Cacao beans are originally from Ecuador and mean “Food of the Gods.” They are from a species of tree called Theobroma cacao. The English evolved the pronunciation to “cocoa,” which is used today. In raw form, they have a high concentration
of antioxidants that help cells repair themselves and stay healthy. Cacao contains many nutrients such as magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and vitamin C. Chocolate is made from cacao beans.

The cacao bean contains about 50 percent fat. It is composed of palmitic and stearic acids which are part of the saturated fatty acids and another unsaturated fat called oleic acid. Cacao beans do not raise blood cholesterol because their content of saturated fats is very low. The sugar content is very low in the bean. It is in the form of a simple sugar much like table sugar. Because the content is low, sugar is added when making chocolate for a more desired sweet taste.

Cacao beans contain antioxidants called polyphenols. Much research has focused on polyphenols in the last ten years. According to the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” polyphenols support a role in preventing cardiovascular diseases and cancers. This is because the antioxidant properties stop the oxidative stress on cells that can lead to degenerative diseases.

Cacao beans can be eaten right off the tree. They are reported to be quite bitter, but tolerable. These beans contain needed minerals such as iron, calcium and potassium, according to nutritionist Gillian McKeith. Iron is needed by red blood cells to ensure enough oxygen gets carried through the veins. Without iron, a person could feel fatigued and dizzy. Calcium helps maintain bone health. Potassium is needed to keep the heart healthy and strong.

Cacao beans contain vitamins needed in the daily diet. Vitamin C helps your immune system and can be also found in foods such as orange juice. Vitamin A keeps your eyes and skin healthy. Other vitamins in these beans are B, D and E. Though these vitamins are also included in multi-vitamin supplements, chocolate should not replace a vitamin or a balanced diet.

One ounce of cacao beans contains approximately 170 calories. The fat calories are about 117, no cholesterol. One ounce is about 16 beans. When cacao beans are processed into chocolate in the commercial trade, milk, cream and sugar are added. Per the USDA, one ounce of chocolate is slightly lower in calories: 152 calories, 76 fat calories. However, the cholesterol is seven milligrams.

Olives are one of the ancient foods recognized by humans, dating back some 8,000 years in the Mediterranean region. The olive tree was respected as a symbol of peace and happiness, despite the fact that olives were used as food and a source
of oil. Olive leaf extract boosts energy, and is a naturalelement that can improve mood and overall happiness.

The origin of Olive, a small tree of the Oleaceae family, was in the eastern Mediterranean coast and Northern Iran and is at present grown in several countries such as Spain, Italy, Australia, Argentina, Greece, Turkey, and California. Over thousands of years, The health benefits of olive oil have been documented by many prehistoric physicians like Hippocrates, Galen, Dioscorides, and Diocles. Olive fruit is yellowish green and the young olive can be consumed raw or eaten after preserved, while the color of the ripe olive fruit will be black. Olive oils are typically made from olives that are old.

Olives are available in variety of colors ranging from green to brown to purple to black, with flavors just as varied ranging from sweet to sour. However, all olives in fact begin only in green color. Unripe olives are extremely bitter and cannot be eaten due to a substance called ‘oleuropin’. In order to obtain a tasty edible fruit, they must have their bitterness removed through several curing processes. Olives are picked at different stages of ripeness. Once they ripe, they gradually turn from green to black. They are then cured using one of several processes, such as, soaking in oil, brine or water, or dry packing in salt. A more artificial, but quicker method which takes only a few days for removing the bitterness mainly for canned black olives is soaking the olives in ‘lye’. However, it removes much of the olive’s original flavor.

The essential nutrients found in Olives are:

Vitamins A, B complex, C, E, K, Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Selenium, Zinc, Omega-3, -6, -9 fatty acids are the vital nutrients that are present in olive.

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat and antioxidants like chlorophyll, lutein, poly phenols and carotenoids.

There are wide-range of benefits of Olives and olive oils:

Whole olives contain the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal antioxidant called ‘poly phenols’. Olive leaf contain anti-microbial substances are effective to combat a number of fungi, bacteria and viruses.

Olives are known to increase production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and stimulates the immune system.

Olives has a useful protein-to-fat ratio and it stays alkaline.

Olive oil may also be used as massage oil to maintain softness and moisture skin. One can use olive oil and mix with bath soap or body lotion. Also, olive oil is believed to erase fine lines and wrinkles.

Olive oil may be used reduce thickened skin on the soles of the feet, and also to strengthen nails.

Olive oil is as very effective to maintain the firmness and shape the breast.

The vital constituent present in olive leaf is called ‘Oleuropein’. It is a phyto chemical, meaning it comes from a plant that aids to get rid of infection without the use of a chemically made antibiotic. Oleuropein has also been revealed to possess antioxidants that help to prevent diseases, bacteria, and viruses from developing in the body.

Olive leaf extract, and the oils that are obtained from it are known to regulate circulation in the body by aiding blood to flow very smoothly through the veins and arteries. Consecutively, this assists to defend against heart disease and heart conditions that can lead to additional risks.

In a study, Researchers at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain discovered that a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil helped to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and significantly stimulated an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol.

The chemical element chloride in the olive fruit can help to improve liver function in order to work better so that helps the body in removing waste materials.

A recent study of Annals of Oncology found a monounsaturated fatty acid found in olive oil known as oleic acid has the ability to decrease the affect of an oncogene, a gene that will convert a host cell into a cancer You do not have access to view this node. This specific oncogene is linked with the quick growth of breast cancer tumors.

Olives are also used to help lower blood sugar levels and lowers high blood pressure and bladder drug.

Olive leaf has long been used in early Greek civilization as a wound cleanser

Linoleic acid is an acid that is found in olive fruits. This acid is incredibly useful for breast feeding mothers as linoleic acid deficiency can decrease the baby’sgrowth and increase the probability of several skin diseases.

Other olives health benefits are to contribute to the body structure, thus making the body become stronger.

Valuable Vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K present in olive oils provide health benefits in human health as these vitamins helps the growth of bone and mineral levels in the body of children and adults.

Applying olive oil on hair and scalp care is a correct solution for healthy hair, since the olive oil nutrition can repair damaged hair cuticles while offering more moisture to the hair so it can make the hair softer, healthier, and shiny.

Grown beneath the earth, root vegetables seem to have seeped in all of mother nature’s natural healing benefits. Whether you’re eating carrots in a salad, minced onion in a stir-fry, baked yam as a sweet side, or any of the other following
vegetables, your body’s sure to thank you. Here’s a breakdown of some of the healthiest foods pulled from under the dirt.

Ginger: This root vegetable is the underground stem of the plant Zingiber officinale and has been used as a digestive aid by the Chinese for more than 2,000 years. With such broad benefits such as helping treat arthritis, nausea, and heart conditions to relieving colds and headaches, ginger is nature’s practically perfect panacea.

Onion: Peel off as little of the outer layers as possible, because the onion’s flavonoids, which provide antibacterial benefits, are more concentrated in those areas. Onions have also been shown to increase bone density, especially for older women, have anti-inflammatory properties, and lower esophageal- and mouth-cancer risks.

Garlic: “The stinking rose” is known for its numerous health benefits; whole books are dedicated to its cardiovascular, antiviral, cancer-preventative, and metabolism-boosting qualities. Garlic specifically has a set of sulfur-containing compounds that help protect against oxidative stress, which often leads to less than pleasant inflammation.

Fennel: Widely used in mouth fresheners, toothpastes, and antacids, but also a lovely addition to salads, fennel’s essential oils offer huge nutritional benefits. If you’re low on red blood cells, fennel has been used as a natural treatment for anemia, especially because it is heavy in iron. Indigestion, constipation, and respiratory disorders, are among other ailments fennel can help cure.

Yam: With more than 200 varieties, yams vary from yellow to purple. They are all, however, great sources of vitamin B6 and potassium. Many people tout that wild yam extract, which contains diosgenins (chemicals that act similarl to progesterone), helps provide an alternative to hormone replacement for menopausal women. While studies have yet to confirm this, Chinese herbal medicine has been using yams to improve organ function for centuries.

Carrot: It’s common knowledge that carrots make your eyesight better. What makes the orange-colored root great for vision health is its beta-carotene content, which is converted to vitamin A, travels to the retina, and protects against macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness. Perfect for dipping in your favorite hummus or dressing, studies have also found that carrots promote lung health.

Radish: The ancient Greeks held such high opinion of radishes in the medical field that Greek physician Androcydes used to instruct his patients to eat daily servings of radish to prevent intoxication. Radishes are high in vitamin C and have are helpful in lowering cholesterol, curing urinary tract disorders, and increasing the supply of fresh oxygen in the bloodstream.

Beet: These red and golden vegetables are packed with unique phytonutrients called betalains, which provide support for the body’s antioxidants and detoxifcation process. Make sure to add beets to your daily diet to help clean out your system. In addition, lab studies of human tumor cells show that beets’ betanin decreases the cells’ growth.

Since ancient times, the artichoke has been used for liver and gallbladder conditions, ‘cleaning’ the blood, as well as the bladder. The Egyptians highly prized it as a health and diet food and Plinius described it as the ‘food for the rich’ because of the health problems contributed to a ‘rich’ life style – excessive in rich foods, fats and wine that led to liver illnesses (such as cirrhosis), gout and a general run down condition.

The artichoke is very high in fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and other trace elements important for a balanced system. It is known to positively help poor liver function as well as lower the blood sugar, improve the appetite and digestion, is diuretic and may help some migraine conditions (most especially those caused by toxins in the blood). As it helps the body rid itself of excess water and moves toxins it also has the added side effect of an improved skin luminosity.

In a poor diet of excessive drinking (most especially strong alcoholic drinks), high red meat and fat consumption, the artichoke can boost the liver’s ability to regenerate its cells.

The liver’s main function is the metabolic transformation of nutrients from the food we eat. It also detoxifies certain poisons. An overstressed liver obviously cannot function properly, which among other things results in poor assimilation of nutrients and increased toxins in the blood. This will eventually adversely affect the entire body causing numerous ailments that are often only symptomatically treated. What is amazing are the numbers of people who abuse their livers and hence their bodies, think they eat well, yet are suffering from a form of malnutrition – a word one associates with poverty and third world countries.

Artichokes only have about 25 calories. They are excellent for weight loss and maintaining optimum health. Artichokes are extremely filling and two or three of them will suffice for a complete meal with amazingly no fat, tons of fiber and an abundance of vitamins. They are easy to prepare, just steam them. Serve them with a little Apple Cider Vinegar and some lemon and balsamic vinegar.

There are 125 medical schools in the US with only 30 requiring a course in nutrition. The average Doctor receives 2.5 hours during the entire eight years of education. The most common cause of death in the US is heart attacks. Every 45 seconds someone dies of a heart attack with the average risk of having a heart attack for an average man is 50%. 95% of the population are meat/dairy eaters. If you eliminate meat and dairy from your diet all together, you reduce the risk of having a heart attack by 90%. The average cholesterol level of people eating meat-centered-diet is 210 mg/dl . Chance of dying from heart disease if you are male and your blood cholesterol level is 210 mg/dl is greater than 50 percent. I talk about so many dangers of meat consumption on this page from the environment to animal cruelty and to the health and well being of humans. There is no food worse for you than meat and dairy. There is tremendous evidence that this food group is the number one cause of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. People still smoke and it says right on the package that “smoking causes cancer.” People still drink alcohol and it is a surety that excess drinking causes liver cancer, heart disease and the addiction of alcoholism. People will still eat meat and dairy no matter what evidence and repercussions they experience. Meat and dairy consumption is such a drag on our economy, our healthcare, the environment and the ethical treatment of animals. While McDonald’s and Burger King explode in sales and store openings, so do mortuaries and heart disease wards. There is no end to the epidermic of human diseases, animal suffering and the depletion of our natural resources as well as the pollution of our waters, air and land. Something for sure has to be done and done quickly as our resources are running out. Super-sizing in people is a repercussion of super-sizing 64 ounce cokes, triple size bacon/cheese burgers and pizzas the size of small aircraft. Our healthcare is a major political issue and a huge portion of our debt is because of the high increase in healthcare. Very little is spent on preventive medicine. People like Jamie Oliver who goes to schools and educates kids on a healthy diet is being banned in cities like Los Angeles because kids were not eating the high fat foods the schools offered and opted to bring fresh fruit and vegetables. This is so wrong as it shows our economy depends on the fast food industry to survive and our schools depend on the sales of sodas, salted snacks, candy bars and pizzas. People should be subsidized for a healthy diet, organic farms should be subsidized for growing health foods instead of animal agricultural farms being subsidized to offset the high cost of raising animals for food. Our entire system is backwards. We have no preventive healthcare in place and until we do, our planet will just get sicker and sicker……..

Now, if you look at your clock and see these numbers 2:22, 3:33, 11:11, 12:12, then this is the universe trying to alert you to something, it is crucial that you listen.

Numbers that appear like that are no coincidence. They bear secret information from the world beyond.

They attest to a deeper understanding of our lives that we often don’t notice during the daily hustle and bustle of life.

One of the most valued numbers are 11, and when it is in the form of this 11:11, then its significance is even higher.

The numbers above say that your cell memory is activated.

What this number does is activate your memory to remember something that you can’t recall. The 11:11 is a number that tells you that you are doing the right thing and that you are in tune with a higher reality.

This number also points to some divine connection between the terrestrial world and the spiritual world. It is crucial that you notice when this event takes place. They are special times, and they are charged with spiritual energy.

When you notice this happening, it is essential that you make a wish or stay still and be in the moment. Feel the forces of the higher reality. As you do that, see if you can recognize the boundary between the real and the unreal. Trying to do this will help you concentrate on seeing beyond the physical realm and when you do that you will realize that everything is in some way connected. The seen and the unseen.

If you see the numbers 11:11, it means that you are about to feel the unconditional love that has made you a being. And with this, you now can become alive and one with your consciousness. That would help get answers to the deeper questions that you have always asked. These questions could include ” What is the purpose of the human race on earth?” ” What role do I play towards helping the human race get closer to that goal or purpose?” Remember that we can only get fulfillment when we offer our service to others.

Now, the epiphanies that you would get from such a fantastic experience can’t be explained in words. It has more to do with feeling an atmosphere of incredible events. Such events can lead to the activation of the third eye, also known as the chakra.

These significant numbers all have deep meanings, and these meanings have to do with all the steps of levels of our spiritual sojourns on this terrestrial planet.

11 shows that we are being born into some kind of new beginnings. It is encouraging us to restructure our lives to fit our pursuit of goals that we cherish. The goals that existential questions lead us to and when we pursue this dreams we would find genuine and long-lasting happiness.

Here is the foundation for the code that you’re learning if you want to start reading the signs you’re getting “by the numbers.”

Seeing 1’s – new beginnings, focus on the positive, you’re manifesting what you think about so clean up your thoughts! Also is oneness with God or the Universe and feelings of unity.

Seeing 2’s – this is the energy of balance, partnership, of bringing the masculine and feminine energies together. It’s a message that all is well. Trust and patience is required. Right action, healthy emotional boundaries, and love are required. It can also be telling you that something in your life is out of balance.

Seeing 3’s – represents the trinity of mind/body/spirit. It’s bringing you a spiritual message. This is your sign from the higher source that you believe in – God, Buddha, Jesus – whatever you believe in. It’s also the energy of communication, joyful self-expression, and emotional sensitivity. It’s telling you to live “in joy” as much as possible.

Seeing 4’s – this number indicates the opportunity to grow in perfect balance with a partner. If you see this number, your guides are assuring you that they hear you and are helping and supporting you. It can indicate hard work is needed to achieve a goal and that you’re either craving security or feeling boxed in by limitations. The message: Cultivate flexibility.

Seeing 5’s – this is the number of change! It’s telling you that change is occurring – and it’s always for the better and in line with your personal and spiritual evolution. Embrace change, let go of the old, and tap into your sense of adventure.

Seeing 6’s – this is the number of guidance, duty, service, and love. You might be feeling worried about something in you life when this number shows up. It’s the Universe’s way of telling you to relax. “Worrying is like sitting on a rocking chair. It may give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” This number is a teacher of truth.

Seeing 7’s – this is a mystical and “lucky” number. It marks both beginnings and endings. Think of it in terms of the 7 chakras, 7 days of the week, 7 days to create the world, and so on. Lucky number 7 . . . when you see this number, you’re being given the message that you’re on the right path and whatever happens will exceed your expectations.

Seeing 8’s – this is the money, power, and abundance vibration. It’s also the number of cosmic consciousness and Infinity. If this number shows up it’s telling you that there is an endless supply of abundance in the world. It’s telling you to step into your power and make it happen.

Seeing 9’s – this is a sacred number in Numerology. It’s all about completions, letting go of the old to make room for the new. It’s about finishing, saying good-bye, and moving forward with open arms. As Tom Stoppard says: “I look on every exit as an entrance to someplace else.” This is a sign to hop to it and get to work on your higher sense of purpose. No lolly-gagging in indecision and procrastination. Start taking the steps to manifest your higher sense of self.

Overall, when you see repeating numbers, the Universe is giving you recognition and validation that you’re on the right path OR it’s giving you a warning and a “heads-up” to clean up your thoughts and align more consistently with your sense of purpose.

Source: wonderneed

You already know that there are tremendous health benefits of eating natural whole grains, legumes and a variety of fresh organic fruits and vegetables every day.

Alfalfa, broccoli, radish, clover, sunflower, legumes and grains sprouts are ‘superfoods.’ Sprouts is a ‘live food’, that contain several essential nutrients and minerals that you won’t get from fresh vegetables and cooked grains and legumes. Sprouts contain several compounds that improve digestion and are rich in antioxidants. Sprouts like broccoli, radish, and clover offer as much as 50 times the nutritional value of the mature vegetable. The same with beans like mung, adzuki, and garbanzo. Here are some key benefits of eating sprouts:

Sprouts contain oxygen. Because sprouts are a ‘living’ food, they contain hundreds of molecules of oxygen, which is essential for healthy cells. Oxygen-rich foods can ward off viruses and even kill off bacteria. You need a fair amount of oxygen-rich foods in your diet to enjoy the benefits, and sprouts can help you achieve your nutrition balance for the day!

Sprouts have an alkalizing effect on the body. Your body needs to be alkaline in order to be healthy, and there are several foods and toxins that can offset this balance. Sprouts are very alkaline, so you’ll be helping your body achieve balance with ease.

Sprouts contain healthy fats and EFA, the essential fatty acids your body needs to perform basic body functions. You need a certain level of fat in your diet in order to ward off infections and strengthen your immune system. Sprouts are rich in EFAs, so they can support a healthy diet and keep your metabolism functioning at its optimal level.

Sprouts are natural sources of fiber. Fiber helps keep your digestive system healthy and helps you feel fuller between meals. Eating more fiber can support your healthy diet and reduce the risk of constipation. Loading up your sandwich or a meal with sprouts can give your daily fiber counts a boost, and help you digest your meal easily.

Sprouts can give you a dose of vitamins B and C. Sprouts contain a number of vitamins and minerals, and the quantities are even greater when you soak the seeds overnight. Soaking the seeds overnight increases the levels of vitamin B, so you will always be doing your body a favor by doing this.

Sprouts are very low in calories. Sprouts contain only 9 calories per ounce, and these are a combination of healthy carbs, protein, and healthy fats. You can load up your pocket pita, sandwich and salads with generous amounts of sprouts to enjoy all of the benefits of this amazing vegetable – and do it guilt-free!

I make a salad loaded with organic broccoli, radish, clover, pea, mung, garbanzo and adzuki bean sprouts along with organic beets, red cabbage, carrots, celery, and parsley. I add avocado, lemon and apple cider vinegar. I call this my longevity salad.

Sprouts are grown inside, so look around your community and you will most likely find a local organic sprout farm… They are also called micro-greens, which is actually the most used term….. You can also grow your own… Better natural food stores like Whole Foods and of course your local organic food co-op will have them for sure…

Chaga, Inonotus obliquus, is a rather unusual looking medicinal mushroom species that’s not your typically polypore but one that grows as a black sclerotium or conk on the side of living trees.

The birch tree, being its preferred tree of choice, is believed to hold the most nutritional elements needed for the mushroom’s growth and condensed amount of beneficial myconutrients.

Inonotus obliquus has been a widely utilized ethnobotanical species in Russia, Scandinavia and Baltic regions throughout human history.

Naturally growing wild in colder climate zones of the Northern Hemisphere, including Canada and North America, it is highly adaptable to environmental extremes which encourage the release and concentration of immune responsive compounds, antioxidants and various phytochemicals needed for its continued survival.

Consumed as a decocted tea, hot water extract or liquid solution, the mushroom is considered a nourishing “superfood” and medicine for its transferred immune-modulating and protective influence.

Dark, rich chaga tea is a delicious tasting hot morning beverage with a bitter-sweet full-bodied flavor and makes a great coffee alternative if you’re trying to reduce caffeine consumption. Or likewise, powdered extracts can be added to coffee, teas or elixirs.

Here on this page, we will discuss chaga-specific nutrients and how this profound species can serve as a preventative healthcare approach to support long-term immune system functioning and well-being.


Health Benefits of Chaga Mushroom

Properties as a Biological Response Modifier and Adaptogen

The Inonotus obliquus mycelium, growing as a hard cork-like mass, works in relationship with the immune defenses and lignins of its host tree. Over a period of time, it builds up potent compounds that are edible to humans and likewise identified to encourage healthy immune functions.

One of the constituents created are the class of polysaccharides called beta-glucans.  Also found in other medicinal mushrooms, like reishi, coriolus and maitake, these are highly structured molecules with a developed length and frequency of branching side-chains.

They are often called “biological response modifiers” (BRMs) because of their potential ability to “modify” or “modulate” biological immunity either by increasing or suppressing immune response, depending on what is most needed by the organism. (*)

Chaga mushroom needs to be heated via hot water or alcohol to release its beta-glucan content. It can be consumed as a daily tea or extract to help restore and maintain optimal immune system responses.

Frequently called the “king of mushrooms”, Inonotus obliquus is a hardy fungal species adaptable to growing in extremely cold climates commonly reaching -40 °F (-40 °C). These conditions help to produce certain constituents like triterpenoid saponins, similar to those present in tonic herbs like gynostemma, ginseng and astragalus.

Regular use of adaptogens, like chaga, are proposed to improve the body’s ability to build resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue as well as environmental pollutants we are all invariably exposed to in our daily lives.

In this sometimes overwhelming fast-paced modern world, we feel that dietary adaptogens can be extremely important therapeutic superfood allies for maintaining long-term health over the course of a lifetime.

The best types of chaga to consume for highest benefits are WILD varieties that have matured to at least 5 years or older. This is because the adaptogenic compounds slowly build up potency and are developed through seasonal exposure to extremely cold temperatures.


Antioxidants and Other Immune Supporting Myconutrients

Antioxidants are molecular substances that can be naturally created by the body or acquired through dietary sources. They are known to be one of the key factors that control how fast humans age. Internal production of these micronutrients can decline significantly as we grow older, so it becomes especially important to increase consumption through the foods we eat as we move along in chronological years.

Antioxidant-rich food sources are valued for their ability to shield the body against the damaging effect of “free radicals” and protect against damage to cellular tissue and DNA structure.

Chaga is known to have one of the highest amounts of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants of any plant-based food or herb (*), a substantially dense array of which are concentrated into its black and rusty colored pigmentation.

Inonotus obliquus antioxidants include:

  • betulin
  • betulinic acid
  • lupeol
  • inotodiol
  • lanosterol
  • ergosterol
  • lanostane
  • melanin
  • superoxide dismutase (SOD)
  • beta-glucans
  • tripenoid saponins
  • zinc

Contains Betulinic Acid, Lupeol and Other Antimicrobials

One of the main active components unique to Inonotus obliquus is its high concentration of betulinic acid. This, along with lupeol, is a metabolite of betulin, a white powder-like material common to many birch species that holds powerful antimicrobial attributes.

Chaga extracts these triterpenes out of the tree bark, condensing a significant portion into its black sclerotium and into a form digestible by humans when prepared as a tea or tincture.

Both betulinic acid and lupeol have been shown to possess a wide spectrum of biological and medicinal activities that have been studied for their antiviral, antitumor and anti-inflammatory qualities. (*)

We like to buy whole one-pound chaga chunks for herbal preparations because they also come with a good portion of this potent burnt-like outer layer. Most quality suppliers, however, will always use mushrooms with a certain percentage of this exterior crust for highest beneficial nutriments, like betulinic acid.

Inotodiol, Lanosterol, Ergosterol and Lanostane

Two other antimicrobial compounds found in chaga include inotodiol, lanosterol as well as lanosterol’s metabolites, ergosterol and lanostane. The term antimicrobial makes reference to four main subcategories: antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitical and antibacterial.

These chaga-derived sterols can provide immune-supporting actions and, like other mentioned antioxidants, may help to combat oxidative damage to cellular DNA structure. (*)

From our personal experience, we have found the consumption of chaga tea to be a profound therapeutic ally for combating potential latent viral infections that can, over time, disrupt our innate immune responses and increase the risk of certain autoimmune diseases.

Regular consumption of the mushroom extracts or teas may also be able to greatly assist in eliminating the overgrowth of fungal yeast strains, like candida, in the GI tract. Because the intestinal tract works with the immune system via the “gut-associated lymphoid tissue” to make immune cells, maintaining a healthy diverse community of yeast and bacteria in the colon plays a major role in human immune function.

Chaga’s anti-inflammatory properties have also been traditionally used as a medicinal folk remedy for gastrointestinal disorders like ulcers, colitis and gastritis.

Rich Source of Melanin, Can Help to Protect the Skin

Also found in the crusted charcoal-like layer is the natural pigment called melanin. The word melanin in Greek means “black or dark” and is the pigmentation that gives the eyes (pupil), skin and hair their color. Also found in the nervous system, adrenals and pineal gland, it is a nutrient produced by the body, but can become depleted with stress, genetic triggers and age.

Chaga is one of the highest sources of dietary melanin in the plant world and can be taken to nourish nutritional deficiencies. It is found to be a potent antioxidant with potential DNA repairing actions and genoprotective effects. (*)

One of the top claimed health supporting properties of melanin uptake is that it helps to shield the skin from UV sun damage and radiation exposure. It is believed to do this by dissipating a large percentage of radiation as heat via a process known as “internal conversion”, an essential quality for providing photoprotection.

For this reason, many leading health experts consider internal consumption of chaga tea and preparations to be useful as a natural sunblock and radioprotective supplement.


How to Use

Chaga Tea

While it is an edible mushroom, it is not typically ingested like culinary mushrooms due to its tough cork-like texture.

Most people, however, enjoy the rich taste of chaga tea as it has a pleasantly sweet, earthy and slightly vanilla-like flavor due to its vanillic acid content.

Although raw powder or tea bags can be simply infused into hot water, for highest health-enhancing effects it is best to simmer it in water for a period of time.

When using powder, decoction brew time is reduced compared to large pieces. When using powder, because there is more surface area, only 20-30 minutes simmering time is needed.

Larger conk chunks can be brewed on low heat for 1-8 hours, depending on the size. Lowholenger simmering times are believed to produce a stronger decoction and release more beneficial myconutrients, like triterpenes and beta-glucan polysaccharides. Decocted chunk pieces can be reused to make more tea as they still contain these valuable components.

When infusing straight ground powder into hot water, remember that it doesn’t dissolve and will need to be strained out.

Normal fruits and vegetables in Thailand are full of chemical pesticides!
56% of fruit and vegetables in Thailand, have chemical pesticide residues above the maximum allowable limit!!!
This % become worse (70,2%) in modern trade outlets as Tesco Lotus, Makro and Big C!
The Q Mark is not a safe guarantee, because unsafe for 61,5% Fruit and vegetables in fresh markets are unsafe for 54.2% of the test. Fruit and vegetables which have the Organic Thailand or other certified organic labels, are unsafe for 21%.
In Japan and the European Union, excessive chemical residues are only found in 4% of samples (in Thailand 56%).

“Pesticides are intended to kill unwanted organisms” but not only the agricultural results, pesticides also affect wildlife and human health, some can be lethal. More than 1,000 pesticides are widely used in agriculture in order to increase yield, improve quality and extend the storage life of crops.”
This is the report
Thai PAN has published the results of their second round of testing on chemical pesticide residues for 2016
Thai PAN has published the results of their second round of testing on chemical pesticide residues for 2016. It found that just over half the samples of fruit and vegetables tested contained chemical pesticide residues. Fruit and vegetable from supermarkets and labelled with the Q Mark were most frequently found to have problems. Once again, oranges, Chinese broccoli (kana) led the pack as the most frequently unsafe. As many as 20% of all samples tested were found to be contaminated with chemical pesticide residues that have already been banned and are not permitted in Thailand.

Today, the Thai Pesticide Alert Network (Thai PAN), led by its Coordinator Prokchol Ousap, held a press conference to release the results of the second round of testing on chemical pesticide residues in fruit and vegetables for 2016. Random samples of 16 commonly consumed fruit and vegetables were collected on 23-29 August 2016. This included red chilli peppers, holy basil (kaprao), long beans, Chinese kale (kana’), morning glory (pak bung), Chinese cabbage (prakadkhawpli), cabbage, cucumber, Thai aubergines (makueapro’), and tomatoes. The 6 fruits tested were oranges (Nam Pueng variety), papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe, guavas, and dragon fruit. A total of 158 samples of fruit and veg were obtained from various sources. Own brand and unlabelled produce were collected from three modern supermarkets, Big C, Makro, and Tesco Lotus, and from three wholesale freshmarkets, Taladt Thai, Taladt Pathom Mongkol in Nakorn Pathom province, and Talat Sri Mueang in Ratchaburi province.

In addition, samples of fruit and vegetables labelled as “safe” and “organic” were collected from major stores and supermarkets such as Gourmet Market, TOPS, Home Fresh Mart, Max Value, Villa market, Lemon Farm, Golden Place, and Foodland. The samples were analysed in a laboratory certified with the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard, and tested for over 450 different chemicals for chemical pesticide residues using a multi-residue pesticide screen (MRPS). Overall, it was found that, of the 158 samples of fruit and vegetables, 56% had residues above the maximum allowable limit (MRL).

Ms Prokchol revealed that the source from which fruit and veg samples were most frequently found to have excessive residues were the modern trade outlets. As many as 70.2% of the samples from these three sources had pesticide residues above the maximum limit. From Tesco Lotus, 12/16 samples were unsafe, while Makro was next with 11/16, and Big C with 10/15 samples. As for the fresh markets, a total of 54.2% of samples had pesticide residues at levels above the maximum limit. The results for Taladt Thai were 10/16; Taladt Patom Mongkol 9/16; and Talad Sri Mueang 7/16. Prokchol noted “Talad Sri Mueang has initiated an interesting project, promoting the production of safe produce by farmers, dedicating one building to the sale of these products. The results clearly show that this was the source where the fewest contaminated products were found.”

The vegetables which were most frequently found to have excessive pesticide residues included Chinese kale with 10/11 samples, other results included red chillies 9/12, long beans and holy basil 8/12, morning glory 7/12, Thai aubergines 6/11, cucumber 5/11, tomatoes 3/11. Meanwhile, cabbage and Chinese cabbage were the least frequently contaminated, with 2/11 and 2/12 samples, respectively, found to have residues above the MRL. These results were consistent with the results of Thai PAN’s previous monitoring of residues over many years. As for the fruits, those most often found to have excessive chemical pesticide residues were Nam Pueng variety oranges for which all samples (8/8) were found to be contaminated. Results for the other fruits were dragon fruit 7/8; guavas 6/7; papaya and watermelon 3/6, and 3/7 respectively; and cantaloupe 1/7.

The test results revealed that vegetables which carried labels certified by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives were also frequently contaminated. In particular, the Q Mark was found to have excessive pesticide residues in 16/26 samples or 61.5% of samples. This is a higher frequency than the results of the testing carried out in March this year when 57% of Q-marked samples were found to be contaminated. Fruit and vegetables labelled “safe”, but without any associated certificates, were found to have residues above MRL in 5/10 samples.

Fruit and vegetables which have the Organic Thailand brand, certified by the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards, were found to have excessive pesticide residues in 2/10 samples. Other certified organic labels returned similar results, ie 2/9 samples. Produce which was labelled as “organic” and sold in different modern trade stores, but which do not refer to any certification scheme, were found to have excessive pesticide residues in 4/8 samples. (Pura Notes: because of these failures “Organic Thailand” Certification has in the meantime been discontinued, controls were deemed below par, and too easy to obtain. The government is aparently working on a new standard)

“One thing we need to realise is that chemical pesticides classified as type 4 hazardous materials –which are no longer allowed to be used in Thailand, that is Dicrotophos, Endosulfan, Methamidophos, and Monocrotophos – as well as type 3 hazardous materials which have not been authorised for use by the Department of Agriculture, that is Carbofuran and Methomyl, were found in 29/158 samples of fruit and vegetables, or 18.4%.“

Kingkorn Narintarakul Na Ayudthaya, of the Food For Change campaign, which works on food issues together with Thai PAN, called on the government to raise the issue of chemical pesticides safety as a national agenda. She noted that in Japan and the European Union, excessive chemical residues are only found in 3-5% of samples. She also called on the relevant government agencies to reform, as a matter of urgency, the food standards certification system of the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards. She said they should stop trying to promote organic agriculture standards, because it is not possible to show that produce labelled with government certification marks are any safer than other general produce on the market. (“Organic Thailand certification”)

Concerning the finding of prohibited chemicals in fruit and vegetables, Ms Kingkorn said “it is the responsibility of Suwit Chaikiattiyos, as the new Director General of the Department of Agriculture, to sort this out. He should cooperate with the Consumer Protection Police Division, using the evidence provided by Thai PAN to trace back and arrest those possessing or selling the above chemicals, who should be punished without delay”.

“Consumer groups should keep a close eye on the actions of the different government agencies involved and should be ready to collaborate with Thai PAN to use legal measures and consumer campaigns to reform our food and agriculture system to be safer in the future” said Ms Kingkorn.tag

High blood pressure is one of the most common ailments to affect man today, yet it is also one of the most easily remedied conditions.

While most people just accept high blood pressure as a common sign of aging, changing your lifestyle is the key to destroying that ridiculous “old age” myth…

Cutting all processed foods, meats, dairy and restaurant food you consume, along with eating nothing but whole and natural foods, combined with moderate exercise and adequate rest, is the corner-stones to reducing high blood pressure and maintaining a healthy, energetic life.

Fortunately, Fall provides a bounty of foods that are not only tasty but have just the right ingredients to get your blood pressure on track.

Squash, such as pumpkin, butternut squash, kabocha, and banana squash, is a delicious addition to any meal (or as a meal!) for those looking to lower and maintain healthy blood pressure. Squash boasts an impressive amount of the minerals magnesium and potassium, as well as some calcium. Adequate amounts of these minerals are important for maintaining healthy blood pressure, as they directly help to regulate proper blood vessel function (and thus blood pressure). In addition, squash contains numerous other beneficial nutrients, such as Beta-carotene and Vitamin C. Both these nutrients are important for helping to reduce inflammation in your body — reducing levels of inflammation is also important for reducing high blood pressure, but also important for reducing your risk for all other diseases, especially heart disease.

Brussels Sprouts are one of the most health-promoting foods you can consume! When it comes to blood pressure, they’re almost ideal! Brussels sprouts contain an impressive amount of potassium, one of those all-important electrolytes important for regulating blood pressure. Being a member of the cabbage family, they also contain large amounts of Vitamin C, Beta-carotene, calcium, fiber, and beneficial phytonutrients that decrease inflammation and help reduce your risk for all forms of cancer.

Apples are said to keep the doctor away for good reason! This fruit seems commonplace in the face of other ‘superfruits’ (like pomegranate and açaí) that we tend to forget it’s substantial health benefits. Apples contain a unique kind of soluble fiber called pectin. Pectin has been linked to lowering high cholesterol levels, reducing body inflammation, improving elimination, and reducing high blood pressure. Apples also boast a respectable amount of Vitamin C and an antioxidant called quercetin, which has been shown to increase oxygen availability in your lungs, thereby increasing overall endurance and relieving stress on your body.

Pumpkin Seeds, also known as pepitas, are usually available year-round at most grocery stores, but can be made fresh during the Fall! Pumpkin seeds contain large amounts of magnesium, an important mineral for maintaining healthy blood pressure and blood flower. A single serving of pumpkin seeds (1/4 cup) can contain as much as 50% of your recommended daily intake of magnesium! Pumpkin seeds also boast significant quantities of Vitamin E and zinc, two important nutrients required to promote optimal health, including supporting a healthy libido. Pumpkin seeds are especially beneficial for men, with numerous studies suggesting that consuming pumpkin seeds regularly will help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Yams are extremely beneficial to helping to reduce high blood pressure. Yams contain ample amounts of those important electrolytes magnesium and potassium, and also a hefty quantity of Vitamin C. Yams take the nutrition level up from potatoes in that they also contain large amounts of Beta-carotene, helping to reduce your body’s inflammation. In addition, yams having a lower Glycemic index than potatoes, making them an ideal choice for those looking to regulate blood sugar.

Kale is a nutrient powerhouse of a vegetable. Like the Brussels sprout, it is also a member of the cabbage family. I posted recently about the full health benefits of kale, but it’s so nutritious it was worth mentioning again! Kale contains a very large quantity of potassium, but also contains large amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, and Omega 3 fats — all of which are important for regulating a healthy blood pressure, and largely work in conjunction with each other!

No Fall or Winter is complete with the blood pressure reducing herb that is Cinnamon! While cinnamon is largely known for being delicious, it is most frequently touted for helping to regulate blood sugar levels. However, more recent studies have also shown cinnamon to be an important addition to helping regulate healthy blood pressure levels. The blood pressure regulating the effect of cinnamon has been shown to be even more powerful for those looking to regulate blood sugar levels. While it is unknown exactly why cinnamon is beneficial for regulating blood pressure, it likely has to do with lowering overall inflammation in the body. Sprinkle cinnamon on your oatmeal in the morning, or especially on your baked apples, oatmeal and squash!