Birch Polypore grows on Birch trees and has long been used for its medicinal properties.
In 1991 a group of Austrian hikers in the alpine mountain range between Italy and Austria discovered a 5300 years old hunter frost-mummy that they named Otzi the Ice Man. Around his neck was a leather cord with 3 pieces of birch polypore. He had whipworm and other health conditions which this mushroom is known to help with.
We foraged this Birch Polypore in the UK.
What can you use Birch Polypore for?
- Strengthen immune system
- Chronic fatigue
- Anti inflammatory, antifungal, antioxidant, anti cancer, anti tumor, antiviral
- Natural laxative in high doses
- Gut soothing
How to use it?
Place the mushroom in a saucepan full of simmering water. Simmer on low for 35 minutes +.
It doesn't have the most pleasant flavour so pairing it with fruits and spices whilst it simmers helps camouflage its bitterness.
By simmering the Birch Polypore we are extracting the water-soluble compounds (beta-glucans). The longer you leave it the more polysaccharides are released.
If you want to make a richer medicinal concoction keep them on a low heat for 24-48hours.
TIP: make sure the water doesn't run out or the mushroom and pan will burn.
Once finished strain and place the mushroom in a container in the freezer. You can use it for your next batch and as many times as possible until the liquid runs clear.
A decoction made from this mushroom makes a great winter tonic for cold and flu season.
A rough recommended dosage would be 1 cup of decoction made with 5-8g dried mushroom per day.
If you would like to go a bit more advanced you can make a tincture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX6fDP6n2aw
UK Foraged Birch Polypore (Fomitopsis betulina)