Ara Wiseman


(Written by Tara Portelli)

Chaga: The Diamond of the Forest

When you stumble upon a tall birch tree and you look up to admire the unique colour and texture of its bark, your eyes may drift to the sight of a black, coal-like fungi extending from the trunk. Although not visually pleasing, what you may not realize is that each layer of this fungus contains a multitude of unique medicinal properties that are not found anywhere else within the plant kingdom. Dense in nutrients like antioxidants and B vitamins, this mushroom has amazing cancer-fighting capabilities.

Known as the most sought-after mushroom in the world, chaga has been used for centuries by the natives of China, Siberia, Poland, Japan, Finland and North America.

The Japanese have rightly labelled chaga as “The Diamond of the Forest”. With therapeutic properties that are everything from anti-inflammatory to anti-microbial, this fungus is undeniably the best in its class. Higher in antioxidants than any other mushroom, chaga has the ability to neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals, protecting our bodies from the formation of cancer cells, while clearing away harmful toxins. Specific strains of chaga found only on birch trees are considered the most potent, containing a substance called butulinic acid, which has cancer fighting properties.

Chaga mushrooms go above and beyond in their nutritional density, containing numerous B vitamins, flavonoids, phenols, minerals and enzymes, all important in the support of our bodies’ everyday functions. As if that wasn’t enough, chaga is also an amazing source of pantothenic acid, an important vitamin required by the adrenal glands to help increase the body’s resistance to stress.  Used as a blood purifier and pain-reliever, it seems that the properties of this fungus are endless.

With their ability to strengthen our immune systems, prevent and even destroy cancer cells, boost energy and stamina, coupled with an amazing nutritional profile, these mushrooms truly live up to their name as “The Diamond(s) of the Forest”.

How to make chaga tea:

In a medium-sized pot, allow 1 to 4 tablespoons of chaga powder to soak in a liter of pure water for about an hour. Heat the water to your preferred temperature. It does not have to be brought to a boil to enjoy the therapeutic benefits. Strain the liquid and save the chunks to reuse at a later time. You can consume chaga tea hot or cold.

Tara Portelli is a passionate health care professional, dedicated to preventative medicine. For the last 6 years Tara has worked as a licensed Paramedic, where she witnessed the worst of people’s health.  Determined to help prevent illness, she has gone on to study as a Holistic Nutritionist and a Personal Trainer and currently practices both, allowing her to help others take control of their personal health holistically.

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