Herbal Renderings by JoAnn Sanchez, RH, AHG
This winter we could enjoy some brewed delight from cold climates of the northern hemisphere. Chaga is a fungus that grows on Birch trees that has both folklore relevance and scientific validation for its benefit to human health.
Based on its long history of use against cancers, Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) has been tested in the laboratory for anti-tumor activity. It is revered in Russian folklore for treating a variety of cancers, recommended by the Medical Academy of Science there for reduction in size of tumors and for pain associated with cancers. Chaga is meant to be used long term , one year , to be clinically successful. Malignant Cancer studies were with inoperable breast, lip cancer, parotid gland, pulmonary, stomach, skin, and rectal cancers. Recovery was attended with better sleep and appetite and feelings of improvement in human clinical studies of Chaga mushroom.
Chaga is currently also considered a Biological Response Modifier, generally used to balance immunity. Therefore cancer patients and persons looking to support healthy immune response, both, can redeem benefit from Chaga.
In addition Chaga has other applications of note. The tea has been used for gastrointestinal health with an affinity to the stomach for ache and disease.
Chaga tea is tasty. The fungus must be “decocted”, that is boiled gently, with a lengthy heating for its anti-tumor activity and it is suggested in general to use one part mushroom to 5 parts water for several minutes to hours of boiling (covered) to extract the important components within. A prescribed administration would include drinking three cups per day, ½ hour before meals, for 12 – 20 weeks with intervals of 7-10 days.
The pleasant aroma and taste of Chaga lends itself to a warm mug in hand throughout the day during our winter season. We will brew some for you, stop by mid- December to taste.