How to Grow Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

What are the benefits of lion’s mane?

Are there any side effects to taking lion’s mane?

Is it easy to grow a lion’s mane?

At what temperature does a lion’s mane grow?

How long does it take for a lion’s mane to grow?

How do I know when to groom my lion’s mane?

Can I grow lion’s mane at home?

How do you grow a lion’s mane in a jar?

Can I grow lion’s mane outside?

Interested in trying lion mushrooms?

How much lion’s mane is in AdaptogenShroomsgranola?

What are lion’s mane mushrooms?

Hericium erinaceus is one adaptogenic mushroom known by many common names (bearded tooth fungus, monkey head mushroom, bearded hedgehog), but most refer to it as lion’s mane. Often referred to as one of the healthiest mushrooms in the worldlion’s mane provides abundant benefits for overall mental and physical health.

What are the health benefits of lion’s mane?

“Hericium erinaceus…has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic for upset stomachs, ulcers and gastrointestinal ailments.” (Lakshmanan, et al.)

Research on the benefits of lion’s mane mushroom shows that this fungus has the ability to promote neurite growth and repair brain cells. It appears to alleviate symptoms of dementia, reduce oxidative stress, as well as improve overall mental clarity and neuronal health.

Some of the benefits of lion’s mane include:

  • provides antioxidant activity
  • improves digestive health and protects against stomach ulcers
  • lowers blood sugar and helps manage diabetes
  • improves cognitive health and provides protective effects on brain function
  • encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells
  • reduces the risk of heart disease and blood clotting
  • strengthens the immune system and improves immune function

If you want to know more about the benefits of this adaptogenic mushroom, take a look our article on the health benefits of lion’s mane.

What are the side effects of lion’s mane?

They don’t exist in the long run lion’s mane side effects for the average person, and centuries of use in alternative medicine suggests that this mushroom is completely safe for consumption. However, you should be careful when taking medicinal mushrooms, including Hericium erinaceus, if you are taking blood thinners.

Since this mushroom prevents blood clots, Lion’s mane could interact with medications which has the same effect (such as aspirin, heparin and warfarin) and slows clotting and wound healing. Therefore, it is best to consult a healthcare professional before starting to take lion’s mane if you are taking anticoagulants.

Is it easy to grow a lion’s mane?

Lion’s mane is relatively easy to grow as long as you provide the fungus with enough moisture. If you are a beginner, it may be difficult to tell when these mushrooms have fully colonized the substrate and are ready to bear fruit. Fortunately, there are a wealth of growing guides online to help you through the early stages of your mushroom growing journey.

Where does Lion’s Mane grow best?

Lion’s mane grows on hardwood trees. It prefers cooler climates, which is why it grows best in the northern parts of Asia, Europe and North America. Hericium erinaceus is easily recognizable in naturethanks to its long spines and its white or beige color.

The lion’s mane grows best in the wild. ONE study on best growing practices for lion’s mane concluded that “mimicking the wild technique can improve the yield and quality of Hericium erinaceus”.

Due to the popularity of these mushrooms, many mushroom farms will grow and harvest lion’s mane mushrooms and either sell fresh lion’s mane at farmers markets or sell it to mushroom supplement companies.

Lion’s mane mushroom growth temperature

Lion’s mane mushrooms grow best in cooler temperatures (about 65-70° F), although they can tolerate slightly warmer weather. For the greatest growth, keep the humidity around 85% or higher by keeping the mushrooms in a humidity tent or misting the area frequently with a spray bottle.

Stages of development of the lion’s mane

Lion’s mane mushrooms tend to be ready for harvest much faster (about a month after inoculation) when grown indoors than in the wild. Hericium erinaceus has three main growth stages when grown in bags, jars or containers.

  1. The colonization stage, in which the mycelium of the mushroom spreads through the substrate (about 14-20 days).
  2. The baby mushroom stage, during which pins (initial stages of Hericium erinaceus) appear from the fruiting chamber (about 2-3 days).
  3. The growth stage, in which lion’s mane mushrooms grow until they are ripe enough to harvest and enjoy (7-14 days).

growing lion's mane

When is lion’s mane ready to harvest?

For new mushroom growers, it can be difficult to tell when lion’s mane mushrooms are ready to harvest. Young mushrooms have short, white spines that grow and turn yellow over time.

The optimal time to harvest lion’s mane mushrooms is when the spines are about two inches long and the mushroom is beige or pale yellow. Once it turns orange, Hericium erinaceus is past its prime.

Can I grow lion’s mane at home?

If you want to grow mushrooms at home, you’re in luck. Nowadays, it is quite easy to grow lion’s mane mushrooms indoors, thanks to easily accessible lion’s mane mushroom growing kits. You have three main options when it comes to growing lion’s mane mushrooms yourself:

  1. Growing with mushroom kits. Mushroom cultivation kits are readily available for purchase from various online retailers. This is the easiest option for someone with no mushroom growing experience.
  2. Commercially produced lion’s mane substrate mixes. You can buy lion’s mane and grow it yourself.
  3. Make your own lion’s mane to spawn. This is the most advanced method of growing your own lion’s mane mushrooms. You’ll breed your own lion’s mane by starting with pure culture on agar, a jelly-like substance derived from algae.

Growing Hericium Erinaceus from Lion’s Mane Grow Kit

A lion’s mane mushroom grow kit often comes with grow bags containing pre-inoculated spawn, as well as lion’s mane mushroom spray intended to promote mushroom growth. If you want to try growing Hericium erinaceus from a kit yourself, this handy tutorial shows you how to get started.

Growing lion’s mane in jars

A jar creates a perfect enclosed environment for lion’s mane mushroom substrate. If you are making your own lion’s mane spawn and want to grow Hericium erinaceus in a jar, fill it with pieces of substrate, hardwood pellets, wood chips and soybean hulls and poke a few holes in the lid for the lion’s mane to grow. This method will not produce the highest yields, but it reduces the chances of contamination of the brood.

You can achieve the same process in specialized plastic bags called mushroom grow bags. These bags are easily DIYed by punching small holes in the sides and top of the bags for easy exchange of fresh air. Be sure to sterilize the pressure cooker grow bags, as an unsterile environment will not cause the mushroom to fruit, and keep the bags out of direct sunlight.

Can I grow lion’s mane outside?

You can grow lion’s mane mushrooms on logs enriched with mushroom mycelium if the climate in your area is moist and cool enough. Alternatively, choose to grow mushrooms in a bucket to protect the substrate from harsh environmental factors.

Growing the lion’s mane into trunks

If you want to grow lion’s mane mushrooms outdoors on hardwood logs, you will need to inoculate your logs (insert a mushroom egg into the log), which can be a complicated process.

You can buy lion’s mane spawning plugs—inoculated logs or pieces of hardwood sawdust colonized with lion’s mane mycelium.

However, these pre-inoculated plug propagation kits can be quite expensive and may not produce mushroom fruit if you do not keep them in optimal fruiting conditions.

Growing the lion’s mane in buckets

To grow Hericium erinaceus in a bucket, the lion’s mane mushroom spawn must be adequately protected from environmental factors. It is best to cover the top of the bin and poke holes in the side of the bin to allow mushrooms to grow.

The grain of your lion’s mane should touch the bucket. Once you’ve inoculated your substrate, baby mushrooms will grow out of it through the holes you drilled, and you’ll be able to harvest them as soon as they mature without disrupting the spawning of the grains.

How to get the benefits of a lion’s mane without growing it yourself

You don’t have to grow your own lion’s mane to get many benefits. Today, it’s easy to find dried mushroom powders, mushroom tinctures, and foods fortified with lion’s mane that give you all the benefits of this amazing fungus without the hassle of growing your own mushrooms.

Interested in trying Mushroom Granola?

If you want to incorporate Hericium erinaceus into your morning routine, you can do so with our healthy mushroom granola.

Our granola contains a super-concentrated extract of lion’s mane mushroom. Granola is vegan, gluten-free, packed with nutrients and delicious. What more could you want in a breakfast bowl of cereal?

 AdaptogenShroomssuperfood granola

How much Lion’s Mane is in AdaptogenShroomsGranola?

AdaptogenShroomsgranola uses a high-quality lion’s mane mushroom extract from whole medicinal mushrooms. Our double extraction method extracts both water-soluble beta-glucans and alcohol-soluble triterpenes. Our decoction process breaks down the fruiting body and indigestible chitin cell walls of the mushroom to remove far more of these compounds than conventional processes.

One serving of granola provides us with 250 mg of ultra-concentrated lion’s mane extract, which is eight times more concentrated than a regular lion’s mane mushroom supplement. So you’re getting as much potency as you would a 2000mg lion’s mane mushroom powder, all in a granola bowl.

How to grow a lion’s mane FAQ

What does lion’s mane taste like?

Lion’s mane mushrooms taste quite similar to seafood. Most people equate the flavor of these gourmet mushrooms to that of lobster or crab meat, with earthier undertones.

Lion’s mane is tender and juicy when cooked and is often used as a seafood substitute in vegan recipes, especially for vegans lion’s mane crab cakes.

Is the lion’s mane psychedelic?

No, The lion’s mane is not psychedelic and cannot get you high. This mushroom does not contain psychoactive compounds, such as psilocybin, which are responsible for the mind-altering properties of magic mushrooms.

Therefore, while you can observe the spiritual benefits of lion’s mane such as improved clarity and brain function, you don’t have to worry about psychedelic effects when taking lion’s mane.

Can lion’s mane be eaten raw?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to eat fresh lion’s mane raw, but you may not like the taste or texture. The lion’s mane is quite spongy and chewy, and the taste is inferior without seasoning. However, if you can get past these qualities, you can absolutely enjoy lion’s mane mushrooms raw.

Can you grow lion’s mane on coffee grounds?

Lion’s mane mushrooms do not tolerate coffee grounds. While it is theoretically possible to grow them in bulk substrate containing coffee grounds, it is difficult to do so in practice. So if you are making a mushroom substrate, it is best to stay away from coffee grounds.

Can you get lion’s mane with other medicinal mushrooms?

Yes, you can get lion’s mane with any medicinal mushroom, including reishi mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms.

When it comes to medicinal mushrooms, the whole is better than the sum of its parts, so you’ll likely get more benefits from lion’s mane if you take it with other adaptive fungi.

Is it difficult to grow shiitake mushrooms?

Shiitake is one of the most difficult mushrooms to grow. Growing shiitake mushrooms can be more difficult than growing other common mushroom varieties, as they require specific environmental conditions and have a longer incubation period. If you are new to growing mushrooms and want to grow your own mushrooms, it is best to start with a less fussy variety.

For example, oyster mushrooms are much easier to grow as they have a faster spawn time and fruit more easily. And, if you still want to try your hand at shiitake cultivation, online step-by-step guides can be a useful resource for novice growers looking for a challenge.

What are fruiting mushroom pieces?

Fruiting mushroom blocks, also known as mushroom blocks, are a tool used in mushroom cultivation. They are usually made from sawdust and other organic materials, which are sterilized to prevent contamination. Once inoculated with mushroom spawn, the fruit block is allowed to colonize with mycelium.

When the block is fully colonized, it is ready to fruit and produce cultivated mushrooms. Fruiting cuttings are a convenient and efficient way to grow mushrooms, as they provide the necessary nutrients and environmental conditions for successful mushroom cultivation.

What are the sawdust reproduction rates?

Sawdust reproduction rates is a mushroom growing term that refers to the speed at which the mycelium is able to colonize the sawdust substrate. This percentage can vary depending on factors such as temperature, humidity and the type of mushroom being grown. Faster reproduction rates can lead to faster production times and higher yields.

Resources

  1. Lakshmanan, H. (2016). Haematological, biochemical and histopathological aspects of Hericium erinaceus ingestion in a rodent model: A subchronic toxicological evaluation. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 194, 1051–1059. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2016.10.084
  2. Yan, M. (2003). Studies of different media formulations and stereoscopic culture technique in wild-type mimicry in Hericium Erinaceus. Journal of Henan Agricultural Sciences. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Studies-of-Different-Media-Formulations-and-in-Wild-Yan/e74f6dc6a9e98fee4dfcbe73dd49abfe01bdb54b

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