Several mushroom varieties have been used for their medicinal purposes in cultures around the world. However, Lion’s Mane mushroom is one of particular interest, due to its ability to enhance cognitive function and memory. Not only has it been a mainstay in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, but even Yamabushi Buddhist monks of Japan also consumed Lion’s mane to increase focus and concentration.
Lion’s Mane mushroom gets its name from the multiple hair-like whitish strands that cover its round cap, bearing a close resemblance to a lion’s mane. Other common names include sheep’s head, bearded hedgehog mushroom, and bearded tooth mushroom.
This unique and interesting species of fungi has a reputation of improving mood, boosting mental clarity, alleviating depression, preventing memory loss, and also, supporting healthy liver and kidney functions.
Scientific Research Confirms Benefits of Lion’s Mane
Dr. Kawagishi of Japan began studying lion’s mane mushrooms in 1991 and was the first person to identify its renewing properties on the brain. The natural compounds abundant in Lion’s Mane are known as hericenones and erinacines, which are important to overall brain health.
The hericenones help the production of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the brain. The NGF is a gene that manages and protects the development of nerve cells. Additionally, because the erinacine compound has the ability to break through the blood-brain barrier and work at the cellular level, Lion’s Mane not only supports the healthy functioning of the cells, it also helps in the regeneration process. Thus offering protection against neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It also alleviates symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression.
In 2009, researchers expanded their studies outside of the lab to include people. One such study involved 30 patients suffering from minor brain impairments. Over the course of several weeks, the participants took Lion’s Mane and displayed significant improvement in consciousness and cognitive ability.
Since then, extensive research has continued, with results confirming that Lion’s Mane reduces brain tissue inflammation, protects against nerve degeneration, improves concentration, and has antidepressant properties.
As with many of the medicinal mushroom varieties, Lion’s Mane is high in antioxidants and its anti-inflammatory properties boost the immune system and reduce the risk of cancer, tumors, heart disease, and diabetes.
How to Use Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Lion’s Mane mushrooms can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, such as tea, or smoothies and shakes. It is also quite popular in the culinary world because of its flavor, which has often been compared to that of lobster or shrimp. The delectable taste, coupled with the fact that it is 20% protein, results in this mushroom being frequently served as the main course for seafood lovers, vegans, and vegetarians alike.
However, consuming it in tincture form offers on-the-go convenience so that you can easily incorporate it into your daily diet. Whether you’re looking to boost your overall health or want to reap the benefits from this all-natural brain tonic, Lion’s Mane extract proposes amazing qualities.
Go Lucid. Go Beyond. Go Empyrean.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.