Inonotus obliquus (Chaga)

Photo by Ressaure retrieved on September 9th, 2012.

The most popular Russia anticancer phytotherapeutic is chaga, the fruiting body of a parasitic fungus I. obliquus which grows on old or dying birch trees. Active constituents of chaga are water-soluble pigments and triterpenes produced by the fungus by decomposition of birch wood. Water extracts and infusions of chaga are used in Russian enthnomedicine for treatment of gastric ulcer, gastrointestinal cancers and tumours of different localization. An official preparation from chaga, Befungin, is used for symptomatic treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, as a stimulant and pain relief agent in treatment of chronic gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers. gastroprotective properties of chaga extract and Befungin were confirmed in animal studies on models of acute and chronic gastric ulcers in rats and in mice. Laboratory and clinical studies demonstrated antimetastic, antihypoxic and adaptogenic properties of Befungin and chaga extra and their beneficial effect in the treatment of gastritis and tumours of the digestive and female reproductive systems. Diuretic, spasmolytic, antidiabetic and moderate antimicrobial properties of chaga were also reported.

-p. 435, Botanical Medicine in Clinical Practice, Edited by Ronald r. Watson & Victor R. Preedy (2008)

chaga, mushrooms, I. obliquus, Herb Museum, fungus for cancer, ulcers