Tinder Sponge

25 mins read

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

Taxonomic name: fomes fomentarius– the latin word fomes suggests “tinder” or “touchwood” and the latin word fomentarius implies “product to feed a fire”– both the generic and types names stress the use of the fungi for fires. Formerly called polyporus fomentarius and ungulina fomentarius.

Potpourri: the tinder polypore is among the most readily identifiable of the bracket fungi, which means it is laterally connected 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 provides a detailed mnemonic. The tinder polypore is weakly parasitic on broad-leaved trees, notably 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 usage of the brown lignin so that just the cellulose which is typically light in color (white) remains. The fungi is also saprobic, living on the dead trunk or remnant stump of the tree that it might or might not have contributed to killing. The “hoof” portion of the fungus has a crusty grey-brown, zoned upper surface area, the bottom is comprised of a cream-colored surface area that is covered with pores that have to do with a 3rd of a millimeter in size. Spores are produced in prodigious numbers in the spring and summertime, as many as 800 million in a single hour according to field testing; very couple of spores are produced in the autumn and winter season. [1]

Tinder sponge– a short summary

Tree different fungi use the dead wood as a breeding place

In the broadest sense, the group of tree fungis consists of all kinds of fungi that colonize wood and utilize it as a breeding ground for their own lives, whereby the tree is either already dead or dying. The fungi derives the nutrients directly from the wood through their mycelial tissue, by degrading utilizable compounds with specific, fungal enzymes. A process frequently referred to as rot. Roughly one differentiates between mushrooms the brown rot and mushrooms which produce white rot. Basically all mushrooms are revealing the great mycelium tissue, with which the tree is infected, before the first fruiting bodies appear. The real “mushroom” is located in the interior of the tree, it is comparable with almost all forest mushrooms, where only the fruiting body above ground can be seen.

Brown rot disintegrates the wood substances

The so-called brown rot can break down all wood substances except lignin, while the white rot just breaks down the lignin in particular. The brown rot decays basically the polysaccharides, here especially the cellulose in the wood structure and hence ruins the fiber structure, whereby the wood first tarnished and then ends up being brittle, it comes to the so-called cube breakage. As much as 80% of the wood is broken down by the fungis, or used by them as a nutrient by conversion. The lignin remains unaffected by the brown rot, but the wood dries nearly 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 furthermore dependent on other energy-producing procedures in the decomposition procedure. The order of the decay processes in the wood is rather various, also depending on the kind of mushrooms present. Therefore, in the existence of the real tinder fungus, the strong degradation of lignin right away begins. The wood shreds and turns nearly white. The remaining polysaccharides, here in turn specifically the cellulose, provide for strong swelling of the wood by absorption of water. Dehydration is then no longer possible, the decomposition of the wood is almost 100%.

Lots of tree fungi reveal their fruiting bodies only throughout a single growing season, while others reveal equivalent growth rings to the wood, so that they are practically completely connected with wood illness such as woody plants. Development can be puzzled. The tinder fungi is among the hard tree fungi, it forms seasonal fruiting bodies, which sometimes reveal rather substantial growth zones at the bottom and at the leading edge. Mainly it is found 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 date back to the neolithic, due to the fact that the loose-felted middle layer of the fungus, the so-called trama, was processed into tinder. With the discovery of the glacier male “ötzi” also scale residues were discovered, which he led to the fire with it. In the west, there were intricate procedures to put the cable car in soaking, cooking, tapping, and nitric acid and dry to produce a felt-like mass that instantly began 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, typically with narrow bands of gray and gray-brown around the upper surface. Some are silver-gray or practically black.

Pore surface: whitish or brownish.

Stem: missing.

Smell: fruity.

Taste: acrid.

Spores: oblong.

Spore color: yellowish white.

Edibility: inedible.

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

Fomes fomentarius looks quite various than many familiar mushrooms. It has no stem or stipe, nor does it have gills, however rather a flat lower surface covered with pores, which are the openings of densely-packed, spore-producing tubes. The fruiting body is perennial, 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 very same shelf-like shape as a young f. Fomentarius fruiting body, older examples develop a horse-hoof shape that is really distinct. It feeds upon either living or dead woods, 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 sometimes called false tinder fungi (confusingly, f. Fomentarius is in some cases also called “incorrect tinder fungus”). P. Igniarius has traditional uses of its own, especially as a chewing-tobacco additive (a practice now thought about unsafe, as it increases the absorption of nicotine), but it ought to not be puzzled with f. Fomentarius. The most apparent distinction between the two is spore color. [3]

Recognition guide


This sombre fungi typically appears as a singular specimen but periodically 2 or more tiers are produced.

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

Annual layers of tubes build up 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 three or 4 years, brackets increase steadily in thickness but do not grown much in size – for this reason the resulting hoof shape.

The upper sterile surface is numerous tones of grey, typically with a brownish growing zone towards the external edge. The lower (fertile) surface is white or greyish, turning slightly brown when bruised.

Pores and tubes

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


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

Spore print

Really pale lemon.


The smell is faintly fruity; the taste acrid.

Habitat & environmental function

Parasitic on broadleaf trees, particularly birch and less often beech and sycamore, but continuing to grow for numerous months as a saprobe on dead/fallen trunks. I have actually just when 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 types

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

Does fomes fomentarius truly have medical residential or commercial properties?

There isn’t yet a lot of proof for the tinder polypore’s effectiveness as an antidote for specific ills, but researchers are beginning to take an interest in revealing its tricks.

Like the more frequently understood medical mushrooms, fomes fomentarius contains both polysaccharides and terpenes. These compounds have been found to display fascinating– and often effective– homes when extracted from other species and test in lab settings *.

However what about this species?

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

  1. Combat inflammation by inhibiting production of pro-inflammatory substances.
  2. Lower pain by bringing down levels pge2 and cox-2, which are associated with inflammation.
  3. Serve as an antimicrobial against bacteria and infections.
  4. Provide a possible therapy for diabetes through a substance called fomentariol.
  5. Serve as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage.

Additional therapeutic possible lies in the method fomes fomentarius obviously affects the body immune system.

In one study, scientists gave mice differing dosages of polysaccharide extracts from the mushroom to check its interactions with immune cells. They discovered evidence of enhanced immunity even at the most affordable doses, including more leukocyte activity and a higher capability to destroy pathogens *. [18]

Other uses for tinder fungi

With all these intriguing residential or commercial properties, it’s natural to question if fomes fomentarius is edible. Nevertheless, there’s a factor you mostly see the tinder fungi described as practical or medical and not a focal point for dishes.

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

It’s an obstacle to slice, and in spite of its fruity smell, the taste has actually been referred to as very undesirable. Much better to stick with tastier culinary mushrooms, like the familiar button mushroom or the slightly more exotic lion’s hair!

Fomes fomentarius is, however, good for starting fires. Lots of people believe that’s why otzi the iceman was bring it around: to utilize it as a real tinder fungi.

Following his example requires a sharp knife and a little persistence. Slicing a section off the fruiting body reveals a softer inner material, which can then be “fluffed up” and fired with flint or a match. Include some little, dry kindling, and ta-da! The starts 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 potential antiviral treatment for hiv. This mushroom includes the compound piptamine. This compound has a really powerful antibacterial activity. It can kill a number of bacterial stress, such as e. Coli. Ancient texts also revealed that this fungus has actually been used as a treatment for tuberculosis in 200 advertisement.

Stops bleeding

Even from ancient times, fomes fomentarius has long been utilized as a natural material to stop bleeding. Surgeons use it during surgical treatments to stop bleeding. It is extremely absorbent and easily keeps in place, which greatly assists in wound care. Hippocrates even explained this mushroom in fifth bc as being used for the cauterization of injuries. This made the medicinal mushroom the name “cosmetic surgeon’s agaric”.


The chinese use tinder conk mushroom as part of the treatment for different types of illness in standard chinese medicine. They utilize it for the treatment of throat illness, illness 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 numerous immune cells and procedures that dissuade illness and growth cell expansion.


  1. Cauterization substance for wounds (described by hippocrates in the fifth century bc).
  2. A styptic to stop bleeding – utilized by surgeons barbers and dental experts (often called the “agaric of the chirurges” or “surgeon’s agaric”.
  3. Solution against dysmenorrhea, hemorrhoids, and bladder conditions 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 cigarettes routines in western sibera and hokkaido, burning the fruiting bodies over night to eradicate fiends.
  6. Making clothes such as caps and chest protectors (after pounding).
  7. As pincushions to prevent pins and needles from rusting.
  8. Used by entomologists to install their fragile pests.
  9. Used in siberia as snuff or blended with tobacco.
  10. Sold for use in fly fishing as “amadou,” which is used to soak up excess water from flies.
  11. Utilizing modern-day techniques, the tinder polypore has been shown to contain iodine, fomentariol, and other substances that are active against germs and tumors. [6]

The simple way to utilize fomes fomentarius as tinder

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

In concentrating on these more involved processes, it is possible to overlook the easiest and most convenient preparation of fomes fomentarius as tinder. This can be done quickly in the field and the tinder produced can be utilized immediately.

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

Inside the bracket, between the spore tubes and the external layer is the trama layer or “flesh” of the fungi. The trama layer of fomes fomentarius is quite thick, company 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 procedure 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 discover that it is somewhat fibrous. This is most convenient to see at the end of your piece.

For our basic approach of producing tinder from fomes fomentarius we will make use of the fibrous nature of the trama. Trim the surface layer of the fungi. Then slice the trama obliquely to create the largest possible slices.

To prepare the trama as tinder, we need to scrape up the surface area of the piece. Utilizing a knife or other sharp implement is the simplest method to do this. Scrape up the surface area until you have a bunch of fluffy product.

Now all you require to do is drop a stimulate into the fluffy material. This fluff is excellent at capturing a trigger and once ignited will smoulder for a while.

The smouldering will spread into the rest of the slice. This will then smoulder for a very long time. This combustion is incredibly hot. The product will not flame, nevertheless. For that reason to light a fire by means of this method you need to then take your smouldering tinder to really fine kindling to produce a flame. Examples of natural materials ideal for this include dried grass, dried bracken leaves or effectively prepared bark fibers.

As soon as fired up, a bigger lump of trama can smoulder for hours and can be used for carrying a cinder 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 program restraint in gathering them. Areas take a very long time to recover from over-exploitation. Take only what you require. [7]

Ingestion of the tinder fungus

There are two types that are most typically utilized. These consist of, 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 wish to prepare a tinder fungi tea, you initially need to pour the mushroom powder over it utilizing 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 fungi capsules in particular have had the ability to assert themselves best up until now. In the end, taking it is exceptionally simple. The very same applies to the two medicinal mushrooms chaga and auricularia.

For a satisfying result, routine intake is a must. In the case of acute symptoms, you can also consume the pills, alcoholic essence or tea daily. The typical intake of these funds has not shown any side effects up until now. After about 2-3 weeks of day-to-day usage, you should take a break from using tinder fungi items for at least 2 weeks in order to ensure an optimum impact.

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

Side effects

It is just essential to keep in mind that, in spite of recovery properties, tinder fungi can also have adverse effects – cause nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, allergic reactions. You can not use it in food, as it is stuffed with poisoning. [9]

Research study possible

Possible exist to further research study the antiviral antibacterial and answer homes of fomes fomentarious. Also research possibilities exist in creating cosmetic preparations and likewise in textiles.

Business prospective

At this point, there might be demand for fungi from conventional chinese medicine. There could be considerable growth in demand based upon medication a product that would be produced based on medical & cosmetic research and medical trials.

Potential quantities in north saskatchewan

Supply of 1000 kg (dried) is possible at this point. Offered development time this supply would be increased tremendously. [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
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