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Health Any kind of health issue, alternative medicines, herbal and folk remedies, etc.

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Old 03-06-2018, 04:22 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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Default Chaga

Chaga is a mushroom or fungus that grows on damaged spots of birch trees, particularly in cold climates, such as we have here in Maine.

There are thoughts that drinking a tea made from chaga can lead to a variety of health benefits, including:

The prevention and treatment of cancer. It is supposed to be able to inhibit cancer progression, and prevent liver cancer cell growth, by somehow making the cancer cells more vulnerable to the body's natural immune system.

It is believed to stimulate the immune system by increasing the production of certain immune cells.

It is said to be a potent anti-viral, to reduce inflammations, and increase physical endurance.

I don't know whether I believe any of this stuff, but I haven't found anything suggesting that it was harmful.

Generally, it is used by making a tea of it. The chaga mushroom is very hard, having a texture more like charred wood than any other mushroom you've come across.

But it can be broken up into chunks. A small chunk of chaga is place in boiling water, which is then set to simmer for about an hour until the water turns a dark reddish or brown color.

To me, it tastes more like coffee than tea, but it's not bad.

I have had cancer twice now. I had prostate cancer more than a decade ago. It was treated with radiation only, and has not recurred. Then, a couple of years ago, they found thyroid cancer in my right thyroid. Tests on the left side were inconclusive, so they recommended removing the left side as well. It turned out not to be cancerous, but the surgeon refused to put it back. Damn him.

Anyhow, I am doing fine but, of course, cancer is a constant fear now.

I am under no delusions that drinking chaga tea is going to keep me from getting another cancer, but I don't see any reason to believe that it would do any harm.

That stuff would be pretty expensive if I were going to buy it, and I would probably want to be more persuaded, than I am, that it would actually help before I invested a bunch of money into buying the stuff.

But, I have a hundred acres of woodlands in northern Maine that has a lot of birch trees on it, and I probably have enough chaga there to keep me going for quite some time.

What do you think? Even WebMD suggests that it might be of some use. Google it; or, better yet, Bing it, as Bing has better results than Google.
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Old 03-06-2018, 04:51 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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A better place for this thread would have been the Medicinal Plants/Wild Edibles sub-forum. I did to a search, but it turned up only posts that were in archive, as far as I could see. There is already a thread in the medicinal plants sub-forum on Chaga, so that would be a better place for any replies. Sorry.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:11 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is online now
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Do you gather your own chaga? It is a big thing here with the rural folks. A number of people gather it and sell it to supplement their meager incomes, but I have never done it myself. I would make sure your vitamin D levels are up if you have a tendency toward cancer. Those of us in the North have to keep our D levels high even if we are outside a lot, especially in the winter.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:36 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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Yes, I do. I am not so convinced that it works that I'd pay the kind of money people want for it. As it is, it's free to me, I like the taste, and I am convinced that it won't kill me, so why not. I have a friend who sells it but she tells me that they actually farm it by making nicks in some of their birch trees. I don't know, but she says the chaga usually grows around damaged parts of the tree.

I drink chaga twice a day.

The first time I use it, I take a small chunk of chaga (usually about one inch thickness) and place in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then reduce it to simmer until the water has turned dark red or brownish. Then it's ready. I drink the chaga tea, which doesn't have to be strained because it's a solid chunk, and set the chunk of chaga aside.

Later that day, I do pretty much the same thing, only the second time that I use it, I might have to let it simmer longer before the water turns the right color. I set the chunk of chaga aside.

The next day, I break the chaga into a couple of pieces, and place the pieces in boiling water. Usually then, it doesn't have to simmer too long before it's ready. I might have to strain the water because sometimes it doesn't always break into two even pieces, so there might be smaller pieces as well. I place the pieces of chaga aside, and use it one more time as I did the first day.

I could probably go further, and pulverize it, then strain the tea after using it, but I generally put the pieces of chaga in the compost after the second day, and use another chunk of chaga the third day.
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Last edited by kfander; 03-07-2018 at 01:39 AM. Reason: Adding something
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