Chaga mushroom (Inonotus Obliquus) is not an attractive mushroom like some others but it is showing some signs that it may be one of the most medicinal of its kind, and that is extremely attractive! Chaga grows mainly in the forests of Russia and of Eastern Europe on a variety of trees like the birch, spruce and alder. It looks like a conk or growth on the trunk of these majestic trees. For ages it was used as tea in the mitigation of different types of cancer including breast, gastric, pulmonary, skin, stomach, and rectal cancer. It has also been used in the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma. For its strong immune supporting activity it was mainly harvested from the birch trees because the main components, the triterpenoids betulin and betulinic acid were naturally occurring in the bark. They are now starting to find that the Chaga mushroom itself has some of these components internally. These elements which seem to help in the treatment of a variety of cancers are currently being developed and used by the US National Cancer Institute. Chaga is also being studied for its anti-viral properties, it's help in treating digestive disorders, and some anecdotal yet promising reports from scientific studies that it may also be beneficial with treating psoriasis. This immune powerhouse is indeed worth looking into further.
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