Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s mane)

Hericium erinaceus is a mushroom that grows on hardwood trees (dead trunks) and includes beech, oak, or Japanese Walnut trees 1, 2. Hericium erinaceus is also known as Lion’s Mane, Monkey(s) Head, and Beared Tooth 1. In fact, Hericium erinaceus is commonly called “Shishigashira” or “Houtou” in China and “Yamabushitake” in Japan, and the species is found throughout North America, Asia, and Europe 3. Hericium erinaceus is orally used for cognitive health, such as supporting overall cognitive function and memory 1, 2. Hericium erinaceus is an edible fungus with many years of use in Traditional Chinese herbs and botanicals practices 1. The applicable parts of hericium erinaceus are the mycelium and fruiting bodies 1, 4. Hericium erinaceus also contains fatty acids, esters, sterols and proteins 1, 5. There are an abundance of bioactive compounds in hericium erinaceus, including: hericenones and erinacine terpenoids; B-glucan polysaccharides; sterols; isoindolinones; and myconutrients. Ganoderma lucidum, Sarcodon scabrosus, Hericium erinaceus, and Grifola frondosa are all mushrooms which are reported to have activities related to brain and nerve health 6, 7. The mushrooms, G. lucidum, L. edodes, and H. erinaceus, contain polysaccharides; erinaceus have especially been found to have general health benefits 8. Hericium erinaceus has a number of studies pertaining to brain health. For example, in a cognitive study of 50-80 year-old Japanese men and women, 1000 mg of hericium erinaceus powder was taken 3 times daily for 16 weeks and found to be safely used; subjects who took Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) showed significantly increased scores on the cognitive function scale used when compared with the placebo group 1, 9.

This ingredient can be found in the following products in United States:


  1. Natural Medicines database. Hericium erinaceus. Professional monograph. Product ID no. 1536. Reviewed 2/2/2018. Updated 4/27/2019. Subscription required for access.,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=1536
  2. Phan CW, Lee GS, Hong SL et al. hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr). Pers. Cultivated under tropical conditions: isolation of hericenones and demonstration of NGF-mediated neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells via MEK/ERK and P13K-Akt signaling pathways. [Abstract]. Food Funct 2014; 5(12):3160-2169. or
  3. Thongbai B, Rapior S, Hyde KD, Wittstein K. Hericium erinaceus, an amazing medicinal mushroom.[Abstract] Mycol Progress 2015; 14:91.
  4. Kuo HC, Lu CC, Shen CH, et al. Hericium erinaceus mycelium and its isolated erinacine A protection from MPTP-induced neurotoxicity through the ER stress, triggering an apoptosis cascade. J Transl Med 2016;14:78.
  5. Chang HC, Yang HL, Pan JH, et al. hericium erinaceus inhibits TNF-a-Induced Angiogenesis and ROS Generation through Suppression of MMP-9/NF-?B signaling and Activation of Nrf2-Mediated Antioxidant genes in Human EA.hy926 Endothelial Cells. Oxid Med Cell Longev 2016; 2016:8257238. or
  6. Spelman K, Sutherland E, Bagade A. Neurological activity of Lion’s Mane (hericum erinaceus). Journal of Restorative Medicine 2017; 6(1): 19-26.
  7. He X, Wang X, Fang J et al. Structures, biological activities, and industrial applications of the polysaccharides from Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) mushroom: a review. [Abstract]. Int J Biol Macromol 2017; 97: 228-237.
  8. Chen P, Yong Y, Gu Y, Wang Z, Zhang S, Lu L. Comparison of antioxidant and antiproliferation activities of polysaccharides from eight species of medicinal mushrooms. [Abstract]. Int J Med Mushrooms 2015; 17(3), 287-295.
  9. Mori K, Inatomi S, Ouchi K, Azumi Y, Tuchida T. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake hericium erinaceus on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. [Abstract]. Phytother Res 23(3): 367-372. or