"Hericium erinaceus is commonly called Lion’s mane due to the similar appearance of a lion's mane that flows in the wind."
Here's some exciting news for those who are having trouble with memory, adult students who want a sharp mind and stay alert or anyone who wants the feeling of mental clarity! Japanese researchers discovered that this mushroom that resembles a lion's mane *could improve the health and function of the brain with its unique low-weight molecules called Erinacines and Hericenones. These molecules have the ability to pass through the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) from within the brain. Lion's mane is being studied for anti-inflammatory properties and assistance in balancing immune function. With multiple benefits, Hericium erinaceus is gaining in popularity and respect!
Hericium erinaceus is commonly called Lion’s mane due to the similar appearance of a lion's mane that flows in the wind. A good way to identify Lion's mane mushrooms is by its whitish hair-like strands, thus the name. While the strands start off relatively short, they can grow to be over 1 centimeter long, sometimes much longer. If you open a Lion’s mane mushroom, you’ll find that there’s little body with a large cluster of icicle-like mushroom teeth. The shape is mostly round, no stem or cap are present on this beauty of a mushroom! It grows on sick, dying trees such as oak, maple, walnut or beech, sycamore and can usually be found in late Summer through Fall. If you open a Lion’s mane mushroom, you’ll find that there’s little body with a large cluster of icicle-like mushroom teeth. (Please forage with caution, preferably with someone who has experience along with an identification guide.)
My First Encounter With Lion's Mane
"The first time I learned about Lion's Mane was in 2002. I lived in a small town 20 minutes inland from the central coast of California named Atascadero. My son had been exploring benefits medicinal mushrooms and would go into the forest in search of these gems of the earth. One day, he called me with excitement because he found a beautiful specimen of Lion's mane. As he was foraging for mushrooms in the forest, he lifted a piece of bark from a nearby downed tree. It was as if he found gold. There it was, a round ball with off-white, long tendrils. He invited me over to try it with breakfast. As well as being medicinal, this is a delicious edible gourmet mushroom and I found it was a wonderful addition to an omelette! He sliced the Lion's mane thinly, next he sauteed it with a pad of butter garlic and onion, then added it to the omelette. I don't know if the response was all in my head (haha) but I really felt clear, energetic and my body just felt all around better than before breakfast. It was a great first experience with this mushroom. I learned that the process of cooking the mushroom introduces heat, which is necessary to unlock the medicinal benefits. Since then, I've experimented with different food combinations or just a mushroom stir-fry using different species. Lion's mane, chantarelles, oyster mushrooms, portobellos sauteed with zucchini, onion, garlic, peppers with a dash of salt and pepper make a wonderful dish. *The best part is, all of these mushrooms have medicinal properties and are really very healthy! The down side is, Lion's mane is rarely seen in the produce section of grocery stores. Nature is the best place to find these treasures because they are fresher, better in appearance and have a richer flavor. You might be able to find dehydrated Lion's mane in Asian food stores which you can reconstitute with water and use. Nothing is as good as fresh but sometimes you just gotta use whatcha got! When cooked, the mushroom has the texture of lobster, mildly sweet and oh, so good!"This is something you've got to experience to understand my passion for this gift of the earth.
Feel free to comment below and engage with each other. Share any experiences you've had with Lion's mane whether it is a culinary or medicinal one. We'll be keeping an eye on the comments for any questions we can help out with! Please keep in mind MycoFormulas will not make curative claims regarding mushrooms.
*These statements have not yet been evaluated by the FDA.
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