CHAGA (Inonotus Obliquus)




Chaga, also known as Clinker Polypore and Birch Canker Polypore, is a parasitic fungus commonly found growing on living birch trees (less common: alder and elm) in Poland, Siberia, Russia and North America.  Shown left, it is characterized by a black, burnt-looking exterior and can be confused with other fungi.  Take to the woods with an experienced wildcrafter for your first harvesting adventure!


Historical Use


Known medicinal use of chaga dates back several centuries.  Folkloric accounts of use in Poland, Russia, Siberia, the Baltics and Australia indicate it for treatment of cancer and various digestive ailments.


Modern Use


Chaga has been used to reduce the growth of both malignant and benign tumors and can also be used during chemotherapy treatment of various cancers.  It is a well-known remedy for its affect on the digestive organs, namely in cases of gastrointestinal and colon cancers and as a regulator in the case of constipation.  Preparations of chaga can be taken during times of excess vomiting to reduce emesis and soothe abdominal pains.2


Additional Use


-Treatment of various cancers (colon, GI tract, breast, lip, and others)

-Endocrine Support

-Used in treatment of diabetes to assist with glucose absorption

-Immune enhancement

-Improving metabolism


Toxicity & Side Affects


None known







Immune stimulating

Liver supporting



Preparation and Dosage


Chaga can be prepared as a tea, decoction or extract.  To make a tea, boil 1 Tablespoon of ground Chaga in 1 cup of water for 3-4 minutes.  Tea can also be prepared in any type of coffee maker (including a French press) or steeped for 5-10 minutes.  Additional methods of preparation can be found in the resources listed below.


Resources (For more extensive information on Chaga, consult the resources below).


1 Hobbs, Christopher.  Medicinal Mushrooms. Oregon: Botanica Press, 1986.

2. Zevin, Igor Vilevich; et al. A Russian Herbal. Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 1997.