Fomes officinalis Extract
synonyms: Agaricum officinalis, Fomes laricis, Fomes
officinalis, Fomitopsis officinalis,
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The earliest written record of any mushroom used for health support can be found in the Materia Medica from 65 B.C., where Fomes officinalis extract was listed by Greek physician Dioscorides as a tuberculosis remedy. 25 Other oral and written traditions from Poland and elsewhere in Europe indicate that Fomes officinalis was the most important health supporting mushroom in ancient Europe.
However, Agarikon (Fomes officinalis) is now practically extinct in Europe 146 because of its dependency on old growth forests. Its current habitat in the wild may be entirely limited to unlogged land in Washington State. Fortunately, though, this is one mushroom that can be cultivated. Two companies that produce Fomes officinalis extract commercially are Paul Stamets' Fungi Perfecti out of Washington State, and the Ohio based Mushroom Harvest.
The traditional therapeutic use of Fomes officinalis extract included pneumonia and, as previously mentioned, tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). It was also used for muscular and skeletal pain in the form of a poultice.
Supporting this information is a Polish article from 2001 by K. Grzywnowics titled Medicinal mushrooms in Polish folk medicine. While it was still common in Poland, Fomes officinalis extract was used to treat lung conditions like coughing and asthma, and skeletal conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, but also open bleeding and infected wounds. In Polish tradition, Fomes officinalis tea was considered a life prolonging elixir. 147
Native Americans were also aware of the health supporting properties of Fomes officinalis extract. Oral traditions among certain tribes hold that it was used as a remedy against diseases brought by the Europeans, including smallpox. One such tribe was the Haida of the American Northwest, who even incorporated Agarikon into their spirituality where it was associated with the female creator spirit Raven, and by extension to female sexuality and fertility.
Two mentions in modern scientific literature include Fomes officinalis extract with other mushrooms that elicit a strong immune enhancing effect in subjects. 148, 149
Lastly, a brief word of caution: Agarikon (Fomes officinalis) may also be known in English as "Quinine Conk" or "Quinine Fungus," but it does not contain the anti-malaria compound quinine and is not known to be effective against the malaria parasite.
Note: The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never use any medicinal mushroom or herb without prior approval by medical doctor.
Known active compounds of Fomes officinalis extract:
Click the following link to see chart for therapeutic properties of Fomes officinalis Extract.
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Credits: Thank you to Paul Stamets for source material!
Please note that the claims on this page and this web-site have not yet been verified by the FDA. We recommend that you consult a licensed medical practitioner before using any substance for medicinal purposes, including Fomes officinalis Extract.