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Hericium erinaceus,Lion’s Mane

Hericium erinaceus,Lion’s Mane

Hericium erinaceus (also called Lion’s Mane MushroomBearded Tooth MushroomHedgehog MushroomSatyr’s Beard,Bearded Hedgehog Mushroompom pom mushroom, or Bearded Tooth Fungus) is an edible mushroom and medicinal mushroom in the tooth fungus group. Native to North AmericaEurope and Asia[1] it can be identified by its tendency to grow all the spines out from one group (rather than branches), long spines (greater than 1 cm length) and its appearance on hardwoods. Hericium erinaceus can be mistaken for other species of Hericium, all popular edibles, which grow across the same range. In the wild, these mushrooms are common during late summer and fall on hardwoods, particularly American Beech.

Hericium erinaceus is a choice edible when young, and the texture of the cooked mushroom is often compared to seafood. It often appears in Chinese vegetarian cuisine to replace pork or lamb. This mushroom is cultivated commercially on logs or sterilized sawdust. It is available fresh or dried in Asian grocery stores.

International names

It is called hóu tóu gū (simplified: 猴头菇; traditional: 猴頭菇; lit. “monkey head mushroom”) in Chinese. In Japanese it is calledyamabushitake (; lit. “mountain priest mushroom”). In Vietnamese it is called nấm đầu khỉ. In Korean it is called “노루궁뎅이버섯, “Norugongdengi-beoseot”, literally Deertail Mushroom.

Hericium erinaceus research

In traditional Chinese medicine this mushroom has long been considered a medicinal mushroom and a study on rats in 2005 showed that some compounds in the mushroom, like threitolD-arabinitol, and palmitic acid may have antioxidant effects, may regulate bloodlipid levels and may reduce blood glucose levels.[2]

It has been reported that pills of this mushroom are used in the treatment of gastric ulcers and esophageal carcinoma.

Scientists have investigated this mushroom for possible anti-dementia compounds. Primary research has demonstrated the following:

  • Stimulated animal nerve cells.
  • A double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial showed improved cognitive ability in individuals with mild cognitive impairment.
  • Stimulated nerve growth factor in an in vitro experiment with human astrocytoma cells.[6] Nerve growth factor stimulated by phenol-analogous Hericenone.
  • Stimulated myelination in an in vitro experiment.
  • Regenerated peripheral nerves following crush injury.

Long-term safety and effects of withdrawal seem to be unknown.

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