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Medicinal Reishi Mushroom Tincture

November 21, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

         The Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma Lucidum) has been used for centuries in eastern medicine for its healing properties, and is now being unveiled by the western world. Reishi has been used to boost the immune system, aid in lung conditions such as asthma or bronchitis, heart disease, high blood pressure, and the flu (influenza). It has also been proven to regenerate the liver and protect the body against liver and kidney disease. This dynamic fungus has not only been shown to prevent the development of cancers, but research indicates that reishi also eliminates existing cancer cells in the body. G. Lucidum is also used for HIV/AIDS, altitude sickness, insomnia, stomach ulcers, and poisoning. G. Lucidum is also used to relieve stress. With so many undeniable benefits I've decided to make an alcohol tincture. The process is simple and will inspire you to make other tinctures.

Wild and cultivated Ganoderma Lucidum (reishi)Wild and cultivated Ganoderma Lucidum (reishi)

      In the picture above I have both wild and cultivated reishi. The cultivated reishi grows in long "antler" like shapes, while the wild reishi makes more round polypore type shapes. For my tincture I am going to be using 15 grams of reishi in 750 ml of everclear. (You can also use vodka) I may choose to do a double extraction, which is basically doing the process of infusion twice with fresh reishi the second round for a more potent tincture. The reishi is rather woody on the outside. The inside has a styrofoam texture that is difficult to break up with the mortar pestle alone. I broke pieces of the rieshi up and placed them into a mortar. From there I smashed as much as I could, and then resorted to breaking the pieces down with my fingers.

Reishi before being crushedReishi before being crushed The pieces do not have to be pulverized. Small bits will be able to break down in the alcohol and will work just fine. After breaking these bits down, place them into an empty bottle (I'm using an empty 750 ml vodka bottle). I am making a quite a bit of tincture, so feel free to cut this recipe in half. Just for reference, I basically try to have the bottle about 1/3 of the way full with the mushroom/plant I am extracting from.

Reishi crushed in mortarReishi crushed in mortar

       The best part about making tinctures and infusions is the simplicity. After the alcohol is added to the material (reishi in this case), you then secure the lid and store in a dark cool area. It's a waiting game. Try to shake up the tincture at least once a day or so to help the breakdown and extraction process. After a month or two you can then strain off the mushroom pieces and bottle up your finished product in a dark blue or brown dropper bottle. To make an even more potent tincture repeat steps and add more reishi to the already infused alcohol. Wait another month to strain and bottle twice extracted tincture. For best results, take 2-8 drops of tincture under the tongue, or mixed with water/tea daily. There are no adverse side effects to taking reishi. It is best to have eaten a meal before ingesting alcohol tincture. If you have an questions or comments please feel free to ask. Thank you and enjoy!

Ingredients for reishi alcohol tinctureIngredients for reishi alcohol tincture Ingredients Needed:

15 grams wild/cultivated Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi, Lingzhi)

750ml Everclear or Vodka

Empty 750 ml bottle 

Mortar and pestle 

small piece of cheesecloth

rubberband

dropper bottle for finished product 

 

 


A Call for Action

November 17, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

The Standing Rock Sioux called for a day of action Tuesday, November 15th around sunset. They asked that people march together to the nearest source of water and pray. The Standing Rock Sioux do not underestimate the power of being together and putting intentions out into the world.

   "The most important thing that the people on the outside can do is pray. It's when we come together that we win!", said Lakota man, Calvert Swallows, during a prayer circle at Rosebud Camp, ND.

    People from all over the world have been gathering in solidarity. I think a common misconception is that this is a fight between the Dakota Access Pipeline co. and the Standing Rock Sioux. This is a fight for everyone and everything relying on water. The Missouri River is supplying water to millions. This is certainly not the last fight either. Many predict that there will be more protests like this in the near future. This is a very detrimental time for our environment and humanity; more and more people are coming together to fight the good fight.

Peaceful protestors gathered to march in solidarity to the river.               Paonia, CO     11/15/16

      I joined an action in my hometown Paonia, Colorado, where people of all ages came together to not only stand for Standing Rock, but for our own local water. The people in this valley understand the seriousness when it comes to water and land being threatened by gas an oil companies. Many people here have been fighting against our BLM land being auctioned off to the fracking companies. Some signs read 'DON'T FRACK THE FORK' , referring to the North Fork Valley. The march was peaceful and full of positive people. The small community here in the North Fork Valley have donated thousands of pounds of fresh and bulk food to the front lines in North Dakota. The work and effort that has been put into this movement does not go unnoticed. During my stay in North Dakota we would pray every night and morning for the people who were supporting the water protectors from the outside. Not everyone can be at the protest camp, but the people behind the scenes supplying mass amounts of food and other donations to the people in North Dakota are enabling this all to happen.

Paonia water protectors gathered on the river in prayer

Efforts are still being made to support and unify for this cause. Find an action near you!

Photo sent to me from Gomez Alexis, all the way from Guatemala! Standing in Solidarity.

 

 

 

 

 


Standing with Standing Rock

November 16, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

While this is currently an ongoing battle, I thought I'd write about the week I spent in North Dakota at the DAPL protest. After watching Amy Goodman's horrific coverage of the private security attacking protestors with dogs, I felt that I had to be there, to stand with these people. I've provided a link to said video at the bottom of the page. So what are these people protesting about anyways? What is happening up there? Why is there no media coverage? Who is actually in the right? All of these questions are circulated through social media and word of mouth everyday. I can attest that this is a peaceful protest. These people are standing their ground and putting their lives on the line for the drinking water of millions.

For me, this movement really struck home. My beautiful home in Colorado, is also being threatened by gas and oil companies. We're all fighting the same fight! A fight for our water and ultimately our future. My small community threw together several truckloads of donations. I was impressed with the amount of nice camping gear, coats, and abundance of food. I did the drive strait through (16 hours) alone. About 30 miles out from Sacred Stone Campground I had to surpass a roadblock that was intended to keep the masses from entering the protest. Being that it was midnight, I hauled ass and surpassed it; I was too close to turn around and find an alternative route. When I arrived, I never could have guessed that thousands were camping, due to the lack of light. A group of native men who were guarding the entrance approached my car and asked, "Who are you? Where'd you come from?". I was rather intimidated and quickly reassured them that I was here to support and help, and that I was Darcie from Paonia. One of the men warmed up and said, "Hey I've been there! My dad, Marvin Swallows, spends a lot of time there. I'm Calvert." The world is a small place! I was amazed and comforted by this. Calvert then said, "Follow me and I'll take you to your people!" I instantly felt a strong sense of gratitude. Out of all the thousands of people camping here, this man was able to lead me to the "Paonia Camp", which was such a small fraction of the camp, in the dead of night. 

The next morning I awoke at sunrise after some much needed sleep. I jolted out of my tent to see what I could not see last night, the camp. It was surreal to wake up at the Sacred Stone Camp. Tipis, tents, school buses and campers filled the campground along the majestic Missouri River. There were multiple camps along either side of the river, we were coddling her. I walked across the bridge and saw a beautiful blue heron bathing in the river.

One thing I did not expect was to be fed a hot breakfast and dinner everyday! An elder man called everyone from our camp to the area in front of the "kitchen". Before every meal, everyone would hold hands in a circle and sing/listen to native prayer songs. We would then pray and envision protection, and everyone would then drink from the same glass of water. Afterwards the circle would unravel and we would all hug and say our name to each person. I was surprised how fast I learned everyone's name after only a couple meals. The energy at camp was tense and serious, but rightfully so. Yet the camp had a rambunctious hopeful life to it. It's unlike anything to be surrounded by thousands, all for the same reason and purpose. I unloaded my car full of donations and felt so incredibly happy to give to these brave people. Men, women and children from tribes all over the world are sacrificing everything to camp on this river and defend the water. A pair of old snow boots can really mean a lot to a mother of three who only has enough to get by. People were so genuine to me. As I walked around different camps, people would call out to me, "Hey! Come have some coffee!" "Hey thank you for being here! Whats your name!" "Come by later for a meal and prayer!" I had never had so many genuine loving human interactions in such a short period of time.

There is always something you can be doing to help, and with a camp this size, it takes a village to keep the wheels turning. My hometown friends Topher, Jaycee, and Dalbow contributed to the man power of camp; chopping wood, digging out underground food storage, starting fires, shoeing horses etc. I gravitated to all the elderly women, who literally spend all day in the camp kitchen ( a wall tent with Coleman camp stoves) preparing meals for their camp. What amazing warrior women, feeding/fueling the masses on the front lines. I'm not going to lie, they made some of the best fry bread I've ever had..period. I decided to help organize the massive piles of food donations coming in to ensure that things didn't spoil, and to see what we needed most. Again I was amazed at the quality AND quantity of food at our camp alone. The Paonia people started a recycling area, and more solar energy supplements are being added to camp. There are several medic tents, a woman offering free massage and accupuncture, a message board, sweat lodges and enormous heaps of free clothing. The river is lined with rows of plums, blue berries, cedar and other plants that were planted by the ancestors of the Standing Rock Sioux, and are still tended too.

 

Some of the media is portraying the protest as violent and uncalled for. I've had strangers private message me and say that the protest isn't even happening on the reservation and that these people are crazy and need to go home. The fact of the matter is, this IS their home. The Sacred Stone Campground is five minutes outside the town of Cannon Ball, which is home to many of the protestors. The protest camp IS on reservation and treaty land. The river runs through the reservation and supplies water to millions throughout the country! The original plans for the pipeline construction was rejected and rerouted because the people of Bismarck feared for their water! The Dakota Access Pipeline know that this pipeline is an insane risk, but they do not care! Several protestors, while I was there, would go and chain themselves to the pipeline equipment. Roughly 20 of these people were arrested when I was there.

Missouri River

Through word of mouth, the message of a peace march had been spread throughout camp. We all met at the entrance gate to the big camp. Each person was smudged and blessed before we hit the road. Due to the large mass of people we had to travel on the road. Many cars were patient and supportive, while some looked aggravated. We set out to march two miles down the road to the burial grounds that had been desecrated and dug up by the Dakota Access Pipeline. People with flags were prompted to the front; elders were also urged to be in the front to sing and lead. The span of people went on as far as I could see. Signs of protest and flags of indigenous people lined the fences the entire way. When we arrived at the burial grounds everyone took a handful of tobacco and held it in a tight fist to the sky. An elder Lakota woman held a prayer to the four directions of the universe, she had a great booming voice. Together we let the wind take the tobacco across the desecrated field.

At dusk the camp would really come alive. Across the river I could see the big camp lit up by the glow of fire and trailing embers. The chanting and screaming boomed through the valley, all tied together with drums. Every night I would drift into a deep sleep, entranced by the sounds across the river. I learned to never underestimate the power of hopeful loving people. 

Out of respect and request from the elders, no photos of ceremony or prayer were photographed.

Video I took during the march:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOrGvdJASiw

Amy Goodman's footage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuZcx2zEo4k

#NODAPL #Rezpectourwater #waterislife #standingwithstandingrock #mniwiconi 

 


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