It is a scientific fact that chaga mushroom placed into a birch bark box acquires more expressed therapeutic properties. Basic acting substances of the white part of birch bark triterpenic bonds - betulin, lupeol, betulinic acid, etc. - they possess anticancerous action, causing apoptoz (programmed death) of cancerous cells and transfer to chaga, thus strengthening its properties..", says Galina Mikhaylovna Fedoseeva, the Chairman of the Department of Biopharmacognosy and Botany of Irkutsk State Medical University, professor, Doctor of the pharmaceutical sciences.
The very compound that makes the birch “shine bright white” has been tentatively linked to treatment for such devastating human ailments as some melanomas or cancer, several forms of herpes and even for AIDS.
Betulin, a powdery substance in the outer bark of the birch tree, has been shown to help wounds heal faster and cut inflammation. Many cosmetic companies, touting it as a skin toner and restorer, add birch bark extract to various products. And a birch bark compound, betulinic acid, is being tested as a treatment for melanoma and other serious diseases.
Betulin contains betulinic acid, which possesses a wide spectrum of biological and pharmacological activities. Betulinic acid has antimalarial and anti-inflammatory activities. Betulinic acid and its derivatives have especially shown anti-HIV activity and cytotoxicity against a variety of tumor cell lines comparable to some clinically used drugs. A new mechanism of action has been confirmed for some of the most promising anti-HIV derivatives, which makes them potentially useful additives to the current anti-HIV therapy. Betulinic acid is specifically cytotoxic to several tumor cell lines by inducing apoptosis in cells. Moreover, it is non-toxic up to 500 mg/kg body weight in mice. The literature concerning derivatization of betulin for structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies and its pharmacological properties is reviewed.