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HERICIUM | The medicinal mushroom of the nervous system and gastrointestinal health
HERICIUM The medicinal mushroom of the nervous system and gastrointestinal health

The medicinal mushroom of the nervous system and gastrointestinal health

Date: October 27, 2021

It has a strange, fascinating and mysterious appearance, a mushroom that has been given unusual names: Lion's Mane, Monkey's Head, Bear's Head, Pig's Head, White Beard, Old Man's Beard . In Japan, Hericium is mainly known by its name Yamabushitake = “those who sleep on the mountains”, referred to the hermit monks of the Shugendō sect of ascetic Buddhism, bears a resemblance to the "suzukake", the typical jacket worn by Buddhist monks and was used by them as tea for thousands of years, to improve brain Energy and increase the ability to concentration during meditation.

Hericium: what it is and what it is used for

Zuppa con Hericium

It is as much a culinary mushroom as it is medicinal, some associate it with the taste of seafood, with a slightly chewy consistency.


What Oriental Medicine teaches us

In traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine its use dates back to hundreds of years ago, where Hericium Erinaceus was prescribed for stomach and other gastrointestinal ailments. In North America, Native Americans used it as an antihemorrhagic and applied dried powder to wounds to stop bleeding.

It is one of the most respected and used medicinal mushrooms in oriental and traditional medicines thanks to the presence of its bioactive elements extracted from its fruiting body or mycelium which possess antioxidant, antidiabetic, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties. The great therapeutic potential of its neutrophic components is recently in the interest of research, in particular for the treatment of neurological-cognitive disorders, furthermore it seems to have been attributed anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the nervous level with further neuroprotective potential.

Erinacines and Ericenones

Those responsible for this particular neurotropic effect of great potential refer mainly to two classes of compounds, the erinacins and the ericenones, very powerful bioactives able to cross the blood-brain barrier and able to induce the gene expression of neuronal growth factor (NGF - Nerve Growth Factor) in the brain in a unique natural way. Precisely thanks to this characteristic, the great interest in Hericium is current also on the part of Western clinical research, which has approached by overthrowing the "modern rational scientific skepticism", for its potential use in the field of the nervous system on degenerative pathologies, but also as a neuroprotective, nootropic, with appreciable effects on anxiety states and as an antidepressant. Per years I have personally learned to appreciate it and, as many experts already define it, I consider it a real panacea for neurocognitive communication.

Like all medicinal mushrooms, they contain high amounts of the antioxidant beta-glucoxylan and four other polysaccharides and polypeptides that have a significant impact on strengthening the immune system. At the gastrointestinal level it has anti-inflammatory and prebiotic effects that make it particularly effective in all inflammatory (but also infectious) diseases such as gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux, Barrett's esophagitis but also towards chronic intestinal problems. such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis.

A "panacea" that provides its support to the mucous membranes of the digestive system, from the esophagus to the anus, assisting in the rebalancing of the intestinal flora, inhibiting the growth of E. coli and other intestinal pathogens, burning the mucous membranes (see stomach) and restoring them integrity and correcting situations of altered permeability where it proves to be an interesting adjuvant by carrying out a regenerating action of the intestinal epithelium.


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