Birch mushroom works wonders
Probably, often during forest walks you noticed bizarre growths on trees. Sometimes they present a rather disgusting sight and spoil the appearance of the tree. Many consider such trees to be sick. Meanwhile, they can bring invaluable help to our body, because the growths located on them are capable of performing real miracles – miracles of healing.
Such ugly from the outside, but useful in its internal content, is primarily black birch mushroom (chaga). Chaga grows on living (not dry) old birches, less often on the trunks of other trees – alder, elm, beech, mountain ash. Of medical value are birch mushrooms grown in places of broken off knots, frost holes and other injuries. It is not worth collecting chaga from dry and drying trees. There will be little use for large growths longer than 1 meter. Old crumbling mushrooms also will not have a healing effect on the body.
For medicinal purposes, it is recommended to collect growths of irregular jelly-like form with a black, strongly pitted and cracked surface. Often they are very large – up to half a meter in length and more than 40 cm in diameter with a weight of 2 to 5 kg.
Unlike other fungal mushrooms, which are mistakenly collected by inexperienced mushroom pickers, the surface of the chaga is black, tarry, and the inner fabric is dark brown, very hard, not prone to scratching with a fingernail. Towards the trunk, the fungus tissue brightens, becomes not so hard and small yellowish streaks appear on it. On the lower surface of the chaga, in contact with the trunk, there is no spongy layer, which is characteristic of other fungi-tinder fungi.
Chaga is harvested year round. It is very difficult to separate from the tree, most often it can be cut off only with an ax. When collecting the chaga, the growth is cut under the very base, that is, near the trunk itself, then the unnecessary loose light red-brown or yellow part is cut off from it. For practical use, only the solid part of the growth is left, having cleared it of loose mass, birch bark and wood residues.
The pieces thus prepared are cut into pieces about 10 cm long, dried in a well-ventilated room or in an oven (in the oven) at a temperature not exceeding 60 degrees. During the drying process, the pieces are compacted, become even harder and acquire a dark brown color. Store the chaga in a tightly closed glass container from 6 months to 1.5-2 years.
Of particular value is the ash contained in the chaga, which includes oxides of aluminum, iron, silicon, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, zinc and sodium.
Also found in the chaga are oxalic, acetic, formic, vanillic and other acids necessary for our body.
From the medical literature there are several nineteenth-century attempts by doctors to find out the therapeutic effect of chaga preparations on patients with malignant tumors. So, Professor F.I. Inozemtsev in the clinic of Moscow University used for the treatment of cancer patients birch mushroom in the form of a thick lotion applied externally and internally.
Previous attempts to provide a scientific justification for the clinical therapeutic effect of a birch mushroom were unsuccessful. Only in 1952 was a method for obtaining dosage forms from chaga found and their complete scientifically based characteristic was given.
Since 1955, the pharmacological committee of the USSR Ministry of Health authorized the use of drugs from chaga. The first of these was a thick birch mushroom extract with the addition of cobalt chloride or cobalt sulfite – the drug befungin. Other chaga preparations are now available in various dosage forms – both in tablets and for intramuscular administration.
A favorable effect of chaga on the central nervous system was revealed. Successful use of the fungus in the complex treatment of psoriasis has been confirmed. However, there are known cases of healing from various, even the most serious diseases, with the exclusive use of only chaga preparations without additional medication and therapeutic agents.
At home, various infusions and decoctions are prepared from chaga. For example, with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including gastric ulcer, such an infusion is used. 100 g of chaga is poured with warm water for 3-4 hours, then the mushroom is crushed or passed through a meat grinder, 500 ml of warm water is poured and heated to 40-50 degrees. It is infused for two days, after which it is squeezed out and the water in which the mushroom was soaked initially is added to the resulting infusion.
Such an infusion is taken in 1 glass 3 times a day half an hour before meals. It can be stored for 4 days. With tumors in the pelvic area, the infusion is used in the form of microclysters, using 50-100 g of infusion for each procedure.
When fluid is retained in the body, the same infusion is used, but of double strength, that is, 200 g of mushroom are taken per 500 ml of water. In this case, the dose is reduced by 2 times – an infusion of 100 ml is taken 3 times a day.