Can Chaga Help Us Fight against Cancer?
Cancer is one of the diseases that we are yet to beat. There are many research and studies going on to find a way to cure cancer. Some of these studies work with organic substances that have the required organism that can thwart the growth of cancer cells. Recent studies focusing on Chaga mushroom are coming out promising.
Chaga Mushroom, known as Inonotus obliquus is well known to both researchers and common people as an effective medicinal plant. People of different parts from the world drink Chaga tea to achieve a stronger immune system. Let’s explore how Chaga Mushroom, a Birch tree parasite, can help us fight against cancer.
Cancer Experiment with Chaga Mushroom
There is a certain chain of experiments done to prove that a plant or organism has the ability to fight cancer. These experiments comprises of cell culture experiments, animal studies and clinical experiments. Chaga Mushroom has already passed through the first two phases of the experiment. According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) Chaga can kill cancer cells.
Cell Culture Experiment
It shows that a plant extract can minimize the growth of cancer cells. Two different studies have proved that the growth of cancerous brain cells and colon cancer cells can be reduced by using Chaga extract. For colon cancer cells the reduction is measured up to 56%, determining Chaga as an effective tool against cancer.
Live Animal study
Live animal study show that the extract can be applied to an animal without any toxic effect to reduce tumor growth. For this, healthy lab mice were implanted with B16 melanoma that developed a tumor within the body. Chaga extract was used to find that the growth of the tumor can be reduced. The promising result indicates that chaga extract can reduce cancerous cells in mammalian body.
How Chaga Helps Fight against Cancer
Chaga grows as a parasite in the birch tree. It takes about 20 years for Chaga to be matured and harvested. During this time the mushroom develops some potent chemical substances from the birch tree trunk. These chemical substances in the Chaga Mushroom make it effective against cancer. These substances are-
Beta glucans- Polysaccharide or beta glucans of Chaga boosts energy levels and improves liver and brain functions.
Betulinic acid- Betulinic Acid in Chaga mushroom kills cancer cells but doesn’t cause any harm to healthy cells.
Melanin- Melanin increases the antioxidant quality of Chaga Mushroom. It is even believed that Chaga has the highest level of antioxidants among all the mushrooms.
Phytosterols- Phytosterols and phenols in Chaga stunts the growth of any harmful microbes.
These four substances work all together to make Chaga so effective against cancer. They develop two anticancer abilities in mushroom. Chaga has large amount of superoxide dismutase (SOD) which makes our immune system stronger. As superoxide dismutase in our body decreases with age, Chaga can help us compensate for it. Chaga is more effective for SOD than vitamins C,A,E, and essential oils.
Chaga has the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) value among natural foods. Free Oxygen radicals in body can increase stress, cancer and coronary disease. The oxygen radical absorbance capacity of Chaga can reduce the risk of cancer.
Where Does Chaga Grow
Chaga mushroom grows in colder climates in the tree trunks of birch and other trees. It grows in the northern hemisphere, especially in Russia, eastern and northern Europe, Korea, Canada and northern USA. The name Chaga itself originates from the Russian word Mushroom. Indigenous people from the Ural mountains are believed to be the first to use this medicinal plant.
Chaga became popular all over the world after Alexander Solzhenitsyn mentioned about its medicinal power in his book ‘Cancer Ward’. Because of the presence of high melanin the appearance of chaga is black, almost charcoal like. For this reason it is also known as black mass and cinder conk.
How to Use Chaga
Chaga can’t be taken alone as it tastes bitter. In many regions people use it as tea. Chaga tea has been used as a traditional remedy for cancer, ulcers, Diabetes, tuberculosis and many digestive issues. It is a well known medicinal plant even in China.
The conk is generally chopped and boiled into tea. There are powdered Chaga extracts that can be used for tea. Siberian Chaga Mushroom Extract can be a good source of it. They are also available in capsule form that can be taken instead of Chaga tea.
Chaga is mostly well tolerated and doesn’t cause any negative effect. However, if mixed with other substances or medicine it can have some side-effects. People with autoimmune diseases should avoid using Chaga as it heightens the immune system. Before using Chaga, consulting a doctor would be wise to know about the dosage and uses.
Uses of Chaga
Chaga has been used for centuries for curing diseases. Some of the uses of Chaga are noted below.
To Reduce the Risk of Cancer-
Experiments in mammalian bodies has found that chaga extract can prevent the growth of cancerous cells and tumors in the body. Chaga can even destroy cancerous body cells.
To Boost Immune System-
Chaga can boost the immune system with its Oxygen absorbance capacity. It prolongs the lifetime of blood vessels and cells.
To Minimize Inflammation-
Chaga has anti inflammatory quality. It heals pain and keeps the liver healthy.
Chaga is also effective for maintaining skin health. Many skin care method uses Chaga extract for its healing power.
On a final note, the health benefits of Chaga not only revolves around cancer but it also increases the immune system and helps to keep organs healthy. It has been used for centuries to cure ailments; long before it was known for its cancer miracle. Research is still going on to measure Chaga’s effectiveness to fight cancer in the human body. The promising results so far indicates that Chaga can be the next breakthrough in cancer research.