Beyelorussia medicinal rainbow mushroom, Phallales

Paul Zambino pinerust at NEWNORTH.NET
Tue Jun 3 09:53:49 EST 1997

Has anyone ever heard of a mushroom from Beyelorussia called rainbow
mushroom that is used in folk medicine?  Some recent immigrants that my
sister in law knows showed her a suspension of minced fruitbodies from
Russia, covered in vodka.  Evidently, small amounts of the vodka extract
are ingested as a tonic that supposedly cures many diseases, and pieces of
the soaked basidiocarp are also placed on wounds to heal them overnight.
They attribute their grandfathers cure from cancer to this fungus.  My
sister in law asked for a sample for me, which is currently in a small
salsa jar in my lab.

It is hard to tell, but some of the minced pieces of the fungus resemble
the loose glebal material, spongy stalk tissue, and peridium of a member of
the Phallales.  The pieces no longer have any color, and the smell of the
concoction is rather odd, which might be normal for a stinkhorn.  I think
that the spores must be pretty well lysed, as I can't see anything
recognizable under the scope.

Has anyone heard of this rainbow fungus, or know of an expert in Gasteros?
I have heard of other Phallales that are prised in Chinese medicine.  Also,
are there North American gasteros used medicinally and how they have been
prepared?  Paul

Paul Zambino, Ph.D.
USDA Forest Service
Forestry Sciences Lab
5985 Highway K
Rhinelander, WI 54501-9128
FAX: (715)362-1166
EMAIL: paulz at

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