The Snow Flower

Sarcodes Sanguinae

(Resembling Flesh, Blood Red)

Snow Plant or Snow Flower

Family: Ericaceae (Madrone family) Sub-Family: Monotropoideae (Indian Pipe family)

snow flower

The Snow Flower. Back in the day, when it still snowed in Tahoe, and the pine-needled humus would have a layer of snow in the Spring, I would look forward to this brilliant red being that would erect from the earth surface. The snow is mild now, but this crimson beauty still comes up, yet the contrast against the white of the snow is missed. A fitting plant to talk about on this blog being that although it is a plant, it is a saprophytic plant, getting its nutrients from the mycorrhizal fungi rather than partaking in photosynthesis, as green leaved plants do. The Snow Flower is most often seen near conifers, Ponderosa Pine, Jefferey Pine, Sugar Pine, etc. It is found here because it can’t live without them – a very one-sided and secretive connection. It is not directly parasitic to the tree, but it feeds on the trees relationship with mycorrhizal fungi. The fungi and the conifer have a mutualistic relationship; the fungus provides minerals and other earthly delights for the tree, while the tree provides sugars for the fungus – the Snow flower then gets it’s nutrients from this fungi.

snow plant

John Muir writes of Sarcodes in 1912:

“The snow plant is more admired by tourists than any other in California. It is red, fleshy and watery and looks like a gigantic asparagus shoot. Soon after the snow is off the ground it rises through the dead needles and humus in the pine and fir woods like a bright glowing pillar of fire. In a week or so it grows to a height of eight or twelve inches with a diameter of an inch and a half or two inches ,then its long fringed bracts curl aside, allowing the twenty or thirty five lobed, bell-shaped flowers to pen and look straight out from the axis. It is said to grow up through the snow on the contrary, it always waits until the ground is warm, though with other early flowers it is occasionally buried or half buried for a day or two by spring storms. The entire plant-flowers, bracts, stems, scales, and roots-is fiery red. Its color could appeal to one’s blood. Nevertheless, it is a singularly cold and unsympathetic plant. Everybody admires it as a wonderful curiosity, but nobody loves it as lilies, violets, roses, daisies are loved. Without fragrance it stands beneath the pines and firs lonely and silent, as if unacquainted with any other plant in the world; never moving the wildest storms; rigid as if lifeless, through covered with beautiful rosy flowers.”

In the New York Medical Eclectic, Volume 6, Issue 10 (1879):

“The Sow Plant, a Flower of Strange Beauty.

One of the Grandest objects which meets the eye of the traveler in our mountains is the exquisite plant, the Snow Plant of the Sierras-the Sarcodes sanguinea of John Torrey, the botanist. It is an inhabitant only to the higher Sierras, being rarely found below an altitude of 4,000 feet, and its glorious crimson spike of flowers may be seen early in May, forcing itself through the snows which at that period cling about the sides of our pine forests. The portion of this plant which is visible above the soil is bright rosy crimson in color and presents the very strongest contrast to the dark green of the pines shimmer of the snow. Its root is succulent, thick, and abundantly free of moisture, attaching itself to the roots of other plants, principally to the species of the pine family…the Deer are exquisitely fond of it, and it is not an uncommon circumstance to find a number of the plants uprooted and robbed of the fleshy part of their underground growth…”

Food and Medicine

I have always been told, since I was a child, to not mess with the Snow Flower. I never knew why exactly, in fact I thought maybe it was poisonous. The real reason is that it only grows around the Sierras and it is a rare and protected plant – although I will talk about its history of use as food and medicine, it would be wise to pocket this information for your own edification and choose a different plant for these uses, that is not as rare.

The Snow Flower, is in fact edible and can be cooked like asparagus.

I can deduce from the ethnobotanical uses that it has an analgesic effect as well as soothing epithelial tissues. There is documentation of a decoction of the leaves and stem to treat ulcerated sores, irritated skin, and toothaches. The docterine of signatures would suggest its use as a blood tonic, and a decoction has been used in this way. Some Native Americans also dried and powdered this plant to relieve toothaches and other mouth pains.

How to Make Amadou Mushroom Felt

Fomes fomentarius

(Tinder, Used for Tinder)

Tinder polypore, False tinder polypore, Amadou, Iceman fungus, Hoof fungus, Hoof Conk, Tsuriganetabe


Where there is Birch, there is F. fomentarius. North-Eastern United States, Alaska, Northern Mainland Europe. Found on Hardwoods.

There is usually only one or two fruiting bodies found per tree. It is a perennial, parasitic mushroom. Each layer of tubing represents a new year of growth. The thin crust is striped with various shades of grey, while the flesh is dark golden-brown, and the pore surface is pale grey to white. The flesh of the fruiting body is also known as the trauma layer. It is this trauma layer that is used as a natural gauze, tinder, and amadou felt.

Spore print – pale yellow

Ethnobotanical Uses

Amadou, derived from a Northern French dialect, meaning “amorous”, or “inflames life”. This meaning is exemplified in the mushrooms historical use as tinder. This word also translates to the english word, spunk, meaning courage, bravery or determination, originally meant spark. (Spunk is a combination of spark and funk). Interestingly, the fungal essence is used for the burnt out artist, to help them get their spark back.

A 5000 year old Iceman, Otzi, was found with this polypore. In 1991 hikers found his preserved remains in a glacier in the Otzal Alps between Austria and Italy. It is thought that he was carrying this mushroom to preserve fire, use as insect repellent, and as his first aid kit.

The name, Fomes fomentarius means, “to use as tinder”. It is extremely flammable, but has a nice slow burn, perfect for long travels through the mountains. Additionally, and a perk for the insect-loved traveler, the smoke produced by the burning of this mushroom works as an excellent insect repellent. In addition to flame and insect deterrent, this mushroom is a powerful hemostat.

There is documentation of Hippocrates using F. fomentarius as a styptic in the fifth century BC. Also used as a styptic by surgeons, barbers and dentists, giving it the name “agaric of the surgeons”.  There is also note of the Okanagan-Olville native Americans using this as a styptic, a wound dressing, and a cauterizing agent. They would place a piece of the softened amadou layer over the affected area and ignite. This amadou layer was also used as a wound dressing and styptic throughout Europe. In a German speaking Alpine area in Europe, where this mushroom was called Wundschwamm, F. fomentarius was sold in pharmacies in the form of styptic bandages. While carving the mushroom’s crust off to expose this styptic layer of amadou, I sliced my finger with a serrated knife and there was heavy bleeding. I quickly wrapped a piece of the amadou around my finger. My finger stopped bleeding within minutes, and the amadou stayed on my finger as a nice bandage.

mushroom bandage

This mushroom was also used in ritual smoking ceremonies, in Germany and Austria, and by the Khanty people in West Siberia. They would burn the fruiting bodies to obtain smoke when a person died. The smoke would burn as to avoid any influence of the deceased on the living. This smoke has also been used similar to moxibustion. The ignited mushroom is placed over different parts of the body to warm the meridians, helping with the movement of blood and qi.

Currently studied as a treatment for esophagus, gastric and uterine carcinoma. Recent research shows distinct antibiotic activity against Bacillus subtillis and staphylococcus aureus with antifungal activity against Aspergillus flavus.

Also, anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities have been documented.


How to make the Amadou 

The layers of F. fomentarius
Cross Section of F. fomentarius

Sharp serrated carving knife

Cutting board

Hammer, ideally wide headed, like a Leatherman’s hammer

Hammering surface

Washing Soda Solution (sodium carbonate)

  1. Cut off the crust of the mushroom


This is done carefully with a sharp knife, serrated works well. You want to be careful here to not cut off too much of the trauma layer.

  1. Cut the off the tubes*


This is done by making deep cuts in the tubes and then cracking them apart, and peeling them away from the trauma layer, careful to not peel too much of the trauma layer off with them. Remaining tubes can be cut away with a knife.

3. Soak trauma layer over night to a week in washing soda solution, or boil for at least 20 minutes


  1. Pound damp trauma layer


5. Soak again, pound again, and repeat until desired thickness reached.

6. Let the amadou felt (trauma layer) dry out, and use, as you like!



Don’t throw away the mushroom parts that have been removed from the trauma layer. Simmer these in water and drink as an immune boosting tea, or use the tubes as a candlewick.


Resources for Amadou products:

Resource for F. Fomentarius mushrooms:

Hericium sp.

Hericium abietis, Hericium americanum, Hericium erinaceus

(Like a Hedgehog)

Bear’s Head Mushroom, Lion’s Mane, Western Coral Hedgehog


Walking through the dank darkness of the Northwest forest, and a snowball like specimen comes into view. A strange time of year to find a snowball in the forest, you walk closer and see this pearly white beauty of a toothed mushroom. It smells sweet and bitter and you can’t help but drool. The mushroom feels hearty and meaty and calls to you, there is no doubt it will be delicious. The teeth hang down like icicles and let off the spores from the tips.


Found throughout North America. The fruiting bodies are usually found as individuals on fallen conifer logs, often Douglas Fir, Pseudotsuga menzeseii, in the Pacific Northwest.

This is a parasitic mushroom, slowly killing it’s host.

Hericium abietis is usually found in California, but does come up to the Pacific Northwest. Hericium americanum is also found here, and I have come across H. erinaceus once or twice.

Known active Constituents (Based on Hericium erinaceus research)

  • Cyathane derivatives
  • Erinacines, Hericenones
  • Beta-glucans
  • Galactoxyloglucan
  • Glucoxylan
  • Mannoglucoxylan
  • Xylan
  • Ergosterol-provitamin D2

Spore Print –White

Therapeutic actions

Styptic, immune stimulating, immune modulating, nerve tonic, neuro-regenerative, anti-microbial, Nootropic

Medicinal Uses

  • H. erinaceus has significant anti fatigue activity; increases tissue glycogen content and antioxidant enzyme activity. Decreases blood lactic acid, serum urea nitrogen1
  • Aqueous extract contains neuroactive compounds that induce nerve growth factor synthesis. neurotrophic factors. Important in promoting the growth and differentiation of neurons. 2
  • Daily oral administration of aqueous H. erinaceus could promote the regeneration of injured peroneal nerve in early stage recovery3
  • There is evidence of Nerve cells stimulation and enhancement of cognitive abilities.
  • Lull GI inflammation and cool down ulcers
  • Treats pancreatitis, caused by digestive enzymes performing their duty in the wrong location – pancreas instead of small intestine.
  • Has shown to be an effective therapy for intestinal, stomach and pancreatic cancers, it is chemo-protective.5
  • Lowers blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels
  • Stimulates nerve growth factor
  • Neutrophic factors are essential to maintain and organize neurons functionality; hence neutrophic factor like substances or their inducers may be applied to the treatments of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • NGF levels are decreased in the basal forebrains of alzheimer’s patients.
  • Hericium sp. Aqueous extract has also shown to discourage the development of plaque in the brain – another reason why it could be a helpful therapy for alzheimer’s disease
  • Showed to help diabetic neuropathy
  • Intake has the possibility to reduce depression and anxiety through the NGF enhancing action.4 specifically for menopausal females.


  • Used for stomach ailments
  • Used for treatment of GI cancer and gastric ulcers


Cool, tonic


Dual Extract – See F. pinicola

This one you can eat! Here is an easy recipe:


Hericium sp.

1 yellow onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tbs Ghee, coconut oil, or butter

Salt or tamari to taste


Chop up the mushroom

Warm up coconut oil, ghee, or butter on a skillet over medium-high heat

Add the mushroom

When it looks like the mushroom has given off most of its moisture, add sliced onion and chopped garlic until the mushrooms are brown and the onion is soft

Sprinkle with some sea salt, tamari, or truffle salt.


Work Cited

  1. Liu, J., C. DU, Y. Wang, and Z. Yu. “Anti-fatigue Activities of Polysaccharides Extracted from Hericium Erinaceus.” Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine9.2 (2015): 483-87. Web.
  1. Lai, Puei-Lene, Murali Naidu, Vikineswary Sabaratnam, Kah-Hui Wong, Rosie Pamela David, Umah Rani Kuppusamy, Noorlidah Abdullah, and Sri Nurestri A. Malek. “Neurotrophic Properties of the Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium Erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms15.6 (2013): 539-54. Web.
  1. Wong, Kah-Hui, Murali Naidu, Rosie Pamela David, Robiah Bakar, and Vikineswary Sabaratnam. “Neuroregenerative Potential of Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Hericium Erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (Higher Basidiomycetes), in the Treatment of Peripheral Nerve Injury (Review).” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms14.5 (2012): 427-46. Web
  1. Nagano, Mayumi, Kuniyoshi Shimizu, Ryuichiro Kondo, Chickako Hayashi, Daigo Sato, Katsuyuki Kitagawa, and Koichiro Ohnuki. “Reduction of Depression and Anxiety by 4 Weeks Hericium Erinaceus Intake.” Biomedical Research31.4 (2010): 231-37. Web.
  1. Li, G., K. Yu, and F. Li. “Anticancer Potential of Hericium Erinaceus Extracts against Human Gastrointestinal Cancers.” Anticancer Potential of Hericium Erinaceus Extracts against Human Gastrointestinal Cancers. N.p., 12 Mar. 2014. Web. 27 Mar. 2015.
  2. Rogers, Robert Dale. The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic, 2011. Print.
  1. Stamets, Paul, and C. Dusty Wu Yao. Mycomedicinals: An Informational Booklet on Medicinal Mushrooms. Olympia, WA: MycoMedia, 2002. Print.

Tremella mesenterica

(To tremble, resembling the mesentery)

Witch’s butter, Yellow Brain Fungus


This mushroom dries up with the sun and rehydrates with the rain. Dab it all over your face and feel the cooling, moistening properties. As the rain hydrates the Tremella, our organs, inside and out, are soothed and moistened too. An orange blob of an organism, with petal-like folds, it resembles the mesentery. Mesentery is the tissue embracing the intestines, branching with veins and arteries that supply the intestines with blood. It is not a surprise then that T. mesenterica soothes the gut. This mushroom, similar to other fungi and plants of the dank forests, has an affinity for the lungs, moistening, cooling, and lightly expectorant.


  • Often found on logs, Douglas fir, Pseudotsuga menzeseii and Hemlock, Tsuga heterophylla, in the PNW and temperate and tropical deciduous forests across the world.
  • A parasitic fungus, grows on the mycelium of other fungi mycelium, typically the of the Peniophora genus.
  • After heavy rainfall, Fall through winter

Active Known Constituents

  • -Glucuronoxylomannan 1,3 alpha-glucan
  • – Epitope (Beta-D-glucuronosyl)
  • – 1,3-beta-1,6-beta glucan
  • – Chitin
  • – Tremellastin
  • – xylose
  • -mannonse
  • -glucurmic acid

Spore Print – White or pale yellow

Therapeutic actions

Immune-stimulating, immune-modulating, radiation protection, hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory, hepato-protective, anti-allergenic, demulcent, hypocholesterolemic, anti-diabetic, anti-tussive, anti-asthmatic


Medicinal Uses

  • Pharmacologically active polysaccharides make up the bulk of the fruit body, 60-90%, while with other medicinal mushrooms the polysaccharides make up a much smaller part of the biomass, 10-30%.
  • Polysaccharides significantly inhibit cancer cell DNA synthesis and growth in mice
  • Rich in provitamin D, Vitamin D deficiency is associated with depression and obesity.
  • Polysaccharides are made up of hemicellulose, a soluble fiber, having a hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic effect.
  • The polysaccharides are known for their water holding capacities
  • Good for skin elasticity – brew fruiting bodies as a thick gelatinous tea and apply to the skin with a cotton pad. Rinse out after 30 minutes.
  • Anti-oxidant and immunomodulating, the polysaccharides stimulate macrophage enzyme activity3
  • Could be used to treat stomach ulcers. Soothing to the GI and has also shown to be effective against H. pylori6
  • Increased immune function with type 1 diabetic mice2
  • One study, showed a decrease in blood sugar to normal levels for 24 hours4
  • Ethanol extract caused apoptosis in human lung carcinoma epithelial cells.1


  • Cooling, moistens the lungs
  • Nourishes the lung, stomach and kidney
  • Strengthens bones, helps maintain ideal weight, and provides proper moisture to the skin
  • lung yin deficiency. Mild expectorant


  • It was a question if this was even a mushroom, or a type of plant. Or some extraterrestrial organism plopped on the earth, maybe Alien spit? I could see Alien spit looking like this.
  • If the mushroom was found on your door, it was said that there was a curse put on your household, and the only way to rid of the curse is to stab the mushroom with a knife multiple times…this folklore comes from the West. Whereas the mushroom as been used as medicine in Asia for millennia.



Candied Witch’s Butter 


4 Large pieces of Witch’s Butter

2 C Sugar

2 C Water


Heat water and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved

Add mushroom and simmer on low-medium for about an hour, or until the syrup has thickened to a desired consistency

Store in the refrigerator and eat like gummy bears or dehydrate for a crunchy sweet treat.


– Make a tea, boiling it in water for at least an hour

– Add to soups and stews, doesn’t taste like much, but an easy way to get medicine in!

Work Cited

  1. Chen, Nan-Yin, and Hsi-Huai Lai. “Induction of Apoptosis in Human Lung Carcinoma A549 Epithelial Cells with an Ethanol Extract of Tremella Mesenterica.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2015.
  1. Lo, Hui-Chen, Tai-Hao Hsu, Chien-Hsing Lee, Fang-Yi Lin, and Solomonp Wasser. “The Fruiting Bodies, Submerged Culture Biomass, and Acidic Polysaccharide Glucuronoxylomannan of Yellow Brain Mushroom Tremella Mesenterica Modulate the Immunity of Peripheral Blood Leukocytes and Splenocytes in Rats with Impaired Glucose Tolerance.”Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine0.0 (2014): n. pag. Web.
  1. Jeong, Sang-Chul, Sundar Rao Koyyalamudi, J. Margaret Hughes, Cheang Khoo, Trevor Bailey, Karthik Marripudi, Jong Pil Park, Jin Hee Kim, and Chi-Hyun Song. “Antioxidant and Immunomodulating Activities of Exo-and Endopolysaccharide Fractions from Submerged Mycelia Cultures of Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms15.3 (2013): 251-66. Web.
  1. Rahar, Sandeep, Navneet Nagpal, Gaganshah Singh, Gaurav Swami, and Manishaa Nagpal. “Preparation, Characterization, and Biological Properties of β-glucans.” Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research2.2 (2011): 94. Web.
  1. Rogers, Robert Dale. The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic, 2011. Print.
  1. Lachter, Jesse, Yevgeny Yampolsky, Ronit Gafni-Schieber, and Solomon P. Wasser. “Yellow Brain Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom, Tremella Mesenterica Ritz.:Fr. (Higher Basidiomycetes), Is Subjectively but Not Objectively Effective for Eradication of Helicobacter Pylori: A Prospective Controlled Trial.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 14.1 (2012): 55-63. Web.

Ganoderma oregonense

Oregon Reishi 


Late summer foliage and moss covered trees, follow the lichen and licorice fern trails from the treetops down the trunk and along the fallen logs. In a ravine full of Devil’s club and ground covered in wild ginger, a bright gem appears. The Ganoderma oregonense glows and calls you forward. This mushroom will sometimes share space with G. applanatum and F. pinicola. This annual fruiting body is hard to miss, in its short fruiting season it gets larger than a human head. When its shiny skin is covered in spores it resembles the G. applanatum, it too has a pore surface that bruises. This fruiting body is also often confused with F. pinicola, which does not have a varnished crust and does not bruise on the pore surface.

Ganoderma oregonense Spagyric.

One drop of Ganoderma Spagyric. It sits in the heart radiating outward across the chest, warming the diaphragm and you can’t help but to smile. The feeling of standing in the forest, dense with life, transformation and decay. Everything is OK, a reminder of the cyclical reality of the earth that is often forgotten. There is always change, there is always death. There is always a breakdown, and with that, a build up. Inspires you to show your bold colors as the Ganoderma does; it’s bright red beauty in a dank forest of browns and greens…such confidence, a reminder that it is Ok to stand out and shine.



Annual, Summer-Fall

Found on conifers, often Douglas Fir, Pseudotsuga menzeseii, and Hemlock, Tsuga heterophylla.

*Active Known Constituents

  • Ganoderic acids
  • Various glycans
  • 3-oxo-5a-lanosta-8,24-dien-21-oic acid – 3a-acetoxy-5a-lanosta-8,24-dien-21-oic acid ester b-D-glucoside

Spore Print –Brown

 Therapeutic Actions

Anti-­allergenic, anti-­inflammatory, anti-­oxidant, immune-­modulating, immune­‐ stimulating, anti-­viral,Hepato‐ protective, anti­tumor

*There is a lack of research on the Ganoderma oregonense. DNA sequencing of the more extensively researched, G. Tsugae, showed enough similarities to the G. Oregonense1 that we could postulate the medicinal actions of the latter through the research of the former.

 Medicinal Use

  • Triterpenes found in Ganoderma species suppress growth and invasive behavior of cancer cells, whereas the polysaccharides stimulate the immune system.
  • These polysaccharides have been termed “Ganopolys”. These Beta-glucans have immune-stimulating, immune-modulating, and anti-tumor activity. These activities correlate with higher molecular weight and lower levels of branching, because these molecules are more water soluble.7
  • “Ganopolys” affect the body’s immune system by activating macrophage activity, facilitating T- lymphocytes transferring to cytotoxic t cells, and enhancing the amount of B lymphocytes and natural killer cells.7
  • Triterpenes are bitter components, the bitter flavor conveys a hepatoprotective effect, also stimulates digestive enzyme production by the pancreas, and can help with sugar cravings.
  • Hepatoprotective effects were perhaps related to the ability to increase the activity of free radical scavenging enzymes and to raise the ability of antioxidation. Ganoderic acid, one of the triterpenoids found in G. Lucidum, G. Tsugae, G. applanatum, and G. Oregonense, was proven to be a potent inhibitor of β-glucuronidase activity, an indicator of hepatic damage1,3
  • Triterpenoids have high antioxidant activity, and have a cardioprotective effect in mice3
  • Activity against 3 cancer cell lines; lanostanoid and a sterol caused death by apoptosis and suggested that is was the sterol that possessed the cell cycle inhibition activity.2
  • Aqueous extract showed anti-tumor activity in human breast cancer cells and only showed a cyctotoxic effect on cancer cell lines, no cytotoxic effect found on normal cell lines6
  • Ganoderma compounds inhibit 5-alpha-keto-reducate activity that is responsible for the biosynthesis of dihydrotestosterone, this indicates a possible therapeutic value in prostate cancer.5
  • Chitin membrane used as a wound dressing known as sacchachitin and developed from the residue of the fruiting body.5,8
  • A pulpy white residue was tested as a skin substitute, wound healing was found faster than the commercialized skin substitute made from chitin from crab shell. Sacchachitin also showed to have strong antibacterial and antiviral activity.5
  • Alleviate bronchoalveolar inflammation by decreasing the amount of inflammatory cells and the secretion of inflammatory mediator into the lungs and airways, therapeutic application in allergic asthma.9
  • Increases oxygen absorbing capacity of alveoli in the lungs


Warming, nourishes the heart, disperses stuck energy, tonic, sweet, bitter

Preparation of Dual Extract

See F. pinicola preparation

Work Cited

  1. Hong, SG, and HS Jung. “Phylogenetic Analysis of Ganoderma Based on Nearly Complete Mitochondrial Small-subunit Ribosomal DNA Sequences.”National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2015.
  1. Kuo, Han-Peng, Shih-Chung Hsu, Chien-Chih Ou, Jhy-Wei Li, Hsiu-Hsueh Tseng, Tzu-Chao Chuang, Jah-Yao Liu, Shih-Jung Chen, Muh-Hwan Su, Yung-Chi Cheng, Wei-Yuan Chou, and Ming-Ching Kao. “Ganoderma Tsugae Extract Inhibits Growth of HER2-Overexpressing Cancer Cells via Modulation of HER2/PI3K/Akt Signaling Pathway.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine2013 (2013): 1-12. Web
  1. KY, Kuok, and Yeh CY. “The Triterpenoids of Ganoderma Tsugae Prevent Stress-induced Myocardial Injury in Mice.” Molecular Nutrition and Food Research57.10 (2013): 1892-896. Web. 25 Mar. 2015.
  1. Huang, Chi-Chang, Wen-Ching Huang, Suh-Ching Yang, Chih-Chi Chan, and Wan-Teng Lin. “Ganoderma Tsugae Hepatoprotection against Exhaustive Exercise-Induced Liver Injury in Rats.” Molecules18.2 (2013): 1741-754. Web.
  1. Chuang, Chao-ming, HE Wang, and CH Chang. “Sacchachitin, a Novel Chitin-polysaccharide Conjugate Macromolecule Present in Ganoderma Lucidum: Purification, Composition, and Properties.” Pharmaceutical Biology52.1 (2013): 84-95. Web. 25 Mar. 2015
  1. Yue, GG, KP Fung, and GM Tse. “Comparative Studies of Various Ganoderma Species and Their Different Parts with Regard to Their Antitumor and Immunomodulating Activities In Vitro.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine12.8 (2006): 777-89. EBSCO Host. Web. 25 Mar. 2015.
  1. Zhou, Xuanwei, Juan Lin, Yizhou Yin, Jingya Zhao, Xiaofen Sun, and Kexuan Tang. “Ganodermataceae: Natural Products and Their Related Pharmacological Functions.” The American Journal of Chinese Medicine35.04 (2007): 559. Web.
  1. Su, Ching-Hua, Chi-Shu Sun, Sheng-Wei Juan, Hsiu-O Ho, Chung-Hong Hu, and Ming-Thau Sheu. “Development of Fungal Mycelia as Skin Substitutes: Effects on Wound Healing and Fibroblast.” Biomaterials20.1 (1999): 61-68. Web.
  1. Chen, Miaw-Ling, and Bi-Fong Lin. “Effects of Triterpenoid-Rich Extracts of Ganoderma Tsugae on Airway Hyperreactivity and Th2 Responses in Vivo.” International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 143.1 (2007): 21-30. Web.

Ganoderma applanatum

(Shiny skin, Flattened)

Artist’s conk, “Ancient ling zhi”, Flesh Polypore. White Reishi, Tree Tongue


A tree falls in a forest when nobody is around, and it does not matter if it is to make a sound, but what a wonderful opportunity for this G. applanatam to make a home. These fruiting bodies are most often found on trees that are dead or dying. Fallen trees, bridging across a stream are a common host. With the movement of the stream, the breakdown of the tree, an example of how life is always cycling through the forest. G. applanatum plays a major role in the breakdown of a dead tree and so, supplies the earth with nutrients and makes it possible for regrowth to happen on the forest floor. Most often, I find this mushroom by streams, sometimes hiding under fallen logs. Near to the ground, and pore surface underside, it would seem difficult to spread spores. Electrostatic and thermal differentials dust the crust with the spores, allowing grand opportunity for the wind to spread them about the forest, in the trillions.


Perennial, Grows on hardwoods and conifers, loves the old Douglas fir, Pseudotsugae menzeseii.

Active Known Constituents

  • B-Glucans,
  • hetero-B-glucans
  • Ganoderic acids-triterpenes
  • Lanostanic triterpenoids
  • Applanoxidic acids A, B, C, and D
  • Ergosterol
  • Ganoderma aldehyde
  • Meroterpenoids: Applanatumols A and B

Spore Print- Brown

Therapeutic Actions

Styptic, carminative, analgesic, immune-stimulant, anti-tumor, anti-viral, hypoglycemic, hypo-cholesterolemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, anti-bacterial, antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-fibrotic

Medicinal Use

  • Anti-tumor actions in one study6 showed a 39.7% tumor reduction in tumor formation
  • Can live for 40-50 years, resisting rot for this long proves strong anti-microbial activity.
  • Alcohol extract of the fruiting body showed activity against a wide range of bacteria, E. coli, S. aureus. coli, B. cereus, S. pyogenes
  • Significant anti-oxidant activity
  • Applanatum terpenes showed liver protective activity by decreasing ROS and MDA. These terpenes renewed activities of antioxidant enzymes and suppressed the inflammatory response.9
  • Antiviral actions are effective against Epstein Bar Virus
  • Inhibits the differentiation of preadipocytes into mature adipocytes by reducing triglyceride accumulation.7 Therefore, proving possible effectiveness as an anti-obesity agent.
  • Significant increase in nitric oxide synthase1
  • Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, hence increasing blood flow to the arteries. Taking part in cardiac function, peristalsis and sexual arousal in males and females, applanatum could be classified as an aphrodisiac.
  • Meroterpenoid, applanatumol A and B, are potent extracellular matrix inhibitors in TGF-beta induced rat epithelial cells, and was extremely beneficial in end stage kidney disease/kidney fibrosis.(10)


Removes heat, reduces phlegm

  • “Acrid and balanced. It mainly treats cough and counterflow qi ascent, boosts the lung qi, disinhibits the mouth and nose, fortifies the will to cultivate bravery and undauntedness, and quiets the corporeal soul (Po, held in the lungs, representing our primal urges or animal instinct.) Protracted taking may make the body light, prevent senility, and prolong life so as to make one an immortal.” –The divine farmer’s materia medica p18

Ethnobotanical uses

  • Dian Fossey, on page 314 of “Gorillas In the Mist” states,“Still another special food (for the gorillas) is bracket fungus (Ganoderma applanatum)… The shelflike projection is difficult to break free, so younger animals often have to wrap their arms and legs awkwardly around a trunk and content themselves by only gnawing at the delicacy. Older animals who succeed in breaking the fungus loose have been observed carrying it several hundred feet from its source, all the while guarding it possessively from more dominant individuals attempts to take it away. Both the scarcity of the fungus and the gorillas’ liking of it cause many intragroup squabbles, a number of which are settled by the silverback, who simply takes the item of contention for himself.”
  • Athabaskans of Alaska burn the fungus to provide a mosquito repellent smoke3
  • In Nigeria the mushroom has been used for it’s antioxidant properties and for diabetes5

Preparation of Dual Extract

See Fomitopsis pinicola preparation

Works Cited

  1. Acharya, Krishnendu, Parinita Yonzone, Manjula Rai, and Rupa Acharya. “Antioxidant and Nitric Oxide Synthase Activation Properties of Ganoderma Applanatum.” Indian Journal of Experimental Biology43 (2005): 926-29. Web. 18 Mar. 2015.
  1. Hobbs, Christopher. Medicinal Mushrooms: An Exploration of Tradition, Healing & Culture. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica, 1995. Print.
  1. Rogers, Robert Dale. The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic, 2011. Print.
  1. Stamets, Paul, and C. Dusty Wu Yao. “Ganoderma Applanatum.” Mycomedicinals: An Informational Booklet on Medicinal Mushrooms. Olympia, WA: MycoMedia, 2002. 22-24. Print.
  1. Oyetayo, Ov. “Medicinal Uses of Mushrooms in Nigeria: Towards Full and Sustainable Exploitation.” African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines8.3 (2011): n. pag. Web.
  1. Jeong, Yong-Tae, Byung-Keun Yang, Sang-Chul Jeong, Sang-Min Kim, and Chi-Hyun Song. “Ganoderma Applanatum: A Promising Mushroom for Antitumor and Immunomodulating Activity.” Phytotherapy Research22.5 (2008): 614-19. Web.
  1. Kim, Ji-Eun, Sung-Jin Park, and Mi-Hee Yu. “Effect of Ganoderma Applanatum Mycelium Extract on the Inhibition of Adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes.” Journal of Medicinal Food17.10 (2014): 1086-094. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.
  1. Usui, Taichi, and Yoshio Iwasaki. “Antitumor Activity of Water-Solubleβ- D-Glucan Elaborated by Ganoderma Applanatum.” Agricultural and Biological Chemistry(2014): n. pag. Web.
  1. Ma, Jie-Qiong, Chan-Min Liu, Zhi-Hong Qin, Ji-Hong Jiang, and Yun-Zhi Sun. “Ganoderma Applanatum Terpenes Protect Mouse Liver against Benzo(α)pyren-induced Oxidative Stress and Inflammation.”Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology31.3 (2011): 460-68. Web.
  2. Luo, Qi, Lei Di, Xiao-Hua Yang, and Yong-Xian Cheng. “Applanatumols A and B, Meroterpenoids with Unprecedented Skeletons from Ganoderma Applanatum.” RSC Adv. 6.51 (2016): 45963-5967. Web.

Fomitopsis pinicola

(To heat or cherish,“fovere”, Poultice “fomentum” Inhabiting pine)

Red Belted Polypore


The young mushrooms resemble little white buttons on a tree, often with little bits of “guttation”- the sweating process. I encourage people to lick this dew-like condensation from the pore surface and take note of the fruity flavor.  As the mushroom grows older, the red/orange band begins to show itself, until eventually with old age, the colors disappear and the mushroom may present itself as just a black crust, with just a thin layer of red bordering the edge. These perennial Bracket fungi age much like humans. A new wrinkle with each year lived and all of the experiences hidden within the cells of the organism. These experiences that strengthened the fungi, any suffering that this organism went through, any pathogens it had to fight off, and wisdom it inherited from it’s host tree, are not to be seen with the naked eye, but felt through imbibition of the mushroom medicine. It is through the mushroom tea, that the remembrance in the mushrooms cells, become a part of the animals cells.


Grows on coniferous and deciduous trees, I often find them on Hemlock, Tsuga heterophylla, and Douglas Fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii. Widely distributed throughout Asia, Europe and America. It seems to be the most common polypore around.

Active Known Constituents

  • ergosterol (D2)
  • trametenolic acid
  • polyporenic acid C
  • lanosterol
  • inotodiol
  • pinicolic acid
  • triterpenes
  • fomitopinic acid A
  • adenosine
  • phenolics

Spore Print – Yellow

Therapeutic Actions

Styptic, emetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, immune-stimulating, anti-histamine, anti-angiogenic, anti-oxidant

Medicinal Use

  • Has been used in folk medicine as anti-inflammatory, styptic, and antimicrobial5
  • Ethanol extract showed greatest activity against cancer cells, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial actions3,5
  • Water soluble Polysaccharide glucans have immune-modulating activity
  • Use as a tonic to reduce inflammation of the digestive tract3,4,5 Possibly by controlling cytokine inflammatory response
  • In one study8 Fomitopsis pinicola demonstrated very high phenolics concentration and powerful anti-oxidant properties.
  • High in germanium – an anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-mutagenic and oxygen catalyst, enhances oxygen supply to the body’s cell’s providing increased energy production.
  • Blood sugar regulation by normalizing and regulating insulin production due to the hypoglycemic glycans1
  • Liver detoxifier by bitter terpinoids aiding the removal of toxins in the liver and intestines3
  • Increases neutrophil count and other white blood cells1,4
  • Contains natural steroids that can be useful in arthritis and painful auto-immune and inflammatory diseases
  • Concentration of triterpenes (hepato-protective, anti-inflammatory) is highest in the crust, and lower in younger fungi.
  • Contains anti-histamine vegetable sterols4,5
  • Fatty acids exhibit circulatory stimulating properties4,5
  • Selectively inhibits COX-2, in turn inhibiting synthesis of inflammatory prostaglandins.¹° Selective COX-2 inhibitors are significant, as NSAIDs like aspirin are also COX-1 inhibitors and use of COX-1 inhibitors increases risk of gastric ulcers.

“Because of their bioactivity against gram-positive bacteria, and their potency as anti-fungal agent, we especially consider F. pinicola to be worth further investigation on a molecular level. This fungus was widely applied in traditional European medicine, but its benefits and utilization have been forgotten after the introduction of synthetic drugs. Due to renaissance of naturopathy and also due to increasing bacterial and fungal resistances, working with traditional medicinal fungi is becoming increasingly interesting and rewarding.”7


Sweet, tonic

Ethnobotanical Use

The blackfoot of alberta put the dried polypore in a buffalo horn along with a live coal from the fire when they would move camp.4 They used a piece of the fungus as a purgative. The name translates to “turn our hair grey”4…maybe a rough translation…makes you wise?

The northern Dene cut it into small chunks and smoke it with tobacco to treat headaches4

Traditionally used for treatment of headache, nausea, liver problems, as a styptic and anti-inflammatory.

During the 1800s eclectic physicians soaked the polypore in whiskey as a remedy for ague

Cree of Eastern Canada powdered the dried fruiting body to treat wounds and stop bleeding. 6

Preparation of Dual Extract

1:20 mushroom:water (1oz mushroom: 560ml Water)

Simmer until liquid is reduced by half (280mL)

Let cool, and poor mushroom and water into sanitized jar

Add 95ml 95% alcohol (you want about 30% ETOH)

Shake daily and let macerate for 3 weeks

Strain out and you have a dual extract!

Works cited

  1. Cheng, Jing-Jy, Cha-Yui Lin, Huu-Sheng Lur, Hsuan-Pei Chen, and Mei-Kuang Lu. “Properties and Biological Functions of Polysaccharides and Ethanolic Extracts Isolated from Medicinal Fungus, Fomitopsis Pinicola.” Process Biochemistry43.8 (2008): 829-34. Web.
  1. Lee, S.I.; Kim, J.S.; Oh, S.H.; Park, K.Y.; Lee, H.G.; Kim, S.D. Antihyperglycemic effect of Fomitopsis pinicola extracts in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. J. Med. Food 2008, 11,518–524.
  1. Petrova, A.; Popov, S.; Gjosheva, M.; Bankova, V. A new triterpenic alcohol from Fomitopsis pinicola. Nat. Prod. Res. 2007, 21, 401–405.
  1. Rogers, Robert. “Three underutilized medicinal polypores” Journal of the American Herbalists guild. 12.2 (2014):15-16
  1. Rogers, Robert Dale. The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic, 2011. Print.
  1. Grienke, Ulrike, Margit Zoll, and Ursula Pientner. “European Medicinal Polypores – A Modern View on Traditional Uses.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 154.3 (2014): 564-83. Web.
  1. Dresch, Philipp et al. “Fungal Strain Matters: Colony Growth and Bioactivity of the European Medicinal Polypores Fomes Fomentarius, Fomitopsis Pinicolaand Piptoporus Betulinus.” AMB Express5.1 (2015): 4. PMC. Web. 3 Mar. 2015.
  2. Reis, Filipa S., Eliana Pereira, Lillian Barros, Maria João Sousa, Anabela Martins, and Isabel C.f.r. Ferreira. “Biomolecule Profiles in Inedible Wild Mushrooms with Antioxidant Value.” Molecules16.6 (2011): 4328-338. Web.
  3. Yoshikawa K, Inoue M, Matsumoto Y, et al. Lanostane Triterpenoids and Triterpene Glycosides from the Fruit Body of Fomitopsis pinicola and Their Inhibitory Activity against COX-1 and COX-2. 2005:69-73.