Chaga is a mass of mycelium/sclerotia of the Inonotus obliquus fungus. Found typically on birch trees in the northern hemisphere. It is sometime referred to as the “King of medicinal mushrooms”, or “King of medicanal herbs“. Chaga hosts an impressive list of benefits. It has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants out of all the “supper foods”. Melanin and Superoxide Disutase (SOD) are two of those antioxidants. Phytosterols and Beta-Glucans are another important component of chaga that reduces LDL cholesterol and may reduce your chances of getting heart disease. Betulin, and Betulinic acid which have been shown to have anticancer and antiviral properties. Chaga can be prepared in a decoction as a “tea” or in an alcohol extract. Alcohol extract is recommended as it contains the full biochemical signature of the chaga. Typical dosage with a decoction is about a tea spoon of chaga powder per cup of “tea” or about 0.5ml – 1ml (10 to 20 drops) of alcohol extract. One to two times a day during aliment. A true jem of the bush! Please harvest responsibly as chaga grows very slowly!
–huffingtonpost.ca (chaga health benefits: 7 reasons to consume this mushroom)
One day decided to take my son out for a quick camping trip. We ended up journeying out into the Loon Lake Saskatchewan area. Along the way we saw lots of different plants that were traditionally used for food and medicine. Edible berries everywhere: raspberries, strawberries, saskatoon berries ,blueberries, bunch berries, currants, gooseberries, chokecherries, fairy bell berries, rose hips and hazelnuts too. So for dinner the one day we decided to forage for our food. We were able to find all kinds of wonderful wild goodies. Berries and hazelnuts as an appetizer, and for dinner was a soup made from cattail root, broadleaf plantain, and dandelion. This needs to be boiled up for several hours or for the whole day if possible. This softens up the broadleaf plantain and allows the starches in the cattail root to come into solution, making a very nice creamy soup base. Cattail root is very stringy, so chop it up against the grain or pull out the strings after boiling. Broadleaf plantain is a really amazing plant! It is full of vitamins, minerals, and numerous medicinal properties as well. Allantoin is one of those medicinal compounds. It is soothing and promotes healing of injured skin cells. The seeds contain mucilage which can relieve irritated mucous membranes; is an excellent source of fiber and makes a nice crunchy snack. Broadleaf plantain leaves can be pan fried in oil and makes a really nice crunchy chip that almost melts in your mouth, with a flavor like kale chip. What amazing free food!
Dandelion is another really great plant, loaded with vitamins A, C, E, and B-complex, with iron, calcium, and potassium for minerals. Very nutritious and added a nice flavor to the soup. Dandelion leaves can also be fried up into chips. For our beverage we made a tasty tea. Wild mint, pineapple weed (wild chamomile), and a strawberry leaf were boiled then strained through braided grass. The menthol in the wild mint really clears the sinuses, and mixed very nicely with the sweet flavor of the pineapple weed. An amazingly flavorful and soothing cup of tea. All in all the food we ate was much more flavorful and much healthier than the normal store bought food we normally eat. Plus it didn’t cost anything, just had to pick it and dig it. The way nature intended.
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