Medicinal Mushrooms

Polypore mushrooms are medicinal mushrooms used for centuries as a tonic to detoxify, cleanse and strengthen all systems. Polypore mushrooms are adaptogens that have a high level of antioxidants that nourish and balance the body.

This group of mushrooms grow on rotting logs and stumps and are called bracket fungi because look like shelves or brackets. They are usually found on rotting birch trees but are also found on other trees. Mushrooms that grow on birch are desirable because they have some of the properties that birch has like the essential oil betulin. Betulin and other fat soluble parts can only be captured in a tincture because water preparations like tea only capture the water-soluble constituents.

Artist’s conk is the only fungi identifiable by the ability to etch designs and words on it and it grows on hardwood trees like maples.

Remove Mushrooms with a hatchet, axe or knife and chop them up with a hammer or axe in a cardboard box. You can dry them out for a couple of days in a warm place. Use polypore mushrooms medicinally in a tea or tincture and are typically not culinary.

This is a good documentary about knowing your mushrooms.

There is new research into how mushrooms can clean up the planet by eating up oil spills and breaking down plastics.

There are culinary, medicinal and poisonous varieties of mushrooms so correct identification is important. Caution when picking mushrooms because misidentification can lead to fatalities.  Get fungi from a reputable source or take a guide with you into nature and some field guide books to wild-craft but caution is advised!

This is a good website about mushrooms in eastern Canada and United States.



 Common Name  Varnish Polypore Fruiting Body/ aka Bracket Fungi 
Latin Name  Ganoderma spp. L. Includes:

Lacquered Polypore- G. lucidum aka Reishi

Hemlock varnish shelf- G. tsugae

Artist’s Conk- Ganoderma  applanatum

Family Polypore family Ganodermataceae L. 
Parts Used Fruiting body/Mushroom/Fungi
Target Organs Immune, Nervous, Endocrine, Pancreas, Spleen, Digestive, Urinary, Heart
Common Uses Strengthens and cleanses all systems.

Tonic to: Immune, Nervous, Endocrine, Heart, Pancreas, Spleen, Digestive, Urinary Systems

Lowers cholesterol, normalizes blood pressure, Cancer, diabetes, infections, allergies,

Properties Underlined properties are primary:

Adaptogen, adrenal tonic, analgesic, antiallergenic, antiatherogenic, antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, anticardiotoxic, anticatarrhal, antidepressant, antihepatotoxic, anti-inflammatory, antimutagencic, antineoplastic, antinephrotoxic, antineurotoxic, antioxidant, antiradiotoxic, antithrombotic, antiulcerogenic, antiviral, anxiolytic, aperient, appetite stimulant, astringent, bitter, blood pressure normalizer, cardiac, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, decongestant, emmenagogue tonic, expectorant secretolytic, hypocholesterolemic, hypolipidemic, immune stimulant, immune tonic,  nervine, pancreatic, relaxant, spleenic, tranquilizer, vasodilator, vulnerary

Constituents Polysaccharides, polyphenols, phytosterols.

Betulinic acid, betulin are in mushrooms only found on birch trees and are fat soluble and only available in tincture form.

Cautions Polypore bracket fungi are edible but correct identification is important to avoid poisoning, illness and possible death.
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