Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tinder Fungus - The Ice Man Mushroom

Latin names: Fomes fomentarius, Polyporus fomentarius
Common name synonyms: Amadou, Fire-starter Mushroom, Hoof Conk, Hoof Fungus, Ice Man Polypore, Tinder Conk, Tinder Mushroom, Tinder Polypore, Touchwood Conk, Tsuriganetabe
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Tinder Fungus
A young Tinder Fungus, just emerging.
Tinder Fungus was one of two species found among the remains of 5,000-year-old Ice Man Ötzi in a glacial cave between Austria and Italy, hence the synonym "Ice Man Polypore."Tinder Fungus contains tough fibers, which can be moistened and then pounded into a felt-like fabric.  In this form, it has been found at Stone Age sites as old as 11,600 years, making it the oldest handicrafted biological material ever discovered. 25
Peintner et al. in 1998 198 documented the traditional use of Tinder Fungus.  It includes: styptic (contracts tissue to stop bleeding) and disinfectant bandaging of wounds; 199 diuretic, laxative and nerve tonic in India; remedy for hemorrhoids, dysmenorrhea and bladder conditions in Europe; and treatment against cancers 201 of the esophagus, stomach 200 and uterus in China.

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