Lion's Mane mushrooms
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
December 7, 2023 ·  6 min read

Lion’s Mane: The Mushroom You Should be Taking To Support Nerve Regeneration and Cognitive Performance

Lion’s Mane mushrooms are not exactly what you picture when you think about mushrooms. It’s big, white, and very shaggy-looking, hence the name. It has sometimes been called the hedgehog mushroom if you still have trouble imagining it. Its appearance isn’t the only thing unique about it, however. Lion’s Mane mushrooms are having a moment in the spotlight for their potential brain health benefits. This is what you should know about these “magic” mushrooms.

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Support Nerve Regeneration and Cognitive Performance

Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) has been used for centuries in Eastern Asian medicine. It is a type of mushroom that grows on birch trees in cold climates, like Canada and Siberia. It is prized for its medicinal properties and for its ability to help restore brain function. Lion’s Mane mushrooms are believed to have neuroprotective properties. This means that they can help protect the brain from damage and injury. They also promote nerve regeneration, which helps you recover from any damage that has already occurred.

We love New Roots Herbal Lion’s Mane. They use a hot water extraction method. Hot-water extraction is critical in obtaining a high-quality and effective mushroom product, and is the traditional Asian method of extraction. In the whole mushroom, polysaccharides are bound by indigestible cell wall comprised of chitin; chitin must be dissolved through hot water in order to gently release the medicinal components, the mushroom polysaccharidespills since they don’t have the bite that cold-pressed oil would have. New Roots ensures that all ingredients that enter their facility are tested three times over for identity, contaminants such as mycotoxins (aflatoxins), PCBs, over 80 different pesticides, heavy metals, microbiology (bacteria), mold, and fungus thus ensuring the highest quality. Get your 30 day supply at The Health Shop for $59.99 while supplies last!

How It Protects Your Brain

Lion’s mane contains a number of compounds that may have beneficial effects on the body, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and nerve growth factors. The active ingredients in lion’s mane include polysaccharides, erinacines, hericerins, steroids, alkaloids, and lactones. Most of these compounds have neuroprotective effects, which means they can help protect the brain from damage and injury. They also promote nerve regeneration, which helps you recover from any damage that has already occurred. The most important active ingredient in lion’s mane is hericenones, which are believed to be responsible for many of its benefits. (2, 3)

“Lion’s mane contains a number of compounds that may have beneficial effects on the body, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and nerve growth factors,” says Lindsay Delk, RDN. “These ingredients help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals and inflammation, and they [help to] promote the growth and regeneration of nerve cells,”

Lion’s mane has been linked with stimulating a nerve growth factor (NGF) protein, making it good for brain health. NGF is a protein that helps to stimulate the growth of nerve cells. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it’s been linked with treating diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Lion’s mane may also have antioxidant properties, which means it can help protect against free radicals in the body. These highly reactive compounds can damage DNA, cell membranes, and other important components of your body. (4)

Heart and immune health

Lion’s Mane mushrooms also have beneficial effects for heart and immune system health. The polysaccharides may be beneficial in supporting cardiovascular and immune health, but many of the bioactive compounds contribute to the potential benefits of Lion’s Mane mushrooms. (5)

The active ingredients may be the beta-glucans, which are long chains of glucose molecules that have been linked with many health benefits. These compounds have been shown to help boost immune function and support healthy blood pressure levels as well as cholesterol metabolism in the body. Some studies suggest that they may also help prevent heart disease by reducing inflammation in blood vessels and preventing plaque buildup.

Protect Against Ulcers in the Digestive Tract

Some studies have found that Lion’s Mane mushrooms may help protect against ulcers in the digestive tract. This is likely due to their antioxidants and immune-boosting properties, which may fight off harmful bacteria that can cause damage to the stomach lining. (6)

For Mild Depression and Anxiety

Some studies show that Lion’s Main can help to reduce mild depression and anxiety. This is likely thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, as inflammation is related to depression and anxiety. Other research also shows that the mushroom can help to regenerate cells and improve the functioning of the hippocampus, a brain region that processes memories and our emotional responses. (7, 8)

These studies show that Lion’s Mane can have a positive effect on mental health and cognition. However, more research is needed to understand how this mushroom works in the body and what dosage levels are required for these benefits. If you are already on medications for depression, you should not stop taking them for these mushrooms. Talk to your doctor before trying something new.

Dosage

How much Lion’s Mane you take depends on what benefits you are looking for. Typically, researchers have found that three 350mg to 400mg capsules per day are enough to see benefits. Still, you need to talk to your doctor about it first. This is especially important if you are on other medications.

We love New Roots Herbal Lion’s Mane. They use a hot water extraction method. Hot-water extraction is critical in obtaining a high-quality and effective mushroom product, and is the traditional Asian method of extraction. In the whole mushroom, polysaccharides are bound by indigestible cell wall comprised of chitin; chitin must be dissolved through hot water in order to gently release the medicinal components, the mushroom polysaccharidespills since they don’t have the bite that cold-pressed oil would have. New Roots ensures that all ingredients that enter their facility are tested three times over for identity, contaminants such as mycotoxins (aflatoxins), PCBs, over 80 different pesticides, heavy metals, microbiology (bacteria), mold, and fungus thus ensuring the highest quality. Get your 30 day supply at The Health Shop for $59.99 while supplies last!

The Bottom Line

Lion’s Mane mushrooms have been used for hundreds of years in Eastern medicine for a number of ailments. Western medicine is only just now discovering these mushrooms’ powerful properties. As always, you should talk to your practitioner before using any supplement or natural health support. This is especially true if you are taking other medications, nursing, or pregnant. You want to ensure that these mushrooms’ properties won’t have adverse interactions with anything you might already be taking.

Keep Reading: The Potential Benefits of Frankincense Oil for Health

Sources

  1. What Is Lion’s Mane? A Beginner’s Guide to This Mushroom’s Healing Properties.” Everyday Health. Lauren Bedosky.
  2. Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. Suppresses H2O2-Induced Oxidative Damage and LPS-Induced Inflammation in HT22 Hippocampal Neurons and BV2 Microglia.” NCBI. Naufal Kushairi, Chia Wei Phan, Vikineswary Sabaratnam, Pamela David, and Murali Naidu. August 1, 2019.
  3. Erinacine A-enriched Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease-related pathologies in APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice.” PubMed. Tzeng Tsai-Teng, et al. June 2016.
  4. Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers., a medicinal mushroom, activates peripheral nerve regeneration.” PubMed. Kah-Hui Wong, et al. October 2016.
  5. Hypolipidaemic Effect of Hericium erinaceum Grown in Artemisia capillaris on Obese Rats.” NCBI. Won-Sik Choi, et al. June 2013.
  6. In Vitro and In Vivo Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori by Ethanolic Extracts of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes).” PubMed. Ge Wang, et al. 2019.
  7. Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Produces Antidepressant-Like Effects through Modulating BDNF/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β Signaling in Mice.” PubMed. Chun-Hung Chiu, et al. 2018.
  8. Hericium erinaceus Extract Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Brain.” PubMed. Sun Ryu, et al. 2018.

    Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here. This site contains product affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links.