Mountain-priest mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) – a strictly protected beauty of our forests
You can find this beautiful mushroom on beech (and rarely oak) trunks all year round. This interesting fungus offers many medicinal benefits, but if you plan to go mushroom picking and get this “priest”, forget it. This guy is strictly protected.
Mountain-priest is relatively rare – so far its occurrence has been confirmed in less than fifteen localities, including Czech Switzerland, , Křivoklátsko – protected landscape or in Brdy area , as well as in other few locations in Europe, but it is commonly found in Asia or North America, where it is very valued and used in many dishes and medicines. The area of application is large – from digestive problems to the production of various tonics that “strengthen” the mind and reduce stress.
Exotic looking mushroom
If you find a fresh mushroom-priest at an Asian market for example, you will be surprised by its appearance. It looks like a head with white disheveled hair. Fruits are very delicate and soft and the taste resembles horseradish. When dried the fruit becomes sweeter and has a distinctive and pleasant aroma.
Mushroom-priest contains more proteins than the famous oyster mushroom or shiitake, but it also contains compounds known as erinacins, which act as opiates and may be used to relieve some types of pain. Other important substances include glucans, potassium, amino acids, phosphorus, selenium, iron and zinc.
Promotes good digestion and protects the brain and nervous system
These daysyou can buy mountain-priest in many pharmacies, mainly in the form of capsules or extracts. It has shown an amazing ability to support rapid healing of the mucosa and epithelium of the digestive tract and it is therefore used to treat inflammation of the stomach (it eliminates a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori), heartburns, and chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.
As an additional bonus mountain-priest activates production of the NGH protein in the body, which promotes regeneration of brain tissue and helps mitigating some neurodegenerative diseases. Further, it is used to ease certain nervous phases and to fight neuroses and various stress related moods. It is also said that it stimulates the mind and harmonizes the entire body. Impressive!
Preview photo: Nina Filippova https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hericium_erinaceus_157746043.jpg< /a>
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