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.

37 thoughts on “Fomitopsis pinicola

  1. Wonderful post! My husband and I happened upon a veritable forest of red belted polypore while hiking in the mountains near Mt. Hood. I am looking forward to making my own dual extract and maybe some other ideas I have swirling in my head…
    Thank you for compiling and citing the research so well here. I working on my degree in CAM from ACHS, and greatly appreciate your efforts here!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. When making the duel extract, is your measurement of mushroom dry or fresh? That makes a big difference when determining the water ratio.


    1. This recipe is for dried mushroom, since that is what most people tend to have access to. Most mushrooms are at least 80% water, so this is important to consider especially if you are doing an alcohol extraction before the water extraction. Though, I tend to do the water extraction first, and I have found my extractions have been just as strong the folk way: a few handfuls of fresh chopped mushrooms (about a cup) and cover with 6 cups water, decoct until liquid is reduced by half. Blend mushroom and water, put it all in jar and top off 1/3 with 95% ETOH. Press out in 3 weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chris, sorry for the late reply. It depends on what you are treating and if you are using it for preventative medicine or if there is an acute condition. Polypore mushroom extract is generally safe in high doses. Beta glucans are active as immune-stimulators for a few hours, so I usually do a few eyedroppers full of extract every few hours throughout the day to keep my immune system strong — especially if I am traveling or around a lot of people.


  3. Would a honey extraction be comparable to hot water extraction or an alcohol extraction… or some sort of combination? Or something else entirely?


    1. Honey would extract water soluble constituents, not necessarily the fat soluble constituents like the triterpenes that the alcohol would extract. You would most likely get polysaccharides, some proteins, and phenolic compounds. I apologize for the incredibly late reply!!


  4. SHOOT! I read the comments after making my dual extract following the recipe but I used 1oz FRESH mushroom! Is it salvageable? I assume the concentration must be very low at this point. Also, I was trying to figure out what the final percentage of the extract would be (just to have an idea).


  5. Hi i have about 2 cups of 3 week old redbelted polypore tincturing in 45%vodca that i will latter due the dual extraction .i only found this site today..will use this method next time:)and as it is tincturing after 2 weeks its has some clouds forming in the jar at bottom .is this a normal reaction?Ty


    1. Did you use fresh mushroom? If so, you have to account for the water content when tincturing with such a low ETOH %. Could be bacteria or have you been shaking it regularly? Could just be some sediment from the mushroom material.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. This mushroom is extremely safe, I like to start everything in smaller doses though so you can see what dose is best for you. So, if you are using the chopped mushroom and making tea – I would start out with a tablespoon/1C water.


  6. Have you ever dried and turned the mushroom into a powder? Or have any other suggestions for preparations? Also, about how long does it take you to fully dry? We ran ours in the dehydrator over night, and I tried blending/grinding into a powder and am having trouble. I’m giving it another drying session to see how it goes!


  7. Hello! Thank you for this incredibly informative post. When you make the double extraction, I note that you write to combine the water and mushroom ‘mash’ directly with the alcohol for the 2nd extraction. Usually I strain off the water, jar it, and then add the mash alone to the alcohol to extract, and later combine the water and alcohol extraction liquids after straining off the mash a second time. Is this an unnecessary step? Is it the same outcome when done each way? Thank you in advance.


    1. Hey there Anna,
      I add the ETOH to the water and mash so that I don’t have to worry about the aqueous extract going bad. Typically you let the ETOH and mushroom macerate for a few weeks, and the aqueous extract won’t keep that long, unless you freeze it.


  8. Hello! I am currently following your dual extraction method and I was wondering what dosage you would recommend?



  9. Hello!

    I was wondering what were your experience with the F. Pinicola tea/decoction, I find it extremely bitter, with an invasive taste of fungi. I was also wondering, do you recommend using only the red-belt of the fruiting body or do you recommend using the whole fruit?



    1. I haven’t seen any specific information on Fomitopsis and prostate cancer though fomitopsis contains beta-glucans and lanostane triterpene glycosides – both of which have anti-cancer properties.


  10. For dosage, you mentioned in another comment that you recommend starting at 1 tablespoon to a cup of water. What would you normally take once someone has verified they don’t have any adverse effects?


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