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8-13-shamrock-lions-maneYou may have seen the Lion’s Mane mushrooms at Shamrock Farm. They are also known as a Pom Pom for their round shape and shaggy bearded “teeth”. If you haven’t talked to Eric about their amazing properties, you are in for a surprise!

Another name for them is “Yamabushitake” from the Yamabushi Buddhist monks who used them for their medicinal properties. They are part of the toothed fungus group of mushrooms and often appear in Chinese cooking and in Chinese homeopathic remedies.

New interest in them has been sparked by studies showing that they have many beneficial effects on the digestive system and in regenerating nerves. They are known to be a natural anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, immune booster, cholesterol reducer, and cognitive function (memory) enhancer.

More studies are currently underway to document whether this all-natural food can be an effective treatment for dementia. With a huge segment of the population over 60 at this point, the implications for those with Alzheimer’s could be game-changing.

In the meantime, the delicious fungus that is said to mimic seafood and often used to replace pork or lamb, couldn’t be tastier as an addition to your dishes. I would recommend starting out by just sautéing or frying them in butter with a little garlic, but don’t be afraid to experiment with adding them to dishes like fried rice or seafood pasta.

And be sure to stop by the Shamrock Farm booth at the Market to get the full scoop from Eric and get your own marvelous Lion’s Mane mushrooms.  To your health!