The Japan Times, December 5, 1998
Ice Man used fungus to quell parasites: doctor
LONDON (Reuters) Oetzi the Ice Man, the 5,300-year-old corpse found perfectly preserved in a Tyrolean glacier seven years ago, probably used natural laxatives and antibiotics, an Italian doctor said Friday.
Since Oetzi's tattooed corpse was discovered by German tourists near the Austro-Italian border in 1991 experts have discovered he suffered from arthritis, most likely died of exhaustion and that he had intestinal worms that could have caused diarrhea and stomach pain.
Professor Luigi Capasso, an anthropologist at the National Archaeological Museum in Chieti, Italy, said Oetzi probably knew about his worm problem and had a remedy close at hand when he died.
In a letter to The Lancet medical journal, Capasso said two walnut-size objects tied to a leather thong that were found with his body were the fruit of Piptoporus betulinus, a fungus that has antibiotic properties.
"The discovery of the fungus suggests that the Ice Man was aware of his intestinal parasites and fought them with measured doses of Piptoporus betulinus," said Capasso.