What is Chaga?
Chaga is a mushroom that is classified in the family of "Medicinal Herbs". It's a fungus that grows primarily on Birch, looking like a sort of crunchy black mass protruding out the side of the tree. When it's components are properly extracted, this mushroom is one of the best substances on earth at eradicating dis-ease, and promoting well-being. Chaga is vital for our health because it provides 215+ necessary vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, that we are not able to get from foods in our supermarkets. We personally harvest our Chaga mushrooms with our bare hands, sustainably in the wild, to ensure maximum potency, and quality. We believe the potency of our mushroom medicine comes down to it's wild nature- the natural biodiversity and soil quality in the mountains of VT where we pick the Chaga is stunning. One cup of tea and you'll feel the healing power of nature.
Where Do You Source Your Chaga From?
We source from the North Eastern United States of America. Mainly (about 95%), the mountains of Vermont, with an occasional find in the forests of Western New York.
We always harvest from Birch Trees to ensure the presence of betulinic acid, and only harvest sustainably. In everything we do, we go to the greatest lengths to express the utmost love and respect for nature.
We often couple our Chaga Hunting with a camping trip, bring friends, enjoy ourselves in the nature, and carry that loving, friendly energy with us into the creation of our mushroom medicine.
What are the Benefits of Chaga?
A quick list of benefits that is not exhaustive:
Gut Health // Anti-Inflammatory // Digestion // Immune System // Physical Endurance //Creativity // Clarity // Meditative Mind // Balance // Improved Mood // Nutrient Absorption & Assimilation
Chaga mushroom has 10 times the amount of antioxidants as acai berry and 46 times more than the blueberry. Antioxidants reduce free radicals in our body. As we reduce the free radicals in our body, our stress response lessens, we stop degeneration of our vital tissues, and as a result a myriad of healing in our joints, organs, skin, and mind begins to happen naturally.
Chaga mushroom is super rich in minerals. Our diets are greatly lacking in minerals because we are no longer getting them in necessary amounts from our soil. Practices like spraying chemical pesticides and monocrop agriculture have stripped our soil of necessary minerals which results in a mineral loss in the final crop. When our bodies lack minerals...the foundation of health...much disease is allowed to manifest in our body. Chaga is a hero and a reminder in our modern age- when we let nature work in harmony, we experience great health. (This brings up a larger picture solution which lies in reforming the way we farm and the way we think about food, remaining connected to the most Natural way)
Chaga mushroom is rich in a rare compound, betulinic acid. This acid is present in Birch trees. The prime function of betulinic acid is to induce "apoptosis" or programmed cell death of cancer cells. A cool added benefit is the beautifying effect on our skin, hair, and eyes.
Chaga mushroom is rich in melanin which stimulates pineal gland activity. Stimulation of the pineal gland results in the release of melatonin which, contrary to popular belief, doesn't "make us go to sleep". Melatonin helps to align our body & mind with the circadian rhythms of the earth. This allows your energy to rise with the sun, reach it's peak at midday, and set with the sun. You could even say that the Pineal Gland helps to unify our inner and outer worlds. Yogis hold this understanding, naming the pineal gland the "3rd eye". Ancient Egyptians also believed the pineal gland to be the center of the brain, the place related to connecting with the divine. No matter what you choose to believe, a healthy pineal gland is part of a healthy body and the effects you'll feel as a result will be healthy ones.
Chaga is like a natural multivitamin (over 215 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients) with all the proper co-factors necessary in order for it to be absorbed and assimilated (aka...you won't just pee out your vitamins like you would after taking a traditional multi-vitamin. P.S. that neon green color to your pee means none of those vitamins made it into your bloodstream.)
Chaga is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-parasitic. Understanding that the inside of your body is a living organism...there is a tough truth to accept. There are fungus, bad bacteria, microbes, and squirmy parasites feeding off of you. Okay, kinda creepy, but also true. Chaga's action is vital in maintaining a healthy internal environment, free of all the visitors that wish to mess with the harmony of your body.
Chaga is anti-quorum sensing. What is quorum sensing? (Nerds, this is cool) So, bad bacteria use a method of communicating to come together and form into clusters. When they form a cluster, their strength grows, their quorum sensing ability grows, and essentially you become a breeding ground for bad bacteria. When you ingest Chaga, this anti-quorum sensing action occurs where the bad bacteria can no longer communicate and form into groups. This leaves them isolated and in effect, less powerful. If you understand the power of a healthy microbiome, this is likely really great news.
Chaga modulates the immune system. What this means is that Chaga will enhance the protective qualities of your immune system, making you better at staving off viruses, bacteria, harmful fungal infections and mold. While it strengthens this aspect of the immunity, it also reduces the amount of stress causing cytokines released during a stress response. The reduction of cytokines in our system creates an anti-inflammatory effect, helping those who suffer auto-immune disorders to find relief, and the average human to mitigate the effects of intense bouts of lifestyle stress.
The best news yet? Studies are just getting started with Chaga. Every day, new benefits are discovered, new applications are tried and understood, and more and more respect for natural medicine, and mushrooms in particular, is being created. Like being a pioneer? The personal and individual benefits of Chaga abound. They are different from person to person and that is the most exciting part for us. The adaptogenic quality of mushrooms gradually bring balance into places of the body and mind on a holistic level. We've had accounts of people curing 5 year old back pain. We've had people tell us their self-assuredness and confidence increased. We've heard many times how it has increased people's energy...which has led to more playdates with the kids, more adventures in nature, more progress on business, higher performance in athletic practice, and more. We hear that it has gotten people's poop cycle back on track. We hear that it has helped with muscle fatigue, tired eyes, and glowed up the skin. We get to hear things like this all the time! We hope we hear something beautiful and personal to your experience too.