The Birch Polypore - A Medicinal Wonder

in wildfood •  6 months ago

Birch Polypore.JPG
For as long as mankind has existed, we humans have been using plants, trees, and fungi for their medicinal benefits. However, in the last few centuries, many people have forgotten the wonders of these natural medicines. One of such is the Birch Polypore, Piptoporus Betulinus.

The Birch Polypore has many great medicinal benefits. Most notably, is its ability to boost the immune system. Not only does it make you less likely to fall ill. but it also has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties! These properties are particularly helpful to the forager and the avid outdoorsman in case of low threat injury such as a cut. This is because you can make a slef-adhesive, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory band-aid out of this fungus quite easily. The antiseptic properties can stop infection while the anti-inflammaty acids help to reduce or numb pain. It is often dried and boiled to make a sloghtly bitter, but great for your health brew. In fact, a kilogram of the dried fungus can fetch up to £100 in todays market!

The Birch Polypore's uses don't stop at medicine. Many years ago, barbers would use the fungus as a razor strop, giving rise to its other common name, The Razor Strop Fungus. The fungus has also been used and is still practiced today by outdoor survivalists, as a tinder fungus. This fungus, when dried, will hold an ember for hours and is therefore great for starting fires.

In the early 1990's, a 5000-year-old mummified human, preserved in ice, was found in the Alps. Ice Man was found to have a Birch Polypore with him. Whether he used it for its medicinal benefits or as a tinder fungus is anyone's guess!

Photo Credit:
Taken by myself

Warning: Always be 100% sure of its identity before consuming any wild fungus or plant.

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Lots of great info here and I'm liking your style of presentation, showing the many diverse uses of the Birch Polypore. Have you ever thought of starting a series like "Celebrating Healing Plants" or something along that line so you can group them together with your medicinal and your edibles etc. and put links back in your post to other posts in the series. Get more exposure.

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Good idea! I will definitely do that soon!

hello @bucksforaging15 .. how do we recognize whether it's bird polypore fungi or not? I mean from it's look or is there any spesific mark to know it? and I agree with you, some fungis despite of some poisonous type..have many good benefit for the human health, I used to see people drink dried coffee bark fungis or something like that... I failed to remember the name.. hehehe.

Thanks for sharing this informative post and I found this through @porters entry post in the pay it forward contest this week.

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Hi @cicisaja! Like I said in the post, it is very important to be sure of what you are eating in the wild. My top advice would be to always consult more than just one source (I have many books and websites that I regularly study). In regards to the birch polypore, it is pretty easy to identify. Not much else looks like it. Always make sure that it is growing on a birch tree. Underneath this fungus, you will see a pure white pore-like underside. The flesh will also be pure white. The cap will vary from light brown to a dark brown as it matures. The picture in the article is of a very young specimen which has not yet acquired the brown coloration on the cap. If you're still not confident, try checking out this article: https://www.wildfooduk.com/mushroom-guide/birch-polypore/
It has loads of great information including a video which will help you identify this fungus properly.

Enjoy!

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Thank you👐 so much for the explanation ☺

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