What do Lion’s Mane and I have in common? That if you squint, we both look a lot like a real Lion’s Mane, a mop-head or a Komondor dog. Nature, right? But all jokes aside. Lion’s Mane mushroom is also a powerful nootropic that has tons of science-backed benefits. You might have heard of people mixing Lion’s Mane tincture into their coffee or supplementing with Lion’s Mane mushroom extracts.
Is it really good for you? As it turns out, if you are interested in a better memory, aging slower and supercharging your brain cells, lion’s mane may be worth looking into. Here’s what you should know, including a few tips to take those neuroprotective benefits to the next level.
With roots in traditional Chinese medicine, Lion’s Mane mushroom is also known as Hericium Erinaceus, yamabushitake, hedgehog mushroom and houtou. Based on human and animal studies, this humble shroom has powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunity boosting properties.
- Supports Brain Health. Our brain naturally slows down over time. The symptoms you associate with aging—like memory loss and lack of focus—are caused by factors in your nervous system such as shrinking neurons and damaged brain cells. Animal studies show that Lion’s Mane mushroom extract may actually support brain health by stimulating the creation of two important compounds: nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
NGF and BDNF are proteins that stimulate the production of new cells and strengthen existing ones. NGF also plays an important role in forming myelin, the sheath around nerve cells that helps brain cells do their job. BDNF increases brain plasticity, which helps your brain cells stay resilient in the face of stress or aging.
- May Improve Cognitive Function. In 2009 researchers found that hericenones and erinacines from the fruiting body and mycelium of lion’s mane easily cross the blood-brain barrier to stimulates NGF.
Lion’s Mane also has powerful antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, preventing them from causing inflammation or damaging your cells. Antioxidants help you make more BDNF, and Lion’s Mane stimulates BDNF and NGF.
- May Improve Mood and Focus. In 2010, researchers examined the effects of Lion’s Mane mushroom on 30 women over a four-week period. The participants were randomly assigned to a test group or a control group, and they were given Lion’s Mane mushroom cookies or placebo cookies. At the end of the four weeks, the Lion’s Mane mushroom group reported an improvement in mood. Although this was a small study, these findings complement a growing body of research that suggests natural treatments can help you feel more balanced.
Lion’s Mane may boost focus, too. Reduced inflammation improves blood flow, which provides your brain with more oxygen. The side effect of more oxygen in your brain is better brain performance. The antioxidants in Lion’s Mane may help promote learning and memory, possibly by strengthening your brain cells and stimulating the growth of new neurons.
Essentially, Lion’s Mane mushroom benefits are a one-three punch of neural health, which may slow or reverse cell degradation, which is a big deal for your brain right now, and an even bigger deal for future you. It’s no surprise to see why this amazing mushroom has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for millennia. So, what’s the best way to add it to your diet?
How to take Lion’s Mane Mushroom
You can prepare and cook lion’s mane mushroom like any other meaty mushroom. It tends to be in season in the late summer through fall. When cooked, it has a flavor and texture similar to crab or lobster. But unless you live near a farmer’s market or specialty store that sells these unique ‘shrooms, you might be better off taking Lion’s Mane in extract form.
As with any supplement, you get the most benefits when you take Lion’s Mane mushroom consistently, and dietary supplements are generally more convenient.
Lion’s Mane supplements are available as tincture extracts, powders and capsules. However, you need to do your research and make sure your supplementation comes from a reputable company.
At MOTHER EARTH MUSHROOMS All of our mushroom tinctures are made with the highest standards:
- Triple extraction Mushrooms are fermented, to make the polysaccharides, Triterpenoids, and Alkaloids, more bio-available.
- We do a hot water extraction, because polysaccharides are only water soluble.
- We do 90 days in alcohol, because triterpenoids are only alcohol soluble. It takes us around 120 days to make a tincture!
- No gluten, No GMO’s, No pesticides or Herbicides
- Mushrooms are certified wild crafted and/or Organic
Popular serving size for mushroom tinctures is 1 dropper, held under the tongue, for 60 seconds.
Ingredients: USP Grade Organic Cane Alcohol (no gluten), Filtered Water, Organic Lion’s Mane, Organic Myceliated Brown Rice (food for the mycelium).