On a snowy September day in 1991, on the Austrian–Italian border in a mountain range known as the Ötztal Alps, a group of hikers stumbled across a man encased in ice. He was so well-preserved, they thought that he was a mountaineer who had died recently. In fact, the now-famous man, nicknamed Otzi, lived approximately 5,300 years ago. With him, Otzi carried two mushrooms—one was highly flammable and likely used for tinder to start a fire, and the other was a medicinal birch polypore known as chaga. The name chaga (pronounced "cha-ga") originates from the Russian word czaga, which means mushroom.
Around the same time Otzi died, locals in the Siberian mountain range wore armor made of hardened leather enforced by animal bones and insulated fur. They trudged through the snowy birch forests, hunting wild game before returning to camp in the sub-zero temperatures. Sometimes, growing out of the birch, they would slice off a fungus that resembled a chunk of black charcoal with an orange tissue interior, which they would boil in insulated clay pots and drink in the sub-zero temperatures which they believed delivered a wide array of benefits and even recorded that it made them feel fuller during detox periods.
Chaga is the GOAT of antioxidants. With a 146,700 ORAC score (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) it has one of the highest antioxidant quantities of any food. Age is just a number, but ol' Chaga goes way back. Quality is important and over-harvesting is something to be concerned about. All our mushrooms are 100% organically grown in Carlsbad, CA using a sustainable indoor growing process. With lion's mane keeping your mind sharp, cordyceps keeps your body moving and reishi keeping you chill, we added chaga to MUD\WTR to support a healthy immune system.
Next time you sip some MUD\WTR, consider the fact that chaga is delivering your body the same health benefits that it was delivering to our boy Otzi more than five thousand years ago. Chaga was here long before we arrived on this planet, and it will be here long after we’re gone. Respect.
End note: Chaga also contains a protein that can prevent blood clotting. Therefore, if you are on blood-thinning medications, have a bleeding disorder, or are preparing for surgery, consult with your doctor before taking chaga.