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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

aka Birch Canker, Chaga, Clinker Polyspore
(Inonotus obliquus)
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A FUNGUS found growing on older birches and, on rare occasions, elm and alder. It is deeply cracked, black and hard with a sterile core 10 to 16 inches wide. The fertile portion is thin, dark brown and crust-like. Tubes are oblique and usually split in front. There are 3 layers: 1. An outer layer which is rough with attached bark, 2. a soft inside portion nearest the tree, 3. the usuable middle portion which is granulated.

This fungal growth is part of the Russian folk medicine experience, being used for cancers, tuberculosis of the bones, inoperable conditions, as well as stomach problems, gastritis, and ulcers. Treatment lasts from 3 to 5 months with 7 to 10 day intervals. The usuable portion is combined in the ratio of 1 part to 5 parts boiled water, then steeped, covered, for 48 hours. It is then strained and measured with twice as much more boiled water added to it. Three cups are taken daily, 30 minutes before meals.

Was also used as tinder by North American Indians.

SOLVENT: Alcohol, vodka, hot water (not boiling).

©2003 by Ernestina Parziale, CH