Wednesday 12 March 2014

Horsehoof Tinder Fungus (Fomes fomentarius)


Otzi, the 5300 year old Stone Age man found mummified in the Alps in 1991 had Lyme disease. Borrelia DNA was found in his body.

People lived in and around the forests then, and I always thought it likely they were infected with Lyme but had effective treatments. I think horsehoof tinder fungus may be one of those treatments.


Fomes fomentarius is highly valued in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, by some Siberian native peoples, and by Pacific NW Canadian First Nations peoples. It's known to have broadbased and specific anti-microbial activity, including against MRSA. It was the Canadian First Nation's best defence against smallpox.

Horsehoof tinder fungus is also recognised and widely used in Russian medicine. It's used to/for:

  • Remove toxins and carcinogens from the body
  • Restore normal metabolism
  • Anti-microbial activity
  • Regeneration of the liver
  • To minimise the negative effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Weight loss by creating enzymes in the liver
  • Dysbiosis and constipation
  • Temper allergic response
  • Remove pimples and boils
  • Wound healing
  • Anti-inflammatory

Anti-biotic resistant staphylococcus infection plays an important role in biofilm construction and strength, being initially gooey and sticky, eventually hardening to create formidable defences for the microbial communities living within.

Breaking through this biofilm to destroy infectious reserves is a key part of effectively treating many diseases such as Lyme. Fomes fomentarius has known activity against Staphylococcus aureus and epidermis.


The fungus looks like a horse's hoof stuck in the dead or dying tree. In the north of Britain it grows almost exclusively on birch. In the southeast it grows mostly on beech and sycamore. It's best to look for branchless stumps, or dead trees lying on the ground. Its lifecycle does depend on plenty of rotting wood, so it won't be found in over-managed woods.

The fungi grow for many years, reaching a diameter of 10-50cm and a height of 7-25cm. The outer skin is very hard. Its colour varies with age, being white, red-brown or dark-brown, often with stripy grooves or ridges.


Tinder fungus is common in some areas, very rare or absent in others. It's really important to collect it sustainably. Certainly don't take more than one in ten. It's best to avoid ones with obvious wormholes in.

I'm still very much learning this, but medium sized fungi (around 10cm across) seem the optimum size.

Take a firm hold of the fungus and break it from the tree.

** Don't collect black ones as they are dead **


  1. Put the fungus in a pan.
  2. Add cold filtered or spring water.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer. The water will go golden or brown. This is your tinder fungus tea. It tastes lovely, very birchy.
  4. Simply add more water and keep simmering and drinking until there is no more colour in the tea. This will probably take 2-3 days.


Until I can find information on this (most is written in Chinese), I can only report on my own experience. I'm drinking the tea several times a day. I've been doing this for 3 weeks now.

A Russian website suggests the following recipes (thanks to Google Translate):

  1. 1 tablespoon minced mushroom boil 20 minutes in 1.5 cups of boiled water, 4:00, drain. Take 1-2 tablespoon 3-4 times a day for constipation and dysbiosis.
  2. Piece of fresh or soaked Polypore birch chew in your mouth for problems with their teeth.
  3. 100 grams of dry Ganoderma insist 5-6 hours in 5 L of hot water. Warm and cold feet when a strong cough.
  4. Small Dried mushrooms have a good effect in the treatment of the skin of the feet and heels. Unlike pumice, fungus not only removes dead skin, but also heals cracks.
  5. A few pieces of dry tinder fungus added to the grill when cooking barbecue, give it a unique delicate flavor.


Luckily there are no poisonous bracket fungi in Britain.

This fungus contains extremely powerful anti-microbial agents. If you are chronically sick, do prepare for a big die-off and associated possible worsening of symptoms (the Herxheimer effect) - for example negative emotions, confusion, nausea, dizziness etc.

Tinder fungus has a diuretic and purgative effect, so drink plenty of fresh water.

Some tinder fungi have a bitter taste. I'm guessing this is because of the insects on board. I still drink the tea, considering the insects may be part of the treatment (in a similar way to lumbrokinase and serrapeptase), but of course not everyone will feel the same.

My Experience

I'd been drinking tinder fungus tea throughout the day for a week when I suddenly realised that I felt essentially better, following 6.5 years of debilitating Lyme disease. Both mentally and physically, I'm capable of anything I was before becoming sick. My brain feels as if it has been scrubbed clean. Prior to this I was well on the road to recovery though.

My theory (I could easily be wrong) is that the tinder fungus is killing a Staphylococcus infection in my lymphatic system. I think this because the infection expresses itself as boils, impetigo and scarlet fever. I also get hives in the skin above some lymphatic channels, and lots of itching and rashes.

Since really starting to clear these rogue lymphatics at a substantial rate thanks to the tinder fungus (I was previously using flowering yew tips and snowdrops to achieve this), my snot has become like superglue, super sticky. I think that this stickiness subsequently sticks lymphatic vessels to muscle, bone and other lymphatic vessels. It also seems to me that sometimes they even stick to internal organs. This stickiness subsequently hardens, restricting freedom of movement. I also believe that the cracking and crunching I experience in these areas is the hardened lymph channels. I can feel my lymph channels when they're hard and stuck (this can be agonisingly painful as they begin to break free), then as they become gooey again and then are finally free, at which point I can no longer feel them.

Without physical movement, I think this lymphatic infection can quickly spread around the lymphatics, making the movement of lymph increasingly sluggish.

It seems to me that the horsehoof tinder fungus holds the holy trinity of Lyme treatment:

  • powerful anti-microbial action
  • detox
  • biofilm buster

If anyone should try this treatment, I'd be extremely interested to hear how you go.

Shout Out

A massive shout out to Otzi, without whom I never would have discovered the phenomenal curative powers of the horsehoof tinder fungus.


Immunomodulatory effects of Fomes fomentarius polysaccharides

Paul Stamets Novel Anti-Microbials from Mushrooms

Element Distribution in Fomes fomentarius



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  3.  I was diagnosed a year and a half ago with Lyme disease after three months of flu-like symptoms and severe knee and foot pain. Finally, after several tests and an expensive MRI, I was diagnosed. I was put on doxycycline and had a severe reaction to that, so then they put me on a different medication. My pain still didn’t go away for good. I still had bouts of pain and fatigue that last weeks. I was seeking something to help regain my life to be able to do things for myself. Through my primary physician i learnt about a Lyme disease herbal formula from NATURAL HERBAL GARDENS and their success rate with the treatment, i immediately started on the Lyme disease herbal protocol, I am glad to report the herbal formula worked effectively and there was no side effects, I had a total decline in symptoms, the pains, chronic fatigue and other symptoms stopped, my Lyme disease is totally REVERSED, Here is a link to the website we ordered from ww w.naturalherbalgardens.c om This Herbal Protocol is Incredible!!

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  6. hope you are doing well sam ! really interesting site, im thankful!