Fascinating Facts About Lion's Mane Mushroom
This is possibly one of the most interesting ones out of all the fungi. At first glance, you might think it to be a bundle of pasta, a sea anemone, or even melting candle sticks stuck to the side of a tree. Don't be fooled - it's the one and only Lion's Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus)! Do you want to find out more about this mysterious mushroom? Keep reading!
Mushrooms have mainly received attention as a popular addition to pizzas, stir fries, soups and breakfasts. Recently, mushrooms are getting a lot of recognition for not just being a tasty food, but also for being a superfood and powerful supplement - and Lion's Mane has taken place at the top of the list for being a brilliant medicinal mushroom!
From its curious appearance to its anti-ageing superpowers, there's so much to discover about Lion's Mane mushroom. Let's take a look at some of the most captivating trivia and health facts about this fascinating fungi.
Funny fungi names
The Lion's Mane mushroom is becoming increasingly popular, and has earned itself a few interesting names. This species goes by 'bearded tooth mushroom', 'pom pom mushroom', 'monkey head mushroom' and 'yamabushitake', a Japanese word that translates to “those who sleep in the mountains”.
Peculiar taste and texture
This one is for the foodies. The Lion's Mane mushroom is said to have a similar texture to white bread and their taste is similar to seafood! Yes, Lion's Mane mushrooms are edible, so don't be scared to give them a nibble if you ever find some. Please make sure to always carefully and correctly identify mushrooms before eating them!
Did you know that many vegans and vegetarians use Lion's Mane as a substitute for meat? What's great about this mushroom meat alternative is that it's dynamic, and beautifully pulls in the flavours from dishes. You can try adding it to soups, stews, salads, stir-fries, or eat it alone as a side dish (either raw or cooked).
Lion's Mane mushroom is also becoming a popular meat alternative in seafood, given its taste of seafood undertones. Let us know in the comment section below if you've ever used Lion's Mane as a meat alternative, and if so, let us know what you think!
It's rare to find Lion's Mane in the wild
Lion's Mane is indigenous to North America, Asia, and Europe. If you go mushroom hunting in these areas and happen to spot one, you're either very lucky, or you searched quite hard! Reason being is that Lion's Mane mushrooms usually grow higher up on trees, rather than on the ground or on the base of trees.
They love dead things
Lion's Mane mushrooms are considered saprotrophs, which means they feed off dead organic matter, such as rotting wood. Essentially, they play a major role in the decomposition of decaying material and nutrient cycling.
Not only are they saprotrophs, the Lion's Mane mushroom is also a parasite, meaning it attacks and kills living trees and feeds off of the dead material.
They posses anti-ageing superpowers
As people age, certain cognitive (brain) functions start to decline which results in symptoms such as memory-loss, difficulty learning new things, trouble concentrating etc. There are also other neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease that are often seen as people age.
This is possibly one of the most astonishing health benefits of Lion's Mane mushrooms. When taken as a medicinal supplement, Lion's Mane acts as a natural and effective nootropic, which means it enhances cognitive function and prevents and even treats neurodegenerative disorders. Perhaps everyone should start taking Lion's Mane supplements from early on to reduce their risk of ever developing these conditions..? Prevention is better than cure, after all!
Need a mood booster?
Lion's Mane mushroom has undergone various studies done on both people and animals, which has proven that they act as a natural antidepressant and anti-anxiety solution when taken as a daily supplement. It has been shown to take effect on mental health within just 4 weeks!
A traditional superstar
While some people may only just now be discovering the fascinating facts about Lion's Mane, this mushroom has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years! It has been, and still is, used as a powerful digestive tonic, immune-booster and anti-inflammatory. It seems as if Lion's Mane is the answer to all the health complaints!
Do you know any other interesting facts about the Lion's Mane mushroom? Show off your knowledge in the comments below!
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