ChagaChaga— a hard, black, woody fungus that can be found growing on trees in cold climates — has been known as the “mushroom of immortality” due to its many impressive medicinal properties. For centuries, people in Russia and Eastern Europe have used chaga to treat cancer and support good health. Modern research into the properties of chaga has turned up evidence that there’s truth in the age-old claims that chaga supports overall health. Specifically, chaga has been found to have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.


Chaga Is a Powerful Antioxidant:

Antioxidants support health by protecting the body from oxidative stress, a component in many illnesses. Oxidative stress is caused by free radicals, which interfere with the normal replication of DNA and cause damage on the cellular level that eventually leads to disease. Antioxidants slow this process by neutralizing free radicals so that they can’t harm cells. A range of diseases and conditions are believed to occur as a result of free radical damage, including many cancers and premature aging.
Chaga contains some powerful antioxidant compounds, including betulinic acid and betulin, both of which the fungus derives from the birch trees that serve as its host in the wild. Chaga also contains ethanol-soluble lanostantictriterpenoid antioxidants, which have been found to have powerful antioxidant properties by multiple peer-reviewed studies. It may be chaga’s antioxidant properties that have made it a traditional treatment for cancer and tumors in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Chaga Is a Formidable Anti-Inflammatory:

Inflammation is at the root of most disease; it’s another consequence of oxidative stress. It’s believed that antioxidants like chaga can control inflammation. You can use chaga tea as an effective treatment for inflammatory conditions like psoriasis and allergies and to support general good health. Animal studies have shown that the fungus has the remarkable ability to prevent anaphylactic shock, an often fatal symptom of allergies.
A 2007 study from the University of Bradford in the U.K. focused on the anti-inflammatory effects of chaga in the treatment of irritable bowel disease. The study compared the effects of chaga supplementation on 20 healthy volunteers with the effects of chaga supplementation on 20 IBD patients. A room-temperature, water-ethanol extract of chaga mycelium was found to reduce oxidative stress in the cells of the IBD patients by 54.9 percent and in the cells of the healthy volunteers by 34.9 percent. It is also considered a good remedy for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Chaga Has Anti-Viral and Antibacterial Properties:

In addition to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, the chaga fungus is an impressive anti-viral agent. U.S. government research associated with the BioShieldBioDefense program found that the fungus, when prepared as a water-ethanol extract, was incredibly effective against the flu A and flu B H5N1 viruses — in fact, the study found that water-ethanol extract of chaga mycelium was as effective against the flu as the popular anti-viral drug ribavirin.
The same study also found that chaga is an effective agent against herpes simplex virus and the virus that causes hepatitis C, as well as the viruses that cause avian flu and SARS. As an antibacterial agent, chaga has been found to offer protection against some pretty scary germs, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria responsible fortuberculosis;Staphylococcusaureus, which is responsible for potentially fatal staph infections; and Escherichia coli, more recognizable as E. coli, which can also cause fatal infections.
While chaga is clearly a powerful medicinal fungus, there are some concerns that over-harvesting of the mushroom could threaten the delicate ecological balance in the areas where it grows, namely, the northern parts of North America, Europe and Asia. Thankfully, cultivated chaga has been found to be just as potent in its medicinal properties as wild chaga.
The woody tree fungus chaga has long been used in parts of Europe and Asia as a treatment for cancer and a general health tonic. Modern research has confirmed chaga is indeed a powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antibacterial agent. Studies have proven that chaga is effective for treating several kinds of flu, hepatitis, herpes simplex and even bacterial diseases like tuberculosis. Drinking chaga tea regularly can help to support your general health and well-being, and can be an effective remedy for conditions like irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and psoriasis.
Image by Herbert Baker from Wikimedia Commons

Tony TonyhlavAuthor:
Nellie Henderson
About Author
Contributing blogger Nellie Henderson is a licensed herbalist with more than 15 years of experience in the field.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.50 (1 Vote)


Posted on: 21.12.2013 06:43

Wow, this is so cool. I hadn't even heard of this stuff before until now- definitely will have to try some of it out.


Posted on: 15.04.2014 20:34

I just love these unique ways to improve your healthy lifestyle. I find quirky things (like chaga tea) to be a major trend that people love to read about. I cant get enough of all these recent discoveries that provide such great health benefits.


Posted on: 25.07.2014 03:38

wow this has been used to treat cancer that's so awesome. It has a lot of different health benefits also. thanks for this really informative post i learnt a lot of new things while reading it

Health Blog

Posted on: 08.09.2014 13:29

First time I have read about chaga, it is very informative.


Posted on: 18.12.2014 10:53

Hi, Really great effort. Everyone must read this article. Thanks for sharing.


Posted on: 28.01.2015 06:39

very informative post for me as I am always looking for new content that can help me and my knowledge grow better.


Posted on: 28.01.2015 06:46

I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.
Great article, Thanks for your great information, the content is quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.


Posted on: 30.01.2015 16:06

I collect and use it . If you're ill and want to try some email me

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