On my walk into the yard the other day I came across a fungus that I knew I had seen in “The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada.” This is an excellent book, and when I got back to the house I looked up this growth so I could get some more information on this interesting looking thing. Sure enough there it was on page 9: Lion’s Mane!
Searching for information I found that this interesting looking fungus is a mushroom. It is found in the fall through the spring growing on oak. We have had this mushroom show up on one particular tree every year since we moved here.
This mushroom is edible and is said to have the texture of seafood when cooked. The Chinese use this mushroom as a substitute for lamb or pork. It is grown commercially on sterilized sawdust or on logs. You should be able to find this mushroom in Chinese grocery stores either dried or fresh.
This huge mushroom, which is about the size of my hand, also has medicinal qualities. Currently there are studies on this mushroom and it has been found to improve cognitive abilities. It also has been found to stimulate nerve cells and nerve growth. The studies are looking at the use of this mushroom in fighting dementia! Other studies indicate that this mushroom may reduce lipids in the blood and lower glucose levels.
While I found this in my backyard, I am leery of trying it and think that I will opt for trying one of these purchased from the Chinese grocery in Sacramento! I hope that they have it! Have you tried this mushroom? I would love to hear what you think of it if you have!
Thanks for visiting today, and have a great Wednesday!