Hericium erinaceus

Lion’s mane mushroom – the mucous membranes in the stomach and intestines play a central role in the immune system, which is strengthened by Hericium.

Hericum is also called lion’s mane mushroom, monkey head mushroom, bearded tooth mushroom, satyr’s beard, pom pom mushroom, or bearded tooth fungus. Just as remarkable as these unusual names of this precious mushroom is its fine aroma, which is reminiscent of veal and poultry meat.

The wild-growing occurrences of Hericium are very rare. They can be found on often still living older hardwoods such as beech, oak or elm. The roundish, oval or heart-shaped mushroom has a size of 20 to 40 centimetres and has “spikes” two to five centimetres wide and one and a half to two centimetres thick. Its colour varies from white to cream to reddish.

Areas of use in mycotherapy:

Hericium is important for the build-up of the gastric and intestinal mucosa, which acts as a protective barrier against pollutants. Even allergenic substances from food can no longer easily pass through the intestinal wall. This is especially important in cases of food intolerances, all allergies, skin diseases such as neurodermatitis and weakness of the immune system.

The intestinal mucosa has a great influence on the stabilisation, regulation and development of the immune system: immune cells are formed here, which not only remain in the intestine, but also spread through the bloodstream. Hericium has a calming and anti-inflammatory effect on the gastric and intestinal mucous membranes. It therefore helps with gastritis, reflux, heartburn and acidification.

Furthermore, it has a positive effect on chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Its antitumoral effect is evident in sarcoma 180, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer or oesophageal cancer. Hericium is also helpful for mucosal damage caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Hericium is a tonic for the nerves. As a result, it has been proven effective against anxiety, stress, restlessness, insomnia and memory gaps. Especially in irritable stomachs or irritable bowel, this mushroom has a balancing and calming effect.

Hericium contains hericenon and erinacin (a diterpenoid), thereby stimulating the nerve growth factor (NGF). It is of great importance in the regeneration of nerves. Through the NGF, the myelin sheaths are rebuilt to nourish and protect the nerve cell. This is particularly helpful for peripheral nerve damage caused by trauma or metabolic processes, but also for damage to the central nervous system after a stroke, trauma or Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In addition, NGF regulates the TH1 / TH2 immune response in the central nervous system. This is particularly advantageous in autoimmune processes in the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis. A specific polysaccharide of Hericium promotes neural differentiation and the survival of nerve cells.

Areas of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine:

  • Diseases of the stomach
  • Tumours of the digestive tract

Effects proven by studies:

  • Polysaccharides contained in Hericium have an antitumoral effect.
  • The production of nerve growth factors is increased. It leads to the regeneration of peripheral nerves in degenerative neural diseases.


  • Takashi Mizuno et al.: “Antitumor-active Polysaccharides Isolated from the Fruiting Body of Hericium erinaceum, an Edible and Medicinal Mushroom Called yamabushitake or houtou.”; Biosci. Biotech. Biochem., 56 (2), 347-348, 1992
  • Hiromichi Kenmoku et al.: “Erinacine Q, a New Erinacine from Hericium erinaceum, and its Biosynthetic Route to Erinacine C in the Basidiomycete; Biosci.”; Biotech. Biochem., 66(3), 571-575, 2002
  • Eun Woo Lee et al.: “Two Novel Diterpenoids, Erinacines H and I from the Mycelia of Hericium erinaceum; Biosci.”; Biotech. Biochem.; 64(11), 2402-2405, 2000
  • Stamets, P.: “MycoMedicinals: An Informational Treatise on Mushrooms”; Myco Media, 2002
  • Prof. Dr. med. Ivo Bianchi: “Moderne Mykotherapie”; Hinckel Druck, 2008
  • Kawagishia, H. et al.: “Anti-Dementia Effects of a low polarity fraction extracted from Hericium Erinaceum.”; Japan
  • Wong K. et al.: “Functional Recovery Enhancement Following Injury to Rodent Peroneal Nerve by Lion´s Mane Mushroom Hericium erinaceus .”; University of Malaya, Malaysia

Note: The described effects are based on taking medicinal mushroom powder made from the whole mushroom. Please consult your therapist before use.

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