In the past few years, chaga has gone from being a mere folk remedy in Siberia and Alaska—as well as a curiosity for the scientific community—into a worldwide phenomenon. Health-conscious consumers the world over are embracing chaga for its numerous medicinal qualities, which include fighting disease, warding off aging, improving intestinal health, and much more. Many people also claim that chaga can be used to fight breast cancer, but is that true?
The answer is yes. Both anecdotal evidence as well as scientific studies have shown that chaga is effective in fighting various types of cancer, breast cancer among them. Read on to discover how you can harness the power of chaga to help insulate yourself against cancer.
Chaga and Breast Cancer
While chaga was largely unknown in the U.S. until recently—despite being used as a folk remedy in Alaska—Russians have had a close relationship with the mushroom for generations. Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s 1966 novel Cancer Ward brought chaga to the attention of Westerners for the first time. Based in part on Solzhenitsyn’s experience in a Soviet cancer ward, the novel discusses how to use chaga as a treatment for cancer.
Western scientists subsequently began traveling to the Soviet Union to study chaga and its anti-cancer effects. They discovered that rates of cancer in Siberia were far lower than normal due to the residents’ heavy consumption of chaga tea. Indeed, many Soviets chose to drink chaga tea in lieu of coffee due to the latter’s expense. This helped fuel further international fascination with the mushroom.
The earliest study on chaga and breast cancer was conducted in communist Poland in 1957. As part of a 48-patient clinical study, ten women who suffered from breast or genital cancer were treated with chaga. These patients saw considerable reductions in the size of their tumors, reduced pain, reduced hemorrhaging, and improved sleep and appetite. Due to the Cold War, this study was not known by the wider world until decades after it had been completed.
Since then, there have been numerous studies on chaga’s relationship to breast cancer. A more recent study showed that chaga extract was effective in preventing carcinogenesis, killing tumor cells and preventing new ones from forming. More importantly, the chaga extract did not harm healthy cells in the process of killing cancer cells, unlike other cancer treatments. This shows that chaga can be used in conjunction with other anti-cancer treatments for a faster and more thorough recovery.
Another study from 2001 showed that chaga cells were capable of slowing the growth of breast cancer in mice. This is attributed to chaga’s rich antioxidant content, which guards the body against free radicals, free-floating particles that cause cellular damage. Chaga’s ability to reduce oxidative stress is a major factor in its effectiveness against breast cancer, as it maintains the body’s natural state and the integrity of its cells against threats.
Finally, a study from 2009 analyzed the effect that triterpenes, compounds found in chaga and similar mushrooms, had on cancer cells. The study showed that triterpenes had the ability to make tumor cells self-destruct upon contact, further solidifying chaga’s effectiveness in combating breast cancer. Chaga has also been shown to lessen the effects of chemotherapy, making it doubly useful for those undergoing cancer treatment.
It’s worth pointing out that much of the research on breast cancer and chaga is preliminary, with many questions about the mushroom’s effectiveness still lingering. Because everyone’s body is different, everyone will have differing reactions and benefits from chaga. However, the evidence shows that chaga is capable of combating breast cancer to varying degrees, making it an effective tool for those who want to prevent breast cancer or fight it if they already have it.
Chaga has endured as a folk remedy in the northern parts of the world for a reason. Its proven effects on the immune system, aging, digestive tract, and more make it a valuable ally for those who care about their health. For sufferers of breast cancer—or those at risk of developing it—chaga is even more important, as consumption of it has been linked to lower rates of cancer and faster recovery. Anecdotal and scientific evidence continues to prove the value of chaga in fighting cancer.
Chaga is worth adding to your diet if you are already undergoing cancer treatment, with some individuals reporting its effectiveness even without combining it with chemotherapy and the like. While your mileage may vary, chaga’s proven nutritional bounty and the wealth of scientific data on its effects make it worth using if you are worried about breast cancer. Chaga is one of the world’s most potent superfoods, and if you are at risk of developing breast cancer or already suffering from it, it’s worth using it as part of your treatment arsenal.