Did you know that it is illegal to grow most of the species of medicinal mushrooms in Australia under our biosecurity laws? (Australian Biosecurity Import Conditions)
It is possible to import them as an extracted powder, but not to grow them. In fact out of Lion's Mane, Shiitake, Chaga, Cordyceps, Reishi, Turkey Tail and Maitake, only Turkey Tail and Shiitake can be grown here.
So how do Aussie retailers sell, for example; “Australian Lion’s Mane”? That’s a very good question. One of two things are happening here; either they are sourcing Lion’s Mane from overseas (so it’s not Australian at all) or it’s simply not Lion’s Mane.
Lion’s Mane is specifically the species of fungi known as Hericium erinaceus. It does not grow naturally in Australia. There is a related species called Hericium coralloides known commonly as the Coral Tooth Fungus. This is what many Australian mushroom growers are calling; “Australian Lion’s Mane” when in truth it's not.
I’m sure that Hericium coralloides has some health benefits. The problem is that they simply haven’t been studied. When you hear about studies done with Lion’s Mane, it is specifically done with Hericium erinaceus. AKA: Lion’s Mane - not Coral Tooth Fungus.
So if an Aussie retailer claims they're growing an Australian version of the species, it's simply not true. Some related species of Turkey Tail, Lion's Mane, and Reishi do occur here, but there's no scientific evidence to show that these mushrooms possess the same medicinal qualities of their well-known counterparts.