Hericium americanum or ramosom
- Medicinal Info
- Similar Species
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Hericium is taken by mouth for age-related mental decline, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and to improve overall mental function and memory. It is also taken by mouth for long-term inflammation of the stomach lining (chronic atrophic gastritis), stomach ulcers, H. pylori infection, diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol, and weight loss.
Hericium is applied to the skin for wound healing.
As food, the fruiting body of Hericium is consumed in Chinese and Japanese dishes.
How does it work?
Hericium may improve the development and function of nerves. It might also protect nerves from becoming damaged. This might help prevent conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. Hericium also seems to help protect the mucous membrane layer of the stomach. This might help improve symptoms related to long-term swelling of the stomach lining (chronic atrophic gastritis) or stomach ulcers.
The Bear’s Head Tooth fungus is white when fresh and yellowish with age. It has long spines and a branched fruiting body. The fungus is 6-12” (15-30 cm) across. It is a tightly branched structure which arises from a rooted base. The spines are 1/4 – 1-1/2” (.5-4 cm) long and hang from the branches in clusters or rows.
Ecology/associated hosts: This fungus is found growing in open clusters or alone on dead hardwood logs and stumps or from wounds of living hardwoods. It has been identified from conifer wood but this is not typical. It is found in late summer and fall.
Harvest: Harvest of Bear’s Tooth Fungus can be difficult as often the fungus is growing high in a tree. The best method to harvest is to cut the fruit body at the base, close to the tree and thus remove it in one piece.
Wild picked Hericium mushrooms may house various tiny beetles and/or sawdust, appearing like bits of decayed wood. Thorough cleaning by shaking and hand removal of such nuisances is often needed. If the mushroom has begun to discolor to a yellowish tone, it is too old and likely will have a sour or unpleasant flavor after cooking.