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Tinder Sponge

    Common name: tinder polypore, tinder fungus, touchwood, punk, german tinder, fire-starter mushroom, german felt, hoof fungus, surgeon’s agaric, agaricus chirurgorum, amadou, amadouer (france), tsuriganetabe (japan), wundschwamm (germany), esporija pare heridas (italy)- the preponderant references to tinder correspond to the widespread use of the fungi for fire initiation and fire maintenance.

    Taxonomic name: fomes fomentarius– the latin word fomes means “tinder” or “touchwood” and the latin word fomentarius implies “material to feed a fire”– both the generic and species names emphasize the use of the fungi for fires. Previously referred to as polyporus fomentarius and ungulina fomentarius.

    Potpourri: the tinder polypore is among the most readily recognizable of the bracket fungi, which means it is laterally attached like a bracket to a substrate without a supporting stalk. The shape and percentages are suggestive of a horse’s hoof; the common name hoof fungi offers a detailed mnemonic. The tinder polypore is weakly parasitic on broad-leaved trees, significantly beech and birch. The pathogenic infection is referred to as white heart-rot: the disintegration (rot) of the central wood of the tree (heart) through intake of the brown lignin so that only the cellulose which is typically light in color (white) remains. The fungi is also saprobic, residing on the dead trunk or remnant stump of the tree that it may or may not have had a hand in killing. The “hoof” part of the fungus has a crusty grey-brown, zoned upper surface, the bottom is comprised of a cream-colored surface that is covered with pores that are about a third of a millimeter in size. Spores are produced in prodigious numbers in the spring and summer, as many as 800 million in a single hour according to field testing; extremely few spores are produced in the autumn and winter. [1]

    Tinder sponge– a quick overview

    Tree various fungis utilize the dead wood as a breeding ground

    In the broadest sense, the group of tree fungi consists of all types of fungis that colonize wood and use it as a breeding ground for their own lives, where the tree is either currently dead or passing away. The fungi derives the nutrients directly from the wood by means of their mycelial tissue, by breaking down utilizable compounds with specific, fungal enzymes. A process typically referred to as rot. Approximately one differentiates in between mushrooms the brown rot and mushrooms which produce white rot. Essentially all mushrooms are revealing the great mycelium tissue, with which the tree is contaminated, prior to the very first fruiting bodies appear. The real “mushroom” is located in the interior of the tree, it is similar with almost all forest mushrooms, where only the fruiting body above ground can be seen.

    Brown rot decomposes the wood substances

    The so-called brown rot can break down all wood substances except lignin, while the white rot simply breaks down the lignin in particular. The brown rot decays essentially the polysaccharides, here especially the cellulose in the wood structure and thus damages the fiber structure, whereby the wood very first discolored and after that ends up being breakable, it pertains to the so-called cube breakage. As much as 80% of the wood is decomposed by the fungis, or used by them as a nutrient by conversion. The lignin stays unaffected by the brown rot, but the wood dries almost entirely.

    Lignin is the glue between the wood cells

    The lignin forms the so-called adhesive between the wood cells, which is especially steady, which is why the white rot is additionally dependent on other energy-producing procedures in the decay process. The order of the decay procedures in the wood is quite various, also depending on the kind of mushrooms present. Hence, in the existence of the real tinder fungus, the strong deterioration of lignin instantly begins. The wood shreds and turns almost white. The remaining polysaccharides, here in turn particularly the cellulose, offer strong swelling of the wood by absorption of water. Dehydration is then no longer possible, the decomposition of the wood is practically 100%.

    Lots of tree fungi show their fruiting bodies only throughout a single growing season, while others reveal comparable growth rings to the wood, so that they are practically totally connected with wood illness such as woody plants. Growth can be confused. The tinder fungus is among the hard tree fungi, it forms perennial fruiting bodies, which often reveal rather substantial development zones at the bottom and at the front edge. Mainly it is discovered on beech or birch.

    Early lighter – the middle layer of the sponge is processed into tinder

    The name tinder sponge is based upon findings that go back to the neolithic, since the loose-felted middle layer of the fungi, the so-called trama, was processed into tinder. With the discovery of the glacier man “ötzi” also scale residues were found, which he led to the fire with it. In the west, there were sophisticated procedures to put the cable car in soaking, cooking, tapping, and nitric acid and dry to produce a felt-like mass that immediately started to radiance by impinging stimulates. A kind of early lighter. Even today, the trama (hyphal layer) of the tinder fungi in romania is utilized for the production of huts or caps. [2]


    Cap: shell- or hoof-shaped, generally with narrow bands of gray and gray-brown around the upper surface area. Some are silver-gray or nearly black.

    Pore surface: whitish or brownish.

    Stem: missing.

    Smell: fruity.

    Taste: acrid.

    Spores: oblong.

    Spore color: yellow-colored white.

    Edibility: inedible.

    Environment: living or dead hardwoods in cool or temperate environments.

    Fomes fomentarius looks rather different than the majority of familiar mushrooms. It has no stem or stipe, nor does it have gills, but rather a flat lower surface area covered with pores, which are the openings of densely-packed, spore-producing tubes. The fruiting body is seasonal, adding a brand-new layer of tubes every year, and so the flesh is difficult and woody. And while lots of stipeless, pore-bearing fungis have the same shelf-like shape as a young f. Fomentarius fruiting body, older examples develop a horse-hoof shape that is extremely distinctive. It feeds on either living or dead hardwoods, particularly birch and beech, with the fruiting body emerging from the side of the trunk.

    Fomes fomentarius closely looks like another types, phellinus igniarius, to the point that the latter is in some cases called false tinder fungi (confusingly, f. Fomentarius is sometimes also called “false tinder fungus”). P. Igniarius has traditional uses of its own, especially as a chewing-tobacco additive (a practice now considered hazardous, as it increases the absorption of nicotine), but it should not be confused with f. Fomentarius. The most apparent distinction in between the two is spore color. [3]

    Recognition guide


    This sombre fungus generally appears as a solitary specimen however occasionally two or more tiers are produced.

    On standing lumber this bracket sometimes acquires a hold in clefts in the trunks of older trees; nevertheless, the aged specimen shown left wing was found on a fallen beech tree.

    Yearly layers of tubes develop to produce a big hoof-shaped structure 10 to 40cm across and up to 20cm deep at the centre of the accessory line. After the first 3 or 4 years, brackets increase steadily in thickness however do not grown much in diameter – for this reason the resulting hoof shape.

    The upper infertile surface area is various tones of grey, often with a brownish growing zone towards the external edge. The lower (fertile) surface is white or greyish, turning somewhat brown when bruised.

    Pores and tubes

    Inside the fruitbody the flesh is tough and pale brown, while televisions are pale grey-brown at first but end up being darker brown with age. The pale spore-bearing surface is noticeably softer and has minute pores typically spaced at 2 to 3 per mm.


    Oblong-ellipsoidal, smooth, 15-20 x 5-7μm.

    Spore print

    Extremely pale lemon.


    The odour is faintly fruity; the taste acrid.

    Habitat & & environmental role

    Parasitic on broadleaf trees, particularly birch and less typically beech and sycamore, but continuing to grow for lots of months as a saprobe on dead/fallen trunks. I have just when seen hoof fungus on a cork oak, which was in the algarve region of southern portugal.


    Present all year round; shedding spores in late spring and summertime.

    Similar species

    Could be puzzled with some of the ganoderma bracket fungi, although they launch brown spores; also perhaps with piptoporus betulinus, the birch polypore, an annual bracket which has a much smoother upper surface area. [4]

    Does fomes fomentarius actually have medical homes?

    There isn’t yet a lot of evidence for the tinder polypore’s efficiency as a remedy for particular ills, but scientists are beginning to take an interest in uncovering its tricks.

    Like the more typically understood medical mushrooms, fomes fomentarius contains both polysaccharides and terpenes. These compounds have actually been found to exhibit interesting– and often powerful– residential or commercial properties when drawn out from other species and put to the test in laboratory settings *.

    But what about this species?

    Here’s a little of what this tree fungi may have the ability to do:.

    1. Fight swelling by inhibiting production of pro-inflammatory substances.
    2. Decrease pain by bringing down levels pge2 and cox-2, which are related to swelling.
    3. Function as an antimicrobial versus bacteria and viruses.
    4. Supply a potential treatment for diabetes through a substance called fomentariol.
    5. Function as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage.

    Extra therapeutic prospective lies in the method fomes fomentarius apparently affects the immune system.

    In one research study, scientists provided mice varying dosages of polysaccharide extracts from the mushroom to check its interactions with immune cells. They discovered evidence of enhanced immunity even at the lowest dosages, consisting of more white blood cell activity and a higher capability to destroy pathogens *. [18]

    Other usages for tinder fungi

    With all these interesting homes, it’s natural to wonder if fomes fomentarius is edible. However, there’s a factor you primarily see the tinder fungi referred to as practical or medicinal and not a focal point for recipes.

    Although it’s not known to be poisonous, this particular mushroom isn’t a yummy delicacy, either.

    It’s a difficulty to slice, and in spite of its fruity odor, the taste has actually been described as exceptionally undesirable. Better to stick with tastier cooking mushrooms, like the familiar button mushroom or the a little more exotic lion’s mane!

    Fomes fomentarius is, nevertheless, helpful for starting fires. Many people think that’s why otzi the iceman was carrying it around: to use it as an actual tinder fungi.

    Following his example needs a sharp knife and a little persistence. Slicing an area off the fruiting body reveals a softer inner product, which can then be “fluffed up” and set ablaze with flint or a match. Add some small, dry kindling, and ta-da! The beginnings of a campfire. [5]


    betulinic acid in this medicinal mushroom has demonstrated strong antiviral residential or commercial properties. It is so powerful that it is now being looked into as a prospective antiviral treatment for hiv. This mushroom consists of the compound piptamine. This substance has a very potent antibacterial activity. It can eliminate several bacterial pressures, such as e. Coli. Ancient texts likewise revealed that this fungus has been used as a treatment for tuberculosis in 200 ad.

    Stops bleeding

    Even from ancient times, fomes fomentarius has actually long been used as a natural material to stop bleeding. Surgeons utilize it throughout surgical treatments to stop bleeding. It is extremely absorbent and quickly keeps in location, which significantly helps in injury care. Hippocrates even explained this mushroom in 5th bc as being used for the cauterization of wounds. This earned the medicinal mushroom the name “cosmetic surgeon’s agaric”.


    The chinese usage tinder conk mushroom as part of the treatment for various types of illness in standard chinese medication. They use it for the treatment of throat disease, disease of the uterus, and stomach disease. Its basic encouraging action on the body immune system aids in enhancing the body’s natural anti-disease ability. It stimulates the various immune cells and processes that dissuade illness and tumor cell expansion.


    1. Cauterization substance for injuries (described by hippocrates in the fifth century bc).
    2. A styptic to stop bleeding – used by surgeons barbers and dental practitioners (often called the “agaric of the chirurges” or “surgeon’s agaric”.
    3. Remedy versus dysmenorrhea, hemorrhoids, and bladder disorders in europe. Diuretic, laxatives, and nerve tonic in indic herbal remedies.
    4. Dealing with cancers of the esophagus, stomach, and uterus in china.
    5. Used in smoking rituals in western sibera and hokkaido, burning the fruiting bodies over night to banish fiends.
    6. Making clothing such as caps and chest protectors (after pounding).
    7. As pincushions to prevent pins and needles from rusting.
    8. Used by entomologists to mount their fragile pests.
    9. Used in siberia as snuff or combined with tobacco.
    10. Cost use in fly fishing as “amadou,” which is utilized to take in excess water from flies.
    11. Using contemporary techniques, the tinder polypore has been revealed to consist of iodine, fomentariol, and other substances that are active against germs and growths. [6]

    The easy way to utilize fomes fomentarius as tinder

    There are numerous processes for preparing or enhancing fomes fomentarius as tinder, consisting of producing amadou. Tinder produced in this way will capture and hold the small, reasonably cold sparks produced by striking together flint and iron pyrites.

    In focusing on these more involved procedures, it is possible to ignore the most basic and most convenient preparation of fomes fomentarius as tinder. This can be done rapidly in the field and the tinder produced can be utilized immediately.

    The bracket is the fruiting body of the fungus and its outside layer is hard, like the crust of a stale, dried-out loaf of bread. Observing the underside of the fungi you will see numerous pores, which are completions of the spore tubes.

    Inside the bracket, between the spore tubes and the outer layer is the trama layer or “flesh” of the fungus. The trama layer of fomes fomentarius is rather dense, firm in consistency and has a cinnamon colour. Within the trama you will see development rings. You can see plainly see the structure of the bracket by slicing through it.

    Whichever process you are utilizing to produce tinder from fomes fomentarius, it is the trama you require to start with. If you slice the trama thinly, you will observe that it is rather fibrous. This is simplest to see at the end of your slice.

    For our simple approach of producing tinder from fomes fomentarius we will utilize the fibrous nature of the trama. Slice off the surface area layer of the fungus. Then slice the trama obliquely to create the biggest possible slices.

    To prepare the trama as tinder, we require to scrape up the surface of the slice. Using a knife or other sharp execute is the simplest method to do this. Scrape up the surface till you have a bunch of fluffy product.

    Now all you need to do is drop a stimulate into the fluffy material. This fluff is very good at catching a spark and once ignited will smoulder for a while.

    The smouldering will spread out into the remainder of the piece. This will then smoulder for a very long time. This combustion is incredibly hot. The product will not flame, however. Therefore to light a fire by means of this approach you must then take your smouldering tinder to really great kindling to produce a flame. Examples of natural products appropriate for this consist of dried grass, dried bracken fronds or appropriately prepared bark fibres.

    When sparked, a bigger swelling of trama can smoulder for hours and can be used for bring an ember or reviving a fire at a later phase.

    Because the fruiting bodies of fomes fomentarius grow so slowly and can live many years, please show restraint in collecting them. Locations take a long period of time to recuperate from over-exploitation. Take just what you require. [7]

    Ingestion of the tinder fungi

    There are 2 types that are most commonly used. These include, on the one hand, the tinder fungus in the form of a brewed tea and, on the other hand, in the form of a dietary supplement.

    If you want to prepare a tinder fungi tea, you first have to put the mushroom powder over it using boiling water. The tea should then be left to rest for a few minutes prior to you can consume it. In the case of dietary supplements, tinder fungus capsules in particular have actually had the ability to assert themselves best up until now. In the end, taking it is exceptionally simple. The same applies to the two medicinal mushrooms chaga and auricularia.

    For an acceptable result, regular consumption is a must. When it comes to severe signs, you can also consume the capsules, alcoholic essence or tea daily. The typical consumption of these funds has actually disappointed any side effects up until now. After about 2-3 weeks of daily use, you must take a break from using tinder fungi products for at least 2 weeks in order to make sure an optimal effect.

    Notice, that taking dietary supplements and vitamins can not change a visit to a doctor. [8]

    Negative effects

    It is just needed to keep in mind that, in spite of recovery residential or commercial properties, tinder fungus can likewise have adverse effects – cause nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, allergies. You can not use it in food, as it is stuffed with poisoning. [9]

    Research possible

    Possible exist to additional research study the antiviral anti-bacterial and answer properties of fomes fomentarious. Also research possibilities exist in developing cosmetic preparations and also in fabrics.

    Commercial prospective

    At this moment, there may be need for fungi from standard chinese medicine. There could be considerable growth in demand based upon medicine an item that would be created based on medical & & cosmetic research study and clinical trials.

    Potential quantities in north saskatchewan

    Supply of 1000 kg (dried) is possible at this point. Offered advancement time this supply would be increased significantly. [10]



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