Birch Polypore Mushroom Tea. Lots of words that you probably haven’t heard in the same phrase before - don’t let that put you off though! You won’t find this served in any restaurants, but it is a well-known ‘bushcraft’ tea and is pretty tasty too. If the taste isn’t for you (there is a slight bitterness to it that means many people mix in a bit of salt or sugar to take the edge off) then the reputed health benefits most certainly are. Reports and studies show that this amazing mushroom has anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-HIV, anti-cancer and styptic properties. Fun fact: it was even found in the pocket of Ötzi The Ice Man, the 5300 year old body found in the Italian Alps, who supposedly was carrying it for its medicinal properties!
Technically, this isn’t a tea at all, but in fact a decoction. This means that, unlike regular teas, you are best not just infusing the product with hot water, but actively boiling it to extract all the goodness. We recommend letting it simmer in around 300ml of water for 15 minutes, or longer if you want a stronger brew. If decocting or infusing sounds unexciting to you, you can use this as the backbone of a stock for use in cooking elsewhere. Just remember to strain it off - the fibres are tough and would make your meal quite chewy.
Please note: we are not doctors! The medicinal properties listed are for anecdotal purposes only. If you plan to use any wild food as a medicine, please do further research and seek professional guidance. Forage Box does not encourage the use of any of its products as an alternative to scientifically proven medicine.