Chaga Pharmacology and Phytochemistry

The folk uses of Chaga address many complaints such as Gastritis, ulcers, TB of the bones, as well as cancer

Courtesy of

Inonotus obliquus - Description and History of Use

Chaga, Inonotus obliquus is a polypore fungus (Aphyllophorales) which grows on birch (Betula spp.) The fungus produces a black perennial woody growth called a conk and is a member of the Basidiomycetes (true mushrooms). It is harvested in the wild in Russia and commonly used for the treatment of a number of conditions including cancer, gastritis and ulcers.

Pharmacology and phytochemistry

An Inonotus extract showed strong antiviral effects with influenza virus A and B (1). Two phenolic compounds, hispidin and hispolon were found to be the active principles.

One report from Russia suggests the cytotoxic effects of Chaga extract against HeLa cells (2). In other reports, related Polyporaceae show potent antitumor effects and the active principles have been identified as ? (1 -> 3)-D glucopyrans and ? (1 -> 6)-D-glucosyl branches with molecular weight of 500-2000 kDa (3). These polysaccharides have promising anticancer activity against a number of cell lines. This is clearly a traditional medicine with potent biological activities.


N.A. Awadh et al. 2003 Fitotherapis 74: 483-5

J. Rzymoska 1998. Boll Chim Farm. 137:13-5.

J. Zjawlony 2004 J.Nat. Prod. 67:300-310

Summary prepared by

Thor. Arnason

Professor of Biology

University of Ottawa

for Lon Ball

Klickitat Organics, LLC

509 395-2677

Pharmacopoeia Articles

Collected all the year round, freed of wood remains, cut into pieces and dried fruitless sclerotia of birch fungus (Inonotus obliquus (Pers.) Pil.) of the family Hymenochaetaceae.

Appearance Indications

Solid Stock.

Pieces of different forms the size of up to 10cm. Outer layer of the sclerotia is black, heavily cracked, while the inner layer is dark-brown with small, yellow veins, the number of which is increasing in the direction of the inner side. Fungus tissue is solid and hard. There is no odor. The taste is bitterish.


The color is dark-brown. No odor. The taste is bitterish.

Numerical Indicators

Solid Stock.

Chromogenous complex: not less than 10%; moisture content: not more than 14%; total ash content: not more than 14%; organic admixtures, bast, wood remains, including those separated during analysis: not more than 1%.

Mill Stock.

Chromogenous complex: not less than 10%; moisture content: not more than 14%; total ash content.

Quantitative Determination

A stock analytical sample should be pulverized down to the size of particles passing through a 2mm sieve. 10 grams of mill stock should be put into a 500ml flask, then add 300ml of water and leave it for 1 hour at room temperature. Then the flask should be connected with a reflux condenser and boil on an electric heater maintaining quiet boiling for 2 hours. After that, water extract should be filtered through a paper filter into a 500ml measuring flask, the stock should be transferred to the filter and rinsed with warm water. Water extract in the flask should cooled down to 18-20°C, then the volume of extract should be brought to the mark and thoroughly mixed.

25ml of filtrate should be transferred to a weighed china cup, then evaporate on a water bath to dryness and dry at 100-105°C for 3 hours, then cool I and quickly weigh it to determine the mass of dry residue (m1).

To determine the chromogenous complex, 100ml of filtrate is put into a 150ml glass, then acidified by 25% solution of hydrochloric acid (0.5-0.8ml) up to pH 1.0-2.0 with a general-purpose, indicator paper, then mix and leave for 30 minutes. After the occurrence of dark-brown precipitate, the glass contents are filtered through a paper folded filter.

25ml of filtrate, received after the deposition of chromogenous complex by hydrochloric acid, is transferred into a constant-mass dried and weighed china cup, evaporate on water bath to dryness and dry at 100-105°C for 3 hours, then cool and quickly weigh to determine the mass of dry residue (m2).

Chromogenous complex contents on a percentage basis (X) in terms of absolutely dry stock should be computed from the formula:

(m1 - m2) · 500 · 100 · 100

X = ------------------------------------------

m · 25 · (100 - W)

where: m1

- Dry residue mass prior to deposition by hydrochloric acid in grams;


- Dry residue mass after deposition by hydrochloric acid in grams;


- Stock mass in grams;


- Mass loss during stock drying in percentage terms.


Solid stock is packed into fabric or flax-jute-hemp bags of not more than 15kg net weight.

Mill stock is packed by 200 grams into Type II paper bags with subsequent putting into cartons 12-1-4.

Shelf Life:

2 years.

© 2002

Klickitat Organics, LLC

509 395-2677

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