Lion’s Mane mushroom, scientifically known as Hericium erinaceus, is widely used in Asian countries for both culinary and medicinal purposes. If you’ve never seen a Lion’s Mane mushroom before, you might be surprised by what it looks like. It's definitely not your typical mushroom!
This mushroom is identified by its tooth like appearance, which leads to its many other names such as; bearded tooth mushroom, satyr's beard, bearded hedgehog mushroom, pom pom mushroom, or bearded tooth fungus. The ‘spines’ are soft and typically greater than 1cm long. These mushrooms grow in the wild on hardwood trees, or can be cultivated indoors and outdoors on sterilized hardwood sawdust.
So you might be wondering... what the heck does it taste like and what am I supposed to do with it?
Well, if you’ve never tried Lion's Mane, I highly recommend you do if the opportunity arises. Considered a choice edible with a light meaty texture, this mushroom can easily substitute meat in most recipes. It is also is reminiscent of the flavor of lobster or crab when fried in butter. This mushroom is so versatile in the kitchen, you could add it to whatever you heart desires.
I could rattle off a few ideas, but it really is limitless; pulled (pork) lion’s mane, burgers, vegan stir fry, vegan crab cakes, omelette, soup...
The lion’s mane mushroom is also known for its powerful medicinal qualities. There has been extensive research done on this mushroom, which has found that adding Lions Mane to your diet can improve cognitive function, anxiety and depression.
Other reported health-promoting properties include antibiotic, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic, antifatigue, antihypertensive, antihyperlipodemic, antisenescence, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, and neuroprotective properties ... quite a list!
Amongst the most notable benefits, Lion’s Mane is known for its ability to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF plays an important role in the health of several cell populations in the central and peripheral nervous system. Low levels of NGF have been linked to early stages of both Alzheimer’s and dementia, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndromes.
Other therapeutic applications include; multiple sclerosis (improving myelination and suppressing immune-mediated inflammation), nerve damage (faster recovery from nerve damage) and menopausal syndrome (reduction in related symptoms).
So don't be shy, give Lions Mane a try! If you want to lift the fog or give your brain a boost, or if you simply want a delicious meat replacement to add to your favorite meal. We currently offer Lions Mane in two different forms- straight Lions Mane Extract Powder, or part of our 6 mushroom blend- THRIVE 6.