Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus) is a type of mushroom that has been used traditionally in China and Japan for hundreds of years to enhance cognitive function and treat stomach ailments. It's also known as bear's head or monkey's head. This mushroom was once reserved only for the palates of the royal families.
The fruiting body blooms for a short time in the fall, so we set out on an early morning hike up the dense canopy covered creek bed to check all the usual places that it grows. We checked under fallen trees where we have seen it in previous years, but after briskly hiking for more than an hour, there was no sign of it. Darcy reminded the group that the bears had been eating it. Once they entered hibernation, we would have a better chance collecting the mushroom. As Darcy stopped to pick seeds from a Western Yew tree, I looked across the creek and saw a beautiful specimen of the Lion's Mane mushroom that the bears had missed.
This wild mushroom is dried and powdered and put into kosher gelatin capsules and is available in 50 or 150 count bottles.