Hericium erinaceus

For the other species named hedgehog mushroom, see Hydnum repandum.
Hericium erinaceus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Subdivision: Agaricomycotina
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Russulales
Family: Hericiaceae
Genus: Hericium
Species: H. erinaceus
Binomial name
Hericium erinaceus
(Bull.) Persoon

Clavaria erinaceus
Dryodon erinaceus
Hydnum erinaceus

Hericium erinaceus
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list

Mycological characteristics

teeth on hymenium
no distinct cap
lacks a stipe
spore print is white
ecology is parasitic
edibility: choice

Hericium erinaceus (also called lion's mane mushroom, bearded tooth mushroom, satyr's beard, bearded hedgehog mushroom, pom pom mushroom, or bearded tooth fungus) is an edible and medicinal mushroom belonging to the tooth fungus group. Native to North America, Europe and Asia it can be identified by its long spines (greater than 1 cm length), its appearance on hardwoods and its tendency to grow a single clump of dangling spines.[1] Hericium erinaceus can be mistaken for other species of Hericium, all popular edibles, which grow across the same range. In the wild, these mushrooms are common during late summer and fall on hardwoods, particularly American Beech.


Hericium erinaceus contains a number of polysaccharides, such as B-glucan, heteroglucans, heteroxylans, as several cyanthane derivative triterpenes known as hericenone and erinacine.[1] These latter compounds, found in the fruitbody and mycelium respectively, are considered to be responsible for the neuroregenerative effects of this species.[2]

Culinary use

Hericium erinaceus is a choice edible when young, and the texture of the cooked mushroom is often compared to seafood. It often appears in Chinese vegetarian cuisine to replace pork or lamb. This mushroom is cultivated commercially on logs or sterilized sawdust and is available fresh or dried in Asian grocery stores.

Alternative names

It is called hóu tóu gū (simplified: 猴头菇; traditional: 猴頭菇; lit. "monkey head mushroom") in Chinese. In Japanese it is called yamabushitake (; lit. "mountain priest mushroom"). In Vietnamese it is called nấm đầu khỉ which literally means the same as hóu tóu gū (monkey head mushroom). In Korean it is called "노루궁뎅이버섯, "Norugongdengi-beoseot", literally "Deertail Mushroom".

Medical research and use

Hericium erinaceus has long a history of use in traditional Chinese medicine. A 2005 rat study showed some compounds in the mushroom, like threitol, D-arabinitol, and palmitic acid, may have antioxidant effects, regulate blood lipid levels and reduce blood glucose levels.[3] A 2012 study on rats that had suffered brain injury showed that "daily oral administration of H. erinaceus could promote the regeneration of injured rat peroneal nerve in the early stage of recovery."[4] More recently and more relevant to human use, is a 2013 review of scientific studies, which asserted the medical benefits of the mushroom by saying "This mushroom is rich in some physiologically important components, especially β-glucan polysaccharides, which are responsible for anti-cancer, immuno-modulating, hypolipidemic, antioxidant and neuro-protective activities of this mushroom. H. erinaceus has also been reported to have anti-microbial, anti-hypertensive, anti-diabetic, wound healing properties among other therapeutic potentials."[5] A 2014 scientific review on the therapeutic effects of H. erinaceus concluded that "it is helpful to various diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, immunoregulatory, and many types of cancer."[6]

A report reveals that pills of this mushroom are used in the treatment of gastric ulcers and esophageal carcinoma.[7] And a 2011 study on rats demonstrates the mushroom's wound healing capacities.[8]

Considering the increase of degenerative conditions, scientists around the world have launched investigations on the possible anti-dementia compounds of this mushroom.

Primary research has demonstrated the following:

Long-term safety and effects of withdrawal seem to be unknown.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hericium erinaceus.

See also


  1. 1 2 Friedman, Mendel (2015). "Chemistry, Nutrition, and Health-Promoting Properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion's Mane) Mushroom Fruiting Bodies and Mycelia and Their Bioactive Compounds". J. Agric. Food Chem. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02914.
  2. 1 2 Mori, K.; Obara, Y.; Hirota, M.; Azumi, Y.; Kinugasa, S.; Inatomi, S.; Nakahata, N. (2008). "Nerve Growth Factor-Inducing Activity of Hericium erinaceus in 1321N1 Human Astrocytoma Cells". Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 31 (9): 1727–1732. doi:10.1248/bpb.31.1727. PMID 18758067.
  3. Wang, J. C.; Hu, S. H.; Wang, J. T.; Chen, K. S.; Chia, Y. C. (2005). "Hypoglycemic effect of extract of Hericium erinaceus". Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 85 (4): 641–646. doi:10.1002/jsfa.1928.
  4. Wong KH, Naidu M, David RP, Bakar R, Sabaratnam V (2012). "Neuroregenerative potential of lion's mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (higher Basidiomycetes), in the treatment of peripheral nerve injury (review).". International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. pp. 427–46. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  5. Khan, Asaduzzaman MA (2013). "Hericium erinaceus: an edible mushroom with medicinal values". Journal of complementary & integrative medicine. 10 (1): 253–258. doi:10.1515/jcim-2013-0001.
  6. Jiang, Shengjuan; Songhua Wang; Yujun Sun & Qiang Zhang (September 2014). "Medicinal Properties of Hericium Erinaceus and Its Potential to Formulate Novel Mushroom-based Pharmaceuticals". Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 98 (18): 7661–7670. doi:10.1007/s00253-014-5955-5.
  7. Ying, J.; Mao, X.; Ma, Q.; Zong, Y.; Wen, H. (1987). Icons of Medicinal Fungi from China. Beijing: Science Press. ISBN 978-7-03-000195-5.
  8. Abdulla MA, Fard AA, Sabaratnam V, Wong KH, Kuppusamy UR, Abdullah N, Ismail S (2011). "Potential activity of aqueous extract of culinary-medicinal Lion's Mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) in accelerating wound healing in rats.". International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. pp. 33–9. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  9. Park, Y. S.; Lee, H. S.; Won, M. H.; Lee, J. H.; Lee, S. Y.; Lee, H. Y. (2002). "Effect of an exo-polysaccharide from the culture broth of Hericium erinaceus on enhancement of growth and differentiation of rat adrenal nerve cells". Cytotechnology. 39 (3): 155–162. doi:10.1023/A:1023963509393. PMC 3449638Freely accessible. PMID 19003308.
  10. Mori, K.; Inatomi, S.; Ouchi, K.; Azumi, Y.; Tuchida, T. (2009). "Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial". Phytotherapy Research. 23 (3): 367–372. doi:10.1002/ptr.2634. PMID 18844328.
  11. Bioactive Substances in YAMABUSHITAKE, the Hericium erinaceum, Fungus, and its Medicinal Utilization, Takashi Mizuno, Shizuoka University.
  12. Kolotushkina, E. V.; Moldavan, M. G.; Voronin, K. Y.; Skibo, G. G. (2003). "The influence of Hericium erinaceus extract on myelination process in vitro". Fiziolohichnyi zhurnal. 49 (1): 38–45. PMID 12675022.
  13. Peripheral Nerve Regeneration Following Crush Injury to Rat Peroneal Nerve by Aqueous Extract of Medicinal Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae), Kah-Hui Wong, Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia.
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