G.A.L.A. and Jack Mountain Bushcraft School are excited to announce the final feature of their 2015 monthly NH Re-skill-ience Workshop Series, hands-on workshops focusing on homesteading, sustainable living, and traditional bushcraft skills. The workshop series is designed to help participants develop skills and knowledge that strengthen personal and community resilience. The next workshop, Chaga & Winter Herbs to Build Immune System presented by Dina Farrell from The Olde Ways at Mustard Seed Farm will take place at the Kingswood Youth Center on Wednesday, December 2nd, 6-8pm. The cost to participate in the workshop is $15.00. REGISTER HERE or by calling GALA at 603-569-6460.
Are you ready to build your immune system to prevent winter ailments? Did you find some chaga on a birch tree but not sure what to do with it? Join Dina Farrel as she shares some tips of the trade from The Olde Ways at Mustard Seed Farm where she embraces the ageless knowledge and timeless traditions of natural healing and beauty. This upcoming workshop will focus specifically on using herbs to build the immune system and learning how to use chaga, also known as the “king of medicinal mushrooms”. Participants can expect to enjoy a cup a chaga tea, learn about natural self-remedies using winter herbs, and make their very own healing salve.
The key to a functional, strong immune system is balance—keeping the immune system calm and happy on a daily basis, and ensuring it is primed and ready to respond when needed. Healthy immune function starts with what you feed your body. Plant foods tend to be anti-inflammatory, so consuming lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is an important aspect of good immune function. Regular exercise and managing your stress are also essential aspects of a strong immune system.
Certain herbs can help support your immune system on a long-term basis. Garlic, for instance,
is full of compounds like allicin, ajoene and thiosulfinates, powerful molecules that help your body prevent and fight infections. Garlic also has a rich history of being used topically to disinfect wounds and fight fungal infections. Horseradish, cayenne and ginger are all considered “blood movers” in Chinese medicine. They stimulate blood flow and can kill off many microbes. Oregano and thyme are full of aromatic compounds that also have potent antimicrobial action. They can be consumed as a culinary spice or as a tea, inhaled to deliver the herbs to the sinuses or lungs or taken in capsules if a stronger medicine is needed (www.motherearthliving.com). Why is chaga considered the king of medicinal mushrooms? There are many claims about how the chaga mushroom benefits our health, some of which are true, some of which are questionable. Chaga HQ, one of the leading online sources for the latest information about the chaga mushroom investigates the merits of each of the following 7 purported uses for chaga.
1. Stimulates and Regulates the Immune System Chaga stimulated the activity of certain immune cells in laboratory-based experiments. Like many medicinal mushrooms, chaga is rich in Beta-Glucans which help balance the response of the body’s immune system. I.e. Chaga helps stimulate the immune system when needed and slows it down when it’s being overactive. This makes Chaga a natural BRM (Biological Response Modifier). Clearly, having the immune system well regulated like this, helps with many health issues as you’ll read below.
2. Nutritional support in the fight against cancer Previous studies have shown that chaga can inhibit the progression of certain cancers and activate subsets of immune cells. Research is in progress to study its full anticancer potential, as more studies are needed to confirm its effects as an anticancer agent in humans. Although the full potential of Chaga as a cancer treatment is still unclear, it has proven effective in supporting standard cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. Here, it can compensate for the negative side-effects these treatments have on the body (including; nausea, fatigue, insomnia, poor appetite, etc.) by boosting the immune system (see point 1).
3. Reduces Inflammation Chaga’s ability to reduce inflammations is linked to its immune supporting properties (see point 1 above). Also, the high level of antioxidants in Chaga can have a positive effect on inflammations.
4. Protects Liver There is currently no scientific evidence that supports this use.
5. Anti-aging & Skin Inherently, the Chaga Mushroom contains a high level of anti-oxidants, but the amount consumed will vary greatly depending on how/where the chaga was harvested and the extraction method used. Typically, a high quality chaga extract will provide a very high level of anti-oxidants, turning Chaga into powerful anti-aging tool and thus benefiting your skin. Antioxidant power can be expressed in an ORAC-value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity).
6. Helps with Ulcers and Gastritis In folk medicine, Chaga was often used to treat gastritis and related gastrointestinal problems. Again, the immune support, along with the Betulinic acid and Phytosterols present in Chaga, play a key role here, both in treatment and prevention. Most ulcers are caused by bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori, so a well-functioning immune system will be able to deal with this pathogen.
7. Normalize Cholesterol levels & Blood Pressure Research has showed that betulinic acid (a compound found in Chaga) is able to break down “bad cholesterol” in the bloodstream. In addition, Beta-Glucans have also proven to help with cholesterol levels. By normalizing cholesterol levels, Chaga contributes to lowering high blood pressure and promotes a healthy cardio-vascular system
Chaga & Winter Herbs to Build Immune System workshop takes place from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, at the Kingswood Youth Center on Wednesday, December 2nd. The cost to participate in the workshop is $15.00.