Chaga mushrooms are parasites. They feed off birch trees, eventually stealing all the nutrients and killing the host.
These fungi grow on the outside of the tree. They appear as ugly black patches. They look like a malignant tumor. The also operate in the same way that cancer attacks the human body.
Chaga Mushroom for Your Health
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Some natural healers ascribe to the Law of Similars. This is a principle seen in homeopathy, which operates on the notion that like cures like. So it’s not surprising that chaga mushrooms have been used for centuries in Russia and in Eastern Europe as a folk remedy for cancer.
Chaga can also infest other species of trees, but it’s been found that birch chaga is particularly potent. In Russia, ground chaga, which is dark brown in color, has been used as a coffee substitute.
Can Chaga Treat Cancer?
Much of the world learned about chaga mushrooms from Russian dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. He published a novel called Cancer Ward. The main character was cured of his disease by ingesting chaga.
Researchers then began to study these mushrooms, which grow plentifully in the Russian birch forests. They also thrive in other areas of the Northern Hemisphere, including Japan, Korea, Europe, the United States and Canada. A lot of international research focused on chaga’s anti-cancer potential has been conducted. In the United States, though, chaga is not an approved cancer treatment.
Heath Benefits of the Chaga Mushroom
I need to make it clear that I’m not claiming chaga mushroom in and of itself will cure cancer, or should be used as a stand-alone cancer treatment. Please do not neglect seeking medical treatment of any sort because of anything you read on this site.
However, word has definitely gotten out about this healthful mushroom. Many people now take chaga as a dietary supplement.
Chaga mushrooms are loaded with nutrients, including Vitamin D, which many of us don’t get enough of. It’s also believed these fungi contain potent natural compounds that help stimulate and modulate the immune system. Chaga also contains natural antioxidants.
Chaga and Modern Medical Research
In 2011, the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms published findings that showed cancer-fighting ability against human and rat cancer cell lines in a laboratory setting, using an isolate of the chaga called fraction 1O4. The authors concluded that this could become a “potential anticancer agent.” They also noted that normal cells were left unharmed.
Also, according to the authors of this study, chaga has a long history of use in Russia, Poland and the Baltic region to treat a variety of maladies, including digestive ailments and liver and heart disease, as well as cancer. In those regions, it’s also very common to drink chaga tea.
Using Whole Chaga Instead of Extracts
Chris Kilham is a widely published author and a professor at the University of Amherst in Massachusetts. He’s also a leading authority on obscure folk remedies derived from natural sources, and is often referred to as the “Medicine Hunter,” which is the same name as his website.
In one of his online articles, which appeared on the Fox News website, he notes that chaga is viewed as a health-promoting supplement in Russia, as it has a long track record in that country. Kilham notes that chaga mushrooms seems to have immune-modulating properties, as its useful against allergies, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. It contains anti-viral compounds as well.
Western medical scientists tend to make extracts or isolates of natural medicines. Kilham says it is probably more beneficial to utilize the whole mushroom in clinical research.
Where to Buy Chaga Mushroom Capsules
The Host Defense chaga sold at Vitacost is whole ground chaga. It’s the whole mushroom with all of the potentially beneficial components, such as beta-glucans. These polysaccarides can help regulate the immune system and possibly protect against cancer.
Chaga also contains a number of other beneficial compounds, including the antioxidant superoxide dismutaste, a potent antioxidant.
I recommend this brand of chaga because it’s not grown in China, where industrial pollution is a huge problem. Mushrooms are good at absorbing nutrients, as well as environmental contaminants.
Host Defense is owned by world-famous mycologist Paul Stamets. The organic mushrooms in the formula were harvested in the United States.
Can Chaga Mushrooms Help Cancer?
Cancer has become an epidemic in the developed world. In the United States, it is now the leading cause of death among children between the ages of 1 and 14. One out of every three Americans will now get cancer sometime during their life. The number of new cases is also expected to double by the year 2030, according to current projections.
However, an oncologist in the United States cannot prescribe chaga mushrooms, or any other alternative treatment, or anything else considered unproven. The only treatments they can recommend without putting their license on the line are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. So you probably won’t find conventional oncologists recommending chaga, or similar non-toxic remedies, even for people who’ve been told their case is hopeless.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use herbal remedies unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional. The statements in this article are my personal opinion only, and should not be viewed as medical advice.