The chaga is known as Inonotus obliquus and cinder conk. Inonotus looks like burnt charcoal and is irregularly formed. It grows in the birch forests of Canada, Eastern Europe, Korea, Russia and the northern area of the United States.
Traditionally cinder conk has been used for high blood pressure
, various stomach problems, viral infections, diabetes, tuberculosis and cardiovascular disease.
A chinese monk called Shen Nong described cinder conk as a medicinal herb of superior class.
Chaga is usually grated into a fine powder and used to brew a beverage resembling coffee.
People usually prepare the Chaga by grating it until it turns into a fine powder, which is then used to make a beverage. It is also available in tablet form.
The Chaga has anticancer properties; the cinder conk contains the compounds inotodiol and botulin.
These compounds have shown that they can induce apoptosis of certain cancer cell lines.
A study conducted in 1998 in Poland showed how the Chaga inhibits cancer growth.
The study showed that betulin works on tumor cells because the pH interior is usually less than normal tissues, betulinic acid is active only at lower levels.
A study done in 2005 showed that cinder conk protects against oxidative damage to DNA in human lymphocytes.
Cinder conk is regarded generally as safe to use.
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