Lion’s Mane: The History and Health Benefits of This Powerful Mushroomchshkt
In a world where synthetic medications rule the roost of modern medicine—medications rife with unpleasant side effects and hefty price tags—many individuals search for alternative options to support wellness, manage health conditions, and prevent disease.
And while there’s no question conventional medications have their place, it’s not unreasonable for someone to look to traditional holistic interventions as an additional way to maximize health.
Hericium erinaceus, better known as Yamabushitake or Lion’s Mane, is one such intervention. A type of edible mushroom, Lion’s Mane is backed by decades of science as a product that can promote well-being and even reduce the risk of common health conditions.
Lion’s Mane: An Overview
Lion’s Mane mushroom has been part of traditional Eastern medicine for centuries. Today, you can snack on this globe-shaped shaggy fungi in raw, cooked, or dried form. Lion’s Mane may also been steeped as a tea or consumed as a supplement.
Lion’s Mane contains healthy plant compounds shown to offer a number of health benefits. It’s been purported to have anti-cancer, neuroprotective, anti-microbial, anti-hypertensive, and anti-diabetic capabilities. Lion’s Mane also has one of the most powerful antioxidant properties of mushrooms available for human consumption today.
A few health benefits of Lion’s Mane have been studied extensively and shown to have incredibly promising benefits, including (but not limited to) cognition and digestion.
The Benefits of Lion’s Mane on Cognition
Lion’s Mane mushroom contains compounds that may stimulate the growth of new brain cells. This ability to promote brain cell and nerve growth suggests that supplementing with this mushroom may protect against memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease—a benefit already seen in animal models.
Human data also suggests Lion’s Mane may boost cognitive performance. In a small 2009 double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the peer-reviewed journal Phytotherapy Research, a sample of older adults with mild cognitive impairment saw significantly improved mental function after consuming 3 grams of Lion’s Mane powder per day for four months. These improvements declined once supplementation stopped, which indicates that long-term supplementation may be the best choice for optimized cognitive benefits.
The Benefits of Lion’s Mane on Digestion
Stomach ulcers are often caused by an overgrowth of H. pylori bacteria, excessive alcohol intake, and long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Gastric ulcers can impair nutrient absorption and lead to uncomfortable signs and symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and gas.
Research indicates that Lion’s Mane may reduce a person’s risk for stomach ulcers by preventing H. pylori overgrowth and providing a general protective effect on the stomach lining.
And because of its anti-inflammatory properties, Lion’s Mane and other edible mushrooms may even help manage conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Other Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane
Additional studies with varying levels of evidence suggest that supplementing with Lion’s Mane mushroom may offer humans a variety of other health benefits, including:
- Relief of mild anxiety and depression
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Improved diabetes management
- Boosted anti-aging (by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress)
- Protection against cancer cell growth
- Accelerated wound healing
- Repaired nerve damage
- Boosted immune system function
We don’t yet know the exact dosage of Lion’s mane needed for optimal benefits. However, the available evidence shows that quality Lion’s Mane mushroom supplements appear to be safe, even in relatively high doses (e.g., up to 3,000 mg per day).
Certain people should check with their doctor before taking Lion’s Mane, including pregnant women and people with diabetes, since animal studies suggest the extract may lower blood sugar.
But overall, Lion Mane appears overwhelmingly safe and could offer several unique benefits to your health. Maximize your outcomes by selecting a high quality supplement and paying attention to the dosage that makes you feel best!