Therapeutic mushrooms are recognized as one of the preferred alternative remedy for both naturopath practitioners and also for people genuinely interested in their well being. The ability demonstrated by therapeutic mushrooms to prevent and treat cancer, as well as other immune related conditions or just for general health, lead to their integration in treatment protocols for immune deficiency or anti-cancer conditions by the Japanese and Chinese medical doctors, as a therapeutic or preventive aid.
Siberian mushroom CHAGA (Inonotus Obliquus) – a Basidomycete strain, has been used for centuries as a traditional remedy for tumor related diseases or just preventively against influenza, in the cold north-eastern parts of Russia, Belarus, Poland , Finland and the Baltic countries. Later on, it was also adopted by the traditional Chinese medicine. Recently, Chaga has been considered by the scientific community, and a number of studies have been conducted on the therapeutic effects of Chaga polysaccharides.
In Russia, it also goes by the name “The Black Mushroom” or “GAGA” (slavic).
In their 1999 study, Mizuno et al. concluded that the Chaga water-extract shows anti-tumor activity. Wasser & Weis came to the same conclusions in the same year. A more recent study by Hwang et al. (2003) demonstrated that the Chaga water-extract stalls proliferation of cancer cells proportionally with the treatment duration. Another study (2007) on laboratory mice, performed by Chen et al., revealed that the Chaga extract significantly hinders spreading of S-180 cells (sarcoma), and Youn et. al reached the same conclusion for the HepG 2 cells hepatic carcinoma.
As it is known that the deterioration of the DNA nucleus and its oxidative- induced mutation is the major reason cancer cells can accumulate over time creating tumors (colon, prostate, breast). At present, the degree to which nucleus DNA mutates/degrades is one of the most sensitive and efficient biological markers in evaluating the oxidative stress involved – as an imbalance between free radicals generation and keeping them under control through antioxidative defense mechanisms.
The studies conducted by Seung-Shi Ham et al. (Kangwon University – Korea – Biology Department, 2008) revealed that Chaga extract showed a powerful anti-mutagenic effect – which is quite important in cancer prevention and arresting its spreading.
In another study (Q.Van et al. – Winnipeg University, Canada, 2009), the Chaga extract was shown to induce organ-specific anti-inflammatory effect. In fact, inflammation and the immune response represent a sequence in the cellular reaction to an aggression (generation and release of cellular immune mediators such as cytokines – Wu et al., 2008). However, if the cytokine release is not kept in check by the body (modulated) , too large a number of cytokines may begin attacking the body’s own tissue, causing an autoimmune disorder – an over-protective immune response that can actually be fatal. Therefore, it is not enough to only address inflammation, the immune system must be simultaneously modulated to prevent autoimmune reactions.
A study performed by Kee-Cheol Song et.al (University Daejeon Clinical Hospital, Korea, 2007), revealed this very synchronicity between the immune-modulating and anti-inflammatory effects demonstrated by the Chaga extract.
Chaga belongs to the category of Medicinal Mushrooms alongside Reishi, Agaricus, Shiitake, Maitake, Cordyceps.
Combined treatments of these mushrooms, and also sinergistically associating them with other of our supplements, such as: Super Immune, Serra Plus, Astragalus 9000, Goldenseal Coptis, AHCC, Organic Germanium, Q10 Coenzyme, etc. is up to the medical specialist on a case by case basis to asses the compatibility, as each individual is unique and each condition is personalized.
In his semi-autobiographical novel “Cancer Ward” 1968, by Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Nobel Prize in Literature) wrote about the use and therapeutic benefits of the Chaga mushroom, as one of his own experiences in a Tashkent hospital for malignant diseases.