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Hericium: properties and benefits

hericium proprietà

In the vast realm of Chinese Functional Fungi, one of the emerging players is the

Hericium erinaceus

, commonly known as“Bear’s Sponge” or“Lion’s Mane” for its characteristic shape
similar to the mane of a lion

This mushroom has attracted the attention of the scientific community and natural health enthusiasts due to its alleged therapeutic properties and potential positive impact on human health.

In this article, we will dive into the fascinating world of the
Hericium erinaceus
, exploring its history, its unique anatomy, and, most importantly, the many health benefits it may offer.

From the age-old tradition of using this mushroom in traditional medicine practices to the latest scientific research, we will discover together why Hericium erinaceus is gaining popularity as a natural supplement and how it might contribute to the
overall well-being of the body and mind

Hericium Erinaceus: properties and benefits

Table of Contents

Hericium fungus, what is it? Where does it come from?

Hericium erinaceus is a edible mushroom very rare and difficult to find in nature, belonging to the family of the Hericiaceae and is characterized by its distinctive shape resembling a lion’s mane. The fruiting body of this mushroom is in fact made up of the union of compact masses from which dangle downward elastic, white hair-like structures and tends to develop on the trunk of living trees such as oak, beech, sycamore and walnut.

Just because of this particular shape, the mushroom is commonly called “

Lion’s Mane

“, or by other nicknames such as “
Bear’s Sponge
” ,”


“, “
Monkey Head
“, “
Old Man’s Beard

The mushroom is native to North America, Europe and Asia, although its major use comes from the Asian continent, especially China where it has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine to support overall health, especially for its purported neuroprotective properties and support for the digestive system.

In recent years, its popularity has steadily increased due to its wealth of bioactive compounds and thanks to studies that have sought to better understand the potential properties and therapeutic applications of this mushroom, focusing mainly on its purported abilities to support brain and nervous system health, improve cognitive function, and stimulate the immune system.

hericium erinaceus benefici

The incredible properties of Hericium Erinaceus:

LHericium erinaceus is the subject of growing interest in the scientific community due to the many properties attributed to this mushroom. It is important to note that research is still ongoing, but so far potential properties include:

  • Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant

  • Immumostimulants

  • Antihypertensive

  • Epaprotective
  • Neuroprotective
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Digestive support

These properties have been mainly attributed to the presence of macro and microelements nutrients such as calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese;molybdenum, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, sulfur, zinc, and thanks to a group of bioactive compounds present in the fungus such as γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), ergothioneine, and lovostatin, the latter present only in the fruiting body.

It is these components,especially the polysaccharides and triterpenoids (ericenones primarily) that are responsible for the promising results obtained in vitro with this mushroom, concerning its potential beneficial action for many ailments.

Ericenones, in particular, appear to be involved in the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in astrocytes, which is necessary for the survival of neuronal cells in the brain.

hericium fungo

Hericium supplement, how to select a quality product:

There are many products on the market
Hericium supplements.
, so it is useful to know how to recognize a quality product and then make aninformed purchase.

The main factors to be understood are:

1: Mushroom Powder or Mushroom Extract

It is necessary to understand, especially for capsule products, whether they contain
dehydrated mushroom powder
or a
Dry Extract
(typically an alcoholic or hydroalcoholic extraction).

  • Dehydrated mushroom powder: contains all the nutrients and active ingredients native to the mushroom, however in lower concentration compared with the dry extract. In addition, some active ingredients can only be absorbed after alcoholic extraction.
  • Dry extract of mushroom: by using mushroom powder as the starting base for extraction (in larger amounts), it is instead possible to have a higher concentration of the most important active ingredients.
estratto di fungo

2: Fructiferous Body vs. Mycelium

Especially for capsule products, you should know that there are 2 types of raw material used:
Fruit Body
Mycelium on Wheat.

  • Mycelium on Wheat: is the most economical way of growing mushrooms, where the mycelium of the fungus (as well as its vegetative apparatus) is grown on a sterile wheat substrate. Once the mycelium has reached such a size, it is pulverized together with the grain to make a powder. However, in this way, the growth of the “fruiting body” of the fungus, which is where the active ingredients sought (such as beta-glucans and terpenoids) are most concentrated, does not occur, and furthermore, since the mycelium cannot be separated from the grain, the final product will contain a large concentration of pulverized grain.

  • Fructiferous Body

    : The fruiting body, or sporophore, is the “fruit” of fungi and is the part that is commonly harvested and/or eaten. A capsule product that contains fruiting body extract or powder will certainly have a much higher concentration and quality of active ingredients.
micelio vs corpo fruttifero

3: Type and Ratio of Extraction

Many functional mushrooms have a very hard cell wall and are therefore difficult to recruit. It tended to be the case in the past that the main method of taking the benefits of such mushrooms was by making a “hot extraction” , for example through hot tea.

Certain active ingredients (such as beta-glucans) can only be extracted by an extraction “in hot water” while other active ingredients (such as triterpenes) can be extracted by alcoholic extraction. Therefore, it is always best to opt for a product that contains amushroom extract and not mushroom powder.

At the same time, it is also important to understand the extraction ratio, that is, the amount of dry mushroom used to obtain a certain amount of dry extract.
Opt for an extraction ratio ranging from 5:1 to 10:1
, as a higher extraction ratio (20:1 or 30:1) does not necessarily mean a higher quality product (as it may mean that the yield was lower, not that the quantity used is higher).

4: Titration of Active Ingredients

These “functional” mushrooms belonging to Traditional Chinese Medicine are taken because of the presence of certain compounds within them. However, opt for a product that has a titration in these compounds such as polysaccharides, beta glucans or triterpenes.

Hericium and Beta - Glucans:

Hericium, like other mushrooms used in
Traditional Chinese Medicine
(Cordycep and Reishi mainly) owe some of their benefits due to the presence of
, a type of soluble fiber found in the cell wall of certain algae and fungi that is related to a number of beneficial effects on the body.

Being a soluble fiber, the beta-glucans slow the passage of food within the intestines , thereby increasing the sense of satiety and decreasing the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, a factor that helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

In addition, this type of fiber reduces cholesterol absorption in the digestive tract, improving cholesterol levels.

It is therefore advisable to select a Mushroom Supplement that is titrated at least 20% in Beta-Glucans.

Hericium: recommended dosage

The amount of
to be taken may vary depending on the individual and the reason for taking the supplement.

In general, recommended doses range from 500 to 1,500 mg of extract per day. It is always best to consult an experienced physician or pharmacist before starting any new supplementation.

In addition, as explained earlier, there is great variability in quality and type of raw material in the products on the market, a factor that also makes the minimum dosage variable in order to benefit from the effects of Hericium.

We recommend the intake of 2 capsules of 450 mg, equivalent to 900 mg of
Hericium erinaceus mushroom extract 6:1
. The intake of 900 mg of
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract
is equivalent to taking 5.4 grams of fresh mushroom and 270 mg of Beta-Glucans!

Hericium and Mycotherapy.

Hericium mycotherapy refers to the therapeutic use of the fungus Hericium Erinaceus, commonly known as Monkey’s Head or Lion’s Mane, to improve health and treat certain medical conditions. This approach is an integral part of
Traditional Chinese Medicine
and other Eastern medical traditions, where “medicinal” mushrooms have been used for their alleged healing properties for centuries.

Hericium has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat problems of the stomach, nervous system, and nerves. But also to strengthen energy and mental functions, improve immunity and restore the body’s natural robustness. Not only that, ancient sages, to emphasize the benefits on physical and mental activities, coined the saying “Hericium tendons of steel and memory of a lion.”

Lion's Mane: the scientific studies

Hericium Erinaceus has been the subject of numerous scientific studies exploring its potential beneficial properties and effects on human health.

It is important to note that despite some promising research, most studies are still ongoing, and further investigation is needed to fully confirm the effects of the
Lion’s mane

Through this link you can learn more about Hericium👇 studies:

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Our products


Hericium Erinaceus would appear to have Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant, Immumostimulant, Antihypertensive, Hepaprotective, and Neuroprotective properties.

It is recommended to purchase a Cordycep-based supplement that has at least these characteristics:

  • Extracted from Fruit Body and not from Mycelium
  • Extracted in a ratio ranging from 6:1 to 10:1
  • Titrated in Beta-Glucans

As there is great variability in quality and type of raw material in commercially available products, it is not always easy to identify a minimum dosage to benefit from the effects of Cordycep.

We recommend taking 2 capsules of 450 mg, equivalent to 900 mg of Hericium Mushroom Extract 6:1.

Taking 900 mg of Hericium Mushroom Extract is equivalent to taking 5.4 grams of fresh mushroom and 270 mg of Beta-Glucans!

Beta-Glucans are a type of soluble fiber found in the cell wall of certain algae e fungi and which is related to a number of
beneficial effects on the body

Being a soluble fiber, beta-glucans slow the passage of food through the intestines, thereby increasing feelings of satiety and decreasing the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, a factor that helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

In addition, this type of fiber reduces cholesterol absorption in the digestive tract, improving cholesterol levels.


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