Hericium erinaceus,  Lion’s mane mushroom

The therapeutic activities of medicinal mushrooms were documented about 7,000 years ago in traditional medicine of ancient China and Japan [1]. Nowadays, numerous of studies all over the world are dealing with investigations of bioactive compounds of mushrooms since this type of research is required to scientifically characterize the medicinal activities and therapeutically usage of mushrooms.

Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus), edible mushroom, has long application in traditional medicine, because of its bioactive compounds:

  • polysaccharides (beta-D-glucans),
  • diterpenoids (erinacines A-K, P and Q and hericenones A-H),
  • phenols and steroids [2,3,4].

Lion’s mane mushroom act as antioxidant and immunostimulatory agent.

Lion’s mane mushroom act as antioxidant and immunostimulatory agent which have benefits in treatment of leukemia, esophageal, gastric and skin cancer, as well as chronic gastritis. They can particularly stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF), which has a strong impact in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases [4-11]. A neuroprotective effect of Lion’s mane is based on stimulation of NGF synthesis, which has influence on maintaining the function of neurons in central nervous system affected by degradation during process of dementia. Thus, Lion’s mane NGF gives new perspective in nerve protection and enhances the cognitive abilities of humans affected by Alzheimer’s disease [4].

According to most recent conducted studies, Lion’s mane mushroom contains useful nutrients and bioactive compounds that contribute to the overall improvement of health. Therefore, consuming of Lion’s mane mushroom is highly suggested. There are three ways for Lion’s mane consumption:

  • as young fresh mushroom, it could be used in preparation of meals,
  • by purchasing dried mushroom or powder of dried mushroom,
  • by purchasing organic medicinal mushroom extract.

Why organic medicinal mushroom extracts?

Of all the above suggested ways, organic medicinal mushroom extracts are the most adequate way to consume mushroom, since the bioactive compounds are more likely to be present in an accessible form, which contribute to human health, as opposed to dried fruiting body or dried powder of mushroom. Therefore, the recipes for mushrooms consumption are based on some type of extraction e.g. water extraction – preparation of soup, tea, or alcoholic extraction – preparation of tinctures.

Briefly, organic medicinal mushroom extracts of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s mane mushroom) could be beneficial in improving immune system, antioxidant and anticancer activities, but above all Lion’s mane mushroom have benefits in mental health by stimulating nerve growth factor (NGF).

Lion’s mane extract is an easy to use, superfood ingredient, great as an addition to your daily diet.

Here is a simple recipe for using Lion’s mane

Lion’s mane mushroom nootropic smoothielions-mane-mushroom-matcha smoogie-in

200ml of coconut milk (or any other non-dairy milk)

1 small size ripe banana

1 dried fig (pre-soaked) or 1-2 dates

1 leveled teaspoon of Lion’s mane extract

1/4 teaspoon of matcha powder

2-3 pinches of vanilla  or cinnamon powder

1 pinch of Himalayan salt

Blend all the ingredients together for 30-60 seconds.

Enjoy straight or “on the rocks” in hot  or other days.

  1. Hobbs C (1995) Medicinal Mushrooms An Exploration of Tradition, Healing, and Culture. Botanica Press https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/415975.Medicinal_Mushrooms
  2. Mizuno, T. 1999. Bioactive substances in Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. and its medicinal utilization. Int J Med Mushrooms, 1: 105–119. http://www.dl.begellhouse.com/journals/708ae68d64b17c52,467a6b9619790c8f,59f1eb340de50d3a.htm
  3. Kawagishi H, Shimada A, Shiraj R, Okamoto K, Ojima F, Sakamoto H, Ishiguro Y, Furukawa S (1994b) Erinacines A, B and C, strong stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF)-synthesis from the mycelia of Hericium erinaceum. Tetrahedron Letters 35:1569–1572. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040403900767608?via%3Dihub#!
  4. Friedman M (2015) Chemistry, nutrition, and health-promoting properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) mushroom fruiting bodies and mycelia and their bioactive compounds. J Agric Food Chem. 63:7108-7123 http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02914
  5. Lai PL, Naidu M, Sabaratnam V, Wong KH, David RP, Kuppusamy UR, Abdullah N, Malek SN (2013) Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. Int J Med Mushrooms. 15:539-54. http://www.dl.begellhouse.com/journals/708ae68d64b17c52,034eeb045436a171,750a15ad12ae25e9.html
  6. Ma BJ, Shen JW, Yu HY, Ruan Y, Wu TT, Zhao X (2010) Hericenones and erinacines: stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF) biosynthesis in Hericium erinaceus http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21501201003735556
  7. Li W, Zhou W, Kim EJ, Shim SH, Kang HK, Kim YH (2015) Isolation and identification of aromatic compounds in Lion’s Mane Mushroom and their anticancer activities Food Chem. 170:336-342 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814614013028?via%3Dihub
  8. Zan X, Cui F, Li Y, Yang Y, Wu D, Sun W, Ping L (2015) Hericium erinaceus polysaccharide-protein HEG-5 inhibits SGC-7901 cell growth via cell cycle arrest and apoptosis Int J Biol Macromol. 76:242-53. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014181301500094X?via%3Dihub
  9. Wang M, Konishi T, Gao Y, Xu D, Gao Q (2015) Anti-gastric ulcer activity of polysaccharide fraction isolated from mycelium culture of Lion’s Mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) Int J Med Mushrooms. 17:1055-1060 http://www.dl.begellhouse.com/journals/708ae68d64b17c52,343363596ed9bda8,006faf937d2f02af.html
  10. Hou Y, Ding X, Hou W (2015) Composition and antioxidant activity of water-soluble oligosaccharides from Hericium erinaceus. Mol Med Rep. 11:3794-3799.  https://www.spandidos-publications.com/mmr/11/5/3794
  11. Jiang S, Wang Y, Zhang X (2016) Comparative studies on extracts from Hericium erinaceus by different polarity reagents to gain higher antioxidant activities Exp Ther Med. 12:513-517 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4906890/