What are the Medical Uses of a Chaga?

Erin J. Hill

The primary medical uses of chaga generally include using it as an immune booster and preventative measure for many diseases and illnesses. It has been scientifically proven in several studies to have a powerful effect on cancer prevention, immune health, and the treatment of viruses and bacterial infections. It may also be used as a weight loss aid, anxiety treatment, and to help alleviate certain skin irritations.

Chaga can be found in supplement form, usually capsules, and can be purchased in health food stores.
Chaga can be found in supplement form, usually capsules, and can be purchased in health food stores.

Chaga is considered a rare mushroom which is similar in composition to shiitake varieties and others commonly used as food. It contains a host of vitamins, minerals, and phyto-chemicals which have been shown to aid in keeping the immune system strong. The ancient Chinese used it as a treatment for a variety of ailments, and this tradition has proven beneficial in modern times as well.

A doctor should be consulted before taking chaga supplements.
A doctor should be consulted before taking chaga supplements.

One of the primary uses of chaga is cancer prevention, as it contains a substance called betulinic acid, a known cancer fighter. Chaga may be eaten, but it is most commonly made into a tea or tincture by steeping it in boiling water and then drinking the liquid daily. It can also be found in supplement form, usually capsules, and can be purchased in health food stores or online.

Chaga mushrooms have long been used to treat high blood pressure.
Chaga mushrooms have long been used to treat high blood pressure.

Immune support is another one of the medical uses of chaga. The phyto-chemicals and antioxidants it contains help the immune system better fight disease and may help patients get over colds and flus faster. These same immune boosting effects also help skin repair and heal itself, as in the case with certain rashes or other chronic conditions, as well as in reversing or preventing the aging process.

Chaga can help prevent skin from showing signs of aging.
Chaga can help prevent skin from showing signs of aging.

Some studies have also shown the mushroom to speed up metabolism, making it a safe method for promoting weight loss. It may be added to the diet whole or taken in supplement form. Even though it has been shown to be safe for most people, chaga should be taken only in the recommended daily dosage unless otherwise instructed by a doctor.

As with any supplement, a doctor or pharmacist should be consulted before beginning chaga supplements. If a health problem is suspected, a thorough medical examination should be performed to discover the underlying cause of symptoms and to determine if taking this supplement is an appropriate treatment option. Chaga has been approved for cancer prevention, but is not considered a treatment for existing tumors.

Mushrooms that are very similar to the chaga, such as the shiitake, have been used in Asian cuisine for centuries.
Mushrooms that are very similar to the chaga, such as the shiitake, have been used in Asian cuisine for centuries.

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