Produce Spotlight: Fresh Lion’s Mane Mushroom

If you’re walking through the woods in late summer, you might see a strange clump of white hair hanging from a tree. Don’t be afraid. It’s one of nature’s most marvelous fungi; Lion’s Mane mushroom.

Fresh Lion's Mane Mushroom Growing Wild

                          Hericium Erinaceus growing in a Dutch forest

What is Lion’s Mane Mushroom?

Lion’s Mane, or Hericium Erinaceus, is native to the planet’s northern hemisphere. It grows primarily on hardwoods, thriving especially in humid weather. Hericium is known for its unique appearance, sometimes called the “hedgehog mushroom” for the long, trailing spines it produces.

This mushroom is prized in Chinese medicine for its medicinal powers. Known as hou tou gu, it has been used to treat ailments of the stomach for thousands of years.


Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane

In recent years however, Lion’s Mane mushroom has been a source of interest for scientists and doctors. Contemporary research seems to confirm what healers and herbalists have known for years; Lion’s Mane is good for you.

Fresh Lion's Mane Mushroom in a basket at Martindale's Natural Market

Fresh Lion’s Mane Mushroom for sale in the Martindale’s produce section

Fresh Lion’s Mane mushroom contains a large number of health-promoting compounds such as antioxidants and polyphenols. Studies have shown this mushroom to have a profound anti-inflammatory effect, which can help with a number of ailments. Furthermore, research has suggested Lion’s Mane mushroom to have a neurotrophic effect, promoting the growth of brain and nerve tissue.


What do I do with it?

Fresh Lion’s Mane mushroom isn’t just packed with health benefits; it’s also very tasty! It has a taste similar to lobster. Sautee it, grill it, or pan-fry it for a delicious and hearty meat alternative. Additionally, it is rich in protein, iron, and potassium, as well as other vitamins and minerals.

At Martindale’s, we have local, organically-grown Lion’s Mane mushroom in store. Many people take Lion’s Mane dried and powdered as a supplement. While this a great way to receive the health benefits of Lion’s Mane nothing beats cooking up a fresh batch of this delicious, buttery mushroom. Check out our produce department for beautiful fresh Lion’s Mane, Shiitakes, and other mushrooms!