing creature of the forest.

David Wolfe is so obsessed with chaga he has written an entire book on it! Here with David’s personal permission I have extracted only a few sentences, just to give you slight idea of the amazing health benefits of chaga. I would of course hugely recommend you to read David’s book; Chaga, King of the medicinal mushrooms.

‘We are nearing a critical mass of people who are shifting their energy and financial power away from a bankrupt, misdirected, environmentally destructive pharmaceutical model of ‘disease care’ to a sustainable, preventive, health-building, self-responsible model of wellness. Superherbs are likely our best allies in the global healing movement.

The king of medicinal mushrooms is chaga. This royal moniker comes to us from traditional Siberian shamans, who crown chaga the most powerful member of mycelium kingdom. Chaga constitutes perhaps the greatest storehouse of medicinal healing properties of any single mushroom, or any herb for that matter.

Chaga is a remarkable medicinal mushroom that grows on living trees. It grows most abundantly in nearly all species of birch found in the circumpolar temperate forests of earth’s northern hemisphere. As a food-herb and nutrient, chaga is a premier herbal adaptogen (a metabolic regulator that increases an organism’s ability to adapt to environmental factors and resist stress), cancer fighter, immune-system modulator, antitumor agent, gastrointestinal (digestive) tonifier, longevity tonic and DNA-shielding agent.

Various substances found in chaga possess powerful anticancer and antitumor properties. Anecdotal evidence from Russia associates consistent chaga intake with resistance to all cancers, all of which make chaga an excellent adjunctive superherb to support any cancer-fighting protocol. It is particularly recommended for the following cancers; bone, brain, breast, carcinoma, cervical, colon, hepatoma, leukemia, liver, lung, medulloblastoma, melanoma, neuroblastoma, ovarian, sarcoma, squamous cell cancers of the head and neck, stomach and uterine.

The myriad benefits of this alkaline, medicinal tree mushroom can be gained in various forms. One can dry wild chaga and make tea with it; eat it fresh, or dry it and eat it; and make special alcohol and alchemical extracts from it.

Chaga tea and chaga mycelium are safe and important health-food products for all ages (1 to 101+ years of age) and all stages of life, including pregnancy. Barring rare tree-mushroom allergies, pregnant women can take chaga tea and chaga mycelium daily during their entire pregnancy.

To date, no side effects or toxicity of chaga have been reported.

Luckily for all of us, chaga has already been classified by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as ‘food’.

It is legal for distribution in the European Union, and it is classified as a medicinal mushroom by the World Trade Organization.

Chaga is impressive in appearance and effect. It is a mysterious denizen of this earth and one of the strangest creatures of the forest. Its burnt-charcoal, lightning-struck appearance is unmistakable.

A resident of temperate forests in the northern hemisphere, chaga prefers growing in living birch trees near springs, riparian areas of streams, wetlands and marshy regions.

Chaga seems to favour yellow birch and white birch above all host trees. Chaga loves the cold. As long as birch can grow, then the colder the weather, the better.

Chaga was most notably introduced to the West by Russian writer Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s somewhat autobiographical novel The Cancer Ward.

As Solzhenitsyn describes in his novel, the ideal of chaga gives you the single-pointed focus to heal yourself, to wonder the forest like a wounded animal after one goal: to get well.

Having worked in the alternative-health field for twenty years, I find this to be profound’

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