Medicinal properties of Hericium erinaceus and its potential to formulate novel mushroom-based pharmaceuticals

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Sep;98(18):7661-70. doi: 10.1007/s00253-014-5955-5. Epub 2014 Jul 29.


Hericium erinaceus is an important mushroom with edible values and medicinal properties. Both the mycelium and the fruiting bodies contain many bioactive compounds with drug efficacy. Recent evidence demonstrates that it is helpful to various diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, immunoregulatory, and many types of cancer. Furthermore, emerging pieces of evidence have shown that different active molecules in H. erinaceus have different functions on different organs in different diseases via the different mechanisms. Drawing on current research results, this review mainly focuses on the therapeutic effects of H. erinaceus on various diseases of multiple physiological systems, including the nervous system, digestive system, circulatory system, and immune system. This paper also discusses systematically the efficient protection of H. erinaceus against the diseases from the intricate experimental proofs by using the systematic viewpoints, which provides a framework for future research directions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical*
  • Cytokines
  • Humans


  • Cytokines