These white fungi on Diamond Willow are hard to find. They grow out of the diamonds on Diamond Willow.
In the woods I find plenty of fungi on poplar/aspen trees, on spruce and pine and on birch as well as on alders. Those are no good for anything.
A native gentleman told me that his mother used to dry them and then burn/smoulder them in the house for the scent they give off.
Even when not burning, they give off a very pleasant scent; some say it smells like licorice or sweet pepper or anise seed.
My friend Glenn told me this about the willow fungus; he also said it is ONLY the willow that works:
"I have cronic asthma, when burn that fungus it does not hurt my lungs. I just use a small piece maybe the size of half of a small marble. It also is good for cleansing or purifing your home by putting it in something and then just bringing it into each room."
Willow seems to have a number of medicinal uses. If memory serves, willow bark was originally used to produce aspirin for its pain-inhibiting value.
Native Americans have told me that they considered the (Diamond) willow fungus a sacred herb and that they use it in their ceremonies.
It may be good for stopping headaches and earaches.
My friend Funguy (not his real name), a native North American in the USA, was kind enough to share this with me:
"The plant is dried, then powdered and the powder sprinkled on hot coals to release the smoke which is inhaled. As a smudge it is often mixed with other plant medicines such as Osha, sage, sweetgrass, and sweet pine. Smudges are used to purify the surroundings and help call in the desired spirit helpers. As a medicine it is especially good for migraines, fatigue, depressions of body and spirit.
Most folks in the lower 48 are not aware of this medicine. It is mostly used in the western Canadian provinces and has filtered down through bordering states through tribal associations. I was made aware of it through my association with the Blackfeet community in Browning Montana where I go for many ceremonies. They get it mostly from their associates in Canada."
"....this stuff is more valuable than gold! But as my daughter in law pointed out, it still costs less than her prescription medicine for migraines and works better. To make this supply last for those who need it, I will cut the fungus up into .10 ounce pieces and sell each for $5.00. That size (since the fungus is so lightweight) is a large enough piece to last someone for quite a long time since you use it by lighting the edge on fire, breathing the smoke for five or six breaths, then put it out completely so it doesn't continue smoldering. I've used a very small piece for two years now."
You can read more about it at http://mushroomobserver.org/name/show_name_description?_js=on&_new=true&id=1139a.
That's a 15-inch ruler in the middle.
I learned in November 2011 that I should NOT harvest these except when the sap is running in the willows. At that time they are water-logged, rubbery, and I can pull the whole fungus out of the diamond. When the sap is down, they become brittle and it is very difficult to remove them without chipping them into little pieces. PLUS, Juanita explained to me that they are more potent if harvested when the sap is running.
It has been suggested by biologists that these fungi are more closely related to the animal kingdom than to plants. Hmmmmm; think about it! They are called "Haploporus Odorus" and also "Haploporous odoratus."
You can find much more information about these unique herbs by Googling "willow fungus."
You can find more information about this unique fungus here:
NOTE the good info on this page by "Cat" on how to use it and how effective it can be.
"Cat" wrote to me:
Hi Ken--wow, I can't wait for it to arrive! And yes, we will let you know when it does. Thanks! It will be so great to have a good supply again and not be having to cut smaller and smaller pieces to make certain those that need it and depend upon it can get some. Although I will still use small pieces for people as I can imagine that there are some people out there who have gotten some from me and aren't using it--just hanging onto those pieces they got. However, most people I talk with who have used it are telling me that they are constantly shaving off pieces to give to those they know who suffer from migraines and haven't tried it yet. It truly is a miracle in many lives! I know one man who was suffering so much from frequent migraines and then was constantly sick from the prescription drugs the drs. had him take, that he finally couldn't even work No one could figure out what was causing the migraines. He used the diamond willow fungus and got the first real relief from migraines in years and now the migraines are coming less frequently. He has gone from seven or more per month to just one every few months and I know they will stop entirely soon.
I am so excited to find you as a supplier--keep collecting them as you find them, please!
For my own usage, I get a pretty good stream of smoke coming off the fungus and then hold it under my nose with my other hand cupped around the area to hold a lot of the smoke in. I take about 5 good inhales of the smoke. Then I wait about 15 minutes and if needed, do about 5 inhales more. I put it out in between so I don't lose too much of the fungus through smoldering away unused. Some people tell me they put it in a bowl and put a towel over the head to get a more concentrated dose, but I've never done it that way. The wonderful miracle of this fungus is that my migraines got farther and farther apart and now I've only had one very mild one in the past 2 years. I used to average 5 or 6 per month and it was very disabling. Hope it works for you, Amy. However, there are over 40 types of migraine headaches and the fungus does not work on all of them, but I'd estimate that it works for at least 80% of them.
I used to get migraines from smoky places, so I really did not want to inhale smoke as a cure! But it worked and is such a blessing.
My friend Candice Nelms wrote:
“My name is Candice Nelms, Dipl. OM, I am an acupuncturist out of Key Largo, Florida. I have been successfully using the Diamond Willow fungus for my headaches for over a year now. Some of my patients have enjoyed the effects as well.
So far everyone seems to like it, so I would like to have it readily available for people. So often I get calls someone is the throws of a Migraine and I wish I had these on hand.”
My friend Sara asked me about this. She wrote:
"I really miss Labrador tea bushes... and Labrador tea (we used to call it 'swamp
tea'). I found something similar down near the Cape here, but it wasn't quite the same. Do you have any
Well, I went looking and did find some. If you are interested, please tell me what you know about it, and how to
use/prepare it etc. Meanwhile, I would suggest Googling it to find out more about it. I found some very good info that way. I
now have a small supply of it (dried leaves).
If you order fungus, and want some of this "tea" just ask me to enclose some; NO charge.
October 26, 2012 I got my printed copy of "Conservation" magazine and noted a very nice article about this tea. It comes out twice per year, free of charge. The online version is at http://www.ab-conservation.com/go/default/ and this was their "Fall/Winter 2012" issue. The actual article is/was at http://www.ab-conservation.com/go/default/index.cfm/publications/conservation-magazine/online-version/conservation-magazine-fall-winter-2012/the-wild-table-from-field-to-fork/.
This is something new to me. "Terry" was kind enough to tell me about the incredible health benefits of Chaga Tea. All I have done so far is to Google that name and I am amazed at the claims made about this fungus or mushroom. Soon I hope to have a very small supply of it and if/when I do, will tell you about it here on this page. Some claim it is even a cure for cancer. Terry tells me he drinks the tea almost every day and has definitely noticed health improvements. A friend of his used this tea to keep his arthritis under control. More coming. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, please Google it in depth and learn as much as you can about it.
I was watching “Alaska State Troopers” (I like “Alaska” shows!) and one cop showed a fungus off a tree, telling that it is
called “cocaine” and sells for $1.75 per pound. I can harvest it and stock a very small supply.
I am NOT SURE that using this is a good idea though. I suggest checking out these websites and Googling it for yourself BEFORE you buy or use it!
here is what I have; see the bottom picture. All are from BIRCH trees.