Birch chaga or clinker polypore

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In the article, you will come across two names - clinker polypore and birch chaga. clinker polypore is the true name of this mushroom, birch chaga is a folk name. Chaga is medicinal only if it is found on birch, so we will talk about the medicinal form as birch chaga.

Birch chaga, or clinker polypore is a parasitic fungus that forms hard growths on the tree trunk. It can be found not only on birches, but also on maples, rowan, willows and other deciduous trees. Therefore, it can be fully called birch chaga, because only growths collected from birches are used for medicinal purposes. The growths are the sclerotium of the fungus. Sclerotium is a barren body of the fungus, where valuable substances accumulate. The fungus itself is under the bark of the tree and is annual. As soon as the sclerotia contains enough valuable substances and the host tree dies, the chaga becomes active and within about a year reaches full maturity and is able to produce spores.

That is why chaga is not collected from dead birches, because the fungus extracts all valuable substances from its sclerotia in order to be able to mature on its own.

The chaga reaches its full maturity in an average of 15-30 years, but in rare cases it can live up to 80 years. Accordingly, during this period of time, the host tree is permanently killed and an extensive brown troupe develops.

Interestingly, chaga prevents the formation of other fungi that form brown rot on the wood. If such a neighbor appears, then the chaga does not form much sclerotia and it is basically half-empty, from the point of view of valuable elements, because the bulb actively consumes its reserves to destroy competitors.

When the tree dies, the chaga activates, under the bark it can cover the tree trunk in an area of 3 meters or more. After some time, the bark of the tree opens and the spores begin to spread naturally, and they are also helped by a specific species of beetle. Researches of recent years show that it is insects that ensure greater spread. When the spores reach another tree, at the site of the damage, after 3-4 years, a new, visible sclerotium of the fungus begins to form in that place.

It is worth noting that the sclerotium of the fungus is a sterile part of the fungus, and when you process it, you can not be afraid that you will spread the spores to the birch trees in your yard. It must be understood that the spore of the fungus can travel more than 10,000 km, so it is physically impossible to protect the trees, even if you work with spore-containing mushroom fruiting bodies.

It should be noted that birch chaga is not collected:

  • from dead trees - as we found out earlier, sclerotium in this case is just a mushroom mass without valuable components;
  • growing below 2m - according to research, the lower the birch chaga is on the trunk, because it is more affected by moisture (which washes out the valuable substances) and they have a significantly lower content of valuable substances;
  • in the vicinity of swamps and cities - sclerotium of birch chaga accumulates not only valuable substances, but also harmful ones, including radioactive substances such as cesium and americium. The swamp preserves traces of radioactive accidents in itself for many years.

Birch chaga has all the usable parts. It consists of three layers, the base (loose and porous) contains small amounts of valuable substances, it can also be cut, but not necessarily, the middle brown layer has the highest content of valuable substances and there is also a top layer (black), which is usually recommended to be cut off. But the top layer is exactly the one that contains mushroom chitin, which, in turn, is an effective remedy against various viral diseases. That is why birch chaga also gained its popularity, as it turns out to be effective against various seasonal viral diseases and also new viruses.

Traditionally, mushroom sclerotia are dried up to 60C, but they calmly withstand the temperature regime up to 120C. However, I recommend sticking to tradition and drying it no higher than 60C.

Birch chaga has an average shelf life of 2 years. Provided that it is stored properly - dry, airtight, hidden from the sun.

Birch chaga contains about 20% water-soluble pigments that form a chromogenic complex of polyphenol carbonates, pterins (the basis of pteridines); polysaccharides (6-8%), agaricin and humic chaga acid (up to 60%); organic acids 0.5-1.3%; oxalic acid, acetic acid, formic acid, vanillic acid, ceric acid, n-hydroxybenzoic acid; triterpenic acids from tetracyclic triterpenes; lipids (di- and triglycerides); steroid substances (sterols - ergosterol, and tetracyclic triterpenes - lanasterol and inotodiol); lignin, cellulose, free phenols, flavonoids, gum peucedin, resin, traces of unknown alkaloids; alkalis (12.3%), which are rich in manganese; other trace elements, such as oxides.

Medicinal significance

Treatment courses are allowed for 3-5 months, but a break of 7-10 days is required between them, as a minimum.

Chaga decoctions and infusions work especially effectively on seriously ill patients - they remove pain symptoms and improve their condition and well-being.

It is very important to understand that birch chaga is not a medicine against oncology , it has strong antioxidant properties and can strongly help to prevent oncology from occurring at all, as well as to improve the health of cancer patients.

Chaga is used as a symptomatic remedy in case of oncological diseases, it improves the general condition of people with oncological diseases, it is also used for the treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract: chronic gastritis, dyskinesia of the hyperkinetic type, unexacerbated gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastric and intestinal polyps, gastralgia , enteralgia, liver and spleen problems. Chaga preparations are used in insomnia to calm the nervous system, to regulate catalase and protease metabolism, to increase the body's resistance to infectious diseases.

Preparations and birch sap are prescribed for people suffering from eczema, atopic dermatitis, erotroderma. In case of wounds, injuries, burns, frostbite, skin inflammation, pubertal acne, herpes virus (skin and mucous membranes), papilloma virus, warts, leukoplakia, varicose veins.

Preparations containing birch chaga have a wide spectrum of pharmacological activity and are used as an active biogenic stimulator. When these preparations are used orally or in a specific place, they increase the body's resistance to various infections, are excellent in the treatment of inflammation, improve metabolism, activate metabolism in brain tissue, restore the activity of inhibited enzyme systems, increase the functional properties of weakened organs and body parts.

The pterins present in chaga provide a cytostatic effect. They enhance the cytostatic activity of oncology preparations, reduce the growth rate of tumors, promote gradual regression and prevent the formation of metastases. In parallel with the effect, chaga will also improve the overall well-being of the cancer patient, restoring work capacity and increasing tone.

The chromogenic polyphenol carbon complex also reduces oncological activity. Phenolic compounds regulate cytoplasmic and mitochondrial activity. Oncological cells are directly dependent on glycolysis, so affecting the processes of glycolysis will negatively affect the development of cancer cells.

Chaga is also used to treat radiation leukopenia and is infused during radiation therapy to reduce the effects. It will help restore blood composition and improve blood circulation.

Chaga preparations also have antispasmodic, diuretic, antimicrobial, reparative effects. Improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, helps to treat gastric and duodenal ulcers and is highly effective in cases of gastritis. Mushroom decoction reduces arterial and venous blood pressure, reduces pulse rate, regulates the activity of the cardiovascular and respiratory system, stimulates blood production (increases the level of leukocytes).

The decoction of the inner part of the birch chaga will have hypoglycemic properties, but it should be remembered that the outer part of the mushroom does not have such properties. The maximum decrease in the level of glucose in the blood is observed after 1.5-3 hours, after using the decoction. The blood sugar level decreases by 15.8-29.9%.

When used externally, birch chaga has anti-inflammatory, healing and pain-relieving properties. It protects the skin from the effects of the external environment, including viral and fungal infections, removes edema and promotes skin regeneration.

Inotodiol exhibits antiblastic activity. Thanks to the manganese present in the alkali. It probably has medicinal value in chaga, as an enzyme activator.

Observations of the clinical effect of chaga were performed on stage IV cancer patients who cannot undergo radical surgical interventions and radiation therapy, because the cancer has possibly grown into neighboring organs and caused metastases. When using birch chaga, patients improved their general state of health and well-being, increased appetite, stabilized the gastrointestinal tract, decreased fatigue, disappeared problems with skin thermoregulation and sweat secretion, and increased hormonal estrogen activity.

With long-term use of birch chaga, 50% of patients improved peripheral blood parameters (hemoglobin, erythrocytes increased, erythrocyte sinking rate and leukocyte count decreased, in case of leukocytosis). Anti-anemic properties of chaga were observed in patients who failed to change their blood counts with conventional preparations and blood transfusions. The function of the cardiovascular system improved, enzymes were close to normal (catalase and protease), pain symptoms decreased (the need for narcotic drugs decreased, 2-3 times), interest in the surrounding world was restored, working abilities returned. Some of the patients even returned to work. It was observed that the tumor began to grow more slowly and the rate of metastasis development decreased. According to a specific study on patients, those who used chaga lived longer.

Based on these studies, oncologists from the National Research Institute named after NN Blokhin (Moscow) developed medical preparations based on chaga, which are successfully used even today and not only oncologists use them on their patients.

As an aid, chaga is also used by otorhinolaryngologists for the treatment of throat cancer (used in the form of inhalation), because it restores the function of swallowing, reduces hoarseness, improves breathing, and reduces inflammatory processes.

Chaga is well tolerated and non-toxic compared to chemotherapy.

Birch chaga preparations are also significant as active biostimulators, they strengthen the body's protective functions, stimulate the central nervous system and improve metabolism. Birch chaga also stimulates metabolic processes in the brain tissue, which is manifested as the activation of bioelectrical processes in the cerebral cortex. Restores the body's enzyme activity, improves heart function and respiratory processes. A positive effect on the treatment of psoriasis has also been observed.


Bērza čaga tautas medicīnā ir pazīstama jau izsenis, kā līdzeklis pret visa veida iekšējiem audzējiem. Hronikās bērza čagas lietojums ir aprakstīts jau 12 g.s.

Tautas medicīnā čagu pielieto kuņģa- zarnu trakta ārstniecībā, lai uzlabotu apetīti un miegu, stiprinātu nervu sistēmu, pret gastrītu un čūlām.

Nelielās koncentrācijās bērza čagu lieto, kā tējas aizvietotāju, jo tā uzlabo apetīti, dod mundrumu, noņem galvas sāpes un atjauno spēkus.


World-wide medical journals have published information that birch chaga preparations are able to:

  • Have an analgesic effect and reduce sensitivity to pain;
  • Act antibacterially (microbacteria, francisella tularemia, etc.);
  • Act as an antiviral agent (influenza, herpes, HIV, hepatitis, smallpox, cat retroviruses, etc.)
  • Have an antiparasitic effect (helps get rid of various worms);


  • Anti-tuberculosis antiaggregative effect (dispel erythrocyte congestion), anti-thrombotic effect (dispel platelets);
  • Antifungal effect;
  • Antiallergic effect;
  • Anti-inflammatory effect;
  • Antioxidant effect;
  • Peroxidative effect (protects fats from oxidation or loss of electrons);
  • Antimutagenic effects;
  • Carcinostatic effect;
  • Apoptosis (death of cancer cells);
  • Antihyperglycemic effect;
  • Balancing blood sugar levels;
  • Blood purification;
  • Blood circulation improving effect;
  • Cardioprotection;
  • Liver cleansing and detoxification;
  • Faster recovery from bronchitis;
  • Better regeneration of skin and hair;
  • Anti-stress effect (adaptogen);
  • Neurotropic effect.

And all this is official - research results and publications in world medical journals.

The biggest research on this mushroom is done by a country like North Korea! It is their mushroom products that are the highest quality, most effective and most accurate in the world.

They have determined that this fungus:

  • Increases the body's defenses and stimulates immunity;
  • Stimulates metabolism in brain tissue;
  • Reduces both internal and external inflammatory processes;
  • Antioxidants work;
  • Slows the development of some types of tumors;
  • Has a beneficial effect on liver and lung cancer;
  • Lowers arterial and venous blood pressure;
  • Regulates heart rhythm;
  • Lowers blood sugar levels;
  • Normalizes the functioning of the nervous system;
  • Normalizes the functioning of the digestive tract.

Chinese fungotherapists recommend using birch chaga:

  • In antitumor therapy;
  • Pathologies caused by free radicals (antioxidant and immunostimulating effect);
  • Diabetes;
  • Platelet aggregation.

In Japan, chaga is recommended for use:

  • In case of diarrhea;
  • Gastric ulcer;
  • Hepatitis;
  • Jade;
  • Deposition of salts in bone tissue;
  • For blood purification;
  • To improve appetite;
  • For pain relief;
  • For the prevention of cancer.


Birch chaga should not be given to children under the age of 18 for medicinal purposes, except in cases where you have consulted a pediatrician. Accordingly, should not be used by women during pregnancy and lactation. It should be known that due to ethical reasons, their effects are not tested on children or pregnant women.

Chaga should not be used in dysentery. Long-term use of chaga can cause digestive disturbances, increase the tension of the vegetative nervous system, in such cases the treatment should be stopped.

It will not hurt if you follow a diet during the treatment, giving up fatty meat, smoking, canned food, spicy food, animal fat, onions and garlic. Also, limit the amount of sweets. It is recommended to use vegetables and milk soups, fruits to reduce the possibility of constipation. Food should include bran bread, eggs and mineral water - non-carbonated.


Birch chaga withstands the cooking process well and can be safely exposed to high temperatures for up to 3 hours. The optimal dosage is one tablespoon of birch sap per liter of water, but it depends on the user, dosages can be changed.

It is permissible to add other healing gifts of nature to chaga tea, which do not conflict with the effect of chaga. It is also permissible to use honey for sweetening.


The easiest way to use birch sap is to pour boiling water over it. Birch chaga ground into powder is used for sprinkling. On average, 1 teaspoon of chaga is calculated per cup. Set in a container with a lid for an average of 30 minutes. For prevention, drink 1 cup a day, in case of severe health problems, up to 3 cups a day. It is good to know that chaga thicknesses can be poured repeatedly up to 3 times.


In cases where the birch chaga is in pieces, it would be appropriate to use it as such. At first, soak the pieces in boiled, cooled water for 3-5 hours. As the pieces absorb water, they will become soft and can be easily grated on a grater. The water in which we soaked the chaga will be used in the preparation of the solution. In this case, the solution is prepared in a ratio of 1:5, one part chaga, five parts water. Chaga is preferably placed in a thermos or clay pot with a lid and poured with water heated to 50-60C. Set for 48 hours. In the case of a thermos, there are no additional steps, in the case of a clay pot, it needs to be placed on a heat source (side of the stove) and wrapped in a towel! The obtained solution can be mixed with the water in which we soaked the chaga. Such a setting must be consumed within 3-4 days.


Birch chaga can also be used to make alcohol or brandy extracts. We observe the ratio 1:5. Store in the dark for one month. It should be noted that the alcohol content should not be lower than 40% by mass. Take a dessert spoon three times a day before meals.


An alcohol/water extract can also be made from birch sap. This was recommended by the University of Siberia, which determined the increased effectiveness of birch chaga against the new virus that afflicts the world!

Using a ratio of 1:1, cover the birch chaga with at least 70% alcohol/vodka and keep it in the dark for at least one month! After that, the mass is filtered!

The coarse part is put in a saucepan and poured with water at a ratio of 1:5 and boiled for about 2-3 hours on a low flame. The obtained decoction is poured and cooled.

Mix both extracts together and use 1-3 teaspoons a day.


When storing birch bark in pieces (2x2cm). You can also make a great decoction from them. A tablespoon of chaga is still calculated per liter of water, but if you add more, nothing crazy will happen. Boil on a low flame for an average of 2-3 hours. The decoction is filtered and cooled. Such a decoction is stored in the refrigerator for an average of up to 3 days.

There is a good option when chaga is boiled in a strong concentration, but in small quantities, so that it can be used within 3 days. Next, store it in the refrigerator and, if necessary, pour 1/3 of its volume into a cup and add hot water. You won't have to drink cold chaga tea like that.


Birch chaga can also be used in food. For this case, take fine chaga powder and soak it in cold water for a couple of hours before use. Then you just have to figure out how to use it in your diet! This use of chaga is also permissible, with a medicinal purpose.

Cosmetic significance

In the world of natural and medicinal cosmetics, mushrooms occupy a serious place, and it is rare that a natural gift can surpass mushrooms in terms of effectiveness. Birch chaga is no exception. Although the cosmetic effect is associated with external use, in the world of medicinal and natural cosmetics, natural products are often used orally, directly to create a cosmetic effect. It is enough to take mushroom products orally and the condition of both skin and hair improves, and this is nothing new.

Due to the fact that birch chaga contains a lot of melanin and antioxidant beta glucan, it acts on the skin and prevents it from aging (prevents wrinkles and keeps the skin firm). Protects the skin from photodamage, dark spots and puffiness around the eyes. Birch chaga cosmetics will also help reduce scars, skin fatigue, liver, open pores, improve blood microcirculation of the skin, reduce cellulite and stretch marks.

Birch chaga can also be used well to clean the skin after chemical peeling, laser grinding and other skin-traumatizing procedures.

Youth mask with sweet cream

Pour 2 tablespoons of finely ground birch bark with 100 grams of sweet cream and bathe in warm water for 10-15 minutes, preventing it from boiling. The resulting mass is filtered and squeezed through cheesecloth. Next, apply the mass obtained with a cotton swab on the face, keep it for 15 minutes and then wash it off with warm water. The mask is stored in the refrigerator.

Lotion for sensitive skin

Take one tablespoon each of birch chaga powder, medicinal sage, lime flowers and medicinal chamomile, pour over a glass of boiling water and let it infuse for at least 2 hours. Filter the solution and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Use twice a day in the morning and in the evening, spreading on the face.

Medicinal oil for dry skin

3 tablespoons of birch chaga powder are sprinkled with 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and bathed in warm water for 15 minutes. Do not allow the mass to start boiling. The mass must be stirred during heating. Allow the mass to cool completely, filter and it is ready for use on the face.

Tonic for oily skin

Pour 2 tablespoons of birch chaga powder with 2 glasses of hot water (not boiling). Keeps in a thermos for 5-6 hours. Then filter, add two teaspoons of alcohol and 2 ampoules of vitamin B. Used to clean the face 2 times a day. The tonic is stored in the refrigerator.

Rejuvenating bath with birch chaga and herbs

Pour water over 1 tablespoon of birch chaga, black elder flowers, licorice roots, tricolor violets, fennel fruits, birch leaves and large sedges and boil for 10 minutes. The decoction is filtered and added to the bath water. Duration of bathing 15 minutes.

Refreshing bath with birch chaga and tea

Mix 2 tablespoons of birch sap and 3 tablespoons of black tea leaves in a 3L jar and pour hot water over it. Set aside for 30 minutes, then filter and add to bath water. Use the bath as needed 1-2 times a day for 15-20 minutes.

Soothing night tea with birch chaga, juniper and eucalyptus

Pour 1 L of boiling water over 1 cup of birch chaga powder, 1 cup of finely chopped juniper twigs and 1 cup of chopped eucalyptus leaves. Filter and add to bath water before sleep.

Regenerating mask for normal and dry hair

Add 1/3 cup of vegetable oil to 2 tablespoons of birch chaga powder. Keep in a dark place for a week. Small portions are applied to the scalp, once a week. After applying, the hair is covered with an airtight cap and after an hour the hair is washed with shampoo.

Birch chaga solution for dry and damaged hair

Pour 1 tablespoon of birch chaga powder with 1/2 cup of hot sweet cream (20%), leave for 20 minutes and filter. Add 1 teaspoon of wheat flour to the resulting mass. The resulting mask is applied to the hair and kept for 30 minutes. Then rinse the hair with warm water.

Birch chaga solution for oily hair

Pour 3 tablespoons of birch chaga powder with 1L of boiling water, let it sit for 30 minutes. Filtered and cooled solution is used for rinsing hair.

Mask against hair loss

Mix 2 tablespoons of base chaga extract, 1 tablespoon of onion juice and 1 tablespoon of liquid honey until a homogeneous mass is obtained. Apply the mass to the roots of the hair, put on a warming hat and keep it for 20 minutes. (you can wrap your head in a towel).