Proper drying of birch chaga at home

Healing properties and contraindications for the use of chaga

Chaga contains organic acids - acetic, formic, oxalic and several other types. Alkaloids, phytoncides, and tannins are present. A lot of minerals, vitamins, water-soluble pigments. The product is actively used in folk medicine for the prevention of cancer.

Other beneficial properties of chaga:

  • reduces sugar levels;
  • improves metabolic processes;
  • normalizes sleep, helps fight central nervous system diseases;
  • reduces sweating;
  • treats women's diseases, normalizes the menstrual cycle;
  • accelerates the flow of bile;
  • reduces sweating, used for hypothyroidism;
  • improves blood composition;
  • increases immunity.

How do you dry chaga?

In the sunIn the oven

This is such a useful, magical chaga, we’ll look at how to collect and dry it below. The product has contraindications - dysentery, systematic constipation, individual intolerance, pregnancy. The dried product will be harmful to children under 12 years of age and nursing women.

It is recommended to dry medicinal chaga in natural conditions in air. It is important to protect from direct sunlight. It is allowed to dry in the oven or use an electric dryer.

Detailed instructions on how to properly collect and dry chaga at home

Dried chaga helps treat cancer, diabetes, stomach diseases, infections, psoriasis and dozens of other diseases. The mushroom strengthens the immune system, increases mental activity and body tone. It must be collected correctly and dried at home. It costs at least 80 rubles per 100 g, with no guarantee of freshness and quality. But the valuable medicine can be collected and dried yourself. We will talk about this in this article.

Proper collection of chaga

Chaga can be found in mixed forests or birch groves. This is a parasitic mushroom that settles on the trunks of deciduous trees and feeds on their cell sap. However, only the birch species has medicinal properties.

Raw materials are collected at any time of the year.

There is an opinion that during spring sap flow and preparation of birch for winter, mushrooms absorb the maximum amount of useful substances. Therefore, the main preparations of chaga are made in autumn and spring.

  • Environmental friendliness. Mushrooms quickly accumulate toxic substances: radionuclides, heavy metals, etc. Therefore, chaga cannot be collected in forests located near industrial enterprises, factories and highways.
  • Choice. Chaga cut from living or freshly cut trees has good qualities. You should not pick mushrooms located on dry wood or close to the ground. The amount of nutrients in them is greatly reduced.
  • Cutting. Mushrooms are cut with an axe, cut with a sharp knife or saw at the base. They immediately remove birch bark, pieces of wood, cobwebs and insects.

Chaga is an amazing creation of nature.
Chaga is often confused with the tinder fungus, which also grows on birch trees. The shape of the tinder fungus is hoof-shaped, the mushroom has a velvety or smooth surface of a light shade. Always oval or round in shape with a dark surface, numerous tubercles and cracks.

Why do you need to dry mushrooms?

The medicinal properties of chaga are due to the content of: melanin, betulin, sterols, carboxylic acids, phenols, amino acids, flavonoids, micro- and macroelements.

Application of birch chaga

Chaga is not used in its natural form. This mushroom is not used for food. More often, medicinal compositions are prepared on its basis. Pharmacies sell medications for oral administration. There are creams and ointments for external application.

Popular products based on birch chaga:

  • oil. Used to treat joints and varicose veins. The product accelerates the healing of wounds and trophic ulcers. Mix unrefined vegetable oils with aqueous decoctions. Either pour in the pieces and leave to infuse;
  • ointments for cancer, skin problems. The water infusion is combined with pork fat;
  • decoctions, infusions. Use 150 g of dried birch growth per liter of water. Used internally, added to external products;
  • alcohol tinctures. The pieces are poured with moonshine, vodka, and left for 3 weeks. Used to treat oncology, strengthen the immune system, and normalize metabolism. Add to ointments and creams.

People use tea to strengthen the immune system and lose weight. Brew 5 g of dried product with 200 ml of boiling water and infuse. You can drink up to three glasses per day.

Any self-medication can harm your health. Before use, we recommend consulting with your doctor.

Rules for collecting and preparing birch chaga mushroom

Chaga is often confused with tinder fungus. This growth is similar in appearance, differing only in its light color. The useful birch mushroom is always dark, bluish in color, and has an irregular shape. Outwardly it resembles a cow's hoof - it has a pronounced division into two, sometimes four parts. Weight can reach two kilograms.

The optimal time for collection is spring before the leaves appear on the birch tree, autumn after they fall. At this time, the product contains the maximum number of beneficial properties. The best place is birch groves. Traditional healers value extraction from single trees less; it is not customary to dry it.

Preparation instructions:

  1. Remove the loose part. It is convenient to chop with a kitchen hatchet; a large knife will do. It is not customary to dry soft areas;
  2. Cleaning it up. Sounds easy, but difficult to do. We recommend that you arm yourself with an ax and chop off the dark crust in a circle on all sides. It is important not to overdo it, otherwise there will be nothing to dry.
  3. Grind. It is recommended to dry pieces 4-5 cm in diameter. After dehydration, they will become smaller, the size is convenient to use. It is convenient to chop with an axe.

There is no need to rinse the chaga. We recommend chopping and slicing on a clean surface. Small parts, crumbs, illiquid pieces can be immediately filled with alcohol and used for decoction. Approximately identical specimens need to be dried.

Cut off the top of the chaga. Formations on the lower part of the trunk are less susceptible to drying, contain a lot of moisture, and absorb more dust and dirt. They are susceptible to damage by insects and wild animals.

When is chaga collected at what time? Where and when to collect chaga

There are certain rules for collecting, drying and storing chaga.
It is believed that birch mushroom can be harvested all year round, regardless of the season. At first glance, this is true, because chaga is a perennial mushroom, long-growing and well protected from all kinds of external weather influences. But popular experience suggests that it is best to collect spring and autumn mushrooms, since the greatest amount of useful substances accumulates in them during spring sap flow and autumn preparation for harsh winter days.

There are other features regarding the collection of chaga. So, for example, you cannot collect birch mushroom from dry trees, the fact is that as soon as the tree dies, the chaga on it begins to die off, giving way to another form of this mushroom - the fruit one. Also, you should not collect chaga near the ground - here, as a rule, old, decaying growths are found. It is easy to distinguish such growths unsuitable as medicine - they are more loose, crumbly and black throughout their entire thickness. There are other subtleties that need to be taken into account when collecting chaga.

Rules for collecting chaga

  • Chaga can be collected all year round, but it is best to do it in the spring, in April, or in the fall, from September to November.
  • When going into the forest for chaga, you need to stock up on an ax or, as a last resort, a large and sharp knife, since it is very, very difficult to separate the growths from the trunk.
  • You should collect chaga that grows only on birch trees, and it is believed that the chaga mushrooms that live on the trees of a birch grove have a large amount of useful substances, and less useful substances in the birch mushroom growing on a separate tree.
  • You cannot collect chaga from dry, fallen or overly old trees.
  • You cannot take growths located near the ground itself. The higher the birch growth is, the better.
  • Old, crumbling growths and growths that are completely black inside are not suitable as a medicine.
  • It is most convenient to cut chaga vertically, near the trunk itself, parallel to it.

Methods for drying chaga at home

The only mushroom in the world that does not need to be dried immediately. If you don’t have time, pour the prepared pieces onto paper and leave them in a ventilated place. Actually, the process of moisture evaporation will already begin. Don’t forget about the preparation for too long; rot and mold may appear.

How to dry a mushroom in the sun

In fact, it is impossible to dry mushrooms in the sun. Choose shaded areas. Direct rays should not touch the product. Preparation time can reach 2-3 weeks. It is important not to leave the product outside when it rains. Most often they use balconies and attics of houses. Pre-open the windows to create a draft. Or turn on a household fan. It is easy to dry St. John's wort, fern, and any other medicinal plants in the sun.

Drying chaga in the sun

How to dry chaga at home, instructions:

  1. Lay out the prepared chaga pieces on a flat surface. It is more convenient to dry on hanging nets. Then there is no need to turn over.
  2. Leave in a ventilated place under the roof.
  3. The first days we check, turn over if trays and tables are used.
  4. Continue drying until ready.
  5. Next, pour it into a cardboard box; a wide basin will do. We put it in the pantry for a couple of weeks in case some pieces are not ready.

Chaga smells almost nothing. But it actively absorbs the aromas of other products. This must be taken into account during drying and storage.

How to dry it in the oven

Drying medicinal herbs, roots, and mushrooms in the oven has many opponents. Traditional healers believe that electric and gas ovens spoil raw materials. In fact, it only suffers from high temperatures. Avoid excessive heat. In spring and autumn, when the weather outside is not pleasant, the oven comes to the rescue.

Step-by-step instruction:

  1. It is convenient to place large pieces on the wire rack. But you can use a baking sheet. The surface is first covered with paper or parchment.
  2. Turn on the oven at 40 degrees and start drying. Electric models are better suited. They heat from different sides. Gas ovens have the disadvantage of heating from below, making it difficult to control the temperature.
  3. After a couple of hours, turn the pieces over. We continue to dry further. After another two hours we repeat.

Pieces 4-5 cm in diameter need to be dried for about 7-8 hours. If you need to take a break, leave it in the oven. It is important not to close the door, otherwise moisture will accumulate. It is allowed to dry raw materials prepared in air in this way. Sometimes heating is necessary if moisture accidentally enters during storage. It is easy to dry cherries, spinach, boletus, as well as other mushrooms, berries and herbs in the oven.

Modern method of preparation in an electric dryer

Electric dryers greatly simplify workpieces. They consume little energy and perfectly maintain the temperature at the set level. Airflow speeds up the process. We'll tell you how to properly dry birch chaga at home using this wonderful device.

Drying and harvesting chaga

Instructions for preparing chaga:

  1. We disassemble the dryer and take out all the trays.
  2. Place the prepared mushroom pieces. We try to make an even layer without covering the holes. There is also no need to leave a distance; soon the chaga will lose volume and decrease in size.
  3. Turn on the electric dryer to the minimum temperature. For most models it is 30-40 degrees.
  4. Let's start drying. Chaga can be left untouched for the first 4-5 hours. Next, check the readiness and turn it over periodically.
  5. After 8-9 hours, check the chaga and collect the finished product from the trays.

If it was not possible to cut the chaga into equal pieces, small specimens can be removed earlier. It’s even better to immediately sort them by size, put them in different trays, and dry them separately.

Chaga mushroom: rules for collecting and drying birch chaga - harvesting chaga at home

Chaga (birch mushroom) are small growths on deciduous trees. You can find mushrooms on trees such as alder, maple or rowan, but only birch chaga has unique medicinal properties. The benefits of these growths are undeniable. Since ancient times, they have been used by traditional healers to treat various diseases, including malignant neoplasms. Also, tinctures, decoctions, or simply brewed into tea are prepared from chaga. We’ll talk about how to properly collect and dry chaga for the winter in this article.

How and when to collect chaga

It is believed that birch chaga can be collected all year round, but in summer this is problematic due to the leafy mass, which makes it difficult to find chaga, and in winter - due to deep snowdrifts. Traditional healers claim that chaga concentrates the maximum amount of useful substances in the spring, before the greenery blooms, or in the autumn, after the leaves have fallen.

Watch the video from the channel “Health - Life!” — Chaga beneficial properties and uses

In order to cut chaga from a tree, you need to arm yourself with a sharp, thick knife or a small hatchet. Useful growths cling quite tightly to the trunk, which makes the procedure for collecting chaga quite labor-intensive.

It is necessary to distinguish the birch mushroom from the pest growth of the tinder fungus. Chaga always has an irregular shape and black color. The tinder fungus has the shape of a hoof and differs from chaga in lighter shades. At the same time, it can be separated from the birch trunk without much effort by hand.

You should not collect chaga from dead trees or growths located close to the ground. It is believed that the most useful product is located as close to the top of the tree as possible.

It is also better to collect chaga in birch groves, and not on lonely growing trees. It is believed that the mushrooms located on birch trees in a “company” contain much more useful substances.

Preparing chaga for drying

The collected raw materials should be prepared as follows:

  • pieces of chaga are beaten with a sharp knife, getting rid of the light, loose part that was in contact with the wood;
  • using an ax, remove the hard black bark covering the top of the chaga;
  • the brown inner part is cut into pieces no larger than 3 - 5 centimeters in diameter.

Watch the video from the “Tactical+” channel about the proper collection, cutting and brewing of birch chaga

How to dry birch mushroom

The main and most correct way to dry chaga is natural, without the use of special heating devices.

The prepared pieces are laid out in a small layer on paper and placed in a dry, well-ventilated room. Also, it is important to protect raw materials from direct sunlight.

In summer, chaga can be dried on verandas or under a canopy, and in winter it can be placed on window sills, protected from the sun, not far from heating radiators. Natural drying time is 2 – 3 weeks.

You can also dry chaga in the oven. Drying time is reduced to 8–10 hours, but the risk of losing some of the nutrients remains. The oven is heated to a maximum temperature of 50 degrees, and the door is kept ajar.

Modern electric dryers can also cope with the task of quickly drying birch chaga. To do this, the unit is heated to a temperature of 40 degrees and the raw materials are dried for 7 - 8 hours, periodically rearranging the trays in places for more uniform drying.

How to store chaga

Dried raw materials can retain their beneficial properties for two years. This is only possible if it is stored correctly. Chaga is placed in paper bags or cardboard boxes. You cannot store medicinal mushrooms in containers with tightly screwed lids, as chaga must “breathe.”

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