Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) is a medicinal mushroom that grows on birch trees in the temperate regions of the Earth and is known as ‘King of the Medicinal Mushrooms.' Used for thousands of years, chaga is revered for being the most adaptogenic substance on the earth, and has been used for centuries by tribes in the Arctic regions to assist the body's natural capacity to resist stress. Chaga is well-regarded in Scandinavia, Russia, China, Japan, Canada and other temperate regions as a health tonic.
If you’ve yet to hear about Chaga, then you’re in for a treat. Chaga is a medicinal mushroom (a mushroom that is more like a herb than a culinary ingredient!) and it is renowned as an anti-ageing superfood with more antioxidants than well-known superfoods acai, pomegranate and blueberries (and many other magical constituents, which we’ll discuss later).
Chaga, otherwise known as Inonotus obliquus, is a wild mushroom that grows on birch trees in temperate climates. It’s an incredible superfood that is revered by the locals to these regions - kind of like the Arctic’s version of cacao - and has been used by indigenous people of the region for thousands of years. In fact, the oldest preserved human ever discovered (found mummified in the chilly European Alps) was carrying chaga with him, presumably because he knew all about how special this mushroom is. Traditionally, Chaga was used by the Ancient Chinese, Korean, and Eastern Europeans, as well as Northern Americans, and it is widely known in these regions for its anti-tumour benefits.
As a fungus, chaga has a symbiotic relationship with the tree on which it grows. What’s most amazing about Chaga is that its DNA structure is 30% more human than it is plant! Its health benefits are so great that we’d need a whole book to talk about them all - luckily, David Wolfe has written that book, Chaga: King of the Medicinal Mushrooms, and he’ll be visiting Australia in March to talk about these new-wave of superfoods (as well as much more!). But for those who want the download now, read on:
• Antiageing, Anticancer and Antiinflammatory: Chaga is one of the best natural sources of the antioxidant, liver-cleaning, cell membrane-protective, genoprotective, longevity enzyme known as superoxide dismutase (SOD). Chaga contains more SOD than other rich sources such as barley grass, seaweeds, marine oils and even some essential oils. SOD repairs cells and reduces the cellular damage caused by the most common free radical in the body called superoxide - this means that Chaga is amazing for reducing internal inflammation, regenerating skin and other tissues in the body (great for eczema and psoriasis) and lessening pain associated with conditions such as arthritis, as well as extending life span in those who consume it. SOD is naturally occurring in human tissues, but declines with age, especially after age 30. Chaga now has been studied in nearly 1000 clinical trials, and the health benefits are clear, especially in treating cancers and tumours.
• Supports the Immune System: Chaga is rich in beta glucans, which help balance the body’s immune system responses. You could say Chaga is an immuno-modulator, in that it is is useful in both under and over active immune conditions (great for autoimmune disease sufferers).
• Better Blood Sugar: Chaga has a powerful effect on blood sugar regulation; animal studies show its benefits for reversing Type 2 diabetes in 90% of mice. If that’s not enough, Chaga has been shown to protect the intestines, reducing digestive inflammation (great for those suffering IBS and colitis).
• Happy Intestines: Chaga has been shown to protect the intestines, reducing digestive inflammation (great for those suffering from ulcers, gastritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and colitis). Chaga is also antiparasitic and antiviral, so helps keep the digestive system in tip top condition.
If that’s not enough, Chaga is super high in healing nutrients including triterpenoids, botulin, trace minerals (copper, chromium, selenium, zinc and more), major minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and more), vitamins (B2, D2), amino acid complexes and many more.
I hope this will inspire you to get Chaga into your diet - it’s hard to find in Australia, but there are some amazing Chaga mushroom extracts which are perfect for adding to smoothies, hot drinks (think your morning coffee, tea or hot chocolate) or taken alone with hot water, which is closer to the traditional use of Chaga in a tea. Make sure you get the best quality you can afford - look for wild-crafted, dual-extracted products for best effects.
About the Author:
Mason Taylor is a health educator, speaker, and podcast host with a special interest in sharing how to navigate this evolving world and the many health paradigms to create a unique and potent health philosophy and approach that helps people to feel safe, balanced and vital in their body.
He is the founder of SuperFeast, which aims to supply on the best quality tonic herbs, medicinal mushrooms and detoxification products to assist its tribe in finding the best health possible.
There’s a new South American drug hitting the Sydney party scene, but it’s not what you think!Cocaine has long been the drug of choice for Sydney’s party elite, but there’s a new substance that the kids these days are into, and while it shares its New World origins with cocaine, and can also be snorted, is a lot less potent and a lot more legal!
We’re talking about cacao, that Peruvian bean that has taken over the world and has given us chocolate, and the rise in ‘conscious’ cacao dance parties which aim to meet the needs of those wanting to experience the fun and oblivion of a big night out without the after effects to their body, mind and spirit.
WORLD’S BIGGEST RAW CACAO DANCE PARTYEvent organiser Mason Taylor, CEO of SuperFeast, is no stranger to these kinds of events, though he’s set the stakes high for his next venture, recently announcing the ‘Aztec Gold’ Raw Cacao Dance Party to be co-hosted by celebrity nutritionist and cacao expert David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe and held March 4, 2017, 6:30 pm at Marrickville Town Hall.
Mason brought the world’s biggest raw cacao dance party to Sydney in 2013 with over 500 people in attendance, and is back to see if he can break his own record, aiming for cacao-happy 700 partygoers at this next event.
WHY CACAO?Everyone knows that chocolate makes us feel great, and that’s why punters love it at dance parties, claiming an energy boost with every raw cacao elixir that keeps them raging all night long, without the comedown or hangover of the more common party drugs and alcohol.
Not just energising, in it’s raw state, cacao is one of the best super foods on the planet for opening the heart, relaxing the body (via its high levels of magnesium) and feeding the feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain.
According to David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe (author of the book Naked Chocolate), cacao has over 143 active components or phytonutrients in each bean).
Cacao can open up over 300 different elimination and detoxification pathways and is jam packed with neurotransmitters like serotonin, tryptophan, dopamine, anandamide and phenylethymide (commonly know as ‘the love chemicals’ or ‘the bliss chemicals’ because they interact with your brain to help elevate your mood.
WHAT TO EXPECTYou can expect an abundance of raw organic chocolate from Australian revolutionary raw chocolatiers Pana Chocolate (did you know Pana recently bumped Cadbury’s out as the chocolate of choice for a major Australian sports stadium?) and the opportunity to try cacao ‘snuff’ via a specially designed tool first created for a Rolling Stone magazine party.
Guests will also enjoy whole plant-foods provided by Sadhana Kitchen and raw vegan cacao elixirs provided SuperFeast, a purveyor of new-wave superfoods medicinal mushrooms, and the business that made acai famous, Amazonia.
In line with cacao’s South American origins, the theme is Aztec Gold; cacao was once currency in the Old World and partygoers are encouraged to douse themselves in glitter, gold bodypaint, bling, hotpants, or whatever else their heart desires, so long as they come ready to sparkle and shimmy their way into the early hours.
Guests will be treated to a live set from Central Coast-based festival favourites The Rhythm Hunters, a cacao ceremony with celebrity nutritionist and cacao shaman David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe (visiting Australia as a part of his multi-city tour), Triibal Movement with Shen Sismanoglu and electronic DJ set, with Azaya.
Other highlights include body-painting, Mayan massage angels, fire goddess Bella Fuego, a shamanic opening ceremony and sacred sound journey.
The mammoth episode many of you have been waiting for. This is part 2 of our childbearing series, and the one where Tahnee and myself dive deep into the practices, philosophy, diet, herbalism and more that went into creating the year in which Tahnee was childbearing little Aiya. This podcast was recorded during the first week of the bubba's life, so the sharing experience of the birth is fresh; something Tahnee was wishing to be able to infuse into this intimate sharing of how she chose to approach nourishing her body during pregnancy.
Here’s briefly what we cover in the episode plus some more extensive notes than usual from Tahnee for those who are on their own pregnancy journey:
* Pregnancy + Home Birth Plans
* How did I know?
* We found out at four weeks, basically I was very aware that something was different in my body!! We’d both felt the baby come in November, and exactly three months later we were pregnant, and I’ve heard that’s common
* Our Pregnancy diet
* we don’t follow a dietary plan, more intuitive
* generally vegetarian, though we do include meat in our diet, probably once or twice a week? fish, buffalo, occasionally organic chicken and beef, other wild meats (rabbit, goat, boar), broths/stocks
* more mindful of eating a variety of foods and definitely eat more quantity, smaller meals, regularly
* organic and local as much as possible - farmers market and Santos/Source keep us fed
* fridge/freezer is stocked
* wild foods, high mineral content
* fermented foods
* Best supplements during pregnancy
* I didn’t take a lot of vitamins or anything like that, apart from lipsomal vitamin C
* lots of herbs, mostly tonics, plus raspberry leaf and nettle, slippery elm occasionally, yellow dock, dandelion, milk thistle, ginger
* lots of probiotics
* iodine until I saturated
* personally most concerned about losing minerals as bubbas drain mamas (for every baby a tooth, is an old saying!) so been keeping up the minerals
* estroblock when we had it, just one cap per day of the pro
* clays and charcoal (you might’ve heard of pica - desire to eat clays - common in pregnant women)
* DHA, EFA: fish oil, also raw seafood, fish and oysters
* sea minerals
* The best tonic herbs and medicinal mushrooms during pregnancy
* best suggestion is reishi, but I took everything in the SuperFeast range at various stages, kidney jing herbs lately (postpartum) to heal and boost recovery
* Best herbs during pregnancy
* avoid steroidal herbs, emmenagogues
* check out Susun Weed’s book and Aviva Romm
* Symptoms of pregnancy
* been lucky, apart from tiredness and needing to eat a lot more, I’ve had very little to complain about. Have felt body change, but that’s been fine, I’ve enjoyed being pregnant. Heartburn when my uterus got really big (apparently babies with lots of hair give their mamas heartburn…), but that stopped when baby dropped, ‘growing pains’ around my ribs (like when I was a kid), car sickness if I had an empty belly
* Pregnancy cravings / changes
* started eating meat again, pretty mindfully
* needed lots of simple carbs in the first trimester, regularly. Like, every two hours. Bilbo Baggins style - breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoons I wasn’t a hungry, but at least one snack and then dinner. And often needed to eat in the middle of the night. So I did. 😃
* waking up starving - that’s new for me!
* generally more calories
* haven’t put on much weight, I don’t think, except for boobs and belly and in third trimester around my bum and hips. I haven’t weighed myself
* Exercise during pregnancy
* yoga - only consideration, IMO, is how the mother feels and to listen to her body - if you’re a regular yogi, you will be less flexible in certain areas, this is OK, it’s not about extreme ROM it’s about being mindful about what needs support during the transitions — for me, pecs (chest - boobs!!) and lower traps, rhomboids, hip flexors, quads, glutes and lateral body (QL and thoracolumbar fascia) - I have avoided a lot of ‘hip openers, they made my pelvis feel unstable (deep hip flexion, ext rotation, e.g. pigeon), though I’ve loved square…
* Used a lot of props, have not gone deep but have stayed in poses for a long time. Early pregnancy I wanted to be very active, so preferred more active, mobile classes, teaching ashtanga etc lots of Embodied Flow with Tara Judelle on YogaGlo.
* WALK! I think this is the best thing you can do - I TRY and walk daily (an hour, in nature, but that’s changed as I’ve gotten bigger) - most ‘traditional’ women walk on average 5 kms per during their pregnancies, so I tried to do about an hour a day…that’s dropped off lately, as I get crazy contractions when I walk
* swimming - though mostly just a dip
* stay active - most important, I think
* Lots of additional pregnancy tips
* Vit D on boobs, belly as much as possible = naked sun time
* saunas in winter (short, until I felt too hot, not forced), hot tub
* massage, moxa
* yoga nidra
* Home birth prep and planning
* really just made sense to me, was only option as far as I was concerned. I did not want to be travelling during labour or after birth
* super lucky to have access to the midwives program, through the Byron hospital
* two experienced midwives and one student attended birth, Daddy delivered
* birth pool hire - Birth Afloat (small heated pool)
* spring water - Wild Oasis (filled and added Crystal Energy and sea salt)
* placenta encapsulation
* other tips - buy lots of old towels from op shop!!!
* herbs for post-birth - jing herbs (cordyceps, deer antler, eucommia bark), reishi, lion’s mane, placenta, daily tonic tea: schizandra, raspberry leaf, nettle, vanilla, rhemmania, chaga.
- Ina May Gaskin: Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding
- Aviva Romm: Natural Pregnancy
- Sarah Buckley - not so much her book, but her interview with Daniel Vitalis about hormone cascades was awesome, ReWild Yourself podcast
- Susun Weed: Wise Women’s Herbal for the Childbearing Year, and her blog
- Jeannie Pavarti Baker - all her books
- Tami Lynn Kent: Wild Feminine, Mouthing from Your Centre
- Jane Hardwick Collings: Ten Moons
- didn’t get to read this, but it looks good, Jenny Blyth: Down to Earth Birth
- Penny Simkin: Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn
- Roy Dittmann: Brighton Baby
You’ve been waiting… and now our annual Chrissy Sale is on!
The “Santa Is A Mushroom Chrissy Sale” means that the mushroom-gifting Santa Clause has blown his shamanic breath all over our range of mushrooms and tonics to make them all a whopping 20% off store wide from now until we finish up before chrissy on the 23rd.
We’ll be getting your special orders out to you as quick as a flash so you can give the gift of superhuman health this Chrissy in the form of the best tonic herbs and mushies this world has to offer to your friends and family.
AND, for our SuperFeasters outside Australia, we’ve gone ahead and discounted the shipping to you all so you won’t pay more than A$20 for us to get the herbies up on Santa’s mushroom-tripping-reindeer sleigh (he may deliver them you a little later than Christmas however :wink:)
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!
SuperFeast's founder Mason Taylor and his partner Tahnee McCrossin are due to give birth to their first bub Nov 26, 2016. For those of you who are pregnant or approaching pregnancy, they've recorded this special podcast discussing their childbearing year. Stay tuned for Part 2.
This is a special episode, part 1 of our Pregnancy Prep and our Childbearing Year. For months my beautiful partner @tahneeyoga and I @masonjtaylor (especially her though) have been asked about our approach to pregnancy thus far. So on the 39-week mark of growing our baby we sat down together to share with you all the ins and outs of how we have prepared in this 2 part podcast. Tahnee especially dives deep in this episode into how she has cleansed her body over the years leading up to conception via deep organ detoxification.
What you’ll learn:
- The role the liver plays in pregnancy and why cleansing it is critical
- How to embody detox and nourishing practices into your lifestyle so your body is always prepared for pregnancy (or just to have a rocking hormonal system)
- Simple techniques for removing heavy metals from your system so your baby doesn’t get overloaded
- Why men must prepare for pregnancy just as much as the woman for the sake of the child – Simple yet powerful techniques for cleansing and healing the gut so you can bring your micro biome back into balance
- How the gut bacteria a woman is passed over to be her child’s immune system
- Why you must look back into your past for clues into what you need to cleanse and nourish in your body – Our top herbs for cleansing the parasites out of your system
- The best and most effective order for deep organ cleansing
- A breakdown on the best tonic herbs to restore strength to your system so it is ready for the childbearing year
- How learning to release tension assists conception and creates ease in pregnancy
Link below, ENJOY!