There has been a lot of buzz lately about the health benefits of the Chaga mushroom. This strange, black fungus is said to improve overall health and well-being, as well as help fight cancer. But does Chaga live up to the hype? Here's what you need to know about this amazing mushroom.
A top-rated dietary supplement, research has established that the positive relationship between Chaga and prostate cancer is not a novel concept. The mushroom has been used to treat cancer in Russian and in Siberian folk medicine(1).
Many studies have investigated the anti-cancer effects of Chaga. Here, we bring to you all the science-backed evidence of the benefits of Chaga for cancer. Read on to know the link between Chaga mushrooms and cancer as well as the ideal Chaga dosage for cancer.
How Good Are Chaga Mushrooms When it Comes to Improving Overall Health?
Cancer prevention, through lifestyle modification, should be adopted for reducing the incidence of cancer. Incorporating nutritionally rich functional food into our diets—like the Chaga mushroom cancer diet—could be one way forward.
Chaga, or Inonotus obliquus, is a white-rot parasitic fungus found in mature live birch trees in the cold climate of the northern hemisphere. Also known as “clinker polypore”, Chaga is a charcoal-like fungus with a soft orange core.
Inonotus obliquus has been held in high regard in traditional eastern medicine. The mushroom has been in use for centuries, even in northern Europe, to treat many diseases and health issues. In modern society, various Chaga mushroom cancer testimonials show that one of the health benefits of Chaga supplements is improving immunity and reducing the risk of chronic illnesses.
Chaga contains a host of bioactive compounds that are beneficial in the production of cytokines and the overall improvement of human health. Research studies have shown that the Chaga mushroom health benefits are numerous—these benefits are brought about by the bioactive compounds in the special fungus.
When Chaga is used for diabetes, the mushroom helps lower blood sugar levels and keep them at an ideal level. In addition to helping with blood sugar control, Chaga improves hair health and thousands of people have used Chaga to restore skin health.
The mushroom has Immune-enhancing properties and as an antioxidant, the mushroom relieves the body of oxidative stress. Human and animal studies have shown that the mushroom's anti-inflammation(3) properties make the fungus one of the best natural holistic solutions to inflammation-related conditions.
As an adaptogen, Chaga products do much more than just provide anti-stress capabilities—Chaga has been used for blood pressure
with amazing results. The mushroom is also known to improve thyroid functions, improve gut health, and protect against cognitive decline.
This detailed guide, however, is not focusing on the other benefits provided by a Chaga product. Our goal is to show you how the mushroom can help you avoid—or treat—a complicated disease by taking Chaga tincture. The disease we are focusing on in this detailed guide is cancer.
Whether it is liver cancer or human colon cancer cells, when taken at the right dosage, Chaga has a way of helping with treatment and protection. Read on to learn more about how people in countries like Asia—and now, the United States—have been using Chaga ingredients to remain cancer-free for life.
How Is Chaga Good For Cancer?
The anti-cancer benefits of Chaga are the most widely reported property of the mushroom that has received global interest. The crude extract(4) of the fungus has potent anti-oxidant, immune-modulatory, and anti-mutagenic properties which contribute to the Chaga mushroom cancer benefits. When these ingredients come together, they create an alternative, homeopathic cancer therapy that can help with cancer treatment.
The Chaga mushroom powder contains polysaccharides, triterpenes, ergosterol, and small phenolic compounds, which have been shown to exhibit anti-cancer effects. Triterpenes like betulinic acid, inotodiol, lupeol, polyphenol like caffeic acid, and 3,4-dihydroxy benzal acetone have been shown to demonstrate anti-proliferative effects.
Betulinic acid is being studied(5) for use as a chemotherapeutic agent. When taking advantage of Chaga tea prostate cancer benefits, the mushroom polysaccharides inhibit protein synthesis in the tumor cells and activate the host immune system for fighting off cancer. The same case applies when the mushroom is preventing the malignant lung cancer progression.
Investigations into the Chaga cancer testimonials have revealed that Chaga mushrooms also prevent cell damage that results from oxidative stress(6). The anti-oxidant property of Chaga checks DNA damage and mutation that often leads to cancer.
It is also worth noting that Chaga has immunotherapy benefits. This means that it activates the immune system, ensuring that it is functioning at optimal levels—this further helps reduce the risk of suffering from cancer. For people dealing with cancer, a healthier immune system lowers the risk of metastasis.
As noted earlier, Chaga does help with diabetes. This means that the mushroom is capable of controlling blood sugar and keeping it at an ideal level.
Multiple research studies have shown that high blood sugar is a leading cause of cancer. One research study(7) notes that type 2 diabetes—whose main symptom is high blood sugar levels—is associated with an increased risk of developing cancer. By keeping blood sugar at an ideal level, Chaga—when combined with diabetes pills and capsules—lowers the risk of cancer in humans with diabetes.
Research information shows that Chaga for cancer can be taken in different forms to get its anti-cancer benefits. The mushroom can be used as powders, tinctures, or as beverages. If you want to take Chaga tea for cancer, a Chaga dose for cancer of 6mg/kg per day in the form of a tea infusion is recommended(8).
Maybe your goal is to avoid liver cancer or stop tumor growth by taking this mushroom that grows on birch trees. Below, we will confirm that this is possible while going into deeper details on how Chaga medicinal mushrooms work to make this a reality.
What Types Of Human Cancer Cells Is Chaga Beneficial For?
In Russia and other places around the world, the Chaga mushroom has been used in the treatment of oral, gastrointestinal, lung, breast, and skin cancers. The mushroom is effective on almost all types of human cancer cells. Some of the scientific research on the tumor-fighting effects of Chaga is discussed below:
1. Liver Tumor
Part of Chaga's cancer benefits is connected to its virus-fighting capabilities. Chaga has been known to exhibit antiviral activity against the Hepatitis C virus(9), a leading cause of hepatic cancer.
The water extract of Inonotus obliquus reduced the infective properties of the virus by 100 folds and exhibited its virucidal properties within 10 minutes of administration. The Chaga medicinal mushrooms are also effective against lewis lung carcinoma cells which also tend to cause cancer with time.
If you know how to take Chaga mushroom powder, you will not just potentially suppress cancer development but also increase your potential of reversing lung tumor growth. This is especially the case when you combine the mushroom with other medications designed for this type of cancer.
The good news is that unlike using radiation therapy or chemotherapy, Chaga mushroom products are known for not harming healthy cells.
2. Breast Tumor
The capability for the treatment of breast cancer is one of the many benefits of Chaga mushrooms. What's better, Chaga does not just suppress tumor progression or suppress tumor growth—the mushroom is also very effective when it comes to breast cancer prevention. This means that the mushroom may eliminate the need to worry about the development of cancer in the future.
If you are wondering can Chaga cure cancer, you should know that a 70% ethanol extract of Chaga mushroom has been found to exhibit cytotoxic effects against breast cancer cells (10)in a dose and time-dependent manner. The study models were given 2g/kg of the Chaga mushroom extract, on alternate days, for 30 days.
Inonotus obliquus was found to inhibit the growth of the breast cancer cells as well as induce self-eating (autophagy) of the tumor cells. It was also reported that the mushroom extract did not interfere with the cytotoxic effects of anti-cancer medications. This has suggested that Chaga may be a beneficial complementary medicine for patients with breast cancer.
Research studies have shown that Chaga can boost immunity in women with breast cancer. By simply increasing the number of white blood cells, the medicinal mushroom—irrespective of whether you take it in the form of Chaga mushroom tea or a different form—helps the human body work against breast cancer. Working harder to fight autoimmune diseases, the mushroom increases the chances of fully recovering from breast cancer.
3. Lung Tumor
The cytotoxic effect of the Chaga mushroom on human lung cancer cells(11) was evaluated in a study. Extract of Chaga was found to decrease the viability of four different types of lung cancer cells by inducing cell death (apoptosis).
Lanostane-type triterpenoids were attributed to the pro-apoptotic and cytotoxic effects of Chaga against the lung cancer cells. Chaga is known to provide significant tumor suppressive effects when it comes to lung cancer treatment.
4. Skin Cancer
The mushroom inhibited the growth of skin cancer cells by arresting the cell cycle and inducing apoptosis. The viability of the cancer cells markedly decreased, merely 48 hours post-exposure to Chaga extract.
5. Colon Cancer
This anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic property of Chaga can be utilized as a supplement in colon cancer chemoprevention.
6. Sarcoma Cells
The experiment then utilized human sarcoma cells, where an extract of Chaga mushroom exhibited inhibitory activity against the proliferation of sarcoma cells. Inotodiol and lanosterol, isolated from Chaga, may, therefore, be a potential functional anticancer food or even a component of an anticancer drug.
Other Types of Cancer Chaga Mushroom Helps with
In addition to helping with liver cancer, lung cancer, sarcoma cells, and breast cancer, Lion's mane also has beneficial effects for people suffering from cervical cancer cells.
While more research is needed to verify that the mushroom's anticancer activity is effective with this form of cancer, the anti cancer benefits offered for other conditions suggest that Chaga extract may be effective for other cancerous conditions.
While animal studies may be needed to further prove the effectiveness of the underlying mechanisms behind the mushroom's effectiveness when it comes to cancer treatment, the current information proves that Chaga tea may offer maximum anticancer properties and antitumor activity.
As a matter of fact, healthcare professionals who understand holistic health do recommend the use of Chaga by people suffering from different forms of cancer. Approved by the food and drug administration, Chaga does not carry any major side effects—therefore, you can always use it without having to worry about suffering later.
Does Chaga Help With Chemotherapy?
Whether taking advantage of Chaga prostate or benefiting from the Chaga and breast cancer advantages, many cancer patients take Inototus obliquus as a complementary medicine(15) during chemotherapy and radiotherapy due to its anti-tumor activity.
When it comes to Chaga and cancer, the Chaga cancer study shows that the mushroom also plays a key role in helping users deal with the side effects of other cancer treatment methods.
The mushroom is also known as an immune-boosting superfood. The beta-D-glucan present in Chaga supports the immune system(16) when necessary, thereby preparing our bodies to fight off the side effects of chemotherapy.
Chaga is emerging as a potent anti-cancer medicinal mushroom. The bioactive molecules in the fungus have demonstrated significant cytotoxic activity against cancer cells. Many in vitro studies have also reported the pro-apoptotic effects of Inonotus obliquus.
The mushroom also inhibits the colony-forming ability of tumor cells in cancers of the colon and breast. The Chaga mushroom tea cancer activity has also been proven in tumors of the gastrointestinal tract including liver, skin, lung, cervix, and oral cavity.
Much research on Chaga’s mushroom for cancer is still being carried out. However, additional human studies are required because the available data are preliminary. Regardless, Chaga is showing potential as a novel chemotherapeutic agent that does not seem to harm the non-cancerous cells.
- Chaga and Other Fungal Resources, (1)http://www.fengshuilondon.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Pilz-2004-Chaga-Report-Chaga-and-Other-Fungal-Resources-Assessment-of-Sustainable-Commercial-Harvesting-in-Khabarovsk-and-Primorsky-Krais-Russia..pdf
- Continuous intake of the Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) aqueous extract suppresses cancer progression and maintains body temperature in mice, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4946216/
- Anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities of extracts and compounds from the mushroom Inonotus obliquus, (3)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814613000526
- Bioactivity-based analysis and chemical characterization of cytotoxic constituents from Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) that induce apoptosis in human lung adenocarcinoma cells, (4)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S037887411831403X
- Immunomodulatory Activity of the Water Extract from Medicinal Mushroom Inonotus obliquus, (5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774877/
- Chaga mushroom extract inhibits oxidative DNA damage in human lymphocytes as assessed by comet assay, (6)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15630179/
- Diabetes and Cancer, (7)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890380/
- Continuous intake of the Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) aqueous extract suppresses cancer progression and maintains body temperature in mice, (8)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4946216/
- Antiviral activity of Inonotus obliquus fungus extract towards infection caused by hepatitis C virus in cell cultures, (9)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22462058/
- Chaga mushroom extract induces autophagy via the AMPK-mTOR signaling pathway in breast cancer cells, (10)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874121003081
- Bioactivity-based analysis and chemical characterization of cytotoxic constituents from Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) that induce apoptosis in human lung adenocarcinoma cells, (11)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S037887411831403X
- Potential anticancer properties of the water extract of Inontus obliquus by induction of apoptosis in melanoma B16-F10 cells, (12)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874108005576
- Ergosterol peroxide from Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) exhibits anti-cancer activity by down-regulation of the β-catenin pathway in colorectal cancer, (13)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26210065/
- Anticancer activity of subfractions containing pure compounds of Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) extract in human cancer cells and in Balbc/c mice bearing Sarcoma-180 cells, (14)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2895696/
- Chaga mushroom extract induces autophagy via the AMPK-mTOR signaling pathway in breast cancer cells, (15)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874121003081
- Immunomodulatory Activity of the Water Extract from Medicinal Mushroom Inonotus obliquus, (16)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774877/