Chaga

Other Name(s):

Birch Mushroom, Chaga Conk, Champignon de l’Immortalité, Cinder Conk, Clinker Polypore, Diamant de la Forêt, Don de Dieu, Inonotus obliquus, Roi des Plantes, Siberian Chaga, Tchaga.

Overview

Chaga is a fungus. It produces a woody growth, called a conk, which is used to make medicine.

People take chaga by mouth for heart disease, diabetes, stomach and intestine cancer, liver disease, parasites, stomach pain, and tuberculosis.

How does it work?

Chaga might stimulate the immune system. It contains some chemicals that have antioxidant effects. Chaga might lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of chaga for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

QUESTION

Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Side Effects

It isn't known if chaga is safe or what the possible side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of chaga during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

"Auto-immune diseases" such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Chaga might cause the immune system to become more active. This could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using chaga.

Bleeding disorders: There is concern that chaga might increase the risk of bleeding. Don't use chaga if you have a bleeding disorder.

Diabetes: Chaga might lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use chaga products. The dose of your diabetes medications may need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.

Surgery: Chaga might affect blood sugar control or increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using chaga at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions


Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Chaga might lower blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking chaga along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.


Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Chaga might make the immune system more active. Some medications decrease the immune system. Taking chaga along with medications that decrease the immune system might decrease the effectiveness of these medications.

Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.


Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Chaga might slow blood clotting. Taking chaga along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

SLIDESHOW

Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Dosing

The appropriate dose of chaga depends on several factors such is the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for chaga. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Reviewed on 6/14/2021
References

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