Lion’s Mane mushroom, with the scientific name Hericium Erinaceus, has excellent properties that have been widely known Japan and China for a very long time and is finally making headlines around the world.
As the name suggests, Lion’s Mane is a type of mushroom. It is found in China, Japan, North America and Europe and are typically seen growing on dying hardwood trees.
Evidence suggests that supplementing Lion’s Mane provides a wide array of benefits for overall health, especially for the brain, making it one of the most interesting natural nootropics available.
Benefits and Effects
Enhanced Memory and Brain Function
Of course, the biggest draw for Lion’s Mane supplementation is for its nootropic effects. Lion’s Mane has been clinically demonstrated to enhance cognition including improved memory and recall. It also helps with maintaining focus and attention – something practically every person can benefit from. By increasing a person’s ability to place focus on work or study, individuals will find themselves becoming more efficient in the school or workplace. Lion’s Mane is a natural supplement that improves overall brain function.
Neuroprotection and Nerve Growth Factor
Although most people are initially interested in Lion’s Mane for its nootropic benefits, it also has an impressive ability to prevent and treat nerve damage. There are over a dozen studies that support the claim that Lion’s Mane supports neurogenesis, the creation of new neurons, resulting in permanent improvements to brain health. A study conducted by the Tohoku University in 2008 explored the effects of mushrooms on nerve growth and has come to a startling conclusion. Specifically, they found out that out of all the edible mushrooms available today, it is only Lion’s Mane that has positive impact on nerve repair. What happens is that some particles of Lion’s Mane are digested and distributed through the body – allowing them to pass the blood-brain barrier. Once these particles manage to pass the line, they are capable of directly stimulating the production of enzymes that release the Nerve Growth Factor and repairing nerve myelin. This ability to enhance nerve regeneration could helpful in managing current conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, senility, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s Disease, and other neurological problems.
Depression and Anxiety
Human studies also suggest that Lion’s Mane can help improve depression and anxiety symptoms after several weeks of supplementation.
Other Health Benefits
The most traditional use of Lion’s Mane is to treat stomach problems. It’s actually a traditional Chinese medicine but research has shown that sufficient minerals back up the perceived benefits of the mushroom. It contains antibacterial properties and provides anti-inflammatory effects.
Other notable effects that can also be helpful for individuals include regulated blood sugar and cholesterol levels. This makes it ideal for adults who are suffering from diabetes or may have heart problems. The mushroom also helps with detoxification, capable of removing the harmful materials usually floating inside the body. Hence, it doesn’t just prevent problems but also boosts the immune system, preparing it for infections and bacteria.
The dosage of Lion’s Mane depends on the strength of the extract. For a typical strength of 10:1 Extract (30% polysaccharide content) a common dosage to experience the aforementioned effects ranges from 500-3000 mg per day. Dosing higher should not cause any adverse effects but there is no evidence that quantities over 3 g per day will result in any further benefits.
When choosing a a Lion’s Mane supplement, make sure that it uses a combination of both hot water and alcohol extraction to ensure that all the desirable medicinal compounds are successfully extracted from the mushroom. This type of dual extraction ensures that you reap the whole spectrum of natural benefits from Lion’s Mane such as stimulating the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and promoting neuroprotection. Choose your source of Lion’s Mane supplement accordingly.
There are very few reported side effects that arise from Lion’s Mane supplementation.
Most users that experience side effects report a sensation of itchy skin which may be explained by an increase in Nerve Growth Factor. Unless accompanied by other allergy-like symptoms, this is most likely the cause and may actually be an indication that the Lion’s Mane is increasing your NGF levels.
Lion’s Mane has been tested in mice and has shown no signs of toxicity even up to 5 g/kg and is therefore considered very safe. It is still recommended to supplement within the recommended dosages.
Where to Buy
Lion’s Mane supplements are relatively easy to find. Lion’s Mane extract is available in capsule form from various vendors. Of the many products available on Amazon.com, we recommend Brain Forza’s Lion’s Mane 100% Certified Organic as your source of high-quality Lion’s Mane capsules.
If you prefer a more economical alternative to capsules, you can opt for Lion’s Mane in pure bulk powder form from PowderCity.com.
Lion’s Mane mushroom may be one the most promising natural supplements for protecting your brain and promoting real, long-lasting, improvements to memory and brain function.