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Topic: Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus Obliquus)

Forum: Complementary and Holistic Medicine and Treatment — Complementary medicine refers to treatments that are used WITH standard treatment. Holistic medicine is a term used to describe therapies that attempt to treat the patient as a whole person.

Posted on: Sep 11, 2011 04:05PM

Seashellie wrote:

Wondering if anyone here uses this. I've been researching it and am pretty excited to try it! It's supposed to be the #1 cancer fighting herb in the world and has many other powerful health benefits as well.  Pubmed has several impressive studies on it. I found that David Wolfe has a great explaination about it on Youtube.  It's a 2 part video - this is for the first part (cut and paste).  

 I can't believe I hadn't heard of this before. Check it out.

BMX 6/30/11, DIEP 11/28/11, No chemo/rads, Femara Dx 6/16/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 11, 2011 04:51PM - edited Sep 11, 2011 04:52PM by wendy57

My naturopath started me on Chaga from the beginning (shortly after diagnosis) - and have been using Chaga ever since (almost 5 years) - I take it as a Tea - a very earthy flavor, but very easy to get use to.  I buy the Chaga (for Tea) from Herbalists and Alchemist:
Dx 10/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Sep 11, 2011 10:56PM - edited Sep 11, 2011 10:58PM by impositive

I have heard of chaga through Dr Cass Ingram but I love the David Wolfe presentation. Thanks for the link Sea Shelly! I was especially intrigued because Wolfe talks about melanoma and I have had two melanomas as well as bc.  I am going to be searching for more info on this for sure.  Dr. Ingram does say that there are those out there who are producing synthetic chaga or growing it in stainless's not the real thing so beware of imitations of wild chaga.  He also mentions that it gives him energy...not caffeine type energy but energy to complete his day.  Have you found that to be the case Wendy57?

Edited to add the link for chaga where Ingram gets his:

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Sep 11, 2011 11:24PM impositive wrote:

Sea Shelly, I hope you dont mind but I also posted the David Wolfe link over on the fungal theory thread as it relates to what we are talking about over there. Thank again!

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Sep 12, 2011 02:56AM Seashellie wrote:

Thanks Impositive for sharing this with the other thread. I look forward to hearing more input an am also very interested in the fungal theory.

Wendy57 - I'm curious too as to what (if anything) you've noticed from taking the Chaga. 

I ordered mine from 

BMX 6/30/11, DIEP 11/28/11, No chemo/rads, Femara Dx 6/16/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 12, 2011 02:46PM - edited Sep 12, 2011 02:47PM by wendy57

Since using the chaga (drinking as a tea) - I have not been sick at all (5 years) - during chemo (3 months Adriamycin/Cytoxan, 3 months weekly Taxol/Herceptin, then 9 months Herceptin) I did not get sick and all my blood counts stayed withing normal ranges (my oncologist knew I was seeing a naturopath - and told me to keep up whatever it was I was doing - but didn't want to know what it was!!) And yes, I do feel more energetic and have a more overall sense of well being when I drink my chaga!!  I notice the difference when I stop it (like the heat of the summer when I don't want to be "brewing" it for 1-2 hours).  As a side note: Herbalist and Alchemist's Chaga is the natural product from birch trees.  P.S. I too, have had melanoma!

Dx 10/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Sep 12, 2011 09:58PM impositive wrote:

I'm trying to decide what form to buy.  Longevity warehouse has capsules, powder and drops and Herbalist and Alchemist has tea and drops.  I see you use the tea, Wendy57, and it needs to be brewed for 1-2 hours?  What form did you choose Sea Shelly (if you dont mind my asking)? 

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Sep 12, 2011 10:10PM Hindsfeet wrote:

I'm interested! Where do you buy it? Is the tea tolerable?

Dx 6/13/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Sep 12, 2011 11:54PM Seashellie wrote:

I bought the capsules but am now wondering if that was the right choice. The tincture or tea might be more potent/absorbable?  I trust all of the products at longevity warehouse so am not worried and will at least start with those.

Evebarry - there are a few websites above to buy chaga and there's a lot of info. if you google.  Just make sure it's wild grown and high quality. David Wolfe says that chaga isn't bitter at all and actually has a good flavor. What do you think Wendy?

BMX 6/30/11, DIEP 11/28/11, No chemo/rads, Femara Dx 6/16/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 13, 2011 05:13PM wendy57 wrote:

The best way I can describe the flavor of the chaga tea is "earthy" - it's not bad at all (I drink it cold - "an iced chaga tea" throughout the day)  My husband had even gotten use to the flavor and will drink it if I have it in the car and he's thirsty.  I use an "old" stovetop glass coffee pot (without the perculator innards) to "brew" my chaga tea - I usually put in 2-3 tablespoons to start and fill the coffee pot with filtered water (approx 8 cups) and bring to boil - then turn it down to a simmer untill it reduces by half or more (and is a very dark brown color) - it takes at least an hour if not a little more.  Then I use a small strainer and fill my glass bottles/thermoses (and add ice - I like cold drinks!).  You can re-brew the left over chaga - but must brew longer - I add 1/2 - 1 tbsp to freshen it up a bit.  Hope that helps. 

P.S. God has a sense of humor: After saying I haven't been sick/ill in 5 years since using chaga - I really feel like I'm coming down with something today!!!!!

Dx 10/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Sep 13, 2011 05:19PM 1Athena1 wrote:

Thanks for this information, everyone. I'm going to try SeaShelly's link for the capsules. Tea would be great, but I don't want to raise my Tamoxifen treated body's temperature even more!

Anyone diagnosed with cancer should learn to have a healthy disrespect for statistics. Statistics are maths. It's the science which still eludes us. Dx 3/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/8 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 13, 2011 05:20PM wendy57 wrote:

1 Athena1: That's one of the reasons my chaga tea is Iced!!!

Dx 10/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Sep 14, 2011 02:04PM Husband11 wrote:

Watched the two David Wolfe videos with great interest, but found them lacking in reference to any evidence, and unfortunately not making a great impression of Mr. Wolfe's educational background in science, as some of his statements were patently ridiculous (it breaks down radioactive isotopes) and harm his credibility.  I'll have to go on to the pubmed searches and see what is actually known about chaga, as I am interested.  Too bad the videos were a disappointment as lacking in substance.

Concerned husband Dx 2008, Left, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 7/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2016, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib) Chemotherapy Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 16, 2011 12:23AM impositive wrote:

I am really excited about this!

Timothy, I too wanted to see more.  Here is some of what I found.

pubmed    ....To test this hypothesis, the growth inhibition of each subfraction isolated from I. obliquus (chaga) on human carcinoma cell lines (lung carcinoma, stomach adenocarcinoma, breast adenocarcinoma, and cervical adenocarcinoma, was tested in vitro...significantly inhibited tumor growth in mice bearing S-180 as compared with the control mouse tumor...The results suggest that I. obliquus...could be used as natural anticancer ingredients in the food and/or pharmaceutical industry.    ....CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that IO(chaga) modulates immune responses through secretion of Th1/Th2 cytokines in immune cells and regulates antigen-specific antibody production.  ....Chemical investigations show that I. obliquus produces a diverse range of secondary metabolites including phenolic compounds, melanins, and lanostane-type triterpenoids. Among these are the active components for antioxidant, antitumoral, and antiviral activities and for improving human immunity against infection of pathogenic microbes.

....Chaga extracts were examined for cytotoxic effects against normal and cancer cell lines....  extract of the fruiting body showed significant cytotoxicity towards tumor cell lines without affecting normal cells.

There are several more studies but I will stop here.

What are your thoughts Timothy?

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Sep 16, 2011 09:15AM - edited Sep 16, 2011 11:18AM by Husband11

Thanks for those articles Impositive.  It looks like it has potential.  On the plus side, it has the folk remedy history for treating cancer, accompanied by laboratory work to show anti cancer activity both in vitro on cell cultures and in vivo with mice.  Mechanisms for action are demonstrated.  Next stage towards proof would be some clinical trials on humans, which unfortunately there don't appear to be any, or any that have reported results.  My thoughts are favorable towards folk remedies where it is clear that no harm is being done. That includes excessive cost, interference with proven treatments or direct harm from the substance.  Lets keep reading and see what level of assurance there is that no harm could occur.

It would be cool if I could find Chaga around here.  We certainly live in zone that it could grow.  Can't say I've looked to closely at ugly black fungus on birch.  Maybe I'll find some and dry it for tea.

This looks interesting.  Will have to read it all when I get time. I'm really busy with work this week.

Concerned husband Dx 2008, Left, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 7/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2016, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib) Chemotherapy Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 18, 2011 10:52AM impositive wrote:

Thanks for the link Timothy, some good information there.  I too would love to find my own chunk of chaga, as the only downside is cost, it appears.  Cost won't deter me from trying it though and if it helps then to me it's well worth it, especially considering what I would spend on conventional meds!

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Sep 19, 2011 07:03PM - edited Sep 19, 2011 07:49PM by Jane68

I saw this string and had to comment, because I'm so excited someone is finally talking about Chaga. I've been taking Chaga extract for a year, and had identical results to Wendy57 - have not been sick even a single time for a few years now (knock on wood). I work in a very stressful office environment, with people coughing and sneezing around me pretty much all year round. So far - NOTHING.  

The Chaga extract I buy is raw and minimally processed - this is what my homeopathic doctor recommended. I found a site that sells raw chaga extract that I've been dissolving in hot water. I like the tea, too, but I feel like the extract is more potent. The flavor is definitely earthy, but I've come to like it! I can also really can feel the difference in my energy level - I'm a mom to a toddler, so chasing her around definitely requires all the energy I can get.

Anyways, here is the website I buy from, and their stuff is hand picked and wildly grown:

A close family member of mine is currently taking the same powder for her breast cancer. I agree - there is so much research on Chaga out there, by the time I started taking it, I was shocked that I've never heard of it before. Good luck to all of you!!!!! 

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Sep 19, 2011 08:01PM impositive wrote:

I'm still trying to decide which company to go with to get the purest, most unprocessed form of the chaga I can get so I appreciate the link Jane68.

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Sep 20, 2011 04:37PM Jane68 wrote:

impositive - no problem, and I like your screen name :) I've tried a few other sites, but found the quality of this Chaga to be the best, and I think it also has the best flavor. 

My favorite killer combination is mixing Chaga with green tea each morning. It's an acquired taste, which I'm sure you'll see, but I love the effect.

I wish you the best of health!!!

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Mar 17, 2012 08:38AM - edited Mar 17, 2012 08:41AM by FinnChaga

Hi to all. I've been collecting and using my own Chaga water extract here in FINLAND for about 3 weeks now & am definitely in better health in many ways. Energy levels are very much higher, even though I carried out a lot of physical activities before.No allergies anymore.

About dosage: I see that many, many people drink "tea" made from Chaga. however, adding only 1-2 tablespoons of chaga to 1litre or quart of water makes a very dilute solution.

 Based on my reading of many, many laboratory tests and dosage of active ingredients (mg/kg or lbs of weight, I find the average dosage is way too low.

I make my extract thus: 100g (about 3 oz) of *dried* chaga powder in 1½litre of water, simmering 1½-2 hours at around 80 degrees celcius (ca. 175 F) & putting overnight in a thermos.
I add a little vanilla to the water when extracting which makes the drink pleasant to use. Fresh chaga loses about 50% of it's weight when dried at 50 C/175F & smells slightly of vanilla when dried.Pleasant!

Dosage: 2 tablespoons/cup of hot water & honey -- no earthy flavour. Or else as a hot chocolate drink. Three to four times each and every day. But not late in the evening.

The leftover grains I use in a footbath: very good for the skin & disinfecting as well.

Interesting to note "Jane68"'s blend of green tea (I use it daily) & chaga. An acquired taaste, but I sometimes use tihs blend when I'm walking for many km/miles in the forest scavenging or lumber-jacking...

A couple of links: one is for dosage calculation & the other about the Toxicity analysis of chaga.

There are many reports availability on safe levels of Betulin, Benzaldehyde & other monor active components of Chaga (Inonotus obliquus))

I have about 8 people testing my powder/extract either for free or at a low price: the main point is to get people healthier AND make them realize:

HEALTH or "illness combat strength"is based on 2 main factors:
- a functioning, strong immune system
- a functioning, balanced digestive system, including positive human bacteria levels
("Beyond Antibiotics", M. A. Schmidt, 2009)

Courage & strength to everyone battling out there!

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Mar 17, 2012 11:35AM - edited Mar 17, 2012 11:36AM by Ruby-

Thank you so very much for all that info ChagaFinn - I'm also interested in the oil for max absorption

“The cell’s intracellular cytoplasmic sea is an ocean of symphonic motion awash with incomprehensible complexity.” Howes, M.D., Ph.D Dx 2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 3/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 27, 2012 05:37PM OleOne wrote:

Hi everybody,

Bumped on this topic while browsing internet - Chaga and breast cancer. I registered specifically to give y'all some additional info on Chaga! 

What many people do not know is that mushrooms including Chaga cannot be digested in their raw form, be it dried or fresh.

The medicinal components that are present in the mushroom cells are 'locked' there unless you set them free: the most used method is by using hot water (it 'melts' the hard chitin cell walls), like when you make Chaga tea. If you use raw Chaga powder and want to make tea, make sure you indeed let it steep for several hours or overnight: the longer the better. Chaga tea bags used like you usually use a tea bag are a waste of money - you really need to steep it for hours!!

If you really want to benifit from the medicinal qualities IMO it's best to choose an extract - usually these are capsules. They have standardized levels of ingredients and are easy to dose. The main active ingredients of Chaga are 'polysaccharides'  and 'betulinic acid' - make sure these are listed on the label with their percentages!

Many sellers are deceiving the consumers by selling them simple dried powder that has not been extracted at all. You cannot digest this properly and are in fact wasting your money. It would be good if the FDA would require producers to state the bioavailability of their products - unextracted mushroom powder has a low bioavailability, like 5% or so. 

The levels of active ingredients cannot be determined in unextracted mushroom powder, so if these are not listed on the label you can be sure you have a poor potency product: why would a producer not list the main selling points ? Simple logic! Another thing to consider is that mushrooms including Chaga are true heavy metal absorbers: if your Chaga grew close to a highway you can be sure it has an unhealthy dose of these. That's why Siberian Chaga is considered to be the best: in Siberia there are no highways worth mentioning or industry and pollution is as low as it can get nowadays. Extracted Chaga can limit the levels of heavy metals, raw Chaga cannot even be analyzed properly. A very important point to consider before you go out and chop off a piece of Chaga in the forest!!

In all scientific research and in traditional chinese medicine water-extracted mushrooms are used. Tinctures also don't work well: unlike herbs mushrooms do not dissolve well in alcohol, because they are made of chitin, not cellulose. The bioavailability will be very poor.

Again, there is a lot of deceiving information on the internet. Go for verifiable facts, after all it is about your health and well-being. The chaga oils and creams are also not the best options: the polysacharide molecules are too big to be well absorbed by the skin. The magic of Chaga is that it works excellent when taken orally, it also contains a high level of anti-oxidants so apart from good health you'll also be blessed with a healthy skin and hair!

If you want to read more about Chaga and the research that has been done on the field of cancer I can recommend this repository: 

This site also sells tea and capsules of verifiable good quality. 

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Apr 9, 2012 12:57PM Husband11 wrote:

I have found a local spot where there are Birch trees with chaga fungus on them.  I have cut off a small amount, dried it and ground it up in a small coffee mill.  I'm currently boiling some up.  I'm following the procedure used in an article where they tested the extract on cancer cells.  They boiled for 4 hours, cooled, then filtered.  After that, they evaporated and reconstituted the powder as needed.  That last bit is beyond my kitchen capabilities.

Concerned husband Dx 2008, Left, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 7/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2016, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib) Chemotherapy Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 9, 2012 08:06PM MsBliss wrote:

OleOne, many thanks for your sharing of info on chaga....thanks also for the heads up on the heavy metal contamination aspect; I agree that when it comes to mushrooms, you have to have the hot water extraction process or it will not be absorbed.

I used a straight betulinic acid powder poultice on a squamous skin cancer that kept recurring on the margin of an excised tumor on my cat's leg!  He was too old to have more surgery at the time and he was having treatment for kidney failure as well.  It didn't really work as far as taking out the tumor, but it appeared to keep it from spreading.  He passed away from old age (20 to 21 years old) and kidney failure.

Dx 3/09 Triple negative, stg1, SNB0/2, BRCA neg, CHEK 2 pos, 1.4cm plus 7mm DCIS, ki67 70-90%, lumpectomy w/re-excision, no chemo/no rads due to delays from secondary health issues; evidence based interventions.
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Nov 28, 2012 07:45AM DavidStoner wrote:

Timothy, for more Chaga recipes, have a look here:

or try this recipe, a traditional Russian way of making Chaga Tea:

taken from "A Russian Herbal - Igor Vilevich Zevin"

I. Pour 2.5 quarts (2.5 liters) of boiling water over 2 cups (500 ml) of dry chaga. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 4
2. Filter and refrigerate the liquid in a covered container. Reserve chaga".
3. Grind the chaga in a food grinder or processor to a mushy consistency.
4. Add 2 quarts (2 liters) of water al 122ºF (50ºC) to the ground chaga, and let stand at room temperature for 48 hours.
5. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth filter and squeeze the chaga until it is dry. Discard Chaga.
6. Add the liquid from step 1 to the liquid from step 4. Cover and refrigerate.

Chaga should always be taken as a tea or as a ready bought extract. This interesting blog explains why:

Finally, probably the best article on Chaga available and the one that makes the most sense is IMO this one:

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Nov 28, 2012 04:03PM cp418 wrote:

I'm glad this post has bumped up. Has anyone tried Chaga tea or supplements?  Any improvment in lab results, allergies or other health issues as mentioned in one of the links?

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Nov 28, 2012 10:31PM lightandwind wrote:

I guess I don't understand the article. I take Chaga supplements Planetary herbals- full spectrum. If it is not the tea, am I not even digesting/absorbing them, and also wasting money? Definately I will by tea next time. I think the maitake fraction d is suppossed to be a good mushroom supplement because it's supposedly more bioavailable.

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Nov 30, 2012 10:39AM DavidStoner wrote:


The planetary herbals product is not an extract so you cannot digest it properly. This is exactly why I posted that link about the supplement-facts blog: most people don't know these subtleties and will just buy the cheapest product on the shelf. And with only few exceptions all those products are a waste of money, because their 'bioavailability' is zero. Extracts is the way to go.

Even if you make Chaga tea you will only have a low percentage of only the water soluble bioactives. That's OK for everyday use as a health improving prophylactic supplement, but not if you are battling a serious condition.

This same discussion popped up on the NTPC (prostate cancer) mailing list some time ago. Some people are opposed to extracts, it feels too pharmaceutical -unnatural- for them, but when you have a serious condition like cancer I would choose to use a potent extract, just like they're using in the research.

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Dec 1, 2012 09:57PM - edited Dec 1, 2012 09:58PM by lightandwind

Thanks David. Are you a natrupathic doctor?

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Dec 2, 2012 04:03AM Seashellie wrote:

Thank you for the info. David! I just started taking David Wolfe's new Chaga extract recently. I was taking capsules (Host defense) prior to ordering this. I've heard that Turkey Tail mushrooms are possibly even more beneficial... what do you you think?

BMX 6/30/11, DIEP 11/28/11, No chemo/rads, Femara Dx 6/16/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 2, 2012 08:00AM DavidStoner wrote:

SeaShelly, some of David Wolfe's products are also non-extracted.

Ignore all the sales talk and the hype, have a look at the supplement facts label to see the percentage of bioactive ingredients: that is really all that matters. It should state at least the percentage of polysaccharides, and preferably also the percentage of beta glucans and betulinic acid. Only then you can make a good judgement of the quality. If you are battling a condition, you really should choose the most potent product you can find, I think.

I've read that some naturopaths and TCM doctors are recommending to swap from one mono extract to another every two months or so (like Turkey Tail and Chaga and vice versa, or Agaricus blazei (which also has aromatase inhibitors in its ingredients)) to prevent the body from getting used to the immune respons-triggering effect of a specific extract. Every mushroom has its own specific method of action. I recently saw a report on the direct anti-cancer effect of Turkey Tail in the treatment of dogs with cancer, sounds very promising as well! Unfortunately nobody is willing to really invest money in large-scale research.

I am a member of the NTPC mailing list and this breast cancer forum was mentioned a few times there. Since I studied medicinal mushrooms and their potential a lot, I thought to share my knowledge. These mushrooms were found to be very good anti-cancer adjuvants, and they can improve the quality of life of people undergoing treatment significantly. Like shown in this case study of Turkey Tail.

There is an enormous amount of well marketed but poor quality dietary supplements out there. The biggest problem (because most people are not aware of it) is bioavailability. Promising components like e.g. resveratol and betulinic acid, or green tea extracts (with EGCG) all have a very poor bioavailability, meaning our body can't absorb them properly or not at all when taken orally. And like I pointed out before, mushroom products that are non-extracted will not do a lot for you, either. But nobody will tell you this, at least not the producers.

Stuff like this can make me mad, it seems like ruthless sellers are consciously ripping off desperate people with a serious condition. Doesn't feel right.

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