Hericium erinaceus (i.e. Lion’s Mane Mushroom) occurs in our forest, but this fungus is cultivated all over the World. Its hairy mushroom resembles monkey’s head, therefore it is called “monkey head”. It belongs to rare vital mushrooms, which have evoked interest in studies on the ingredients contained there also in our part of the World.
There are both highly concentrated extracts available on sale, but also loose powder of dried mushroom or in tablets/capsules. Depending on the goal of supplementation, the extract from the mushroom is applied, powder or the combination composed of both forms.
Ingredients and application of Hericium in the treatment and prophylaxis
In the Hericium mushrooms a considerable presence of potassium, zinc, iron, germanium, selenium, phosphorus and a small amount of sodium were detected. Moreover, all basic amino acids, polysaccharides and peptides are present in this mushroom.
Prof. Dr. Schnitzler from the Weihenstephan University brought Hericium from Asia to Germany, where he performed his job for many years. His studies confirmed among others certain properties of the mushroom, already known from literature.
Lion’s mane mushroom probably has considerable potential regarding the treatment of the digestive system, starting from esophagus to intestines. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses Hericium especially in case of stomach cancer, gastritis, stomach and duodenum ulcers and esophageal cancer.
According to the results of one of the studies, Hericium works perfectly in the treatment of patients with gastritis. Considerable improvement as for the typical symptoms of the disease was noticed in 82% of patients, while in 58% total disappearance of the disease was registered. Moreover, permanent renovation of stomach mucous membrane was noticed.
Hericium may be cultivated in a similar way to Shiitake, Reishi and other, in the garden or on the balcony. The recommended daily dose is 100 g of fresh mushrooms or 10 g of dried mushrooms.
According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine, various substances contained in the mushroom may be effectively used in the prophylaxis of the following diseases:
– stomach cancer
– stomach ulcers
– duodenum ulcers
– esophagus cancer.
An available drug in China are tablets from the concentrate of pressed mushroom juice and moreover, there are also dried mushrooms and tonics, containing pressed juice. (Yiu, 1989), (Kawagishi, Mizuno)
The mushroom called “monkey head” increases the organism’s immunity (has immunostimulating properties), has anti-inflammatory effect and accelerates wound healing. It contains many important trace elements (e.g. Zn, Fe, Se, Ge and other), minerals and vitamins. Its activity is effective in all problems with the digestive system. There are no known side-effects of the application of this fungus. (Yiu, 1989)
Some ingredients have stimulating effect on the nerve growth factor, which provides the possibility of potential application in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
The concentration of 17 various amino acids in Hericium, including 7 important for the human organism, is 30-150% higher in comparison to agaricus, oyster mushroom or Shiitake. (Eisenhut, 1995), (Zhang, 1989), (Yiu, 1989)
Thanks to this, the fungus may be effectively used as a high-quality substitute of meat in a vegetarian diet. Technical University of Munich, the Faculty of market gardening studies cytotoxic activity of this fungi extract on cancer cells, typical test of wood flour loose bed and biotechnological production of fungi granulate from submerged culture (water culture). Tests for cytotoxicity explain whether the granulate demonstrates the existence of important ingredients, similar to those in the mushroom.