Description: Lion’s mane mushroom — also known as “bearded tooth fungus” or “hedgehog mushroom,” (or hericium erinaceus in the fungi kingdom) — has become recognized as a powerful superfood for enhancing brain function and helping with a number of ailments. Its use goes back hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic for supporting overall health and longevity.
Fortunately, its use has spread from China and Japan, and it’s now easily available to anyone who wants it. Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom:
Improves Memory, Focus, and Concentration
Lion’s mane mushroom is one of nature’s most powerful brain foods because it helps stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) production. NGF is a neuropeptide that helps maintain neurons, which are the cells responsible for helping your brain process and transmit information. So, whether you need to study for an exam, write a paper, or focus better at work, the neurotrophic benefits of lion’s mane mushroom can help.
One study showed that lion’s mane was effective for significantly improving cognitive function in those with mild cognitive impairment when taken for at least 4 weeks. Another study also demonstrated that lion’s mane can help preserve photographic and short-term memory.
Reduces Depression and Anxiety
The NGF-enhancing action of lion’s mane that we mentioned above has also been shown to support the autonomic nervous system — the primary system involved in your body’s fight or flight response. In particular, lion’s mane mushroom has been shown to reduce feelings of irritability and anxiety, which also suggests it may work for mild symptoms of depression.
One of the most discussed benefits of lion’s mane is the steady energy boost it provides without the jitters of other stimulants, like caffeine. You can take advantage of the energy boost without suffering the caffeine crash later.
There’s a few reasons why lion’s mane can help with energy. First, lion’s mane is rich in antioxidants that support overall cellular health. Since energy transport takes place between your cells, the more antioxidants you have in your diet, the easier it is for your body to produce energy.
Secondly, lion’s mane has been shown to reduce lactic acid in the blood, which causes fatigue after intense physical activity. It also increase tissue glycogen content so that your body can produce energy quicker.
Alleviates Symptoms of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are neurodegenerative conditions that result from cell degeneration in the brain. One of the reasons why lion’s mane mushroom is such a powerful brain food is because it’s proven to increase NGF, which happens to be the exact neuropeptide needed to prevent nerve cell damage.
What’s more astounding, is that lion’s mane has also been shown to regenerate damaged cells, which means it may be particularly beneficial for those with advancing neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.
Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Studies show that eating or supplementing with lion’s mane mushroom can help improve insulin sensitivity, and significantly lower high blood glucose levels in as little as 28 days. This suggests that lion’s mane is helpful for managing type 2 diabetes and other blood sugar imbalances.
Supports Gut Health
Lion’s mane has natural antibacterial properties that are strong enough to protect the gut against harmful bacteria, such as H.pylori. It may also be effective for protecting against other digestive conditions, such as leaky gut, by safeguarding the gut mucosal lining.
Lion’s mane has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the GI tract, which can help with the digestive symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease and colitis.
Supports Cardiovascular Health
The underlying cause of cardiovascular disease is chronic inflammation, which is why reducing inflammation through your diet, nutritional supplements, and lifestyle is crucial for a healthy cardiovascular system.
The anti-inflammatory properties of lion’s mane support overall cardiovascular health, but studies have also found that it can reduce LDL cholesterol levels and elevated triglycerides, which are two risk factors for heart disease.
How to use: To rehydrate or reconstitute dried mushrooms, place desired amount into a bowl covered with warm water and let dried mushrooms soak for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes have gone by, gently lift the mushrooms out of the water using a strainer. The mushrooms should be clean, plumped and ready to use.
You can cook lion’s mane mushrooms in butter and eat them whole. Or take lion’s mane mushroom by adding it to a warm mug of bone broth.