Latin for “Hericium Erinaceus” means the active ingredients within this powerful mushroom are hericenones and cyathane derivatives – these act as nerve growth factors (NGF). NGF, a protein essential for neuron growth and maintenance, plays an integral role in the health of the central nervous system. If NGF production in the brain slows down, this could have serious repercussions; its size makes it particularly problematic when crossing over into the blood-brain barrier. Lion’s Mane Mushrooms are an excellent alternative, as they contain substances which promote NGF production and can cross the blood-brain barrier. Hericenones help the brain produce more NGF by stimulating it with extra NGF receptors. Erinacines, which are small enough to cross this barrier, work in synergy with the brain to increase NGF production and stimulation. You can consume the whole lion’s mane; its mild flavor and texture make it perfect for snacking or mixing into stews or soups. Or add half a teaspoon to your daily cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate – up to twice daily with breaks between six-8 weeks for optimal effects!
Buddhist Shaolin monks believed the lions mane powder improved their concentration and allowed them to cultivate “Qi”, the spiritual power. These compounds may have been the reason why this mushroom gained notoriety for improving memory and focus.
Lion’s Mane, also referred to as Nature’s Gift to Your Nervous System, has long been believed to provide strong nerves and the memory of being the Lion. While science is only just beginning to understand this super-mushroom, studies have already demonstrated numerous therapeutic benefits for both peripheral and central nervous systems – from mild cognitive impairment and anxiety, dementia to depression, stroke recovery peripheral neuropathy to parkinson’s disease.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms may also aid digestion. Research suggests it could hydrate and nourish stomach mucosa due to their abundance of polypeptides and beta glucan polysaccharides, both believed to improve digestion in humans.
Histories Lion’s Mane Mushroom
A strange, alien-looking fungus found in Japan has taken on the characteristics of being mysterious and esoteric. It was named for one of Asia’s most captivating Buddhist sects – Yamabushi Buddhist monks called it ‘Yamabushitake’ after them. Its name translates to “those who rest high up”, reflecting the unique beauty and solitude of this particular mushroom. The Yamabushi wandering ascetics from Japan’s mountains belong to the Shugendo spiritual Buddhist tradition. Yamabushi’s ornamental clothing, known as”suzukake,” offers another example. This long strand of fur resembles the Lion’s Mane which has been consumed for centuries in both China and Japan but recently brought to Europe and America.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms are harvested from decomposing Oak Walnut, Walnut and Beech trees found in Northern Hemisphere regions. Due to their famed benefits, these mushrooms were staples within Japanese and Chinese civilizations for centuries.
The mushroom is commonly consumed as food and in Japan and China to treat ailments.