The Lion’s Mane mushroom (scientific name hericium erinaceus) is a rare edible mushroom that is native to certain parts of Japan, China, and Vietnam. You can find similar mushrooms that are in the same family as the Lion’s Mane, but the ones found in Asia are usually used in medicines.
Besides Lion’s mane, this mushroom also goes by different names, like Bearded Tooth Mushroom, Satyr’s Beard, pompom mushroom, and Bearded Hedgehog mushroom, which all presumably came from the mushroom’s fluffy, somewhat hairy appearance. In Japan, it is called yamabushitake, which roughly translates to “mountain priest mushroom”. In China, this mushroom is known as hou tou gu (monkey head mushroom), while in Vietnam, it is called the nam dau khi, which also has the same meaning.
- Improves the efficiency of the immune system
- Improves digestive health and helps fight ulcers and infections
- Helps improve memory and cognitive functions
- Can help treat anxiety and depression
- Helps lower high blood pressure
- Contains high amounts of antioxidants
- Has chemical components that can help fight infections
- Stimulates the creation of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)
- Helps keep cholesterol levels in check
One of the reasons why Lion’s mane mushrooms are getting increasingly popular nowadays is because they have beneficial neuroprotective effects, meaning they can help protect the brain from degeneration. A Japanese researcher, Dr. Hirozaku Kawagishi, discovered that lion’s mane mushroom (yamabushitake in Japan) stimulates the natural synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor in humans. What makes this discovery significant is that NGF is the primary protein responsible for repairing neurological disorders and improving mental health.
People who constantly suffer from digestive problems may find some of the health benefits of lion’s mane mushroom very helpful. For instance, lion’s mane has anti-microbial properties that are proven helpful in fighting against the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which is the one that causes gastritis and peptic ulcers.
Medical researchers also found that the polysaccharides, adenosine, and oleanolic acid present in lion’s mane mushrooms, stimulate the induction of interferons and helps regulate the functions of the immune system. This means the production of healthy white blood cells increases, thus enabling the body to heal itself more efficiently.
These are only a handful of the many health benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms. If you want to experience the amazing power of these edible fungi for yourself, ask your physician about it.