Lion's Mane Mushroom – Benefits for health, side effects, dosage and cooking tips

Filed in: Medicinal Plants.

Lion's Mane Mushroom - Benefits for health, side effects, dosage and cooking tips

The fungus of the mane of the lion, scientific name Hericium erinaceus, is a medicinal and edible nootropic fungus that belongs to the group of fungi in the teeth. This species has many names, including the bearded tooth mushroom, the Yamabushitake, the satyr beard and the pom pom fungus.

It has been used for centuries as health treatment and general tonic by the traditional Chinese (the fungus was considered a prized possession by the Chinese and served only to the emperors) and Japanese medicine, and is currently consumed in many other Asian countries such as India and Korea. In addition, it was generally eaten in Chinese cuisine as a substitute for meat because of its high protein content.

Nutrition facts of Hericium erinaceus

Is mushroom It comprises more than 32 different bioactive compounds and is a rich source of minerals such as selenium, zinc, iron and potassium. In addition, it contains mainly amino acids (20 percent) and several polypeptides and polysaccharides. And like shellfish, Yamabushitake is a viable source of vitamin B12, based on plants.

Benefits of health of Yamabushitake:

Improves cognitive function and learning memory.

As a nootropic, it contains molecules known as erinacins and herbones, two substances suspected of stimulating nerve growth factor, also known as NGF.

What is the nerve growth factor?

NGF was first identified in the 1950s by Stanley Cohen and Rita Levi-Montalcini. Stanley Cohen won a Nobel Prize for his discovery. NGH improves cognition by reducing inflammation, improving overall brain health and encouraging neuronal growth. Another way in which the nerve growth factor improves cognition is by promoting myelination (myelin is a protective layer of fat cells that forms along the branches of your neurons called axons).

In 2013, a study at the Mushroom Research Center, Faculty of Sciences, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, concluded that the aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus contained neuroactive substances that induced the synthesis of nerve growth factor and promoted the development of neurites in the NG108-15 cells.

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Depression and anxiety

A study conducted in 2010 at the Department of Clinical Psychology, Japan, which was published in Biomedical Research, analyzed 30 women to show that the species could reduce depression and anxiety.

Anticancer effects

The active substances in this fungus inhibit the flow of blood to cancer cells and the migration of cells from the origin to other internal organs such as the lungs. A study conducted in 2014 at the Department of Medicine of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, United States, established that Yamabushitake extracts are also toxic to cancer cells of the colon, liver and stomach. In addition, a 2011 research from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry concluded that Hericium erinaceus extract helped reduce the size of cancerous colon tumors in mice.

Improves the rate of wound healing.

It was shown that an extract of fruiting bodies of H. erinaceus improves wound healing when applied topically. In 2011, scientists from the Department of Molecular Medicine at the University of Malaya, Malaysia, noticed a smaller scar width and increased blood vessel formation in the topical group of H. erinaceus when comparing wounds covered with distilled water.

Crohn's disease

Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease, is characterized by inflammation of the intestinal walls. It can be treated with the Yamabushitake fungus, reducing the level of inflammation.

Other benefits of Hericium erinaceus:

improved digestive function (heals ulcers too); helps eliminate brain fog; Alzheimer disease; It helps fight the damage of free radicals. regulated levels of blood sugar (therefore, it helps control type 2 diabetes); restores mental alertness; protects against harmful bacteria and fungal infections; reduces anxiety and irritability; strengthens the immune system; reduces LDL cholesterol levels


The adequate dose of the Yamabushitake supplement depends on the strength of the extract. The most popular recommendation is currently around 1500 mg per day. However, when you take this supplement for the first time, start with a lower dose (500 mg per day). In addition, this supplement has been tested on animals that show no side effects, even up to 5 grams per kilogram.

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Side effects of the lion-toed mushroom

exist no known side effects. However, there is some concern that this supplement may aggravate symptoms in patients with asthma and allergies. In addition, there is no research on the interaction of Hericium erinaceus extract with prescription medications, so always consult your health care specialist before taking the supplement, especially if you are pregnant or have a history of asthma and / or allergies.

How to buy

As a supplement, Yamabushitake is commonly offered as an extract, in capsule or in powder form. Remember to choose a product that is 100 percent pure and that has no added preservatives or fillers. Also, if you decide to choose yours, before eating any wild mushroom, make sure it is identified accurately.


Dried mushrooms should be stored in a tightly closed container in a cool, dry place. Also, store fresh H. erinaceus mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Cooking tips

The important step in the preparation of all edible fungi, especially those of the genus Hericium, is to cook them slowly.

The mushroom is particularly tasty when served with fresh vegetables, and can be roasted, sautéed, roasted or added to any recipe that requires mushrooms.

Remember to drink the liquid when you cook it because that's where most of the nutritious polysaccharides are.


According to a 2015 research published in the Archives of Physiology and Biochemistry, the mushroom of this lion and the allicin of garlic can have synergistic effects.


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