Mushroom Chaga and its anti-carcinogenic performance

In Russian traditional medicine fungus Chaga is use for treating cancer, mostly stomach and lung cancer although it thought that this plant is truly effective in treating other common diseases such as gastritis, ulcer and colitis while it eases the pain in the abdominal region. In 1995 the extract of the plant Chega was refined and the sell started in Russia, Eastern Europe and Japan for treating stomach and bowel diseases.

To verify the claims of Russian traditional medicine, various scientific research were conducted. The latest scientific work was started by Dr. Kristi Kahlos, pharmacist on the Faculty of Pharmacy in University of Helsinki. Khalos and her colleagues have found the broad spectrum of active triterpenes which have anti-carcinogenic effect in Chaga fungus. Among the most active ones inotodiol was found. Compound betuline was found as well. Betuline is actually a compound from the birch tree and it is transformed into the form which can be consummated orally. Other researchers discovered active polysaccharides, which can be found in many medicinal mushrooms such as Mitaka and Shiitaka. Those polysaccharides stimulate the immune system. Kahlos and other researchers have found significant anti-carcinogenic activity with accurately determined types.

Latin name for this mushroom is polypore Innonotus obliquus. That’s the north species that grows on birch, alder and beech trees. Only fruits of mushroom which grow on birch are considered medically eligible. In this traditional shape it is hardly recognizable as toadstool. Chaga grows on the height of 10 to 30 meters which presents the challenge for people who are gathering it. Russians collect it by climbing with ropes. The age of maturity of mushroom Chaga is 25 years and at that stage it is the most medicinal and beneficial. 

Medical mushrooms and their healing properties

Mushrooms Cordyceps sinensis Lentinula edodes Ganoderma lucidium Grifola frondosa Tremella fuciformis Poria cocos
Medical use   Shiitake Reishi Maitake Silver-Ear Hoelen




Improves immune system





Blood pressure





Lowers the cholesterol



Increases libido


Tonic for kidneys



Asthma, bronchitis










Liver, hepatitis

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