Biology, cultivation, and medicinal functions of the mushroom Hericium erinaceum
Hericium erinaceum (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. is an edible fungus of great significance in medicine. It is rarely found in Europe, in contrast, it is common in Japan and North America. Its fruitbodies have been well-known for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine and cuisine. A cradle of H. erinaceum cultivation is Asia. In Eastern Europe is rare in natural habitats, but can be successfully cultivated. Both fruitbodies and mycelia are rich in active, health promoting substances. Tests of
... tances. Tests of substances extracted from this mushroom carried out on animals and in vitro have given good results. They can be used in the treatment of cancer, hepatic disorders, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, wound healing. They improve cognitive abilities, support the nervous and immune systems. Promising results have been reported in clinical trials and case reports about the human treatment (e.g., recovery from schizophrenia, an improvement of the quality of sleep, alleviation of the menopause symptoms). The subject of this paper is to summarize information about the development of mycelium, the best conditions for cultivation of fruitbodies, bioactive substances and their use in medicine.