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9 Lions Mane Mushroom Benefits for Health

Posted by Blair Kovacs on

Lion's Mane medicinal mushroom hericium erinaceus, is a fungus typically found in North America, Europe, and East Asia.

It and many other functional mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. It was historically believed to be a source of longevity and spiritual wisdom. It was also used for a variety of digestive ailments.

In modern times, there are many potential benefits still that are currently being researched. While most of this research is done with clinical trials, test tubes and animal studies the results are very promising.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about Lion's Mane mushroom, including the latest research on its health benefits.

Lion's Mane Mushroom Benefits

The mushroom may help prevent cancer, boost energy, manage weight, and manage symptoms of anxiety and depression. The majority of benefits could be related to the mushroom's potential benefits for the brain.

Alongside these benefits, the mushroom also has a high nutritional content and is rich in vitamins and minerals.

Some of the minerals contained in Lion's Mane include:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Selenium

The mushroom also contains a multitude of vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, vitamin B-6, biotin, and folate.

Plus, a 100 gram or 1/2 cup serving has about 43 calories, 2.5g protein, 7.6g carb, and .3g fat. This makes it a good source of protein, while still being low calorie and low fat.

Boosting Neuro Cognitive Health

It is believed that Lion Mane mushroom benefits the development and function of nerves protecting them from being damaged. This is of particular interest to science in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's, Parkinson Disease and multiple sclerosis. Diseases which afflicts nearly 100 million people worldwide.

Hericium erinaceus is a well known medicinal mushroom for brain health. It has been documented for its regenerative capability in peripheral nerves.”

The mushroom is sometimes referred to as the 'smart mushroom' and helps to support cognitive function, memory, and focus.

The mushroom hosts a protective effect with cognitive function by

  • Improving object recognition
  • Improved recognition memory
  • Improving mild cognitive impairment
  • Preventing or treating diseases associated with cognitive decline, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease

The mushroom contains two compounds called hericenones and erinacines. These compounds may help stimulate brain cell growth and improve a person's mental functions, including memory and general cognition.

The ability of Lion's Mane to stimulate brain growth may help protect against certain conditions like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

Alongside these compounds,the mushroom also contains polysaccharides.

Polysaccharides can help protect neurons and boost their functioning. Some of the other fatty acids in the mushroom may also reduce the risk of neurodegenerative cell death. It may also help promote nerve growth factor secretion.

Nerve growth factor is a protein in the brain that helps maintain and organize cholinergic neurons in the central nervous system. It may prevent or treat dementia, as it can help maintain and regenerate neurons to help with regular cognitive function.

The mushroom may also help slow cognitive impairment by combating the buildup of amyloid beta. This substance forms plaques on the brain, causing neuronal damage related to Alzheimer's.

Supporting Digestive Health

The mushroom benefits mild to moderate symptoms of ulcerative colitis. This condition causes inflammation and sores to form in the digestive system. The ulcers caused can form in areas like the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.

There are two main causes of ulcerative colitis. The first cause is an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut, called H. pylori. The other is the daily use of NSAIDs, such as aspirin, causing damage to the stomach.

Lion's Mane contains compounds that can help inhibit the growth of H. pylori, a bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers.

Lion Mane's anti-inflammatory properties may also make it effective for conditions such as Irritable Bowel Disease and Crohn's. It may also ease upper abdominal pain and inflammation in those with chronic atrophic gastritis.

Managing Diabetes and Blood Sugar Levels

The mushroom may reduce glucose levels and increase insulin levels by blocking an enzyme called alpha-glucosidase. This prevents the body from properly digesting carbs, which may result in lowered blood sugar.

Blood sugar that is chronically high can cause health problems such as:

  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetic nerve pain
  • Impaired vision

By helping maintain blood sugar levels, it can help prevent some of the complications of diabetes from occurring.

This includes diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that is often caused by consistently elevated blood sugar levels.

Different types of diabetic neuropathy can cause different symptoms. However, the most common type tends to cause mild to severe pain or numbness in the hands and feet. In severe cases, diabetic neuropathy can lead to amputation.

Studies shows that the mushroom may help ease diabetic nerve pain through its antioxidant activity. As it has the potential to help manage blood sugar levels, the mushroom may also help prevent diabetic neuropathy from occurring.

Maintaining Heart Health

There is a range of factors that can increase one's risk for heart disease.

Some common risk factors are obesity or having an increased risk for blood clots. Having high cholesterol levels or oxidized cholesterol can also increase the risk of heart disease.

Lion's mane mushroom benefits lipid metabolism. This can potentially help with weight management, reducing the risk of heart disease from obesity.

It also has the potential to lower a person's overall cholesterol levels and reduce a person's risk for heart disease. It can potentially lower "bad" triglyceride levels and low-density lipoprotein levels. It may also increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, otherwise known as the "good" cholesterol.

It may also help prevent cholesterol from becoming oxidized. When cholesterol molecules become oxidized, they harden and stick to artery walls. When this occurs, it can increase a person's risk of heart attack and stroke.

Speeding up Recovery After Nervous System Injury

The nervous system is composed of the brain, spinal cord, and network of nerves spanning the body. These parts work together to send and receive signals throughout the body, controlling most of the body's functions.

Injuries to the central nervous system often require a high amount of treatment. These injuries can incapacitate a person and lead to paralysis or death, especially if left untreated.

The mushroom may help improve the condition of these injuries by stimulating the growth and self-repair of nerve cells. This can potentially speed up recovery up to to 41%.

Lion's Mane benefits may also reduce the severity of brain damage after a stroke. It has the potential to help prevent or decrease the severity of partial paralysis, speech dysfunction, and neurological impairment.

Boosting Immune Health

The Lion's Mane mushroom has the potential to boost a person's overall immune health.

It is believed to be able to do this by supporting the immune system found in the gut. By boosting the part of the immune system found in the intestines, the mushroom helps to combat ingested pathogens.

While everyone can benefit from boosted immune health, It may be especially helpful for those with compromised immune systems.

Combating Cancer

The mushroom, like many other functional mushrooms, has anti-cancer properties. It may help reduce tumor size and decrease the likelihood of cancerous cells spreading to other areas.

Studies have shown the potential to prevent certain cancers, such as liver, gastric, and colon cancer.

While Lion's Mane may be able to help treat or prevent cancer, it should not be used to replace cancer treatments. Instead, the mushroom may be more beneficial in conjunction with modern cancer treatments and with the permission of a doctor.

Improving Mood

Lion's mane mushroom benefits the symptoms of depression and anxiety, especially in female patients with menopause symptoms. When menopausal patients took Lion's Mane, they reported less irritability, anxiety, and concentration problems.

As the mushroom has the potential ability to stimulate brain cell growth, including in the hippocampus. The hippocampus controls processes associated with memory and emotional responses.

By improving the functioning of the hippocampus, it may also help improve emotion regulation. This can potentially reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Reducing Inflammation

Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress can have a large impact on the body. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders are only a few of the conditions they can cause.

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds found in the mushroom can help ease the symptoms of these diseases. They can also ease the symptoms of liver injury and stroke.

The mushroom may also help reduce inflammation secreted by the adipose tissue. This may reduce a portion of the health risks related to obesity.

How to Prepare Lion's Mane

Lion's Mane can be taken in a variety of ways and consumed raw or cooked like many other edible mushrooms.

The mushroom has a fairly mild taste that is somewhat similar to crab, lobster, or scallops.

However, it can be cooked in many other types of recipes as well. Many recommend cooking them quickly over high heat with some olive oil, though roasting them might work as well.

Dried Lion's Mane can also be steeped to make tea, coffee, or other beverage.

Some people believe that tea extracted from hericium erinaceus is a good way to get the benefits from the mushroom. However, medical reviewers reveal that there is no concrete proof that this is true.

Dietary supplements like lions mane mushroom extracts and tinctures are also widely available and offer the most health benefits.

That being said, many recommend sticking with the whole mushroom, whether it is fresh or dried.

The fruiting body of the mushroom is generally considered more effective than its mycelium network.

Lion's Mane Dosage

As there are only limited studies on the Lion's Mane mushroom, there is no general recommended dose. Many clinical studies suggest a dosage of around 1000 mg three times a day. But there is not enough research to know if this is the ideal dose.

To get the most Lion's Mane mushroom benefits, follow the directions provided with the mushroom or mushroom supplement.

Lion's Mane Mushroom Side Effects

There is little evidence of adverse side effects of Lion's Mane. It is non-toxic and considered generally safe to consume. However, there may be some possibility of:

  • Mild gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Slowed blood clotting
  • allergic reactions
  • Reduced blood glucose levels

If you are allergic to mushrooms, you should avoid taking Lion's Mane supplements. Possible symptoms of an allergy to the mushroom include skin rashes and difficulty breathing.

If you are pregnant or nursing, seek medical advice before consuming mushrooms. Consult a doctor before giving Lion's Mane to a child or if you treating any medical condition.

This article or the benefits of lion is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or medical conditions.

Lion's Mane Extract

Annanda Organics offers a Lion's Mane Triple Extract which provides maximum potency and benefit from this amazing mushroom.