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Incredible Lion's Mane Mushroom (Hericium Erinaceus)

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

In this article, you will learn about the nutritional contents and possible health benefits of Lion's Mane mushrooms. They have a flavour that I would describe as similar to seafood, and it’s enjoyed and served either raw, dried, or cooked.

Hericium Erinaceus, also known as a Lion's Mane is an impressive medicinal mushroom that has been grown in China for hundreds of years, and to this day it is the most nutrient-rich mushroom that comes from Chinese cultivars. For over 2,000 years, the traditions of Chinese medicine have been applied to the cultivation of these mushrooms for a host of medicinal uses. Nowadays you can find Hericium species growing in late summer and fall in forests of Europe, North America and parts of Asia. The natural habitat of these mushrooms is hardwoods. It likes beech, walnut, maple, black walnut and birch. The mushrooms are selectively harvested by hand between July and October for maximum nutritional value.

Health Benefits

Lion's Mane mushrooms have been shown to have various health benefits, including antioxidative, antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antihyperglycemic, and hypolipidemic effects. It has been used to treat cognitive impairment, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease (1). Bioactive compounds extracted from the mycelia and fruiting bodies of Lion's mane mushrooms have been found to promote the expression of neurotrophic factors associated with cell proliferation such as nerve growth factors and faith against depression (2). The unique properties of the fungus have been known for centuries and used in Eastern medicine, where herbalists give it to diseases of the liver, kidneys, spleen and problems with the circulatory system.

Lion's Mane is a nutritious mushroom that contains most of the essential amino acids. But there are more nutritional compounds found within this mushroom including *polysaccharides and **beta-glucans, as well as a broad spectrum of over 30 different diterpenes including ***hericenone and erinacines, which are unique to Hericium Erinaceus. Scientific research has shown that 'erinacines' affect the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), which increases the growth rate of neurons and may benefit brain function. Erinaceus is also involved in the proper course of ****myelination, i.e. the production of a fatty coat around the axons. This phenomenon can have a very positive effect on the improvement of efficient thinking and remembering. One Japanese study also found that patients taking the "lion's mane" improved their IQ. Currently, there are some studies made in the most promising areas of research with potential neuroprotective effects in the treatments of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and long-term symptoms of COVID-19 - (Covid fog) (3).

Lion's Mane has also been studied for its effects on the digestive system. It has been shown to reduce the symptoms of gastritis significantly. In addition, supplementation with mushroom extract promotes the reconstruction of the gastric mucosa. Lion’s Mane mushrooms are also very rich in vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin. It’s also a good source of essential minerals such as manganese, potassium, and zinc.

Mushrooms could be a great addition to the diet for people who are:

- struggling with fatigue and stress, - performing intensive mental work,

- who struggle with reduced immunity - experiencing a lack of well-being, people suffering from temporary impairment of cognitive abilities and memory ( as a result of the so-called covid fog).

The most accessible forms of Lion's Mane are in powder or capsule form. For the best results, I would recommend taking them for at least 3 months to achieve the expected effects. If you like to learn more about the amazing properties of mushrooms, I would recommend you to watch an incredible American documentary film "Fantastic Fungi" by Louie Schwartzberg.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at

*A Polysaccharide is a large molecule made of many smaller monosaccharides. Monosaccharides are simple sugars, like glucose. Special enzymes bind these small monomers together creating large sugar polymers, or polysaccharides. A polysaccharide is also called a glycan. A polysaccharide can be a homopolysaccharide, in which all the monosaccharides are the same or a heteropolysaccharide in which the monosaccharides vary. Depending on which monosaccharides are connected, and which carbons in the monosaccharides connect, polysaccharides take on a variety of forms.

**Beta-glucan. One of the main active components from mushrooms was recently identified as β-glucan. Health-promoting β-glucans are an auspicious group of polysaccharides. -

***Both hericenones and erinacines are low-molecular-weight, relatively hydrophobic compounds, and proven to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) ...

****Myelination - the change or maturation of specific nerve cells whereby a layer of myelin forms around the axons which allows the nerve impulses to travel faster... Collins English Dictionary



This article is informative - educational only.


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