Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane (Hou Tou Gu)

Lion’s Mane (Hou Tou Gu)

Botanical Name: Hericium erinaceus

Lion’s mane is a culinary and medicinal mushroom. It can be mistaken for other (also edible) species of Hericium, that can grow in the same areas as lion’s mane. In China, India, Japan, and Korea the mushroom is popularly used raw, cooked, dried, or steeped in teas. Lion’s mane is especially useful for supporting the brain, heart, and gut. It helps protect against dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and damage to the nervous system, including strokes and physical injuries. It can help protect against ulcers in the digestive tract and help reduce the risk of heart disease. Lion’s mane helps to manage diabetes.

Below is an overview of Lion’s Mane (Hou Tou Gu), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Lion’s Mane (Hou Tou Gu).

Have we sparked your interest?

Sign up, FREE, for access to all of WRI Healing Herb Fact Sheets and Exclusive Member Only Offers! Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Find Out More!

Take full advantage of the healing powers of herbs! What do they treat? How can they be used? Get an Eastern and Western perspective about how and why healing herbs works. Get recipes, gardening tips, insights, and much, much more.


Western Name: Lion’s Mane

Also Known As: Monkey Head Mushroom, Bearded Tooth Mushroom, Satyr’s Beard, Pom Pom Mushroom, Bearded Hedgehog Mushroom, Bearded Tooth Fungus

Organs/Systems: Nervous System, Digestive System, Heart

Key Actions: Neuroprotective, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Immune Enhancing, Stimulant, Antidepressant, Nootropic, Anxiolytic, Anticancer, Antibiotic, Hepatoprotective, Anti-aging, Cardioprotective, Antidiabetic, Antihypertensive, Nephroprotective

Medicinal Uses: Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, depression, anxiety, stomach ulcers, poor memory, improved cognitive skills, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), wounds, lower cholesterol, stimulate digestion, multiple sclerosis, H. pylori infection, pancreatitis, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), weight loss, stroke.


Pin Yin: Hou Tou Gu

Also Known As: Yamabushitake

Meridians: Heart, Liver, Spleen, Lungs, Kidneys

Key Actions: Tonic, Tonifies the Heart, Liver, Spleen, Lungs, and Kidney, Tonifies the Brain, Heals Wounds, Regenerates Flesh

Medicinal Uses: Improves cognitive function, improves memory, supports heart health, promotes digestive function, prevents cancer, stomach ulcers, intestinal ulcers, injuries to the skin and nervous system, improves concentration, wasting and thirsting disorder, indigestion, neurasthenia, improves muscular coordination.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Lion’s mane is a white mushroom belonging to the tooth fungus group. It is easily identified by its long spines that give it the appearance of a lion’s mane. It has a tendency to grow as a single clump of long dangling spines. In the wild, the mushrooms are commonly found during the later summer and fall on hardwoods.

Lion’s mane is native to North America, Europe, and Asia. It likes to grow on hardwoods, particularly American beech.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Lion’s mane is a white mushroom belonging to the tooth fungus group. It is easily identified by its long spines that give it the appearance of a lion’s mane. It has a tendency to grow as a single clump of long dangling spines. In the wild, the mushrooms are commonly found during the later summer and fall on hardwoods.

Lion’s mane is native to North America, Europe, and Asia. It likes to grow on hardwoods, particularly American beech.

Parts Most Frequently Used: MushroomLion’s Mane (Hou Tou Gu)

Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Neutral

Caution: Considered safe, even at high doses. Some individuals may experience allergic reactions causing shortness of breath or skin rashes.

History/Folklore: Lion’s mane increases Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the brain, enhancing neuronal growth, regeneration and synaptic plasticity. It improves myelination, enhancing neuronal communication and nerve regeneration and it increases synaptic potentiation improving memory. Lion’s mane also decreases glutamatergic transmissions that decrease neuronal excitability and excitotoxicity. Research published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms confirmed lion’s mane ability for stimulating the growth of axons and dendrites from neurons, which can then slow or reverse cell degeneration in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Lion’s mane has also been shown to be effective in countering cell death caused by medications and treatments for brain conditions.

Lion’s mane has long been used in Oriental medicine as a tonic for the five internal organs (Heart, Liver, Lung, Spleen, and Kidney). Typical dosing is 10 to 30 g. Lion’s mane is also popularly used in culinary dishes throughout China and Japan. It is recognized for its superior support of brain and nerve function.

Research indicates that lion’s mane can help lower blood sugar levels and improve nerve damage caused by chronic high levels of blood sugar.

Lion’s mane has been shown to be effective for treating mild depression and anxiety. It can help counter the irritability, forgetfulness, and poor concentration associated with stress or menopausal symptoms. It has been shown to improve mental clarity.

Several studies have indicated that lion’s mane powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may make it especially effective for managing inflammatory bowel diseases, liver damage, and stroke. Lion’s mane may also help reduce the health risks associated with obesity, as the mushroom decreases the amount of inflammation released by fat tissues. Fatty tissue inflammation is a factor in the formation of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Used topically, lion’s mane can be used to help heal wounds and repair the damage caused to nerve endings due to injury.

Lion’s mane has been shown to boost the immune response associated with the intestinal tract helping to protect the body from pathogens entering the gut through the mouth or nose.

Lion’s mane is popularly included in many mushroom coffee substitute and health drinks.

Want Lion’s Mane (Hou Tou Gu)?

Here are some options…

Key Constituents:

Polysaccharides (including B-glucans, Heteroglucans, Heteroxylans), Diterpenoids (including Hericenones and Erinacines), Palmitic acid, Threitol, D-arabinitol, Amino acids, Polypeptides, Sterols, Ergosterol, Potassium, Zinc, Iron, Selenium.

Did you know?

Revered by Monks

Lion’s mane has a long history in Oriental medicine and Asia. It is revered by a sect of Buddhist monks, who wear a garment known as suzukake that resembles lion’s mane mushroom.



Lion’s mane is often described as having a “seafood-like” flavor compared to lobster or crab.

Fun fact!

Reserved for Royalty

Lion’s mane has been reserved for royalty at certain time in history.

FREE Trial!

Get a NEW Healing Herb Fact Sheet each week!

Sign up for immediate access to your first Healing Herb Fact Sheet and a one month free trial. Find out for yourself why over 50,000 people have already signed up.

Sign Up Now

Choose the Right Herbs for You!

Take FULL Advantage of the Healing Powers of Herbs!

Our Healing Herb Library is a collection of How to Use Herb Health Sessions that guide you through individual herbs, helping you to take full advantage of each herb’s unique healing powers.

Learn More

Flower Your World with Healing Herb Fact Sheets!

Get 300+ Fact Sheets,
Right Now!

Get IMMEDIATE access to Our Complete Collection of 6 eBook Volumes containing 300+ Healing Herb Fact Sheets.

Learn More

Want to Learn More?

Join us for FREE to receive Special Offers and updates about upcoming releases, FREE training sessions and materials, and much more.
Join, FREE!

References: For a complete list of references please visit our References and Resources page. Disclosure: If you purchase from some links on this web page, we may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, we only ever mention products we would recommend whether we were being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of White Rabbit Institute of Healing!

ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

Health Break: Detox, Strengthen & Cleanse

Join our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge!

A Health Boost and Reset to Balance Body, Mind, & Spirit Using Traditional Chinese Medicine. You'll also recieve our Free Healing Herb Fact Sheets and latest news. Your privacy is guaranteed.

Thank you, you have joined our wait list! We'll let you know when our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge is open.

Healing Herb Fact Sheets

Download. Print. Share.

Complete the form below for immediate access to ALL our Herb Fact Sheets.

Thank you for joining us! Please check your email for details on how to access our free Healing Herb Fact Sheets. Be sure to check your spam folder and promotions tab if you have one.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This