Hericium sp.

Hericium abietis, Hericium americanum, Hericium erinaceus

(Like a Hedgehog)

Bear’s Head Mushroom, Lion’s Mane, Western Coral Hedgehog


Walking through the dank darkness of the Northwest forest, and a snowball like specimen comes into view. A strange time of year to find a snowball in the forest, you walk closer and see this pearly white beauty of a toothed mushroom. It smells sweet and bitter and you can’t help but drool. The mushroom feels hearty and meaty and calls to you, there is no doubt it will be delicious. The teeth hang down like icicles and let off the spores from the tips.


Found throughout North America. The fruiting bodies are usually found as individuals on fallen conifer logs, often Douglas Fir, Pseudotsuga menzeseii, in the Pacific Northwest.

This is a parasitic mushroom, slowly killing it’s host.

Hericium abietis is usually found in California, but does come up to the Pacific Northwest. Hericium americanum is also found here, and I have come across H. erinaceus once or twice.

Known active Constituents (Based on Hericium erinaceus research)

  • Cyathane derivatives
  • Erinacines, Hericenones
  • Beta-glucans
  • Galactoxyloglucan
  • Glucoxylan
  • Mannoglucoxylan
  • Xylan
  • Ergosterol-provitamin D2

Spore Print –White

Therapeutic actions

Styptic, immune stimulating, immune modulating, nerve tonic, neuro-regenerative, anti-microbial, Nootropic

Medicinal Uses

  • H. erinaceus has significant anti fatigue activity; increases tissue glycogen content and antioxidant enzyme activity. Decreases blood lactic acid, serum urea nitrogen1
  • Aqueous extract contains neuroactive compounds that induce nerve growth factor synthesis. neurotrophic factors. Important in promoting the growth and differentiation of neurons. 2
  • Daily oral administration of aqueous H. erinaceus could promote the regeneration of injured peroneal nerve in early stage recovery3
  • There is evidence of Nerve cells stimulation and enhancement of cognitive abilities.
  • Lull GI inflammation and cool down ulcers
  • Treats pancreatitis, caused by digestive enzymes performing their duty in the wrong location – pancreas instead of small intestine.
  • Has shown to be an effective therapy for intestinal, stomach and pancreatic cancers, it is chemo-protective.5
  • Lowers blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels
  • Stimulates nerve growth factor
  • Neutrophic factors are essential to maintain and organize neurons functionality; hence neutrophic factor like substances or their inducers may be applied to the treatments of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • NGF levels are decreased in the basal forebrains of alzheimer’s patients.
  • Hericium sp. Aqueous extract has also shown to discourage the development of plaque in the brain – another reason why it could be a helpful therapy for alzheimer’s disease
  • Showed to help diabetic neuropathy
  • Intake has the possibility to reduce depression and anxiety through the NGF enhancing action.4 specifically for menopausal females.


  • Used for stomach ailments
  • Used for treatment of GI cancer and gastric ulcers


Cool, tonic


Dual Extract – See F. pinicola

This one you can eat! Here is an easy recipe:


Hericium sp.

1 yellow onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tbs Ghee, coconut oil, or butter

Salt or tamari to taste


Chop up the mushroom

Warm up coconut oil, ghee, or butter on a skillet over medium-high heat

Add the mushroom

When it looks like the mushroom has given off most of its moisture, add sliced onion and chopped garlic until the mushrooms are brown and the onion is soft

Sprinkle with some sea salt, tamari, or truffle salt.


Work Cited

  1. Liu, J., C. DU, Y. Wang, and Z. Yu. “Anti-fatigue Activities of Polysaccharides Extracted from Hericium Erinaceus.” Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine9.2 (2015): 483-87. Web.
  1. Lai, Puei-Lene, Murali Naidu, Vikineswary Sabaratnam, Kah-Hui Wong, Rosie Pamela David, Umah Rani Kuppusamy, Noorlidah Abdullah, and Sri Nurestri A. Malek. “Neurotrophic Properties of the Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium Erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms15.6 (2013): 539-54. Web.
  1. Wong, Kah-Hui, Murali Naidu, Rosie Pamela David, Robiah Bakar, and Vikineswary Sabaratnam. “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 Mushrooms14.5 (2012): 427-46. Web
  1. Nagano, Mayumi, Kuniyoshi Shimizu, Ryuichiro Kondo, Chickako Hayashi, Daigo Sato, Katsuyuki Kitagawa, and Koichiro Ohnuki. “Reduction of Depression and Anxiety by 4 Weeks Hericium Erinaceus Intake.” Biomedical Research31.4 (2010): 231-37. Web.
  1. Li, G., K. Yu, and F. Li. “Anticancer Potential of Hericium Erinaceus Extracts against Human Gastrointestinal Cancers.” Anticancer Potential of Hericium Erinaceus Extracts against Human Gastrointestinal Cancers. N.p., 12 Mar. 2014. Web. 27 Mar. 2015.
  2. Rogers, Robert Dale. The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic, 2011. Print.
  1. Stamets, Paul, and C. Dusty Wu Yao. Mycomedicinals: An Informational Booklet on Medicinal Mushrooms. Olympia, WA: MycoMedia, 2002. Print.

4 thoughts on “Hericium sp.

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