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History of the Birch Polypore Mushroom

Beržo grybo(čaga) istorija

The History of Mushroom Picking

The black birch mushroom (Inonotus obliquus), called the "gift of God" or the "king of medicinal mushrooms," has been valued for thousands of years in Siberia, Korea, Eastern and Northern Europe, the northern United States, and Canada. This amazing mushroom has been used for medicinal, ritual and recreational purposes throughout the Northern Hemisphere, from Russia to Canada. The birch mushroom was even used to predict the future.

Chaga has been used in folk and botanical medicine throughout Eastern Europe since the 16th century. Birch fungus grows on living trunks of mature birch trees in cold climates.

In fact, the birch mushroom is surrounded by various myths and other curiosities, which makes it even more interesting. The history of this mushroom goes back thousands of years.

• Otzis, the ice man found frozen in ice, is believed to have lived in 3400 BC. Ave. Cr. A birch mushroom was found in his bag, which is believed to have been used to start the fire.

• Shen Nung is considered the father of Chinese medicine. It is believed that he was born in 2696. Ave. Cr. In China, he was the first to invent the acupuncture technique and introduce agriculture. He tested hundreds of herbs to test their medicinal properties. He is believed to be the author of the Pen-ts'ao Ching, the oldest documented Chinese pharmacopoeia. This book describes 365 medicines made from minerals, plants and animals. Shen Nung also included the chaga mushroom, which he called "the king of herbs."

• For the first time historically, the birch mushroom was used by the Khanty people living in Western Siberia (formerly known as the Ostiaks) around the 12th century. The Chants used to put chaga on fire and immerse it in hot water while it was still smoking. They used the mushroom prepared in this way to cleanse the genitals of women after menstruation and childbirth. They also used birch mushroom tea to improve digestion, to ensure a feeling of fullness and, if necessary, to cleanse the body (detoxification). In addition, they mixed chaga with pig fat and ash to make a natural, anti-inflammatory soap.

• First Nations people are considered the first to use the birch mushroom for medicinal purposes. They believed in the wisdom of chaga and birch. This sable colored mushroom was used in pipe smoking ceremonies because of its sweet and pleasant smell.

• In Russia, birch mushroom was used to treat various cancers. Even in the 16th century The Grand Duke of Kievan Rus Vladmir Monamakh used the chaga mushroom to cure lip tumors. The people of Siberia believed that this black mushroom helped to treat tuberculosis, liver and stomach diseases, including gastritis and ulcers.

• Since 1950 birch mushrooms began to be widely used throughout Asia. in 1950 The first clinical study of chaga mushroom was conducted in which researchers confirmed its potential to improve the immune system. in 1955 chaga mushrooms were officially recognized as a remedy in Russia. in 1968 Nobel Prize-winning Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote the novel Cancer Corps in which the Western world was introduced to chaga, a black birch mushroom.

• In 2010, the concept of "superfoods" and medicinal mushrooms is introduced in North America by doctors, health food and alternative medicine advocates such as David Wolf, Dr. Cass Ingram, Paul Stamets and others.

*All information on this website is for informational purposes only. The information provided here about mushrooms and their health benefits is in no way intended to replace your doctor's advice or prescribed treatment. You should not use the information on our website to self-diagnose or personally treat any medical condition or disease.

Scientific references:

  1. Plants used against cancer. Hartwell JL. 1982. Quartermain Pubs: Lawrence, Mass. p.694.
  2. Quality characteristics of rice inoculated with Inonotus obliquus mycelia and incubated under different cultivating conditions. Afr Biotech. 2013;12(33):5131-5139.
  3. Betulinic acid, a potent inhibitor of eukaryotic topoisomerase I: identification of the inhibitory step, the major functional group responsible and development of more potent derrivates. Chowdhurry AR, Mandal S, Mittra B, Sharma S, Mukhopadhyay S, Majumder HK, Medical Science Monitor. 2002;8(7):254-65.
  4. Antimalarial activity of betuline acid and derives in vitro against Plasmodium falciparum and in vivo in berghei infected mise. de Sa MS, Costa JF, Krettli AU, Zalis MG, Maia GL, Sette IM, Camara CdeA, Filho JM, Giulietti-Harley AM, Ribeiro Dos Santos R., Soares MB. Parasitol Res. 2009;105(1):274-9.
  5. Solubility studies of oleanolic acid and betulinic acid in aqueous solutions and plant extracts of Viscum album Jäger S, Winkler K., Pfüller U, Scheffer A, Planta med. 2007;73(2):157-62.
  6. Antioxidant small phenolic ingredients in Inonotus obliquus (persoon) Pilat (Chaga). Nakajima Y, Satto Y, Konishi T. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2007;55(8):1222-6.