Hericium Erinaceus

Hericium Erinaceus, Vancouver Island, BC
Hericium Erinaceus, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

Hericium Erinaceus has many names, lion’s mane, pom pom, bearded hedgehog, and satyrs beard. We have always called it brain food as it can truly benefit the brain, it does wonders on improving memory. It is a beautiful mushroom to observe. It does not have a mushroom cap, instead, it has long icicle-like teeth that hang down. These teeth create and release spores, these spores spread out with the wind and allow the mushroom to reproduce. There are many mushrooms that reproduce using these teeth-like structures, but the bearded tooth mushroom is by far the most recognizable one.

Hericium Erinaceus mushroom is considered an important medicinal mushroom. The Chinese have used this mushroom for thousands of years for stomach problems and cancer of the digestive organs. These mushrooms also have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and they do a bang on job of boosting the immune system against certain types of cancers. Recently, it has been discovered that there are components within this mushroom that can actually mend damaged nerve ends and regrow them. It has been shown to combat Alzheimer’s and dementia. You can use this mushroom by taking a teaspoon of powder twice a day. Put it in a smoothy or add to food. You can also make a tincture and take 10 to 20 drops twice a day.

The Hericium Erinaceus mushroom is edible and considered a choice mushroom when cooked, it has a seafood-like flavor that is quite delicious.  I like to slow cook them sliced and pan-fried in butter, cook them slowly, so the moisture is released, do not add spices until they are almost ready. By slow cooking them, you will find they are firm and a bit chewy making them enjoyable to eat.

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