Friday, September 19, 2014

Herb of the Week: Chicken of the Woods

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By Molly Sams

As many of you know my mother was able to harvest a massive amount of these mushrooms in the late summer. We have plenty dried but I wasn’t quite sure what we would use it for. 



In the same month I had learned about immune tonics, stimulators, and stabilizers in Homestead Herbalism. While we had learned about astragalus as an immune tonic, I was curious about what grew locally that worked in a similar way.

So I asked Susanna Reppert-Brill what was a local immune tonic. She suggested to use chicken of the woods in place of astragalus. Susanna also recommended using chicken of the woods among other ingredients to make a broth, which was similar to what I had learned in Homestead Herbalism. This way it can be frozen and eaten all winter long to promote a healthy immune system.

“Wildman” Steve Brill also suggests using chicken of the woods in soups, stews, and grains. Many use it for as a chicken substitute because it has a lemony chicken flavor.

Sierra Potomac also found that chicken of the woods might inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and can lyse or break down bacterial cell walls. Which is why chicken of the woods may help your immune system remain strong and keep the rest of your body healthy.

So as your roasting the chicken for tonight’s meal, keep the broth and mix it with veggies, chicken of the woods, and anything else your family likes. If you have any mushrooms left, freeze them and sauté them with vegetables for a healthy and flavorful meal.

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