Native people from Russia and Siberia were possibly the first to use chaga as a natural medicine. In he 12th century, tsar Valdemar Monomakh purportedly used it to cure his lip cancer. It was cited in medicinal texts as early as the 16th century as a treatment for cancer , ulcers and tuberculosis.
Chaga mushrooms began attracting attention over the past few decades due to their health benefits. Some early animal and lab studies on chaga mushrooms have shown promising results for strengthening the immune system and fighting cancer, among others. More studies and clinical trials are needed to confirm whether these potential benefits hold true for people.
Chaga mushrooms may also prevent or reduce certain liver diseases. One study found that chaga extract was able to protect liver tissue from the effects of tetra-butyl hydroperoxide, a chemical known to cause liver damage. However, whether chaga extract will have the same effect in human trials is still undetermined.
The antioxidants in chaga mushrooms may also reduce oxidative stress, which fuels chronic liver diseases like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
When the body is fighting off an illness, inflammation acts as a defense mechanism against infection. However, sometimes inflammation can damage the body or even develop into a chronic condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, or autoimmune diseases. Even depression may be partly linked to chronic inflammation.
According to a study on chaga mushrooms and cytokines, chaga extract can help prevent the production of harmful cytokines, reducing inflammation in the body.