Lion’s mane mushrooms, scientifically known as hericium erinaceus, are becoming more popular in recent years due to the many health benefits they provide.
Commonly consumed as powdered or pill supplements, lion’s mane mushrooms can also be bought in their raw fruiting body form too.
Many retailers stock lion’s mane mushroom supplements, but only a few sell the raw fruiting bodies. Stores like Walmart and other supermarkets stock powdered and pill lion’s mane mushroom supplements, while Whole Foods offers the raw organic mushrooms.
Whether you’re looking for the curiously-shaped white fruiting bodies of raw lion’s mane mushrooms or the benefits of the fungi in supplement form, we’ve got you covered in this article.
You can enjoy lion’s mane mushrooms cooked, dried, or even steeped in tea. The extract you can find in supplement form will mix into various drinks in powdered form, or you can take it as a pill for a more convenient option.
If you’re scratching your head wondering why they seem to be so popular these days, it’s mainly down to the health benefits they can provide when consumed.
The reported health benefits include protection against dementia, relief from anxiety and depression symptoms, and accelerated physical recovery.
Raw Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Raw lion’s mane mushrooms can be hard to come by.
They usually grow in the north of the United States and in Canada, and they go by the scientific name hericium erinaceus.
Don’t go out into the woods expecting to find them on any old healthy tree though, as these mushrooms thrive on decaying trees, which makes their unusual appearance even more striking.
The mushroom in its natural state looks like a white lion’s mane, with many threads drooping down from the main fruiting body.
One of the main reasons you’d want to get hold of lion’s mane mushrooms in their raw form is because of their distinct shellfish-like taste.
While it may sound like an odd flavor for a mushroom, many chefs liken this odd mushroom variety to lobster or crab.
If that sounds like a fun ingredient to have in the kitchen, your best bet is to head to a health food store like Whole Foods to pick some up.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplements
Lion’s mane mushroom supplements are much more popular than the raw form, probably because most people wouldn’t even know where to start with the raw fruiting bodies.
There are multiple different forms of lion’s mane mushroom supplements, and they are as follows:
- Liquid Extract
Each type of supplement has its pros and cons, so it’s not as though one form is better than others.
For example, a powder will have a higher concentration of fruiting bodies, whereas a capsule will be a more convient form of supplementation.
You’re also likely to find that lion’s mane mushroom comes grouped with other ‘superfood’ mushrooms too, for a health-packed supplement.
Cordyceps and reishi mushrooms are just two examples of other fungi that are commonly ground and used in supplements alongside the likes of lion’s mane.
People take lion’s mane supplements for a whole host of reasons, so if you haven’t yet tried one, now’s a good time to jump on the bandwagon.
The reported health benefits include the following, though the list is far from exhaustive:
- Improved defense against dementia
- Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Accelerated recovery
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
Where to Find Them
It’s a lot easier to get your hands on lion’s mane mushroom supplements than the raw mushrooms themselves.
You can find them in most online retailers, and in some supermarket chains and health food stores too.
Here are some of the places you can go to get a lion’s mane mushroom supplement:
- Whole Foods
- Farmer’s Markets
Grow Your Own Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
If you’re hands-on with produce, and you’re curious about growing your own lion’s mane mushrooms, then you can save yourself a dollar or two.
Plus, you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood if you can cultivate the oddly-shaped white fruiting bodies of this peculiar mushroom variety.
This is an especially good option to consider if you have the means to grow vegetables, since getting hold of raw lion’s mane mushrooms can be tricky as we’ve already mentioned.
The small snowball-like mushroom is relatively easy to grow, too, so even if you don’t have a lot of experience growing your own food you shouldn’t let this prevent you from trying.
To grow your own lion’s mane mushrooms, here are some tips and tricks to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible:
Use an indoor space
If you want your mushroom-growing experiment to be a success, you’re going to need an indoor space to keep them in.
Mushrooms thrive in humid environments, so a basement or cellar is a good option, as is a garage.
Try a mushroom growing kit
If it’s your first time attempting to grow anything, then we highly recommend you invest in a mushroom growing kit.
The growing kit will come with everything you need to see the process through without requiring in-depth knowledge of mushrooms and what they need to grow.
These mushroom growing kits can usually be found online, and in some cases you might be lucky enough to find one in a specialist health store or grocery store, although this is rare.
Cut them with a knife
Once the mushrooms have fully grown, it’s a good idea to harvest them using a sharp knife.
The reason you want to make sure the knife is especially sharp is because these mushjrooms can be easily bruised, so you don’t want to manhandle them trying to cut them off with a blunt knife.
Store them in the fridge
Once you have a whole batch of lion’s mane mushroom fruiting bodies, you should store them in the fridge, just as you would with store-bought mushrooms.
This way, they will ast a lot longer.
Cook them up
Once you have all of your mushrooms ready to go, it’s time to cook them up and serve them to friends and family for an unforgettable meal.
Try using them with chicken, and cook them up with garlic and butter. While the mushroom may have a lobster-esque flavor, it will go well as a supplementary side for most dishes.
You can also use the mushrooms to steep tea, if you’re interested in consuming them this way.
Frequently Asked Questions About Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Where can I find lion’s mane mushrooms?
If you’re curious where lion’s mane mushrooms can be found in the wild, your best bet is to head to the Northern States or to Canada.
You’ll know you’ve found it because this type of mushroom is easily identifiable with its mane-like appearance, which is presumably why it got the name.
The mushrooms have white fruiting bodies and are often growing on tree trunks.
For consumable lion’s mane mushrooms, there are many large retailers which stock them such as Whole Foods and Walmart.
Does Whole Foods sell lion’s mane mushrooms?
If you’re hoping Whole Foods sell lion’s mane mushrooms, you’re in luck!
Specifically, the retailer sells lion’s mane mushrooms in packs of four ounces, which should include five or six medium-sized mushrooms.
The product is organic, paleo and keto-friendly, and low in both fat and sodium.
Does Walmart sell lion’s mane?
Yes, Walmart has a large selection of lion’s mane-based products to choose from.
While you might not be able to get your hands on the fruiting bodies themselves, there are a range of supplements – both powdered and in pill form.
This means you’ll be able to get your lion’s mane mushroom fix in a convenient way with a quick trip to your local Walmart.
A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle
You can find lion’s mane mushrooms in more and more retailers these days, due to their soaring popularity as a healthy ingredient for cooking or making tea, and as a supplement.
The numerous reported health benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms make them an excellent addition to your grocery shop if you’re in the mood for something different.