Chaga, The Fungus that Heals

Chaga (inonotus obliquus) is a hard and woody fungus that looks more like a piece of charcoal than a mushroom. If you are ever lost in the woods and need to start a fire, chaga, also known as “tinder fungus,” can do the trick.

Found in northern Asia, Canada, Norway, northern and eastern Europe and a few places in the United States, chaga is a powerful medicinal fungus. Popular in Russia and a few places in Europe, this strange looking mushroom/potent immune enhancing agent is making itself known to researchers in the West.

Although clinical trials are still lacking on the overall effects of chaga, it is gaining respect for its strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune stimulating properties. Chaga contains betulin and betulinic acid which come directly from the birch trees that they grow in.


Chaga contains a group of potent compounds called lanostanoids that show promise when it comes to fighting cancer. Although the exact anti-cancer activity of chaga is not entirely understood, some of the compounds in the fungus improve immune function and keep cancer cells from spreading and causing premature cancer cell death.


Psoriasis is a very common skin condition that causes redness and irritation. A Russian study indicated that patients who took chaga were able to recover completely from their condition. Psoriasis is difficult to treat, and this finding could have far reaching implications for many people.


Chaga contains ergosterol, which has promise as a potent anti-inflammatory. In China, this mushroom is thought of as a life extender because it reduces systemic inflammation and the risk of chronic, degenerative disease.

chagaMore Health Potential

Preliminary research into the health benefits of chaga shows its ability to prevent anaphylactic shock, treat herpes simplex virus and prevent the hepatitis C virus, a very painful and debilitating condition.

If you are interested in chaga products, they can be found in natural health stores and also on the Internet. Keep your eyes out for more information and research on this truly amazing medicinal mushroom!

-The Alternative Daily


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