Inonotus obliquus, commonly known as "chaga mushroom" has been used as a folk remedy in Russia and Siberia since the 16th century. According to the Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, "no clinical trials have been conducted to assess chaga's safety and efficacy for disease prevention or for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes". They caution that the mushroom extract can interact with other drugs.
Laboratory studies on extract of chaga mushroom has indicated possible future potential in cancer therapy, as an antioxidant, in immunotherapy, and as an anti-inflammatory. A Russian case study with 50 subjects shows the potential of Chaga in neutralizing auto-immune diseases, such as psoriasis.
Chemical analysis shows that chaga mushroom contains a range of secondary metabolites, including phenolic compounds such as melanins, and lanostane-type triterpenes, which include a small percentage of betulinic acid.