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Aug 15, 2016 3:51 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Local Women Create Fungus-Based Health Drink

Aug 16, 2016 1:44 PM

Debbie Falborn, a registered nurse who was a longtime resident of Sag Harbor, regularly shared chaga, a medicinal mushroom, with her patients. She would brew it up, sometimes with lemon or cinnamon, and wait for her patients to get better after drinking it—and they often did.About two and half years ago, Bridget LeRoy of Moriches sought advice from Ms. Falborn, a longtime friend, when her son had mononucleosis. Ms. Falborn offered chaga—and within five days, Ms. LeRoy says, her son was free of any sickness.

“We had a follow-up appointment, and the doctor said he was completely clear,” said Ms. LeRoy, a certified herbalist and freelance writer whose work sometimes appears in The Press. “She was, like, ‘What did you do?’”

At that point, the two women decided they needed to share chaga with the world. They began selling chunks of the fungus for people to brew themselves.

Now, through Chaga Island Super Brew, they are working to stock shelves in health stores with a bottled version of the brew, made from just two ingredients, chaga and water. They also sell a version that adds agave, a natural sweetener.

Chaga is known as the “king of medicinal mushrooms,” according to Ms. Falborn, who now lives in Laurel. Many claims are made of its benefits: It is said to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-aging properties, and can help in treating chronic illnesses and auto-immune diseases.

The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center reports that “compounds in chaga can kill cancer cells selectively and stimulate the immune system,” though the center also offers the caveat that human studies and clinical trials are needed.

“I’ve had patients on insulin who have been able to get off it,” Ms. Falborn said of those who tried chaga.

The fungus grows on birch trees in cold climates, such as in Russia, and when it is harvested and dried, it can be brewed into a drink. It has an earthy taste, both women said.

The drink is currently sold at a few Long Island shops, including Sacred Gardens and the Mustard Seed Cafe in Center Moriches, as well as Cornucopia Natural Foods in Sayville, but the co-founders are looking to have it stocked at health stores on the East End.

“It’s just one of those miracle kinds of things we’re hoping everybody will get to enjoy,” she said.

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Chaga mushroom powder,liquid and chunks is readely available in herbal outlets all over the world.Am I missings something or are the two women you named trying tio invent the wheel
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Aug 15, 16 7:25 PM