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Everything Old is New Again with Chaga Mushrooms

by mackshepperson

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Long before science developed definitive cures and means of preventing illnesses, people just took their chances with the whims of nature, and did their best to survive the onslaught of disease pathogens at every turn. Natural selection took its toll on humanity, weeding out the weak as well as those who, somehow, lived unhealthy lifestyles until the time that the stronger families, clans, tribes, and inevitably entire cultures – displaced the less fit.

Many of these early civilizations unwittingly prevailed over others because they were doing something right. They might have been building safer homes, wearing more appropriate clothing, or even eating better food. There is a very strong possibility that early man had incorporated a number of medicinal substances in his diet, including the currently popular Chaga mushrooms that herbalists are now making so much fuss about.

Indeed, the growing craze of seeking health and wellness from natural substances such as mushrooms is nothing more than a modern-day iteration of time-worn behavior among ancient cultures that thrived and flourished because of their healthy eating practices. Modern clinical research points towards the powerful anti-oxidant properties of Chaga mushrooms and their extracts, noting their potential in supporting the immune system of modern-day humans, and quite possibly, their forebears who ate these mushrooms.*

Today, the health and fitness industry has generated a massive demand for products from medicinal mushrooms due to the growing evidence of their efficacy in promoting wellness. Many of these fungi are cultivated in controlled environments to maximize their yield and protect them from contamination. The much-coveted Chaga mushrooms, however, are still harvested as they may have been in Paleolithic times, with early man finding the edible fungus on the base of wild birch trees.

Cashing in on this tried and tested approach to staying healthy, modern industry tries to do better and actually improve on the beneficial properties of the wild fungus. Immersing the mushroom in hot water causes its resilient cell walls to yield, and release more of the nutrients and cellular substances into the water, making the mushroom extract actually more digestible and bioavailable than the wild mushroom.

Modern man is, indeed, fortunate to be surrounded by life-sustaining technology. He is even more fortunate that a lot of this technology enables him to benefit from the many good things his ancestors used to survive and beget future generations of humans.

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