Other mushroom posts I've written here:
The Pharmacy in your Backyard
The nice thing about these type of fungi is that they grow quickly and they are plentiful. The big one is perennial, you can count it's age in the growth rings, so this one is nearly 20 years old!
I grind these mushrooms and Labrador tea and put a spoonful in with my coffee when I make a pot. If you go for mushrooms, make sure you get the right ones! Get a good book, take a class, or ask around. Some mushrooms are edible and tasty. These are not for eating, but make good tea, and have some very healthy qualities.
The big brown one is Phellinus igniarus, similar properties to chaga:
Members of the genera Phellinus and Inonotus, including P. linteus, P. igniarius, P. ribis, I. obliquus and I. xeranticus are well-known medicinal fungi (mushrooms) and have been used in treatment of cancer, diabetes, bacterial and viral infections and ulcer. Adverse effects of these medicinal mushrooms have not yet been reported, indicating the safe nature of these mushrooms. Polysaccharides, particularly β-glucan, are considered the compounds responsible for the biological activity of medicinal mushrooms. However, there is only a limited amount of evidence to indicate that polysaccharides are in fact responsible for the biological effects of these medicinal mushrooms. Recently, many research groups have begun identification of active low-MW compounds in medicinal mushrooms, with a focus on the yellow polyphenol pigments, which are composed of a styrylpyrone class of compounds. Interestingly, a representative group of medicinal fungi, including P. linteus, P. igniarius, P. ribis, I. obliquus and I. xeranticus were shown to produce a large and diverse range of styrylpyrone-type polyphenol pigments that exhibited various biological activities, including anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic, anti-platelet aggregation, anti-diabetic, anti-dementia and anti-viral effects. Styrylpyrone pigments in mushrooms are thought to have a role similar to that of flavonoids in plants. The unique and unprecedented carbon skeleton of fused styrylpyrone might be an attractive molecular scaffold for pharmacological applications. In this review, the structural diversity, biological effects and biogenesis of styrylpyrone-class polyphenols from medicinal fungi are described.
Piptoporus betulinis (This is the one Otzi had): (small tan one)
Six lanostane-type triterpene acids were isolated from the fruiting bodies of Piptoporus betulinus. They were identified as polyporenic acids A (1) and C (2), three derivatives of polyporenic acid A (3-5), and a novel compound, (+)-12 alpha,28-dihydroxy-3 alpha-(3'-hydroxy-3'-methylglutaryloxy)-24-methyllanosta-8,24(31)-dien-26-oic acid (6). All these compounds suppressed the 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced edema on mouse ears by 49-86% with a 400 nmol/ear application.
Fomes Fomentarius (Maybe the best of all! Hoof shaped gray one)
The goal of this investigation was to comparatively study the efficiency of traditionally used anti-infective drugs and biopolymer complexes originated from the medicinal mushroom Fomes fomentarius (L.:Fr.) Fr.: 1) water-soluble melanin-glucan complex (MGC; -80% melanins and -20% beta-glucans) and 2) insoluble chitin-glucan-melanin complex (ChGMC; -70% chitin, -20% beta-glucans, and -10% melanins). Infectious materials (Helicobacter pylori, Candida albicans, and Herpes vulgaris I and HIV-1(zmb) were used in pure cultures of in vitro and in vivo models on experimental animals. Comparison studies of fungal biopolymers and effective modern antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral drugs were used in in vitro models. The comparative clinical efficiency of ChGMC and of etiotropic pharmaceuticals in models of H. pylori, C. albicans, and H. vulgaris I infection contamination were studied. Using in vitro models, it was established that MGC completely depresses growth of C. albicans. MGC had an antimicrobial effect on H. pylori identical to erythromycin in all concentrations, and had a stronger action on this bacterium than other tested antibiotics. Tested MGC possesses simultaneously weak toxicity and high anti-HIV-1 activity in comparison with zidovudine (Retrovir). The obtained results show that CLUDDT therapy in Wistar rats with the application of ChGMC is, on average, 1.35-1.43 times as effective as a traditional one. Considering the absence of MGC and ChGMC toxic properties on blood cells even in very high concentrations, these complexes may be used as a source of biopolymers for the creation of essentially new agents for wide application in infectious pathology.
And also some Labrador Tea!
Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum Retzius) is an ericaceae widely distributed in North America. The leaves and twigs were used in Native American traditional medicine to treat several inflammatory pathologies such as asthma, rheumatisms and burns. Reactive oxygen species as well as reactive nitrogen species such as nitric oxide (NO) contribute significantly to these pathologies. In this study, the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities of crude methanol extracts of leaves and twigs from Ledum groenlandicum were investigated. Both extracts showed a strong antioxidant activity using the ORAC method and a cell based-assay. Moreover, the twig and leaf extracts showed significant anti-inflammatory activity, inhibiting NO release, respectively, by 28 and 17% at 25 microg/ml in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. In comparison, N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, reduced NO release by 24% at 25 microg/ml. The twig extract was also found to be active against DLD-1 colon carcinoma and A-549 lung carcinoma cells, with IC(50) values of 43+/-1 and 65+/-8 microg/ml, respectively. The bioguided study of the twig extract resulted in the isolation and identification of ursolic acid, a known triterpene. Ursolic acid was active against DLD-1 (IC(50): 9.3+/-0.3 microM) and A-549 (IC(50): 8.9+/-0.2 microM), suggesting it is, in part, responsible of the anticancer activity of the twig extract.