Lion's Mane Bio-Active Compounds

Attention has been drawn onto Lion's Mane, a functional mushroom that has been found to support initial findings of it being a nerve tonic in Eastern Medicine. In 2008 it was discovered that bio-active compounds found in Lion's Mane can support Nerve Growth Factor in the brain. This was the first clinical finding supporting the claims of its assistance to the nervous system. Since then using HPLC analysis, new compounds have been discovered in Lion's Mane, warranting further research. I compiled a list of all Bio-Active Compounds found in Lion's Mane mushrooms that have been verified through HPLC analysis with proper citations. HPLC analysis, or High-Performance Liquid Chromatography, is a technique used to separate, identify, and quantify the chemical components in a mixture, such as the bioactive compounds found in Lion's Mane mushrooms. In the case of Lion's Mane, HPLC analysis allows researchers to determine the concentration of specific compounds like hericenones and erinacines, which are responsible for the mushroom's various health benefits. Almost all mushroom supplement products refer to beta-glucan percentage to indicate strength. Unfortunately, this is a very small and misleading view into the contents when learning the large array of relevant compounds found in mushrooms like Lion's Mane, Reishi, Chaga or Turkey Tail. This leaves HPLC testing as the only valid method of testing mushroom products. As time passes the use of HPLC will become more accessible for testing proper and extract extraction yields.


1. Lai, P. L., Naidu, M., Sabaratnam, V., Wong, K. H., David, R. P., Kuppusamy, U. R., ... & Malek, S. N. (2013). Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 15(6), 539-554 LINK

2. Mori, K., Inatomi, S., Ouchi, K., Azumi, Y., & Tuchida, T. (2009). Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytotherapy Research, 23(3), 367-372. LINK

3. Nagano, M., Shimizu, K., Kondo, R., Hayashi, C., Sato, D., Kitagawa, K., & Ohnuki, K. (2010). Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Biomedical Research, 31(4), 231-237. LINK

4. Ren, Z., He, C., Fan, Y., Si, H., Wang, Y., & Shi, Z. (2020). Immune-enhancing activities of low molecular weight β-glucan depolymerized by γ-irradiation. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 164, 3306-3313LINK

5. Friedman, M. (2015). Chemistry, nutrition, and health-promoting properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) mushroom fruiting bodies and mycelia and their bioactive compounds. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 63(32), 7108-7123 LINK

6. Sheng, X., Yan, J., Meng, Y., Kang, Y., Han, Z., Tai, G., ... & Zhou, Y. (2017). Immunomodulatory effects of Hericium erinaceus derived polysaccharides are mediated by intestinal immunology. Food & Function, 8(3), 1020-1027. LINK