The mushroom is widely known as Chaga. In Russia, it has been used for at least three hundred years as a treatment for cancers, including breast, pulmonary, skin, rectal and stomach cancer, as well as for other gastric ailments. The Khanty people, native to part of western Siberia, continue to use a tea made from Chaga to treat tubercolosis, stomachache, and diseases of stomach, liver and heart. Chaga also has been used traditionally for general pain relief and to address inflammation.
In 1955, Chaga was approved for the treatment of cancers by the Medical Academy of Science in Moscow. In scientific studies Chaga has demonstrated a variety of beneficial effects. It supports the immune system activating the B cells and T cells and macrophages. In diabetic rats Chaga extract reduced blood sugar levels and increased insulin sensitivity. The mushroom shows marked antioxidant potential. An alcohol extract of Chaga has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties in animal tests. This supports the traditional uses of this fungus to address pain and inflammation.