Traditionally Used for:
Stomach and intestinal cancer.
Now certified organic! Chaga is a fungus, a parasitic carpophore that looks like the charred remains of burned wood on the side of a birch tree (sometimes growing on Elm and Alder, but Birch is its favorite). It is not the fruiting body of the fungus, but a sclerotia or mass of mycelium. The parasite enters the tree through a 'wound' in the bark of a mature tree. It then grows under the bark until it erupts in a deeply cracked, black charcoal like extension. It usually takes another 5-7 years for it to fully mature, at which point it falls to the forest floor, most times killing the host tree in the process. Chaga has been a part of folk medicine in Russia, Poland, China and numerous Baltic countries for many centuries. It was documented by Chinese herbalist Shen Nong in his herbal texts as early as the first century B.C.E.
It isn't known if chaga is safe or what the possible side effects might be. It contains a chemical called oxalate which can damage the kidneys.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of chaga during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
"Auto-immune diseases" such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Chaga might cause the immune system to become more active. This could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using chaga.
Bleeding disorders: There is concern that chaga might increase the risk of bleeding. Don't use chaga if you have a bleeding disorder.
Diabetes: Chaga might lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use chaga products. The dose of your diabetes medications may need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.
Surgery: Chaga might affect blood sugar control or increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using chaga at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.