Lions Mane

Latin:  Hericium erinaceus

Family:  Hericaceae

Parts Used:  Fruiting body

Taste/Energetics:   Sweet, neutral

Properties:   Nootropic, antioxidant, antiinflammatory. tonic

Actions:  This is one of my favorite fungi.  I have a spot out in the Gorge where I have discovered a patch of Lion’s mane’s relative “Bear’s Head” (Hericium abietis).  It is an amazing fungus to find out in the wild.  With beautiful cascading drooping long fingers, it is a remarkable and beautiful creature to behold.  Research points to its amazing nootropic effects.  A nootropic substance is one that increases cognitive function, alertness and memory.  There is some evidence that lion’s mane regenerates nerve cells and could be a useful adjunctive therapy for dementia.  Lion’s Head contains certain compound (hericenones and erinacines) that appear to augment Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) which are associated with repair and growth of nerve cells in the brain.  Its anti-inflammatory properties also make it useful for gastric ulcers, Chron’s disease, and other stomach and respiratory inflammation.

Dosage:  2-4 tsp dried lions mane to one pint stare decocted for 40 mins.   Tincture 2-3 ML to 2x/day.    Lions mane is super tasty if you find it in the wild and it can easily be turned into yummy medicine by sautéing it in a pan.   I really don’t recommend taking Lion’s Mane as a powder unless one adds it to hot water because all of the constituents are not adequately extracted.

Contraindications:  Not to take during  pregnancy or nursing