Lion's Mane (Hericium Erinaceus)
Hericium Erinaceus is Latin for a hedgehog. The mushroom resembles a hedgehog if you look hard enough, hence its name but most call it lion's mane.
Large, white, tousled mushrooms resembling a lion's mane when mature. This saprophytic mushroom grows on decaying trees in the woods. Life finds fascinating forms in the most hidden places, doesn’t it?
But can ingesting something so oddly shaped boost brain function, mood, immune system, and memory?
Lion's mane is edible (most people compare the taste to seafood) and medicinal. Considering we're only talking about one type of mushroom, the benefits are excessive. Lion's mane extracts DO improve mood, memory, and immune system function. It's a tasty and medicinal mushroom.
Hericium Erinaceus has three benefits.
Hericium Erinaceus improves brain function, memory, and nerve growth.
Our ability to form new neural connections declines with age. This causes a cognitive decline as people age; making Lion’s Mane that much more appealing for those who plan on aging.
Lion's mane contains two compounds linked to brain cell regeneration. These are hericenones and erinacines, active ingredients in lion's mane mushrooms. These ingredients help synthesize brain nerve cells and may aid brain repair.
Studies suggest lion's mane may help prevent Alzheimer's disease, a degenerative brain disease that causes memory loss. Although no official research has been done, the lion's mane seems to improve brain function.
Lion's mane helps your brain's physical and emotional health.
33% of Americans and other developed nations suffer from depression and anxiety. Inflammation is blamed to be the cause by some scientists. Inflammation is a body's natural response to irritants it can't eliminate.
According to an NIH study, inflammation and depression are linked. Since depression and anxiety are linked, inflammation could be causing both for many across the globe!
Hericium Erinaceus is an anti-inflammatory which means these ingredients would treat anxiety and depression in those suffering from inflammatory-based depression. Initial studies suggest lion's mane mushrooms may even help with mild depression and anxiety.
- Immune system:
The immune system fights viruses and other pathogens. A strong immune system provides more protection, while a weakened one increases illness risk.
A study on mice found a strong correlation between the benefits of lion's mane mushrooms and a healthy immune system.
Studies show that lion mane mushrooms boost the immune system by stimulating gut bacteria. After injecting mice with a deadly bacterium, the study compared mice with and without lion's mane mushrooms. Supplemented mice survived better than unsupplemented mice.
Although more research is needed to make definite correlations, the research so far has been promising.
Who should take Hericium?
Important note: Before starting any new supplement, consult your doctor. This article did not go through medical school and therefore, should not be used in place of a medically trained physician.
Who should use Hericium Erinaceus?
This answer probably won't surprise you: Anyone who wants to boost memory, mood, and immunity.
Lion's mane may prove to benefit the elderly with cognitive impairments. Younger adults looking to improve their mental and physical health may feel the benefits too!
Insufficient research means pregnant women shouldn't use lion's mane products. Anyone allergic to mushrooms should avoid this product.
That said, lion's mane supplements reduce anxiety and improve health. If that sounds interesting to you, consider it.
Does it work?
The National Institute of Health conducted a randomized controlled trial on 30 men and women aged 50 to 80 with mild cognitive impairment to determine the benefits of Hericium Erinaceus.
To do so, they gave 30 participants a scale-based cognitive function test periodically over 16 weeks. Half of the participants' placebos were provided by the study, and the other half were lion's mane.
Half of the participants were given 250 mg tablets three times a day for 16 weeks. Their findings were astounding, showing that the lion's mane boosted cognitive function test scores.
Lion's mane had no side effects and improved cognitive health.
Lion's Mane dosage
When determining supplement dosage, consult your doctor.
Lion's mane is still being tested in the U.S., but its medicinal and culinary uses aren't new. This supplement was widely used in Asia before reaching the U.S. Lion's mane mushrooms and their extract seem safe.
Since many U.S. studies are still in their infancy, a recommended dosage has not been determined.
Most people take 250 milligrams of Hericium Erinaceus daily. Supplements include capsules, powder, liquid, tablets, and cooking mushrooms.
When is the lion's mane best?
Before bed, lion's mane may be beneficial for people have trouble falling or staying asleep. If you don't get enough sleep, the supplement can improve your body and mind. Lion's mane improves cognitive abilities and increases brain nerve growth factor, but it also stimulates adrenals, reducing stress; helping you relax when you need it - before bed.
Sleeping requires reducing stress yet so many people have trouble "quieting their minds" to sleep. By taking this supplement before bed, you can reduce stress and activate regenerative properties. Lions' mane doesn't stimulate. So, take a dose before bedtime without worry.
Even at high doses, there have been rare reports of breathing problems and skin irritation. Side effects are likely due to allergies, so consult your doctor before trying new supplements or medicines.
To answer our opening question, YES. Everyone (excluding the pregnant and young) should consider adding lion's mane extracts to their diet.
Hericium Erinaceus improves memory, mood, and immunity. Hericium Erinaceus polysaccharides have been used in Asia for centuries and have proven beneficial. Hericium Erinaceus is an edible mushroom with few side effects.
Hericium Erinaceus improves mood, memory, and immune system function.