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Finding huge birch polypore mushrooms in my backyard

Updated: Jan 27

I first learned about Birch Polypore from a medicinal mushroom workshop I went to with a friend a few weeks ago. I had no idea really what this mushroom was, but I knew I had seen it before!

We learned about Birch Polypore, Reishi, Chaga and Turkey Tail mushrooms and all of the AMAZING benefits they have for your health!

Did you know it's been proven that some mushrooms can help treat cancer? That makes a lot of sense to me, since mushrooms themselves look like tumors on a tree (just like Mullein leaves have a resemblance to the lung organ, and help treat lung problems). Mother nature really knows what she's doing... :)

Medicinal Uses of Birch Polypore

Birch Polypore is known for it's medicinal health qualities which are

  • Anti-bacterial (kills bacteria)

  • Anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation from injury or disturbance in the body)

  • Anti-viral (fights against infection and disease)

  • Anti-microbial (kills off small internal parasites)

Basically, it cleans you from within, even down to your blood and bowels... Gross AND magical!

Responsible Harvesting

When you remove the Birch Polypore mushroom, you are taking the fruiting body, the mycelium is still deeply imbedded in the tree itself, which will help continue the decomposition of the dead tree over time. Leaving more than you take helps this natural process, and helps the Birch Polypore continue to sporulate, which will keep the organism alive in its habitat and ecosystem of surrounding trees.

Hunting for Mushrooms in My Backyard

Yesterday I decided to go for a walk in the woods in my backyard, just to get some fresh air and stretch my legs. I usually look around at everything when I hike - animal tracks, leaves, berries, feathers, and now, mushrooms!

I went down to the pond and found 6-7 old Birch Polypore high up in a tree but knew I wouldn't be able to get a closer look. I didn't realize how many birch trees there were, so I was still excited that I might find something else.

Then, BAM! It was like a glowing magical mushroom beacon. I saw a huge Birch Polypore on a dead fallen Birch tree. It was still white on the bottom and fresh! I was really surprised and excited! I felt really lucky! I realized there were two of them and wanted to take both but knew I didn't want to take all of it so I left the second.

I walked around to the other side and I think I literally gasped - it was a third HUGE one! I knew I had permission to use it, I think mother nature was thanking me for not taking the second! :) So I took two, leaving 1 very large one behind.

How I Will Be Preparing My Birch Polypore

I decided to cut the mushrooms into small thin slices to dry. Once completely dry, I will be adding them to tea, and keeping extra for tinctures and I might even try to powderize some for adding to tea or coffee.

One really interesting thing I realized is what an amazing material the inner, thicker part of the mushroom was. It is incredibly durable.

I got a little creative, realizing I could cut it with scissors. Once dried it feels like leathery polymer clay, so I got the idea to try to make some shapes! I realized pretty quickly you could literally make anything out of this... so I decided to make some shapes that I'll try making into earrings once they're dry.

I thought that was really, really cool! Whether you're an adult or kid, making things using your imagination is fun! :) Playing around with this mushroom really inspired me. If I could make a pair of earrings out of a mushroom... what else could I make? What else could other people make? It's a sustainable material, it dries like clay, it's free, AND IT HELPS FIGHT CANCER?!

Mother nature... you are magnificent!!! Humans, what else are we missing? Something tells me.. a lot. Imagine what else is out there. Imagine what we could do if we got curious and started using our imagination again? This small project is what inspired me to create this blog! I hope to learn and explore more and more even if it is new and intimidating.

I also went for a hike today in Douglas, MA and found some smaller Birch Polypores on a dead fallen branch of a Birch.

Interested in learning more about Birch Polypore?

Here are some resources I found interesting and useful:


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