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Lions Mane

The Healing Properties of LION’S MANE (Hericium erinaceus)

This mushroom has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for the treatment of stomach distress and for cancer prevention. Many distinct polysaccharides have been identified in this species several of which have demonstrated potent anti-tumor properties that extended the lifespan of cancer patients (Mizuno, 1995). Studies in Taiwan on rats that were fed Hericium fruitbodies demonstrated significant beneficial effects on blood glucose, serum triglycerides and total cholesterol levels.

Perhaps the most intriguing medicinal effect of this mushroom has been the discovery of a group of compounds that appears to have the ability to stimulate the re-growth of neurons and nerve cells (Kawagashi, et al., 1994; Kenmoku, et al., 2002). These compounds are known as erinacines (Erinacines A, B, C, Q) . Japanese researchers have patented an extraction process which isolates and purifies “Nerve Growth Stimulant (NGS) factor from this mushroom. Research indicates great potential for the use of this mushroom in the treatment of senility and Alzheimer’s disease and the repairing of nerve damage from various traumas.

Alternative Names:

Hericium erinaceum
Pom Pom
Monkey’s Head
Sheep’s Head
Hedge Hog


A “toothed” fungi consisting composed of downward cascading spines in the wild. Cultivated varieties usually harvested as roundish mounds of tissue before the spines have elongated. Typically whitish in color, discoloring to yellow or brown with age. This mushroom is popular with gourmet chefs for its distinctive seafood-like flavor which some people describe as being very similar to lobster. Both the fruitbodies and mycelium of the species have been found to contain a variety of medicinally active compounds

Known Active Constituents:

Polysaccharides: many forms & derivations
Erinacines, Hericenones
Ergo-sterol: provitamin D2

Selected References

Son, Chang Gue et. al. 2006. “Macrophage activation and nitric acid production by water soluble components of Hericium erinaceum.” International Immunopharmocology 6:1363-1369.

Kawagishi H., et al. 1994. “Erinacines A, B, C, strong stimulators of nerve growth factor synthesis from the mushroom Hericium erinaceum”. Tetrahedron Letters 35(10):1569-72

Kenmoku, H, T. Shimai, T. Toyomasu, N. Kato, and T. Sassa, 2002. ” Erinacine Q, a new erinacine from Hericium erinaceum and its biosynthetic route to erinacines C in the basidiomycete”. Bioscience Biothechnology & Biochem Mar:66(3):571-577.

Mizuno, Takashi et. al. 1992. “Antitumor-active polysaccharides isolated from the fruiting body of Hericium erinaceum, an edible and medicinal mushroom called yamabushitake or houtou.” Bios, Biotech. Biochem. 56(2): 347-348.

Mizuno, T., ed. 1995, “Mushrooms: The versatile fungs-food and medicinal properties” in Food Reviews International 11(1)no.1, Marcel Dekker, Inc, New York

Nagai, K, A. Chiba, T. Nishino, T. Kubota & H. Kawagishi, 2006. “Dilinoeoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine from Hericium erinaceum protects against ER stress-dependent Neuro2a cell death via protein kinase pathway” J. Nutr. Biochem. Aug.;17(8)525-530. vWang, JC, et al., 2004. “Hypoglycemic effect of extract of Hericium erinaceus”. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 85(4):641-646.

Disclaimer: This information is intended for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from a physician or other health care professional and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Taking natural products should be a decision based upon personal research and the advice of health care professionals and be based upon a thorough understanding of the role food-derived medicinally-active compounds play in health and wellbeing. A health care professional should be consulted before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Do not discontinue any other medical treatments without first consulting your doctor.

Note from Mary Beth: Lions Mane is used in many of our products for people, pets and equines. Please use the code Harmonic at check out to receive 5% discount. To order and learn more about each product, CLICK HERE


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