Tinder Sponge

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

Taxonomic name: fomes fomentarius– the latin word fomes implies “tinder” or “touchwood” and the latin word fomentarius indicates “material to feed a fire”– both the generic and types names emphasize using the fungus for fires. Formerly referred to as polyporus fomentarius and ungulina fomentarius.

Potpourri: the tinder polypore is among the most easily recognizable of the bracket fungis, 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 supplies a detailed mnemonic. The tinder polypore is weakly parasitic on broad-leaved trees, significantly beech and birch. The pathogenic infection is known as white heart-rot: the disintegration (rot) of the main wood of the tree (heart) through consumption of the brown lignin so that only the cellulose which is typically light in color (white) stays. The fungi is also saprobic, surviving on the dead trunk or remnant stump of the tree that it might or might not have contributed to killing. The “hoof” part of the fungus has a crusty grey-brown, zoned upper surface, 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 summer season, as numerous as 800 million in a single hour according to field testing; extremely few spores are produced in the fall and winter season. [1]

Tinder sponge– a brief summary

Tree various fungi utilize the dead wood as a breeding ground

In the broadest sense, the group of tree fungi consists of all types of fungis that colonize wood and utilize it as a breeding place for their own lives, whereby the tree is either currently dead or passing away. The fungis derives the nutrients directly from the wood by means of their mycelial tissue, by degrading utilizable substances with specific, fungal enzymes. A procedure commonly described as rot. Roughly one differentiates between mushrooms the brown rot and mushrooms which produce white rot. Generally all mushrooms are revealing the great mycelium tissue, with which the tree is contaminated, before the very first fruiting bodies show up. The actual “mushroom” lies in the interior of the tree, it is similar with almost all forest mushrooms, where only the fruiting body above ground can be seen.

Brown rot decays the wood compounds

The so-called brown rot can decay all wood substances except lignin, while the white rot simply breaks down the lignin in particular. The brown rot decomposes basically the polysaccharides, here specifically the cellulose in the wood structure and therefore ruins the fiber structure, whereby the wood very first discolored and after that ends up being fragile, it concerns the so-called cube breakage. Up to 80% of the wood is broken down by the fungi, or utilized by them as a nutrient by conversion. The lignin remains untouched by the brown rot, however the wood dries practically entirely.

Lignin is the glue between the wood cells

The lignin forms the so-called adhesive in between the wood cells, which is particularly stable, which is why the white rot is furthermore dependent on other energy-producing procedures in the decomposition procedure. The order of the decay procedures in the wood is quite various, likewise depending on the type of mushrooms present. Therefore, in the existence of the genuine tinder fungi, the strong destruction of lignin right away begins. The wood shreds and turns practically white. The staying polysaccharides, here in turn particularly the cellulose, offer strong swelling of the wood by absorption of water. Dehydration is then no longer possible, the decay of the wood is practically 100%.

Lots of tree fungi reveal their fruiting bodies only during a single growing season, while others show equivalent development rings to the wood, so that they are nearly completely connected with wood illness such as woody plants. Development can be confused. The tinder fungi is among the hard tree fungi, it forms perennial fruiting bodies, which in some cases reveal quite significant 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, because the loose-felted middle layer of the fungus, the so-called trama, was processed into tinder. With the discovery of the glacier man “ötzi” likewise scale remnants were found, which he resulted in the fire with it. In the west, there were intricate treatments to put the cable car in soaking, cooking, tapping, and nitric acid and dry to produce a felt-like mass that instantly started to radiance by impinging stimulates. A kind of early lighter. Even today, the trama (hyphal layer) of the tinder fungi in romania is utilized 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 area. Some are silver-gray or practically black.

Pore surface: whitish or brownish.

Stem: missing.

Odor: fruity.

Taste: acrid.

Spores: oblong.

Spore color: yellow-colored white.

Edibility: inedible.

Habitat: living or dead woods 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, but rather a flat lower surface area 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, and so the flesh is tough and woody. And while many stipeless, pore-bearing fungis have the exact same shelf-like shape as a young f. Fomentarius fruiting body, older examples establish a horse-hoof shape that is very distinct. It feeds upon either living or dead hardwoods, specifically birch and beech, with the fruiting body emerging from the side of the trunk.

Fomes fomentarius carefully looks like another species, phellinus igniarius, to the point that the latter is sometimes called incorrect tinder fungus (confusingly, f. Fomentarius is often also called “incorrect tinder fungi”). P. Igniarius has standard uses of its own, significantly as a chewing-tobacco additive (a practice now thought about harmful, as it increases the absorption of nicotine), however it needs to not be puzzled with f. Fomentarius. The most apparent difference between the two is spore color. [3]

Identification guide


This sombre fungus typically looks like a solitary specimen however occasionally 2 or more tiers are produced.

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

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

The upper sterile surface is various tones of grey, often 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 difficult and pale brown, while televisions are pale grey-brown initially however become darker brown with age. The pale spore-bearing surface area is significantly softer and has minute pores generally spaced at 2 to 3 per mm.


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

Spore print

Extremely pale lemon.


The odour is faintly fruity; the taste acrid.

Environment & ecological function

Parasitic on broadleaf trees, particularly birch and less often beech and sycamore, but continuing to grow for many months as a saprobe on dead/fallen trunks. I have just once seen hoof fungus on a cork oak, which remained in the algarve area of southern portugal.


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

Comparable types

Could be puzzled with some of the ganoderma bracket fungi, although they launch brown spores; also potentially with piptoporus betulinus, the birch polypore, an annual bracket which has a much smoother upper surface. [4]

Does fomes fomentarius truly have medicinal properties?

There isn’t yet a great deal of evidence for the tinder polypore’s effectiveness as an antidote for particular ills, however scientists are starting to take an interest in uncovering its secrets.

Like the more commonly understood medical mushrooms, fomes fomentarius includes both polysaccharides and terpenes. These compounds have been found to show intriguing– and in some cases powerful– residential or commercial properties when drawn out from other species and put to the test in lab settings *.

However what about this types?

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

  1. Battle swelling by inhibiting production of pro-inflammatory substances.
  2. Reduce discomfort by reducing levels pge2 and cox-2, which are associated with inflammation.
  3. Function as an antimicrobial versus bacteria and infections.
  4. Offer a potential therapy for diabetes by means of a substance called fomentariol.
  5. Function as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage.

Extra restorative prospective lies in the way fomes fomentarius obviously impacts the immune system.

In one study, scientists gave mice varying doses of polysaccharide extracts from the mushroom to test its interactions with immune cells. They found evidence of enhanced immunity even at the lowest doses, including more leukocyte activity and a higher capability to ruin pathogens *. [18]

Other uses for tinder fungi

With all these fascinating properties, it’s natural to wonder if fomes fomentarius is edible. Nevertheless, there’s a factor you mainly see the tinder fungus referred to as practical or medical and not a centerpiece for recipes.

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

It’s a challenge to slice, and regardless of its fruity smell, the taste has actually been referred to as extremely undesirable. Much better to stick with tastier cooking mushrooms, like the familiar button mushroom or the slightly more exotic lion’s hair!

Fomes fomentarius is, however, helpful for beginning fires. Many people think that’s why otzi the iceman was carrying it around: to use it as an actual tinder fungi.

Following his example needs a sharp knife and a little perseverance. Slicing an area off the fruiting body exposes a softer inner material, which can then be “fluffed up” and set ablaze with flint or a match. Include some little, dry kindling, and ta-da! The starts of a campfire. [5]


betulinic acid in this medicinal mushroom has shown strong antiviral residential or commercial properties. It is so powerful that it is now being researched as a possible antiviral treatment for hiv. This mushroom includes the compound piptamine. This substance has an extremely powerful anti-bacterial activity. It can eliminate a number of bacterial pressures, such as e. Coli. Ancient texts likewise revealed that this fungi has actually been used as a treatment for tuberculosis in 200 ad.

Stops bleeding

Even from ancient times, fomes fomentarius has actually long been used as a natural material to stop bleeding. Surgeons utilize it throughout surgical treatments to stop bleeding. It is highly absorbent and easily keeps in place, which greatly helps in injury care. Hippocrates even described this mushroom in fifth bc as being used for the cauterization of wounds. This earned the medicinal mushroom the name “surgeon’s agaric”.


The chinese use tinder conk mushroom as part of the treatment for different types of illness in conventional chinese medicine. They use it for the treatment of throat disease, illness of the uterus, and stomach disease. Its basic supportive action on the immune system help in boosting the body’s natural anti-disease ability. It stimulates the different immune cells and procedures that prevent illness and tumor cell expansion.


  1. Cauterization substance for injuries (described by hippocrates in the fifth century bc).
  2. A styptic to stop bleeding – utilized by surgeons barbers and dental professionals (often called the “agaric of the chirurges” or “surgeon’s agaric”.
  3. Solution versus dysmenorrhea, hemorrhoids, and bladder conditions in europe. Diuretic, laxatives, and nerve tonic in indic folk medicine.
  4. Dealing with cancers of the esophagus, stomach, and uterus in china.
  5. Utilized in smoking cigarettes rituals in western sibera and hokkaido, burning the fruiting bodies overnight to get rid of fiends.
  6. Making clothing such as caps and chest protectors (after pounding).
  7. As pincushions to prevent pins and needles from rusting.
  8. Used by entomologists to mount their delicate bugs.
  9. Utilized in siberia as snuff or mixed with tobacco.
  10. Sold for use in fly fishing as “amadou,” which is utilized to soak up excess water from flies.
  11. Utilizing modern methods, the tinder polypore has actually been shown to include iodine, fomentariol, and other substances that are active against bacteria and tumors. [6]

The simple way to utilize fomes fomentarius as tinder

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

In concentrating on these more involved procedures, 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 utilized instantly.

The bracket is the fruiting body of the fungus and its outside layer is hard, like the crust of a stale, dried-out loaf of bread. Observing the underside of the fungi you will see lots of 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, 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 require to start with. If you slice the trama very finely, you will see that it is somewhat fibrous. This is most convenient to see at the end of your piece.

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

To prepare the trama as tinder, we require to scrape up the surface of the piece. Using a knife or other sharp carry out is the most convenient way to do this. Scrape up the surface area till you have a lot of fluffy product.

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

The smouldering will spread out into the remainder of the slice. This will then smoulder for a very long time. This combustion is extremely hot. The product will not flame, nevertheless. For that reason to light a fire via this method you must then take your smouldering tinder to very fine kindling to produce a flame. Examples of natural products ideal for this consist of dried grass, dried bracken fronds or appropriately prepared bark fibers.

Once fired up, a bigger swelling of trama can smoulder for hours and can be utilized for bring a cinder or reviving a fire at a later stage.

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

Consumption of the tinder fungi

There are two types that are most commonly used. 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 fungi tea, you first have to put the mushroom powder over it utilizing boiling water. The tea needs to then be delegated rest for a couple of minutes prior to you can consume it. In the case of dietary supplements, tinder fungi pills in particular have had the ability to assert themselves finest so far. In the end, taking it is very simple. The very same applies to the two medicinal mushrooms chaga and auricularia.

For an acceptable result, routine consumption is a must. In the case of acute symptoms, you can likewise take in the pills, alcoholic essence or tea everyday. The typical consumption of these funds has actually not shown any adverse effects so far. After about 2-3 weeks of day-to-day use, you must take a break from using tinder fungi products for at least 2 weeks in order to make sure an ideal result.

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

Negative effects

It is just necessary to remember that, despite healing homes, tinder fungus can also have side effects – trigger nausea, throwing up, lightheadedness, allergic reactions. You can not use it in food, as it is laden with poisoning. [9]

Research prospective

Possible exist to further research study the antiviral anti-bacterial and response homes of fomes fomentarious. Too research study possibilities exist in developing cosmetic preparations and also in fabrics.

Industrial potential

At this moment, there may be demand for fungus from traditional chinese medication. There could be significant growth in demand based on medication an item that would be created based upon medical & cosmetic research and clinical trials.

Potential quantities in north saskatchewan

Supply of 1000 kg (dried) is possible at this moment. Given development time this supply would be increased greatly. [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
Our Score