Evolved Alchemy’s Wild-Crafted Wisconsin Mushroom Blend was inspired by a wild-harvesting escapade in the lush, green forests outside of Madison, Wisconsin. Native to the North, Fomes fomentarius also known as Hoof Fungus is commonly found on the dead trunks of Birch Trees in this area. As is the case for many fungi, they are most prevalent in damp or moist conditions, like after a long rain or hard snow. This fungus is considered a tough, perennial polypore and has a hard, dense outside lined with various tones of grey. On the inside, you will see a cork-like, spongy, brown-speckled texture. A scratch of the inside reveals a mildly-earth scent and tones like the smell of sawdust. This mushroom tastes chalky and is drying to the mouth.
Historically, this fungus was most commonly used as tinder to create fire. This was one of the two fungi found on Tyrolean Iceman, who was believed to be walking around the Earth nearly 5000 years ago. This mushroom also has documented historical uses for would healing, bladder disorder treatment in Europe, and treating stomach ulcers and esophageal cancer in China. It’s high Iodine content enhances anti-tumor properties. One of the more esoteric historical uses was adding this fungus to a smoking blend, and using that smoking blend to banish evil spirits away in Siberia.
The other half of this rich and nourishing blend is Phellinus igniarius, also commonly known as Willow Bracket Polypore. With it’s dark brown exterior and flat-shaped outgrowth is sometimes referred to as “Shelf Polypore.” This fungus is stalkless with pores about the underside. Despite its porous nature, it’s extremely dense and tough. This tough density explains why P. igniarius has been used for thousands of years to create pots, pipes and grave goods. This fungus can be found on dead Willow, Birch, Aspen, Alder or Maple trees. Historically. it is known in some culture for inhibiting tumor-growth in lei of this mushroom’s potent anti-cancer properties. It seems that the developed world has caught on to these potent, healing properties, as numerous pharmacologically active metabolites have been identified from the mushroom and used in pharmacology.
Historical use of these mushrooms vary greatly. Today, there is current research being conducted to study how these medicinal mushrooms can affect and even help us.
A widely agreed upon fact is that F. fomentarius is a highly nourishing mushroom. The fungus is full of active polysaccharides which is a major component of dietary fiber. In 2003, a study conducted by Ibrahim Turkekul et al. in Turkey revealed the presence of various nutrients found in F. fomentarius. Amongst other findings, they determined that Iron, Copper and Manganese are highly potent in this mushroom. In fact, no other mushroom they tested had higher levels of either of the three nutrients (Turkekul 2003).
A study in 2005 focused on the effect that F. fomentarius had on diabetic rats over a period of two weeks. The administration of a water extract actually lowered the glucose level by suppressing the increase in serum insulin levels. This suggests that supplementation of a F. fomentarius extract may be beneficial for correcting hyperglycemia and for preventing diabetic complications (Lee, 2005).
Again in 2005, Lung et al. conducted a study in which they examined extracts and ferments of P. Igniarius in search of antioxidant properties. Their results showed an abundance of flavonoids and absorbed acid present in the extract. Additionally, the researchers concluding that “products by submerged culture of Phellinus igniariusexhibited powerful antioxidant properties” (Lung, 2005).
Today, many researchers are talking about the immunomodulating properties of this Hoof Polypore. These immune-enhancing factors are due to the presence of β-glucans in F. fomentarius and other mushrooms (Wasser, 1999). The way these compounds work is by activating immune-compliment systems and by enhancing the function of macrophages and natural killer cells (NKC). These cells work to destroy pathogens in the body, so increasing their function increases overall immune system function. Because of this, the fungus is commonly used in cases of Asthma, Allergies, Hepatitis, High Blood Pressure and Cancer.
Phellinus igniarius extract has been studied to determine the mushrooms therapeutic benefits on [animal] multiple sclerosis. Lan Li et al. created the study in lei of biologically active compounds present in the fungus that modulate the human immune system. This suggests that there could be potential immune system-restorative properties for humans in the mushroom. They tested this by injecting mice with an experimental autoimmune spinal inflammation. Using a water-ethanol extract of P. igniarus, they delivered an immunization in the mice every other day for three weeks. The researches concluded that the mushroom extract improved the clinical course for the mice infected with the autoimmune spinal inflammation. Based on this, they summarized that a potent and safe therapeutic agent for MS patients could be developed from the polysaccharide-enriched fraction obtained by P. igniarius (Li, 2013).
These medicinal mushrooms create a potent blend with tastes of forest-tones and a mild sweetness. Together, these two synergize in ways far more powerful than either of the fungi on their own. This rare blend was hand selected from the forests of Wisconsin to provide nourishment and healing through the most potent and full-spectrum extract.