Medicinal Cinnabar Polypore (Pycnoporus cinnabarinus)

Now referred to as Trametes cinnabarinus

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Pycnoporus cinnabarinus occurs in cooler, temperate regions within Europe and North America. Pycnoporus sanguineus occurs in warmer, tropical regions within South America, North America, and Asia. Pycnoporus coccineus occurs in temperate areas of Australia and New Zealand. Pycnoporus puniceus is a rare species found in Southeastern Asia and Malaysia.

Fruiting bodies are typically sessile, corky, slightly tomentose to glaborose. on fallen hardwood logs, but can be on coniferous trees as well. These fungi live in diverse habitats, but are typically located near a source of water. Pileus length x width x height (thickness) can range from 1–9 cm (l) x 1–7 cm (w) x 0.2–2 cm (h). Colors range on the scale of paprika red to flame orange but almost always are vibrant. Spores are white, oblong, somewhat pointed, 2-3 x 4-6 um. KOH reactions yield a dark brown to black color for most specimens but can bleach out (turn white) the pileus of a few specimens over longer time periods. Specimens typically retain their strong red-orange color for long periods of time, especially when dried and stored properly. Yet some turn dingy brown or gray and fade in color over time.

The red colour of Pycnoporus species comes from pigments that are chemically related to phenoxazinone, including cinnabarin, tramesanguin and cinnabarinic acid.


In order to identify the species of Pycnoporus a few characteristics must be carefully observed. To distinguish between P. cinnabarinus and P. sanguineus one must note the thickness of the pileus. P. cinnabarinus has a fruiting body ranging from 5 to 15 mm in thickness while P. sanguineus ranges from 1–5 mm thick. Additionally P. sanguineus typically contains darker red pigments that do not easily fade. Several collected specimens of P. cinnabarinus show pale orange pigmentation in areas with direct sunlight. Lastly, P. cinnabarinus contains larger pores per mm (2-4) than P. sanguineus with 4-6 pores per mm.

Medicinal Uses:

Pycnoporus fungi are used heavily for industry because of their ability to produce powerful lignolytic enzymes that break down lignin and tough polysaccharides in wood and paper. The major enzyme that differentiates this fungus from other white rotters is laccase and under the correct conditions Pycnoporus can produce large concentrations of this enzyme. Pycnoporus fungi also produce copper and iron metalloenzymes that are involved in the chemical transformation of aromatic compounds found in plant cell walls.

Other uses have been reported in Australia. Aboriginal peoples have used it for curing mouth sores, ulcers, and teething of infants.

130g (32 cups of tea)

Ingredients: Ancient Reishi (Ganoderma Applanatum), Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor), Cinnabar Polypore (Pycnoporus Cinnabarinus), Licorice root, Goji berries, Vanilla pod & powder, Himalayan Salt.

Directions to use: Empty the content of the pack into a large, good quality stainless steel or ceramic pot. Add 4 litres spring or filtered water. Let stand for 1 hour before bringing to boil. Then let is summer for at least 2 hours, preferably longer. Pour through a strainer into glass bottles or cups. Sweeten with honey if you prefer. For extra Superhero boost add 1 to 3 droppers of the Wild Red Reishi Tincture to each serving. Each packet of Superhero Tea Mix can be boiled up twice before it starts to lose flavour and color.

Benefits of the ingredients:

Ancient Reishi (Artist’s Conk) – powerful antibiotic and immune-modulating mushroom that has been shown to have 100% tumour inhibitory action on certain types of cancer. Increases spleen cell antibody activity. Can grow for decades absorbing years of forest wisdom and potency and reaching a huge size. White ergosterol on the back of the mushroom makes great artist’s canvas and can be inscribed upon using finger or sharpened stick – hence the name “Artist’s Conk”. Ancient Reishi has a sweet, smoky flavour and is a particular delicacy of gorillas living in Central Africa

Turkey Tail – contains PSK and PSP – both cancer-fighting polysaccharides that have proven to be extremely successful against breast and prostate cancers. Turkey Tail, as with other medicinal mushrooms, also contain Beta glucans, the long-chain polysaccharides that super-boost immunity. They do this by mimicking bacteria – and this in turn kick-starts our immune systems into “super-active” mode.

Cinnabar Polypore (Pycnoporus cinnabarinus) – also immune-boosting, but also very helpful in addressing circulation issues.

Interesting Info: