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Chaga or True Tinder Fungus

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  • Chaga or True Tinder Fungus

    For those of you that have access to Birch trees take some time to look for what's called Chaga or True Tinder Fungus. It primarily grows as a cancer type fungus living off of the Birch tree. It can grow high or low on the tree. I have found it on other trees, but can not validate whether it's qualities are the same on anything other then the birch. I will tell you what I know for sure about it, but take the time to google has an amazing history! I will also state that it's medicinal qualities are better if taken off of a live tree. When removing it I have knocked it off, sawed it off or even taken it off with a knife/tomahawk. Just please make sure not to do any further damage to the tree.

    The fungus itself sets in from damaged areas on the birch and can sometimes take up to 10 years before it can even be noticed. It can be used as a tea and has one of the highest antioxident levels in nature. It has been used for centuries in the Soviet Union and states like Maine have a large following with it.

    My wife and I also burn it in the house for a WONDERFUL woodsy smell which isn't overpowering at all. I have not tried it yet, but it is supposed to be good for headaches by simply breathing it in as it burns.

    I always keep some in my fire kit because it will take the smallest spark and keep burning. It does not flame up, it only takes on a glow until it burns out, but does BURN VERY HOT SO BE CAREFUL!

    I have tried the tea a few times and it has a pretty mellow taste in my opinion. My wife very simply put the whole piece in a glass bowl she can boil with and boiled it for about 2 hours. Then she poured it through a coffee filter for drinking. (Check on-line for other methods)

    The birch tree is one of the most overlooked trees in nature for it's medicinal properties and this is why the Chaga is so exceptional. It basically sucks those qualities from the tree like a parasite.

    Once I bring it in the house I let it dry not put it by a heat source to speed up the process, let it dry at room temperature.

    I then collect chunks from it as we need it. I used to remove the blackened outside, but no longer do.

    When you see it on the tree it will take different shapes, but the most common is a blackened, cone shape almost resembling burnt wood. Do not use it if there is another type of mushroom growing on it. I have never found another mushroom on it on the Birch, but have noticed it on trees that weren't Birch.

    The outside blackened area is very hard. After removing it you will see what I consider to be an almost orange color on the inside and if it is fresh it will have a sponge-like, corky texture. This is the part that catches a spark so easily.

    We don't like waisting things so I will use the harder areas for burning in the house by touching with a lighter.

    Here are some pictures for you guys. If you have any questions feel free to PM me or google it. The biggest piece I ever found was about 13 lbs and the smallest fitting in the palm of my hand.

  • #2
    Excellent info. Thanks.


    • #3
      very nice to know, any way you could post pictures?
      Sic Vis Pacem Para Bellum


      • #4
        Random Buggy Bump!!!!

        I'm not a fatalist. I'm a realist.


        • #5
          All I can say is REALLY. Where do you get this stuff and I thought you were banned.


          • #6
            I found some pics--

            Click image for larger version  Name:	F2AEGKBIUKEVBZO.MEDIUM.jpg Views:	2 Size:	82.3 KB ID:	211053Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_2806.jpg Views:	2 Size:	100.7 KB ID:	211054Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_2543_thumb%25255B1%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800.jpg Views:	2 Size:	97.1 KB ID:	211055

            Glad to hear about this as there a lot of birch trees near where I am often out in the woods. Also, I wouldn't have known that this was a fungus on the tree--I'd have thought it was just sap or some characteristic of the bark. Thanks for the info, Snow Walker.

            and here's an instructable with pics and further info:
            Last edited by Schneb; 10-23-2017, 07:29 PM.
            Been there, done that. Then been there again several times, because apparently I never learn.


            • #7
              Thanks for finding the pics, Schneb. That is very helpful.
              The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

              Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.