Mushrooms grown in Siberia could be used to create a new treatment for AIDS, Russian scientists claim.
The researchers say that Chaga mushrooms growing on birch trees are a ‘promising’ subject for further research. Scientists at the Vector Institute, near Novosibirsk, say that they have three different mushrooms all of which could be used in antiretroviral medicines but that the Chaga mushroom is showing the most promise.'Strains of these mushrooms demonstrated low toxicity and a strong antiviral effect,' a statement from the Institute said. They could be effective against influenza, smallpox and HIV, The Siberian Times reports.
The mushrooms are thought to contain betulinic acid which has antiretroviral and anti-inflammatory properties.They have been used by traditional healers in Siberia for centuries. Some people believe they also have cancer-combating properties.
Chaga mushrooms are referenced as a treatment for cancer in Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Cancer Ward which was published in 1967.
Source - Daily Mail