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A Comprehensive Guide to Lion’s Mane Mushroom

February 2, 2023
Lion's Mane Mushroom

Lion's Mane Mushroom (scientific name - Hericium Erinaceus) is a type of edible fungus that is native to Asia, North America, and Europe. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to improve digestive health, boost the immune system, and boost brain function, and has recently started gaining huge notoriety in western medicine for these same benefits.

The Medicinal History of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

In traditional Chinese medicine, Lion’s Mane Mushroom, also known as ‘the brain mushroom’ was used to support brain health, improve cognitive function and support digestive health to improve overall energy levels and vitality.

It was thought to have a “nourishing” effect on the brain, promoting nerve cell growth and repair. Lion’s Mane Mushroom has also been used historically as a tonic to improve overall health and well-being.

It was believed to have immune-boosting properties that could help the body’s natural defences against illness and disease.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom has been used for similar purposes in traditional Japanese and Korean medicine, in addition to traditional Chinese medicine.

 

The Science Behind Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

The science behind Lion’s Mane Mushroom lies in its high concentration of bioactive
compounds such as polysaccharides, hericystin, and erinacine, which are believed to be responsible for its medicinal properties. These compounds work in the body by stimulating the growth and repair of nerve cells in the brain and by boosting the production of nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is essential for maintaining the health of neurons and for promoting the growth of new neurons.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom has been shown to have a positive effect on focus, cognitive
function, and concentration. It has been used by people who struggle with ADHD and other
forms of attention deficit, as well as those who experience brain fog or poor memory.

The bioactive compounds in Lion’s Mane Mushroom are thought to work by improving neurotransmitter function and by reducing inflammation in the brain, which can lead to improved focus and concentration.

 

Lion's Mane Mushroom

Lion’s Mane Mushroom for Focus and Concentration

Being known as the ‘brain mushroom’, it’s no surprise that Lion’s Mane Mushroom has been
shown to improve focus and concentration through its effects on the human brain. The active compounds in Lion’s Mane Mushroom, such as hericystin and erinacine, have been found to stimulate the growth and repair of nerve cells in the brain, as well as promote the production of nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is essential for maintaining the health of neurons and for promoting the growth of new neurons.

This is thought to result in improved neurotransmitter function and reduced inflammation in the brain, leading to improved focus and concentration.
A study published in the journal “Phytotherapy Research” in 2009 found that supplementing with Lion’s Mane Mushroom improved cognitive function in elderly participants. Another study published in the “Journal of Medicinal Food” in 2010 found that Lion’s Mane mushroom extract improved symptoms of mild cognitive impairment.

A more recent study published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” in 2016 found that Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract has a potential neuroprotective effect, which may improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom for Depression and Mood

Lion’s Mane Mushroom has been suggested to have potential benefits for mood, depression,
and happiness due to its effects on the brain. The active compounds in Lion’s Mane Mushroom, such as polysaccharides, have been found to have an anti-inflammatory effect and to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), which is essential for maintaining the health of neurons and promoting the growth of new neurons.

These effects are thought to contribute to improved mood and reduced symptoms of depression.
A study published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” in 2015 found that Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract had an antidepressant-like effect in mice. Another study published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” in 2017 found that a hot water extract of Lion’s Mane Mushroom improved mood and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression in a small group of participants.

A more recent study published in the “Journal of Functional Foods” in 2020 found that supplementing with Lion’s Mane Mushroom improved mood and reduced symptoms of depression in healthy individuals.

 

Lion’s Mane for Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Lion’s Mane Mushroom has been suggested as a potential preventative for dementia and
Alzheimer’s due to its potential neuroprotective effects on the brain. The active compounds in
Lion’s Mane Mushroom, such as hericystin and erinacine, have been found to have a neuroprotective effect and to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), which is essential for maintaining the health of neurons and promoting the growth of new neurons.
These effects are thought to protect the brain from the damage associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

A study published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” in 2016 found that
Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract had a potential neuroprotective effect, which may reduce the
risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Another study published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” in 2016 found that a hot water extract of Lion’s Mane Mushroom had a protective effect on brain cells and reduced the risk of cognitive decline in mice.

A more recent study published in the “Journal of Medicinal Food” in 2018 found that
supplementing with Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract improved cognitive function and reduced
the risk of cognitive decline in mice with Alzheimer’s disease.

Lion's Mane mushrooms for ADHD

Lion’s Mane Mushroom – A Summary

In summary, Lion’s Mane Mushroom is a versatile and highly medicinal functional mushroom that has been used for centuries to improve brain function, concentration and overall health. There is also a range of exciting research coming out around Lion’s Mane’s preventative control with illnesses such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

With its unique combination of bioactive compounds, Lion’s Mane Mushroom has the potential to boost focus, cognitive function, and concentration, making it an excellent supplement for people of all ages.

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