May 18, 2016 by Living Girl Living Foods
I apologize for the unintentional hiatus. I noticed a growth of food related websites and wasn’t sure if I should keep going with my site. I keep needing to remind myself, as long as I feel something is healing and worth sharing I should keep going and mind my own business haha.
Today I have a Chaga Lemonade recipe to share with you all. My next few posts will be focusing around summertime medicinal concoctions.
If you are curious about Chinese herbs, tonics, and other medicinal practices I highly recommend using a mushroom herb as part of your daily wellness practice. I stress wellness practice, health seems to be a quick remedy that doesn’t always last. But a wellness practice is a self care action plan that continues, grows and aids day in and day out.
Technically, Chaga is a highly concentrated black mass of mycelium that protrudes from birch trees infected with parasitic–but non-toxic–fungus Inonotus Obliques. The dark, hard and cracked exterior, which often appears like burnt charcoal, is called the sclerotium. The interior has a rusty yellow brown color. It has a rather bitter taste and depending on the brand sometimes it tastes slightly earthy.
Chaga is often purchased in a powdered form or as a tea, usually one can find it online. Depending where you live, you may be able to find it at a local farmers market (often the higher up in New England you are the more luck you will have). In powder form is has a brown coloring, sometimes will notes of gold or a deep red.
Here are a few health benefits:
Stimulates and regulates the immune system – Chaga has an abundance of Beta-D-Glucans which help balance the response of the body’s immune system. This means that chaga helps boosts the immune system when necessary, but slows it down when it’s overactive.
Nutritional support in the fight against cancer – Chaga has proven effective in supporting standard cancer approaches, such as chemotherapy, by compensating for the program’s negative side effects. I am absolutely not saying that Chaga will ease cancer progression; however, evidence suggests there may be vital compounds in the mushroom that warrant further investigation into its role.
Reduce inflammation – Chaga supports the integrity of blood vessels and provides soothing properties in times of irritation. This can be helpful for those suffering from pain, neuropathy, and even diabetes.
Anti-aging & skin / Antioxidant – Here is the main properties that make Chaga an antioxidant, anti-aging, and oodles more:
Chaga contains structural polysaccharides within its chitin walls, providing energy, cardiovascular health, intestinal and liver health, and promote healthy blood sugar levels. It may also improve one’s mood.
Beta-D-Glucans are known for their ability to modulate the immune system. Beta-D-Glucans help with normalizing cholesterol levels and blood sugar.
Of the phytosterols present in Chaga, 45% is Lanosterol, 25% is Inotodiols and the remaining 30% consists of Ergosterol, Fecosterol, and several others. In vivo and in vitro testing shows a direct effect of both Lanosterol and Inotodiols on cancer cells, with lanosterol imparting a positive effect on viral compounds.
Betulin and Betulinic Acid (Triterpenes)
Betulin and betulinic acid are powerful therapeutic agents that are currently being researched for their effects on supporting healthy cholesterol levels. In addition to their favorable benefits for maintaining a healthy cholesterol profile, betulin and betulinic acid are also being studied in relation to cancer and viruses.
Chaga sclerotium contains massive amounts of the natural black pigment known as melanin, which has high antioxidant levels due to the amount of polyphenols it contains. In fact, chaga has the highest ORAC score (the measure of antioxidant potency) of any superfood.
SODs are another important antioxidant present in chaga. SOD refers to a group of enzymes called Super Oxide Dismutase. These enzymes play an important role in protecting our body against the destructive effects of uncontrolled oxidation and free radicals. SOD potency is measured by the S-ORAC score.
Ulcers and Gastritis – Due to its immune boosting properties, Chaga has long been used to support gastrointestinal health in Eastern culture. Most ulcers are caused by bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori, so a well-functioning immune system can fight off this pathogen.
Supports normal cholesterol levels & blood pressure – Studies have shown that the Betulinic Acid found in Chaga is able to break down LDL cholesterol–bad cholesterol–in the bloodstream (source).
Aids the organ meridians: speed, heart and lung
Now that we have discussed what Chaga is, the forms we may find it in, and the health properties let’s see brewing.
Juice of one lemon, or if you prefer limes that’s A-OK
1 teaspoon – 2 teaspoons of Chaga powder depending on your daily usage
Optional & according to your taste 2-4 drops of liquid stevia, a spoonful of honey or whatever your preferred sweetener is!
Another yummy option or variation using half water and half coconut water or just straight up coconut water if you don’t mind the sweetness
1 cup of your preferred liquid mixture
Stir, shake and enjoy xo please note there will be little clumps or visible tiny tiny pieces of the herb.
I hope this gets us all inspired for some new summertime wellness brews that also taste delicious. Thank you all for taking the time to stop by my website. Many thanks, much love ❤ and raw power 😉