(NaturalNews) There is a buzz stirring about a mushroom from Siberia, which was relatively unknown until Russian novelist Alexandr Solzhenitsyn brought it up in his 1968 novel Cancer Ward. In that novel, the protagonist was cured of his cancer mostly by using a Russian folk remedy, a tea brewed from the Chaga mushroom. Since then, there has been a good deal of curiosity and lab research done on this mushroom.
The research has shown cancer fighting promise, but the research in the West thus far has been mostly in-vitro, or lab research without living organisms. So far in the West, chaga has not demonstrated the obvious empirical success of Nurse Caise's Native American Essiac tea from 50 years in her Canadian clinic. See Natural News article http://www.naturalnews.com/026928_cancer_Ess...
Interestingly, Solzhenitsyn was cured of terminal cancer himself. So his novel may have been semi-autobiographical. Chaga was approved for treating cancer by the Moscow Medical Academy of Science in 1955. Chaga also promotes several other powerful health benefits.
Chaga mushrooms are polypore fungi that grow wild off certain trees, usually birch and elm, as a parasite. These spore bearing fungi will grow and stay on a tree for 15 years or more, absorbing the nutrients from the tree. When they are ready to scrape off, the outer surface bulges out considerably and has the appearance of coal. As one digs into it, the appearance, color, and texture become cork like. Unlike soil grown mushrooms, chaga mushrooms are relatively dry.
Chaga has the highest ORAC rating (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) of any known natural food. ORAC numbers measure the antioxidant power of foods. Though ORAC ratings will vary as much as 10 to 15 percent depending on the type of testing or the region of the food tested, chaga mushrooms are twice as high or more as the previously highest ORAC rated foods such as Acai berries or Chinese Wolfberries. And those two berries have much higher ORAC ratings then all the other antioxidant foods.
In Russia, Poland, Korea, China, Japan, and Australia, chaga teas and extracts have proven to boost the immune system, reduce hypertension, stop tumor growth and inhibit cancer, especially breast, liver, uterine and gastric cancers. When used along with conventional cancer treatments, it alleviated most of the side effects from those treatments and enhanced the immune system. One has a better chance of surviving chemo with chaga! Chaga even looks promising for treating AIDS.
Chaga mushrooms are high in betulinic acid, which inhibits tumors and cancer cells. Triterpenes that detoxify the liver and also inhibit cancer cell growth and polysaccharides that enhance the immune system and fight viral infections as well as cancer are also abundant in chaga mushrooms.
There are many other phytonutrients and minerals that have improved and sustained good health for chaga tea drinkers for over 500 years. It can also be taken as tinctures and extracts.
It's possible to order extracts, tinctures, and the mushrooms themselves from a few different sources. Currently, the abundance and reputation of Siberian chaga mushrooms prevail. But chaga are also found in the woods of North America and other cold, northern climates. There is no need to be concerned about organic since they are harvested wild.
According to author/lecturer raw food herbalist David Wolfe, "... it's [chaga] definitely the most powerful anti-cancer herb that I know of in the world. If somebody said, 'I have cancer. What should I do?' That would be the first recommendation I would make. It tastes delicious. It tastes like vanilla."
Chaga mushrooms may not be a cancer cure, but they are definitely useful as a cancer preventative.
Paul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com