Hericium erinaceus, most commonly known as lion’s mane, is an edible fungus, with a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The mushroom is abundant in bioactive compounds including β-glucan polysaccharides; hericenones and erinacine terpenoids; isoindolinones; sterols; and myconutrients, which potentially have neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties and promotion of nerve growth factor gene expression and neurite (axon or dendrite) outgrowth, H. erinaceus mycelium shows great promise for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The fungus was well tolerated in two clinical studies, with few adverse events reported.
Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms, 3rd edn. Santa Cruz: Botanica Press; 1995.
Zhou J, Xie G, Yan X. Encyclopedia of Molecular Structures, Pharmacological Activities, Natural Sources and Applications Traditional Chinese Medicines Vol.5: Isolated Compounds T –Z. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag; 2011.
Kwagishi H, Shimada A, Shirai R, et al. Erinacines A, B and C strong stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF)-synthesis from the mycelia of Hericium erinaceum. Tetrahedron Lett. 1994; 35:1569–72.
Shen JW, Yu HY, Ruan Y, et al. Hericenones and erinacines: stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF) biosynthesis in Hericium erinaceus. Mycol Int J Fungal Biol. 210; 1:92–8.
Mizuno T, Wasa T, Ito H, et al. Antitumor-active polysaccharides isolated from the fruiting body of Hericium erinaceum, an edible and medicinal mushroom called Yamabushitake or Houtou. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 1992; 56:347–8.
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. Int J Biol Macromol. 2017; 97:228–37.
Cheng JH, Tsai CL, Lien YY, et al. High molecular weight of polysaccharides from Hericium erinaceus against amyloid beta-induced neurotoxicity. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016; 16:170.
Cui F, Gao X, Zhang J, et al. Protective effects of extracellular and intracellular polysaccharides on hepatotoxicity by Hericium erinaceus SG-02. Curr Microbiol. 2016; 73(3):379–85.
Liu J, Du C, Wang Y, Yu Z. Anti-fatigue activities of polysaccharides extracted from Hericium erinaceus. Exp Ther Med. 2015; 9(2):483–7.
Thongbai B, Rapior S, Hyde KD, et al. Hericium erinaceus, an amazing medicinal mushroom. Mycol Progress. 2015; 14:91.
Wang K, Bao L, Qi Q, et al. Erinacerins C-L, isoindolin-1-ones with alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity from cultures of the medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus. J Nat Prod. 2015; 78(1);146–54.
Moldavan MG, Gryganski AP, Kolotushkina OV, et al. Neurotropic and trophic action of lion’s mane mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) extracts on nerve cells in vitro. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2007; 9:15–28.
Li JL, Lu L, Dai CC, et al. A comparative study on sterols of ethanol extract and water extract from Hericium erinaceus. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2001; 26:831−4.
Abdullah N, Ismail SM, Aminudin N, et al. Evaluation of selected culinary-medicinal mushrooms for antioxidant and ACE inhibitory activities. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012 (2012), Article ID 464238 , 12 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/464238
Gershenzon J, Dudareva N. The function of terpene natural products in the natural world. Nat Chem Biol. 2007; 3(7):408–14.
Chappell J. The genetics and molecular genetics of terpene and sterol origami. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2002; 5(2):151–7.
Guillamón E, García-Lafuente A, Lozano M, et al. Edible mushrooms: role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Fitoterapia. 2010; 81(7):715–23.
Rahman MA, Abdullah N, Aminudin N. Inhibitory effect on in vitro LDL oxidation and HMG Co-A reductase activity of the liquid-liquid partitioned fractions of Hericium erinaceus (Bull.) Persoon (lion’s mane mushroom). BioMed Res Int. 2014; 2014:828149. doi: doi: https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/828149.
Lee KF, Chen JH, Teng CC, et al. Protective effects of Hericium erinaceus mycelium and its isolated erinacine A against ischemia-injury-induced neuronal cell death via the inhibition of iNOS/p38 MAPK and nitrotyrosine. Int J Mol Sci. 2014; 15(9):15073–89.
Yaoita Y, Kakuda R, Machida K, et al. Ceramide constituents from five mushrooms. Chem Pharmaceut Bull. 2002; 50(5):551–3.
Mori K, Obara Y, Hirota M, et al. Nerve growth factor-inducing activity of Hericium erinaceus in 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 2008; 31:1727–32.
Mori K, Obara Y, Moriya T, et al. Effects of Hericium erinaceus on amyloid beta(25–35) peptide-induced learning and memory deficits in mice. Biomed Res. 2011; 32(1):67–72.
Tzeng TT, Chen CC, Lee LY, et al. Erinacine A-enriched Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease-related pathologies in APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice. J Biomed Sci. 2016; 23:49.
Trovato A, Siracusa R, Di Paola R, et al. Redox modulation of cellular stress response and lipoxin A4 expression by Hericium erinaceus in rat brain: relevance to Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis. Immun Ageing. 2016; 13:23.
Zhang J, An S, Hu W, et al. The neuroprotective properties of Hericium erinaceus in glutamate-damaged differentiated PC12 cells and an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. Int J Mol Sci. 2016; 17(11); 1810.
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 Translat Med. 2016; 14:78.
Wong KH, Naidu M, David RP, et al. Neuroregenerative potential of lion’s mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (higher Basidiomycetes), in the treatment of peripheral nerve injury (review). Int J Med Mushrooms. 2012; 14(5):427–46.
Mori K, Inatomi S, Ouchi K, et al. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2009; 23:367–72.
Nagano M, Shimizu K, Kondo R, et al. Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Biomed Res. 2010; 31:231–7.
Operational guidance: Information needed to support clinical trials of herbal products. http://www.who.int/tdr/publications/documents/operational-guidance-eng.pdf
Lai PL, Naidu M, Sabaratnam V, et al. Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2013; 15(6);539–54.
Chinese pharmacopoeia. Beijing: Chinese Medicine Science and Technology Publishing House; 2010.
Wong KH, Naidu M, David P, et al. Peripheral nerve regeneration following crush injury to rat peroneal nerve by aqueous extract of medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae). Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011; 2011:580752.
Tanaka A, Matsuda H. Expression of nerve growth factor in itchy skins of atopic NC/NgaTnd mice. J Vet Med Sci. 2005; 67:915–9.
Nakatsugawa M, Takahashi H, Takezawa C, et al. Hericium erinaceum (yamabushitake) extract-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome monitored by serum surfactant proteins. Intern Med. 2003; 42:1219–22.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.