About Chaga

The Inonotus obliquus mushroom, also known as Chaga mushroom, is a black parasitic fungus growing on birches。 Chaga grows best in cold climates and takes 10-15 years of parasitism to mature.

In 2007,Niigata University study, the antioxidant activity of hot water extract (decoction) of Chaga was precisely compared with Agaricus mushroom, Reishi mushroom and Phellinus linteus, showing Chaga had the strongest antioxidant activity among fungi examined in terms of both superoxide and hydroxyl radicals scavenging activities[1].

The 3 metabolites in Chaga frequently cited as anti-cancer in literature, that is, betulin, betulinic acid, and inotodiol. In 2018, Normandie University has a study about compared the concentration of Franch, Canadian and Ukrainian Chaga. Found out the concentration of inotodiol is greatest in the Canadian Chaga [2].

Inotodiol played an active role as a mast cell stabilizer,exert an anticancer effect in lung, and cervical cancer and Colitis[3][4][5].

Available information on Chaga mushrooms is limited to animal studies. There is no human clinical proof so far.

  • Chaga mushroom is a source of oxalate, which poses a risk for renal stones.  In 2014, a 72-year-old Japanese female had been diagnosed with liver cancer and underwent hepatectomy. Chaga mushroom powder (4 - 5 teaspoons per day) had been ingested for the past 6 months for liver cancer. Renal function decreased and hemodialysis was initiated[6].
  • Chaga mushrooms can inhibit platelet function, which increases the risk of bleeding in people who are taking Coumadin, warfarin, or any of the newer oral anticoagulants[7].
  • Chaga mushrooms can also cause low blood sugar in patients receiving treatment for diabetes[8].
  • Not recommended for pregnant women and people under 18 years old.

Brewing Directions
Boiling 1L of water, add 5 grams of Chaga tea powder (you can place it in a tea bag first) then turn to lower heat to simmer for 5 to 10 mins. Take out the tea bag, refill another 1L water for the second round preparation. After that, I will put the tea bag to the bathtub for a Chaga bath. You can mix the Chaga tea with oolong tea, or a few drops of lemon juice are also a good refresh.

Chaga tea powder.


[1]:Antioxidant Small Phenolic Ingredients in Inonotus obliquus (persoon)
Pilat (Chaga)。Yuki NAKAJIMA, Yuzo SATO, and Tetsuya KONISHI*
Niigata University of Pharmacy and Applied Life Science; Higashijima, Niigata 956–8603, Japan.
Received April 12, 2007; accepted June 1, 2007; published online June 8, 2007

[2]:Chaga (Inonotus obliquus), a Future Potential Medicinal Fungus in Oncology? A Chemical Study and a Comparison of the Cytotoxicity Against Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cells (A549) and Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells (BEAS-2B)

[3]:The mast cell stabilizing activity of Chaga mushroom critical for its therapeutic effect on food allergy is derived from inotodiol.

[4]:Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Inonotus obliquus in Colitis Induced by Dextran Sodium Sulfate. Se Young Choi, Sun Jin Hur, Chi Sun An, Yun Hui Jeon, Young Jun Jeoung,Jong Phil Bak, and Beong Ou Lim. Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. Volume 2010, Article ID 943516, 5 pages

[5]:Effects of inotodiol extracts from inonotus obliquus on proliferation cycle and apoptotic gene of human lung adenocarcinoma cell line A549.

[6]:Chaga mushroom-induced oxalate nephropathy.  Clinical Nephrology, Volume 81 (2014) - June

[7]:Isolation and characterization of a novel platelet aggregation inhibitory peptide from the medicinal mushroom, Inonotus obliquus. 2006 Jun;27(6):1173-8. Epub 2005 Nov 11.

[8]:Terpenoids with alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity from the submerged culture of Inonotus obliquus.Phytochemistry. 2014 Dec;108:171-6. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2014.09.022. Epub 2014 Oct 18.


photo courtesy: LaughingLichen 

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