Superfood of the month
A few years ago I was attending a David Wolfe workshop hosted by my friends at Giddy YoYo. I was super excited to be going to listen to this man, who was filled with the knowledge on health and wellness. When I arrived at the venue, there were tables set up with vendors offering superfoods, supplements, water filters and food to eat. I made my way over to the Giddy booth and was offered a mushroom tea. My first instinct was to thankfully decline. But after I listened to what I would be missing, I quickly said YES!
When I visualized mushroom tea, I thought of button or shiitake mushrooms. Which are delicious! But not so much in a tea. What I learned, however, is that Chaga Tea has been drank for hundreds of years by indigenous peoples and is considered ‘The King of Medicinal Mushrooms’
Chaga grows on mostly on Birch trees in colder climates. It doesn’t look like any mushroom you have seen, either in your grocer or in the wild. The appearance is more like a charcoal colour growth that is protruding from the bark. Once harvested from the tree, you discover the beautiful amber colour on the inside. There is another fungi that grows on a birch that resembles a horse hoof….be careful not to confuse the two!
Chaga has endless health properties and is super versatile in the kitchen. I make a tea that simmers all day that I enjoy on its own as a delicious warm drink and it also becomes the base for many of SoulShine’s soups, sauces, dressings and smoothies. Here are three of the most outstanding health benefits you will gain from adding this gem to your diet:
1. Chaga boosts your Immune System: Chaga is rich in a compound called beta glucans. These compounds assist your immune response and kick in when your body is in need, whether your immune system is under or over active. Chaga has even been shown to help in conventional cancer treatments and help to lessen the effects of chemotherapy.
2. Chaga has been shown to lower blood pressure and regulate blood cholesterol levels. Chaga contains Betulinic acid. These are powerful therapeutic agents that help to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) As an aside, betulinic acid are also being studied in relation to cancer and viruses!
3. Chaga is high in Super Oxide Dismutase. Super Oxide what!? You may have seen various supplements at your local health food shop that are high in SOD’s. These enzymes play an important role in protecting our body against the destructive effects of uncontrolled oxidation and free radicals. Which by the way, help SLOW down the aging process
So if this hasn’t convinced you enough to add this powerhouse superfood into your daily regime, I can also let you know that the flavour is AMAZING. It is a great sub for coffee, and we have some pretty amazing recipes for CHAGA CHOCOLATE that will convert you for sure! Check out the recipe section for ways you can add CHAGA in.