Dried Lion’s Mane Mushrooms: What is the Process Like?
Lion’s mane mushrooms are unique both in appearance and taste - not to mention they have some great nicknames such as Monkey’s Head and Bearded Fungus! Even though it has some silly names, the lion’s mane mushroom is packed with serious holistic benefits.
Though the holistic community favors this special fungus, it is unlikely found in a typical grocery store. That is why we decided that lion’s mane mushrooms should be a cornerstone medicinal mushroom in our assortment of organically sourced ingredients.
In this blog, we thought it would be helpful to share a little bit about lion’s mane mushrooms and the process of harvesting and drying them out to be used in mushroom teas or cooking recipes.
Dried Lion’s Mane Mushrooms and Potential Health Benefits
Dried lion’s mane mushrooms are used in teas because they are believed to offer an array of incredible health benefits, some of which include:
- Improved cognitive function
- Relief from mild symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Reduces inflammation and oxidative stress
- Improve heart health through cholesterol reduction
Growing Options for Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
We source all of our lion’s mane mushrooms from local organic farms, but a few different grow kit options are available to home growers looking to cultivate their own mushrooms. For more details regarding growing your own lion’s mane mushrooms, read our Growing Lion's mane: Caring for Mushrooms article.
The fungi should be harvested after “teeth” have clearly formed but before they turn a golden brown hue and begin to dry out.
When harvesting lion’s mane mushrooms, the best method is to cut the “snowball” or “pom-pom” off with a very sharp knife. If done properly, multiple yields may be possible.
After the harvest, you can begin to dry your mushrooms.
Drying Lion’s mane Mushrooms
Lion's mane mushrooms need to be carefully and gently dried. Our farmers tell us that it takes approximately 9lbs of fresh raw lion’s mane just to get 1lb of dried lion’s mane! The mushroom is very aromatic while drying, giving off a rich pleasant scent reminiscent of cocoa.
It is imperative to properly prepare any mushroom before using it in a recipe or tea. If you are ingesting homegrown mushrooms, always follow the health and safety guidelines provided by the mushroom distributor, and cook mushrooms before consuming them.
Most mushrooms contain a high percentage of water. However, lion’s mane tends to be much drier than other types of mushrooms; this makes the dehydration process a bit shorter.
Start by laying out your harvested mushrooms in direct sunlight for a few hours. Then follow these steps: Inspect your mushrooms and rush off any dirt. Using a sharp knife, slice the mushroom into 1/4 inch pieces and spread them out on your dehydrator.
Depending on the yield of your harvest and the size of your mushrooms, different heat levels and time in the dehydrator will be required.
Regardless of whether you’d like to grow your own lion’s mane mushrooms or enjoy some of our delicious lion’s mane mushroom teas (Lion-Maitake Clarity and Lion's Spice), we hope you discover and embrace all the benefits of this great medicinal mushroom!