As a seasoned outdoorsman and wild chaga hunter myself, I wish to briefly address the misconception and downright falsehood of various Internet claims concerning chaga and its purity. This information is for anyone seeking wild chaga tea for chaga health benefits.
Wild Chaga takes an average of 4-5 years to be harvestable. Trees infected with chaga can live for 10, maybe 20 years before the wild chaga kills them. Once the wild chaga fungi spore, a very rare sight, the spores spread out and settle on everything nearby as the air carries them. The spores find a suitable tree host and the infection begins. The wild chaga starts deep within the heartwood byway of accessing the sap in the tree. Once firmly established in the heartwood the chaga growth slowly begins to expand. Eventually, as years pass, the wild chaga growth becomes large enough to break through the outer bark and form the gnarled black charred mass we see.
When wild chaga is growing in the tree and the wild chaga takes nutrients from the tree, the wild chaga is working to grow and procreate thereby slowly killing the tree. It is no different than a disease growing within the body of any organism. But it has its unique place and purpose within the ecosystem and therefore deserves respect. However, it does not share some kindly relationship with the tree. The only relationship it has with the tree is one of infection.
There is a lot of talk about how pure and elite Alaskan chaga is, but unless I see laboratory verified documents to back up such a claim, I cannot buy into it and I will tell you why.
Fungi in general are well known to soak up and store radionuclides and heavy metals. This is a well known fact. Between my knowledge of plants and fungi as well as having a RAD II certificate from training and worked for a time in a government clean-up facility. I know enough about radiation to understand the basics quite well.
The Fukashima disaster in Japan flooded the west coast of America and Alaska with more airborne radioactive contamination than most places in the world. Even today in 2015 verifiable reports are coming in stating the ocean carried radioactive material from Fukashima is starting to read the west coast of America. Beings that fungi soak up radionuclides like a sponge I can take a pretty good guess that many of the west coast and Alaskan longer living fungi have decent levels built up in them. Including chaga. Beings that the Fukashima disaster began (yes it continues today) in April of 2011, the trees hosting chaga could very well be alive for many more years to come, and the chaga will continue to hold those radionuclides.
Fukashima radiation originally came across the Pacific in the atmosphere, fell with the rain in the ocean and land primarily west of the Continental Divide. There it got into the ground water and soil. Once in the ground water and soil it was free to get sucked up into the roots of all plants and trees. Now it travels in the Pacific Ocean and is reaching the coastline of North America and Alaska where it will do further damage to the entire ecosystem. Personally my family and I do not purchase any food or medicine products grown along the west coast states of North America because of this ongoing contamination.
In other countries like India, China and Mexico for example, the pollution levels are staggering and those extreme levels of pollutants infiltrate every aspect of the land.
Companies claiming that wild-harvested chaga from Alaska and the west coast of America is among the purest and most potent in the world certainly have not been doing their research or are flat out spreading falsehoods to consumers just to inflate their prices. Both are unacceptable and highly irresponsible.
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