Tinder Sponge

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

Scientific 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 using the fungus for fires. Previously known as polyporus fomentarius and ungulina fomentarius.

Potpourri: the tinder polypore is among the most readily identifiable of the bracket fungis, which means it is laterally attached like a bracket to a substrate without a supporting stalk. The shape and proportions 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, notably beech and birch. The pathogenic infection is called white heart-rot: the disintegration (rot) of the central wood of the tree (heart) through consumption of the brown lignin so that just the cellulose which is generally light in color (white) remains. The fungus is also saprobic, surviving on the dead trunk or remnant stump of the tree that it may or might not have contributed to killing. The “hoof” part of the fungus has a crusty grey-brown, zoned upper surface, the bottom is consisted of a cream-colored surface that is covered with pores that have to do with a third of a millimeter in size. Spores are produced in prodigious numbers in the spring and summertime, as lots of 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 introduction

Tree different fungis use the dead wood as a breeding place

In the broadest sense, the group of tree fungis consists of all kinds of fungis that colonize wood and use it as a breeding place for their own lives, whereby the tree is either already dead or passing away. The fungis obtains the nutrients directly from the wood via their mycelial tissue, by deteriorating utilizable substances with specific, fungal enzymes. A process typically described as rot. Roughly one distinguishes in between mushrooms the brown rot and mushrooms which produce white rot. Basically all mushrooms are showing the fine mycelium tissue, with which the tree is contaminated, prior to the first fruiting bodies appear. The real “mushroom” is located in the interior of the tree, it is similar with almost all forest mushrooms, where just the fruiting body above ground can be seen.

Brown rot breaks down the wood substances

The so-called brown rot can decay all wood substances other than lignin, while the white rot simply breaks down the lignin in particular. The brown rot breaks down basically the polysaccharides, here especially the cellulose in the wood structure and thus ruins the fiber structure, where the wood very first blemished and after that becomes fragile, it comes to the so-called cube breakage. Up to 80% of the wood is decomposed by the fungis, or used by them as a nutrient by conversion. The lignin remains untouched by the brown rot, however the wood dries almost entirely.

Lignin is the glue in between the wood cells

The lignin forms the so-called adhesive in between the wood cells, which is particularly steady, which is why the white rot is in addition dependent on other energy-producing processes in the decomposition process. The order of the decomposition procedures in the wood is rather various, likewise depending on the kind of mushrooms present. Hence, in the presence of the real tinder fungus, the strong destruction of lignin right away begins. The wood shreds and turns almost white. The remaining polysaccharides, here in turn especially the cellulose, attend to strong swelling of the wood by absorption of water. Dehydration is then no longer possible, the decomposition of the wood is nearly 100%.

Lots of tree fungis reveal their fruiting bodies only throughout a single growing season, while others reveal similar growth rings to the wood, so that they are nearly completely related to wood illness such as woody plants. Growth can be confused. The tinder fungus is among the difficult tree fungis, it forms seasonal fruiting bodies, which sometimes reveal rather considerable 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 on findings that go back to the neolithic, because the loose-felted middle layer of the fungus, the so-called trama, was processed into tinder. With the discovery of the glacier male “ötzi” likewise scale remnants were found, which he led to the fire with it. In the west, there were fancy treatments to put the tram in soaking, cooking, tapping, and nitric acid and dry to produce a felt-like mass that immediately started to glow by impinging sparks. A type of early lighter. Even today, the trama (hyphal layer) of the tinder fungi in romania is used 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. Some are silver-gray or practically black.

Pore surface area: whitish or brownish.

Stem: missing.

Smell: fruity.

Taste: acrid.

Spores: oblong.

Spore color: yellowish white.

Edibility: inedible.

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

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

Fomes fomentarius carefully looks like another types, phellinus igniarius, to the point that the latter is sometimes called false tinder fungi (confusingly, f. Fomentarius is sometimes likewise called “false tinder fungi”). P. Igniarius has standard uses of its own, notably as a chewing-tobacco additive (a practice now thought about dangerous, as it increases the absorption of nicotine), but it ought to not be puzzled with f. Fomentarius. The most obvious difference in between the two is spore color. [3]

Identification guide


This sombre fungus normally looks like a singular specimen however sometimes two or more tiers are produced.

On standing lumber this bracket often acquires a hold in clefts in the trunks of older trees; however, the aged specimen revealed on the left was discovered on a fallen beech tree.

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

The upper infertile surface area is various tones of grey, frequently 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 hard and pale brown, while televisions are pale grey-brown at first however end up being darker brown with age. The pale spore-bearing surface area is visibly softer and has minute pores usually spaced at 2 to 3 per mm.


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

Spore print

Really pale lemon.


The odour is faintly fruity; the taste acrid.

Environment & & environmental role

Parasitic on broadleaf trees, particularly birch and less frequently beech and sycamore, however continuing to grow for lots of months as a saprobe on dead/fallen trunks. I have actually simply as soon as seen hoof fungus on a cork oak, which remained in the algarve region of southern portugal.


Present throughout the year; shedding spores in late spring and summertime.

Similar species

Could be confused 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. [4]

Does fomes fomentarius really have medicinal properties?

There isn’t yet a great deal of proof for the tinder polypore’s effectiveness as a remedy for specific ills, but researchers are beginning to take an interest in discovering its secrets.

Like the more commonly known medicinal mushrooms, fomes fomentarius consists of both polysaccharides and terpenes. These compounds have actually been found to exhibit interesting– and in some cases powerful– homes when drawn out from other species and test in lab settings *.

But what about this species?

Here’s a little of what this tree fungi might be able to do:.

  1. Combat swelling by preventing production of pro-inflammatory substances.
  2. Lower discomfort by reducing levels pge2 and cox-2, which are related to inflammation.
  3. Serve as an antimicrobial versus germs and infections.
  4. Offer a possible therapy for diabetes by means of a compound called fomentariol.
  5. Function as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage.

Extra therapeutic possible lies in the way fomes fomentarius apparently impacts the immune system.

In one research study, scientists gave mice differing doses of polysaccharide extracts from the mushroom to evaluate its interactions with immune cells. They discovered evidence of improved resistance even at the most affordable doses, consisting of more leukocyte activity and a higher capacity to ruin pathogens *. [18]

Other usages for tinder fungus

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

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

It’s an obstacle to slice, and despite its fruity odor, the taste has actually been described as very unpleasant. Better to stick with tastier culinary mushrooms, like the familiar button mushroom or the somewhat more exotic lion’s mane!

Fomes fomentarius is, nevertheless, good for beginning fires. Lots of people think that’s why otzi the iceman was carrying it around: to use it as a real tinder fungus.

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


betulinic acid in this medical mushroom has demonstrated strong antiviral properties. It is so powerful that it is now being researched as a possible antiviral treatment for hiv. This mushroom contains the substance piptamine. This substance has an extremely powerful antibacterial activity. It can kill a number of bacterial stress, such as e. Coli. Ancient texts likewise exposed that this fungus has been used as a treatment for tuberculosis in 200 advertisement.

Stops bleeding

Even from ancient times, fomes fomentarius has long been used as a natural material to stop bleeding. Surgeons use it during surgeries to stop bleeding. It is highly absorbent and easily keeps in location, which significantly helps in injury care. Hippocrates even explained this mushroom in fifth bc as being used for the cauterization of injuries. This made the medicinal mushroom the name “surgeon’s agaric”.


The chinese use tinder conk mushroom as part of the treatment for various kinds of illness in standard chinese medicine. They utilize it for the treatment of throat illness, disease of the uterus, and stomach disease. Its general helpful action on the immune system help in enhancing the body’s natural anti-disease capability. It promotes the different immune cells and processes that discourage disease and tumor cell expansion.


  1. Cauterization substance for injuries (explained by hippocrates in the fifth century bc).
  2. A styptic to stop bleeding – used by cosmetic surgeons barbers and dental professionals (in some cases called the “agaric of the chirurges” or “cosmetic surgeon’s agaric”.
  3. Solution against dysmenorrhea, hemorrhoids, and bladder disorders in europe. Diuretic, laxatives, and nerve tonic in indic herbal remedies.
  4. Treating 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 evil spirits.
  6. Making clothes such as caps and chest protectors (after pounding).
  7. As pincushions to prevent pins and needles from rusting.
  8. Utilized by entomologists to mount their delicate insects.
  9. Used in siberia as snuff or combined with tobacco.
  10. Sold for use in fly fishing as “amadou,” which is utilized to absorb excess water from flies.
  11. Utilizing modern methods, the tinder polypore has actually been shown to include iodine, fomentariol, and other compounds that are active versus bacteria and growths. [6]

The simple way to use fomes fomentarius as tinder

There are numerous procedures for preparing or enhancing fomes fomentarius as tinder, including producing amadou. Tinder produced in this way will catch and hold the small, relatively cold sparks produced by striking together flint and iron pyrites.

In concentrating on these more involved processes, it is possible to ignore the most basic and most convenient preparation of fomes fomentarius as tinder. This can be done quickly in the field and the tinder produced can be used instantly.

The bracket is the fruiting body of the fungi and its outside layer is hard, like the crust of a stale, dried-out loaf of bread. Observing the underside of the fungus you will see lots of 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 thick, firm in consistency and has a cinnamon colour. Within the trama you will see development rings. You can see clearly see the structure of the bracket by slicing through it.

Whichever process you are using to produce tinder from fomes fomentarius, it is the trama you need to start with. If you slice the trama thinly, you will notice that it is somewhat fibrous. This is simplest to see at the end of your slice.

For our easy method of producing tinder from fomes fomentarius we will make use of the fibrous nature of the trama. Slice off the surface layer of the fungus. Then slice the trama obliquely to develop the biggest possible slices.

To prepare the trama as tinder, we need to scrape up the surface of the piece. Utilizing a knife or other sharp carry out is the most convenient way to do this. Scrape up the surface up until you have a bunch of fluffy product.

Now all you need to do is drop a trigger into the fluffy material. This fluff is great at catching a spark and as soon as fired up will smoulder for a while.

The smouldering will spread out into the remainder of the slice. This will then smoulder for a long time. This combustion is extremely hot. The product will not flame, however. For that reason to light a fire through this method you need to then take your smouldering tinder to really great kindling to produce a flame. Examples of natural materials suitable for this include dried turf, dried bracken leaves or appropriately prepared bark fibres.

When fired up, a larger lump of trama can smoulder for hours and can be used for bring an ash or reviving a fire at a later phase.

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

Ingestion of the tinder fungus

There are two types that are most commonly utilized. These consist of, on the one hand, the tinder fungi 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 fungus tea, you first have to put the mushroom powder over it utilizing boiling water. The tea needs to then be left to rest for a couple of minutes prior to you can consume it. When it comes to dietary supplements, tinder fungi capsules in particular have been able to assert themselves finest up until now. In the end, taking it is incredibly easy. The exact same applies to the two medical mushrooms chaga and auricularia.

For an acceptable outcome, routine intake is a must. When it comes to severe symptoms, you can likewise consume the pills, alcoholic essence or tea day-to-day. The regular intake of these funds has not shown any adverse effects up until now. After about 2-3 weeks of everyday use, you must take a break from utilizing tinder fungus items for at least 2 weeks in order to guarantee an ideal impact.

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

Negative effects

It is just required to remember that, despite healing properties, tinder fungus can likewise have side effects – trigger queasiness, throwing up, dizziness, allergies. You can not use it in food, as it is stuffed with poisoning. [9]

Research study possible

Prospective exist to further research the antiviral anti-bacterial and answer residential or commercial properties of fomes fomentarious. Too research possibilities exist in developing cosmetic preparations and also in textiles.

Industrial prospective

At this moment, there may be need for fungus from conventional chinese medication. There could be substantial growth in demand based on medication a product that would be created based upon medical & & cosmetic research and scientific trials.

Prospective quantities in north saskatchewan

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


  1. https://hikersnotebook.blog/fungi/polypores-and-puffballs/tinder-polypore-fomes-fomentarius/
  2. https://www.alaturka.info/en/life/flora/4264-tinder-sponge-tree-fungus-in-the-castle-spark-of-falkenstein
  3. https://healing-mushrooms.net/fomes-fomentarius
  4. https://www.first-nature.com/fungi/fomes-fomentarius.php
  5. https://learn.freshcap.com/tips/why-fomes-fomentarius-isnt-just-a-boring-polypore/
  6. https://ultimate-mushroom.com/poisonous/105-fomes-fomentarius.html
  7. https://paulkirtley.co.uk/2011/easy-way-to-use-fomes-fomentarius-as-tinder/
  8. https://www.fullelemental.com/shop/tinder-sponge-alcoholic-essence/
  9. https://uralstk.ru/en/drugs/trutovik-listvennichnyi-primenenie-recept-dlya-pohudeniya-iz/
  10. https://www.agwest.sk.ca/ckfinder/userfiles/files/birch%20fungi%20-%20fomes%20fomentarius.pdf
Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.