Is Chaga a Super Antioxidant : The Renegade Health Show Episode #543

Thursday Apr 8 | BY |
| Comments (67)

Today, we have one last interview from the Health Freedom Expo…

I met up with our friend Chris Herbert who is the educational director for the North American Herb and Spice Company.

Chris knows his stuff when it comes to supplements and in this episode he’s going to talk about the difference between synthetic and whole food supplements, some shocking info about Vitamin C, the antioxidant properties of the chaga mushroom and more.

This show is awesome (plus Chris has a really cool, Paul Nison-like beard… though Chris started wearing his first. Correction: Paul has evidence that he had his first.)

Take a look…

Your question of the day: What supplement do you know you should be taking, but aren’t?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comments now!

To check out these great Chaga products, you can click here!

To get Oregano Oil, please check your local health food store and ask for American Herb and Spice!

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. john says:

    LETHICIN .Thank you Chris for telling the truth about vitamin C the way it really is !!!This man has a lot of insightful knowledge ,would like another interview and have him on more of your upcoming shows Kevin.Thank you Kevin for interviewing some of the Best minds in in the United States.You have honed your mind with some of the Best out there in the health movement. God Bless You.

  2. Brian says:


    I love your show.

    However, I hate your opening! The music is tooo loud and your voice is too loud at the opening. Please lower it.


  3. Karen says:

    Thanks for giving us some great info and for introducing another great source for our health. I want to take mushrooms – I will at some point, but they are pretty expensive.

  4. crow says:

    I take Danish Rose Hip for my Vitamin C.

  5. Jane says:

    Neem — seems to be a never talked about wonder tree/leaf/bark

  6. Michael T. says:

    I take several supplements, but some I don’t take because they seem really expensive, such as

    marine phytoplankton
    klamath lake blue-green algae
    camu camu
    medicinal mushrooms, such as chaga
    pure synergy and other premium superfood powders
    chlorella (but I do take spirulina)
    kyolic garlic extract

    Although when I think about it, none of these are as expensive as typical pharmaceutical drugs. So, even high priced, premium supplements are cheaper than monopoly-priced prescription drugs.

    Something to think about …

  7. Wow, what an amazing interview. It is nice to here someone speak about what they are passionate about verses people up on their high horse. I would love to start taking mushrooms and I need to start using my Earth powder more! I would love to have more herbalist on the show!

    Thanks very much.


  8. kb says:

    I am grateful for this shocking revelation about how most Vitamin C in supplement form is made! Is there anything not made from corn? To answer the question, I am swearing off all supplements for now.

    Just to chime in and say: please don’t pay any mind to comments critical of your style. You are awesome, the show is great and it is driven by your style! You and Annmarie are as adorable as you are knowledgeable.

  9. I need to take more natural sources of cortisol as I am supposed to be taking hydro-cortizone from a pituitary surgery that messed up the connection between the hypothalmus and the pituitary-Maca seems to help, internal and external essential oils (like cedarwood)-but I know there is more I can be doing. Any suggestions?

  10. marcla says:

    I want to know, I have alligator skin, I’ve blamed it on my father because he had it, even when I was 100% organic, 90-95% raw, i still had to rotate my lotions and oils on my skin, is AM’s stuff my cure? I’ve lived with this all my life, trying organic oils, lotions… they all work for a week or two then my hands are sand paper again, yes i am one that tries everything for cure but I can not find the cure for my alligator skin. Please cut this out if you use this in a episode…I just got back to work, I can not afford AM’s line right now…but does she have something that will take to my body and stay? Is there something going on in my body that topicals and internals (suppliments) that i’ve tried will not stick? Coconut oil worked the the longest, then…. it stopped. I’ve explored all options available to me… I can’t figure this one out…is it heredity?

  11. Irina says:

    Awesome interview, Kevin! Great info, I learned a lot. What I should be taking – a good vitamin C now that I know most of them are junk.

  12. Jamie Koonce says:

    How do you choose who to interview and who to reject? I have been trying to contact you for a looooooong time about a possible interview with me. I am a Chinese Medicine practitioner, herbalist, and acupuncturist. Your blog has sound health advice, but is merely scratching the surface of the ancient and modern health sciences.

  13. cats claw…..miss taking his so much….

  14. Kuru says:

    I’m taking everything I think I need. As soon as I hear about something that rings in, it I’m on it. No more messing around with my health! My latest favorite is Stamets 7, a fabulous blend of 7 mushrooms to boost immune and eradicate yeast/candida!

  15. Dawni says:

    Hi Kevin and AnnMarie:

    I’d like to move away from supplements all together. I really like this interview and I have to say I have used this brand of Oregano Oil and find it to work wonders.

    Nice to know there is such a clear and knowledgeable soul behind this product line. Wow! Learned lots.

    #10, Jamie Koonce sounds interesting. Let’s link into some ancient wisdom.

    Dawni 🙂

  16. Kuru says:

    Marcla, #8, maybe you’re using too much soap. Definitely get off any soap in the drug stores. Maybe no soap at all unless you get really dirty, except in the private areas; just water cleans. EFT might help too. If you don’t know it, you can learn if from a youtube, google EFT video. Or #453 on this site!!!

  17. Pat G. says:

    I don’t mind beards…ok, I do mostly. Kev, yours is nice and tidy. Chris’ is too long and busy, but Paul Nison, who’s stuff I read years ago and who I admired, has gone over the top. He’s too hairy…ugh. He looks really old, and I am more trusting a guy whose face I can see or whose beard is manicured/styled. Besides, my experience with men tells me that normally their beard stinks. They need to wash it completely after eating…anything! Otherwise the sour smell is all over their face…ewww. I know the guys can’t smell it, but it’s there! It’s really difficult to make out with a sour puss…errr…I mean, face… I like skin…warm and available. No hairy buffers for me, thanks!

  18. Gail says:

    The supplement I am not taking enough of is the Supplement of Knowledge in oh sooooo many topics. For once you think you have a good handle on things and think you have achieved a great broad understanding of what is happening to us and our country, our food, our health to name a few…. not to mention globally! The years of a concentrated area of self study and learning (or Higher paid for education in a targeted field) is only a pea in the pod for what is out there to learn.

    I would encourage everyone to begin incorporating Ancient theology, Common Law, Law Of Commerce and Political History into their areas of study. For we will come to an even greater understanding of what is happening…. and not just in the health food arena! In time, one learns what WE THE PEOPLE can really do as individuals and make a movement to take the system and turn it back over into our hands! But one must learn it for themselves in order to understand so they can act accordingly.

  19. Pat G. says:

    Olive oil can go rancid. My cousin told me the bottle I gave her for Xmas years ago was rancid…and I bought it a few weeks before Xmas!

  20. juan crovetto says:

    are you going to be at the new living expo in san francisco on april 30 may 1 and may 2

  21. Gabi says:


    Thank you for doing this interview.. I have to do a speech for a class and I have just decided it is going to encompass the importance of reading the ingredients in food items..and understanding it!!

    I think of this because I have been told “Oh, ascorbic acid.. that’s just Vitamin C…”

    HA!!! This is great information 🙂



  22. Don says:

    marcla, sounds like you have a classic Vatta imbalance. You keep treating your skin from the outside but the problem is from the inside. Do a little homework on Ayurveda and the 3 doshas, Vatta, Pitta and Kapha

  23. paul says:

    Kevin, you are wrong, I had my beard first, before Chris, but shaved it for a while. My beard was even bigger than it was a few years ago

  24. Kym Hutcheon says:

    This guy was great. Just presenting information he has obviously researched deeply and not afraid to say something is not completely established.

    Unfortunately presenting both sides of a story in a reasoned, non-messianic way isn’t great for his marketing as a health guru. 😉

  25. naomi says:

    i shd probably be taking b12! kev, wondering where i can access these products in lovely australia! would like to give them a try, thanks for the interview!

  26. David says:

    After a little research, I found an article that claims that SOD is destroyed in the gut and only injectable forms have any benefit. Any ideas?

  27. Elmer Fudd says:

    I’m disappointed people are so judgmental. Your music is too loud. Your intro needs to be toned down. Your interviews are not getting the “right” people. Your beard is too long. Jesus! Makes me think of the phrase, “No good deed goes unpunished.” What are *you* doing to change the health of the world?

    Thanks Kevin and Annmarie for what you are doing!

  28. Craig says:

    I need to try North American Chagra! I have used North American Brand Oregonal oil for 5 years now. What i learned is when i feel like i might be coming down with a cold I do heavy dosages of the oil. And get plenty of rest. I have not gotten a cold going on 3 years now

  29. Fantastic interview .
    Thanks a million love peace and joy.

  30. Sue says:

    @ Marcla

    Maybe you should have your vitamin D levels checked. See this video:

  31. Jo says:

    Eye opener to Vitamin C ! thanks! CORN CORN every where!

  32. Dee says:

    Great interview. The info on Vitamin C, Wow, scary, but then corn is everywhere.

    On another subject, GMO’s, I have been thinking about this for the last few days since it was brought up and I wonder how much of what we eat is gmo. I had a conversation with a person in a health food store a couple of years ago about tomatoes and what they did to them.

    Does organic guarantee not genetically altered? How long has our produce been being “improved”? And where do we go to find out?

  33. Great show! Had no idea about the way they processed synthetic Vitamin C with corn. Lots of good info from Chris.

  34. Eric P. says:

    Not currently supplementing anything, and I’m skeptical as to how good the supplement tablets I have are. I do have a list of the essential vitamins & minerals my body needs, and how much of each, but lack of money prevents me from purchasing these things.

  35. Jackie says:

    LOVED this interview. I am taking everything I believe I should be taking. If I am missing anything then I am not aware that I am missing it. I would like more discussion on calcium. Calcium levels, calcium supplements, calcium sources, osteoperosis.

  36. Jackie says:

    As a chemist, I am not alarmed that synthetic vitamin C is made from corn – that seems like a reasonable starting place in the synthesis. After the chemical reaction, ascorbic acid is extracted from the rest of the mixture, so there is no residual HFCS being ingested along with the synthetic vitamin. Synthetic ascorbic acid has the exact same molecular structure as naturally occurring ascorbic acid. I do not disagree with the concept that whole-food sources of vitamin C are more healthful – and that it’s likely that taking an isolated compound such as ascorbic acid does not improve health. I would appreciate emphasis on this point rather than the link between corn and ascorbic acid which seems like fear mongering to me.

    As for a supplement I should be taking, but am not, perhaps the loads of spirulina and chlorella I have in my cupboard. It tastes horrible to me but I don’t want to waste it!

  37. Janet says:


    Nice interview! I like how he reiterated how bad ascorbic acid is as we see it on the shelves now. No synthetic Vit-C for me, especially from GMO corn. His info on chaga was great and you asked a really good question on thymol.

    Comment: Not all Vit-C is water soluble. There is also a fat soluble form of Vit-C and that has been more effective for me than water soluble (Lypospheric Vit-C) as it goes straight to the liver (bypassing the intestines) and detoxes the liver very well 🙂 However, I love the mix he has for the water soluble form. I have that formula and I love it as well as it goes very well in smoothies and just in water with a little stevia.

  38. Andrew Norris says:

    I just have to say in reply to a comment myself I love it when Kev speaks loud at the start AND I love the music. For me the show may get a little dull if Kev backs off this too much. If most ppl love this Kev should keep it, otherwise he should drop it, it’s a democracy. For now those that don’t like it, it’s only a few seconds, you can get over it, and still get to all the great free health advise that follows!

  39. Kaye Herbert says:

    thanks kevin and annemarie for another great video! of course, as chris’ wife, im only slightly partial, but this one was great! 🙂
    hope to see you guys again soon, probably with our new baby in tow by then! shalom!

  40. Elaine says:

    Marcla, I have had the same problem all my life, the only thing that helps is taking Silica(Horsetail)for me and drinking LOTS of water. I don’t think we should be taking tons of supplements every day. Each person has to be aware of their own body’s needs and should supplement each need as they arise and stop when the need is met.

  41. Betty Jane says:

    This has been my favorite interview so far. Thank you! I can’t help but admire your skin and Chris’s too. Good diet, good living. And the beards are fine, short or long.

    I would like to hear from herbalist Jamie Koonce, too. Is there a chance you can interview her?

  42. Terri White says:

    You could put the tea in a smoothie instead of plain water and get a real antioxidant boost! Probably would taste better too.

  43. Genevieve says:

    Excellent interview. This guy is so knowledgeable and down-to-earth. Please have him again and again.

    Shocking about Vitamin C. What a racket.

    Here in Canada we have a birch syrup that is similar to maple syrup but less sweet, very dark in colour with a strong flavour. I wonder about the health benefits of it. Tastes great on salmon.

    Supplements? I take a few. Not sure what else I should be taking.

  44. Jude Manche says:

    loved this interview. It’s such a pity all these wonderful products you inform us about aren’t available in Australia online or at our health shops. Even our health shop owners don’t know how to source them. I google them and write to the companies and they dont’ have distributors here. This is frustrating. Is there any influence you can bring to bear on this? I would order them from the online companies but would they make it through our customs??

  45. Shira says:

    I ran out of B12 and need to order some more….thanks for the reminder.

    Chris has a great way of explaining things! His products look great though I was wondering about why he uses a water extraction method, doesn’t seem like it would be as potent?
    I do love both Chaga and Camu Camu and often take them together. Camu has one of the highest known “natural” vitamin C levels. You can increase the properties of medicinal mushrooms when you take them with Vit C.
    The one thing I love about Chaga, that he didn’t mention, is that it is a wild food! Other mushrooms are grown in labs on cultures and are of a lower quality in my opinion.

  46. James says:

    Just to let you know that I like the theme song…..oh, and by the way,great interview today. Keep it up !

  47. Lorien says:

    As for the suppliments, I think I’m taking the ones I need. When something appeals to me I give it a try and see how it works for me.

    As for it’s a democracy, actually no it’s not. It’s Kevin & Ann Maries’s show which gives them the right to do whatever they want. You have the right not to listen if it does not serve you.

    America is not even a democracy. It’s a rebublic that elects it’s officals through a democratic procedure. Two very different things. Of course they stopped teaching that in school back in the 50’s so I don’t expect most Americans realize this. If more folks understood the difference between those two concepts, we would not have the government telling us what we could eat or not eat, how we can heal ourselves or what we should think. Of course we’d have to become personally responsable for the choices we make which seems to be another concept lost to our culture, present company excepted of course.

    I am very thankful for what you and Ann Marie do Kevin. I love your energy and your passion. No soap boxes, no my way is the only way, just good information presented in a way that assumes I have a brain & I’m not afraid to use it. I am grateful.

  48. Isabelle says:

    I watch your show religiously … thank you so much for doing this!! I have had breast cancer 3 times now … i first had it when I was 21. I have been a vegetarian for 16 years but i am now looking into veganism and high raw! I want to do everything i can to stay clear of cancer. I am going to try the raw food challenge … i am reading the information and cant wait to start. This is a bit off topic but I wanted to leave a message for once so that you guys know that i watch your shows and talk about them to others 😉
    I am reading The china Study … i am sure you have read it … what an amazing book!
    Again THANK YOU so much for all that you do!

    Don’t change a thing … your shows are unlike any other … That is the beauty of your show … you guys talk to us as if we are all your closest friends and we can trust you 100%
    Isabelle 🙂

  49. Jackie says:

    I take Tumeric and Vitamin D .
    I also take a formula that is a privately made
    product for my eyes, from my health food store .
    It is my health foods stores own formula…and works wonders, in about 6 months .
    My eye doctor was in awe !
    ~ ~ almost disbelief !
    I told my attorney about it, and he has had improvement in 3 months .
    It seems no one talks much about the eyes, and how to get better vision .
    I no longer have cataracks, and no longer need glasses for driving . No more
    bifocals ! I just passed the MVD vision test for driving, and they removed the corrective glasses category. It is wonderful !!
    I still do need reading glasses, but the number changed from 4.25 down to 2.00 .
    I am suspicious of most supplements…but do recommend a good pure natural source of Tumeric and Vitamin D…plus my eye formula , at least for myself . I am a Vegan, and I cheat a tiny bit on rare occassions . If you are ture to yourself and what you injest…you will never get a sniffle or cold, plus a host of other maladies .
    I do like the information that was presented about Vitamin C and Chaga. I believe it !
    Thanks for a great show !
    PS~ Ann Marie…I have always wondered how much you deviated from pure whole food several months ago, when you had that horrid cold . I can understand a 1 or 2 day simple sniffle..but you were over the top ! I thought I might get what you had, right thru my computer . Only kidding, you are a good girl, but you tipped your hand on that one ~
    Naughty naughty….it’s good to know your human too ~ 😉

  50. Suzzana says:

    About the skin problem…one must first get rid of the dead skin. Serious effort at exfoliation (scrub with sugar and coco oil) or funny I wax myself. I discovered in beauty school, by accident that wax, like the kind used to remove hair, will also take of the top layer of dead skin. Then your pours can absorb some of the nutrients you are applying topically.Also drink lots of water…it is a sign of dehydration and Essential Fatty Acids.I probably need more minerals. Aloha

  51. Guenter says:

    Hi Captain Kevin!

    You are asking what supplement I should have and I don’t? I’m doing a ‘good old’ lemon diet these days and I run out of lemons…..
    but lemons are not a supplement.
    I got a lot incl chaga – camu camu – maca root. Sometimes I use my pendulum to check on my bodies need. Most of the time I agree with it. I checked on Krill Oil. It’s good for sharpening the mind.
    Can I find it in your archive?

    Hey, are you traveling north towards Seattle?
    All the best

  52. Amy H says:

    I would have to say the supplement I’m not taking enough is would be Aloe. By the way, love the interviews and of course P73!! Used it to fight off a case of candida. You guys ROCK!

  53. Great comment Elmer Fudd! Let’s keep ppl on track here.

    Okay …I’m becoming cornaphobic!!! Anyway, it’s all good because I’m becoming even more aware of what I put into my body. Read, read, read & watch Kevin and AnnMarie! Love you guys!!!

  54. PS, I have no idea what supplement I should be taking more of???

  55. Christine says:

    Dear Annmarie and Kevin,

    thank you soooo much for all the great shows, so much fabulous info and interviews and great modeling about the importance of trying out different things to find the mix that our own bodies need.

    Please everyone else, can we not criticize the people that Kevin interviews, especially their appearance? They are willing to share their information with us at no cost and Kevin spends lots of time nurturing his relationships with them so that they will come on the show again. Making nasty comments about them is not exactly furthering this community’s cause.

    Take care,

  56. Gail says:

    To Jackie (April 9th post)

    What is the eye formula??


  57. Sue Rushford says:

    I bought the NSI (Nutraceutical Sciences Institute) Silica Horsetail Herb Extract cause that is one supplement I’ve wanted to try, but it comes in a capsule with magneseum stearate (bad stuff, supposedly) so haven’t tried it & can’t return it.

    Most of my supplements are from HealthForce Nutritionals, MegaFoods, Premier Research Labs, Radical Health, Elements for Life, Sunfood, Garden of Life, & Amazon Herbs – I take a ton, but nothing regularly other than Vita D & a B Complex.

    I have their North American Herbs’ Oregano Oil, but I’m not sure how to ingest it – do you just put it in water and drink it?

  58. jackie says:

    I’d like to know more about Jackie’s wonderful eye formula specially made from the health store…

    Kevin, interesting about your breaking out. Just today I noticed a similar result on my face and neck, and now that you mentioned it, the product I’ve recently started taking from Garden of Life also has some probiotic in it. I’m wondering if I will continue to break out…if I do, I will stop taking it and see what happens. This is very unusual for me, so something must be up!

    Ref. to Marcia #8; I think the dry skin situation can possibly be hereditary…my 2 granddaughters both have alligator skin from birth, and their father has it. Would like to find a cure for this, too.

  59. Sophia says:

    That is so cool!

  60. Janell says:

    I’m not sure – I do need something that will maintain/support healthy bone growth (calcium), need the vitamin C and probably could stand to benefit from something that is mineral based for restoring the body system (due to our constant exposure to free radicals, environmental pollution, etc)

  61. Denise says:

    I agree with Brian, I always try to put some seconds ahead so I don’t have to hear the very loud and anoying music and screaming, as if I don’t know who I am going to listen to. I clicked on it…so don’t worry I will miss it….

    furtheron, I like the info, thanks for sharing. On so many way, so don’t worry for that, haha

  62. Carole Cole says:

    When making the Chaga tea are you suppose to drink the ground up mushroom or whatever that is in the bottom? It’s hard to get down..very gritty. I love the tea with some stevia in it.

  63. Carole Cole says:

    But it’s soooo expensive for 3 1/2 oz!

  64. SirenOfFire says:

    That was very interesting thank you! Mushrooms on your skin? haha. I suppose that taking a multivitamin would be beneficial for me (but I try and eat a balanced diet).

  65. Anne says:

    I have read that taking chaga as a tea does not allow the antioxidants to be absorbed into your body, which I found interesting. Chaga extracts are the way to go apparently.

  66. I lhave been introduce to chaga just latly and have done some research on it and I’m a firm believefr of it’s reputation.. A friend of mind went hunting for some in the bush and after 82 killomiter o hunting we each had 10 lbs of it befor cleaning. What a day that was andd I intend to keep hunting….dwe only took the big ones and left the small one to grow.

  67. I have used Chaga for treating my cancer, along with Dandelion Roots for over a year now. I did not take the chemo, radiation or removal procedures that are out there today. I am so happy that I took it upon myself and sleeked out what is there, for everyone through Nature; If one so chooses to look. One should take the blinders off and look around. Help in most cases is just outside your door. Today I am enjoying each and every day as ithey should be enjoyed and feeling great. Merry Christmas Folks!

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