The Marvellous Mane of the Forest: 10 Mind Blowing Benefits of Lion's Mane Mushroom

The Marvellous Mane of the Forest: 10 Mind Blowing Benefits of Lion's Mane Mushroom

The unassuming Lion's Mane mushroom, known scientifically as Hericium erinaceus, has been a staple in Asian and European traditional medicine for centuries. Fast forward to today, this potent adaptogen has garnered an impressive reputation as an effective supplement for those seeking to enhance their cognitive function, focus and memory. Which let’s face it, we could all do with from time to time.

In this blog we’ll deep dive into the awe-inspiring benefits of Lion's Mane, so you can decide whether it’s right for you (spoiler alert: it most definitely is!)


1. Cognitive Health Enhancement

One of the most promising benefits of Lion's Mane is its potential impact on cognitive health. Lion's Mane is unique in its ability to promote both long and short-term memory by boosting the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), a protein that promotes the growth and maintenance of neurons in the brain.

By amplifying NGF levels, Lion's Mane helps your brain to forge new memories and retrieve old ones more efficiently (memory and recall). It also helps strengthen and create new neural pathways in the brain, improving overall brain function.

Most memory problems result from a decline in cognitive abilities due to factors like age or genetic predisposition. By boosting your levels of NGF production, you can keep your mind sharp well into advanced age.

Preliminary studies have shown that Lion's Mane may even have the potential to slow down or reverse cell degeneration in the brain, offering hope for conditions like Alzheimer's disease.

One such study was conducted in Japan on 50-80 year old adults with mild cognitive decline, who were given Lion’s Mane extract (3g / day total) for 16 weeks. Subjects receiving the extract increased scores on cognitive function without any adverse side effects!

2. Battles Depression & Anxiety

Lion’s Mane contains two compounds, Erinacine and Hericenones, which are known to combat depression and anxiety by amplifying dopamine levels.

Erinacine is a type of opioid peptide that activates the Mu-type opioid receptors in your brain, resulting in anti-depressant effects such as an improved mood. Hericenones are compounds that can increase serotonin levels by stimulating the release of Hericenone A.

Both of these special compounds are able to cross the blood brain barrier. By influencing your brain chemistry, these compounds help to uplift mood, reduce stress, and even combat depression.

A 4-week study in women (age 41 ± 5.6 years) experiencing menopausal symptoms (lack of concentration, anxiety, palpitations, irritability, etc.) found that treatment with Lion’s Mane improved their menopausal symptoms as well as their sleep quality.

3. Focus Amplification

In our fast-paced modern world, an increasing number of individuals are seeking a natural way to enhance their focus and memory. Cue Lion's Mane, a sought-after nootropic renowned for its capacity to boost focus and memory. Lion's Mane supplementation can increase acetylcholine levels in the brain, a neurotransmitter associated with memory and learning. This may help explain the boost in motivation and productivity many people report whilst taking Lion's Mane.

So, whether you’re studying for a big exam, writing a long article on mushrooms (like this one), or just trying to focus better in the office, Lion's Mane can help. Those once dreaded tasks will soon feel like a walk in the park!

Thanks to its ability to boost NGF levels, Lion's Mane can also amplify your working memory. This is due to the neurons in the hippocampus being more efficient at storing and accessing information when stimulated by NGF. Furthermore, Lion's Mane has demonstrated its ability to increase dopamine receptors, fostering focus and concentration without leading to feelings of overstimulation, a common side effect of substances like caffeine.

4. Liver Function Support

Lion's Mane has been shown to protect and support liver function. A study conducted on mice showed that the extract of Lion's Mane inhibited hepatic injury by decreasing serum enzymes, such as ALT and AST levels. It also increased antioxidant enzyme activity in liver cells while protecting them from free-radical damage. Given your liver’s essential role in filtering out toxins, keeping it in good health should be everyone’s top priority. Lion’s Mane can help with that!

5. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Lion's Mane possesses anti-inflammatory qualities, which is great news for those grappling with chronic inflammation. The compounds found within Lion’s Mane activate anti-inflammatory macrophages and cytokines, which act together to reduce swelling and discomfort throughout the body. Pretty neat!

6. Gut Health Promotion

Lion's Mane has been shown to promote the growth of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, two friendly gut bacteria that are essential for healthy digestion. These beneficial gut bugs can improve your immunity, mood, and overall health. A win win!

Like most mushrooms, Lion's Mane contains high levels of Vitamin D which helps with calcium absorption. This is critical for maintaining a healthy gut. There is also Chitin-Glucan, an insoluble fiber that can improve digestion and nutrient absorption while promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in your intestines to stimulate immune system function.

7. Neurodegenerative Disease Prevention

Lion's Mane has shown potential in preventing and treating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Dementia. As mentioned before, Lion’s Mane contains compounds which are capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and activating NGF production, which in turn helps to keep our brain cells healthy.

Studies in mice have also shown that Lion’s Mane supplementation can reduce harmful beta-amyloid proteins found in Alzheimer's patients, protecting brain cells and inhibiting the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

8. Immune System Enhancement

Lion's Mane is packed with beta glucans, a type of polysaccharide known to boost the immune system function by enhancing the activity of T-cells and macrophages. Since Lion's Mane is able to activate macrophages in your body, it can also activate the production of cytokines, which are responsible for protecting cells from damage and promoting healthy cell function.

As if that wasn’t enough, Lion's Mane also contains a compound called Ergothioneine, which acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory to help protect your muscles from exercise-induced damage. 

9. Weight Loss Aid

Lion's Mane promotes the production of adiponectin, a hormone that increases your resting metabolic rate and aids in reducing belly fat.

It does this by increasing insulin resistance in muscle cells so they are more effective at burning fatty acids for energy. This also helps prevent leptin resistance which is common among obese individuals.

10. Resilience Promotion

Commonly used as an adaptogen, Lion's Mane can help promote healthy brain function and resilience, particularly beneficial for individuals with demanding work schedules or intense exercise regimens.

Since Lion's Mane also prevents dopamine reuptake, it can help increase motivation and resilience. This is because you will be able to accomplish more tasks or set a goal for yourself without feeling burned out!


Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Lion's Mane mushrooms offer a wealth of benefits, from memory enhancement to inflammation reduction, mood upliftment, and beyond. Whilst these benefits have long been known in Asia, it’s exciting to see modern science catching on to incredible health properties of Lion’s Mane.

If you're seeking a natural supplement to boost your cognitive function, support weight loss, or combat neurodegenerative diseases, Lion’s Mane mushroom is a stellar choice!

At Shroomex, we are proud to offer the world's most potent Lion's Mane extract, which you can purchase here. Do your brain a favour and get on it!

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