Benefits of lion’s mane mushroom

Lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is a fungus found in Europe, North America, and Asia. It has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb. Lion’s mane mushrooms are believed to have a variety of health benefits, including reducing anxiety and depression, boosting the immune system, and helping to improve cognitive function. This article will discuss the common benefits of this fungus.

What is a lion’s mane mushroom?

Lion's mane medicinal mushroom (Hericium erinaceus)

Lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) are white, globe-shaped fungi that have long, shaggy spines. People can eat them or take them in the form of supplements. Research suggests that they may offer a range of health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved cognitive and heart health.

Alternately, called the bearded tooth fungus or the pom pom mushroom due to its highly textured surface, lion’s mane mushrooms are native to the mountains of northeast Asia and may also be found in Europe and North America.

An important species in the traditional medicine of China, Korea, and Japan, where it has been used for thousands of years, lion’s mane has grown in popularity recently in part due to another nickname. Dubbed a “smart mushroom” because of its support for cognitive function and neurological health, lion’s mane is receiving attention all over the world for its exceptional brain supportive potential. Health food stores sell lion’s mane extract in supplement form, and both the fungus and its extracts appear to be beneficial to health.

How to use a lion’s mane mushroom?

Lion's mane medicinal mushrooms as dietary supplements

Lion’s mane mushrooms are a type of edible fungus that has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine. These mushrooms are packed with nutrients, including antioxidants and B vitamins, and they have been shown to promote cognitive health and improve nerve function. Lion’s mane mushrooms can be eaten fresh or cooked, and they can be added to soups, stews, or salads. They are also available as supplements in capsule form.

When found fresh and sautéed, some people compare the taste to seafood, specifically crab or lobster. But more than just a delicious dish, lion’s mane has been classified as a functional mushroom, a food that provides more than simple nutrition.

While lion’s mane can contribute protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to your diet, it also contains bioactive substances that support a variety of the body’s functions and processes. In this capacity, the regular use of lion’s mane may help your body function more efficiently and remain balanced in the presence of internal and external stresses. For this reason, many people are turning to supplements for ready access to the benefits of this functional food. 

Compounds that have a protective effect on the brain while supporting its natural cognitive functions are called nootropics. Lion’s mane contains a broad range of naturally occurring bioactive compounds, including erinacines and hericenones, known for their cognitive health benefits.

Since erinacines are found in the mycelium and hericenones are limited to the fruiting body, obtaining the benefits of both can only be accomplished by consuming a whole mushroom product that incorporates both parts of the mushroom’s life cycle.

These important nootropic compounds found in lion’s mane can cross the protective blood-brain barrier. They stimulate the synthesis of NGF (nerve growth factor) and BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), chemicals that have potent biological activity. NGF and BDNF help to promote the growth, repair, and normal functioning of neurons, the nerve cells that are the building blocks of our brain and nervous system. These factors are necessary for neuroplasticity, the generation of new neural pathways in the brain following injury or illness.

Health benefits of lion’s mane mushroom

Lion's mane mushroom benefits

The lion’s mane mushroom has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for its health benefits. Modern scientific research has confirmed that the lion’s mane mushroom is a rich source of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. It has been shown to boost cognitive function, help protect against cancer, and improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Other potential benefits of this fungus are further discussed below.

Reduces heart disease risk

Recent studies have shown that this mushroom may have some beneficial effects on heart health, including reducing the risk of heart disease. One study showed that consuming Lion’s Mane mushrooms for 8 weeks significantly improved blood lipid profiles and reduced levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) in participants with coronary heart disease.

Another study found that Lion’s Mane mushrooms may help to protect the heart from damage caused by a stroke. These findings suggest that the Lion’s Mane mushroom may be a valuable addition to a heart-healthy diet.

Helps relieve mild symptoms of depression and anxiety

Lion’s mane mushroom, also known as Hericium Erinaceus, has been used to help relieve mild symptoms of depression and anxiety. Studies have shown that this particular mushroom contains compounds that can improve cognitive function and protect nerve cells from damage.

Additionally, lion’s mane mushroom has been found to stimulate the production of new neurons and support the growth of nerve cells. This mushroom has also been found to lower stress levels, which may be beneficial for those with mental health issues.

May help fight cancer

Lion's mane powder may help fight cancer

In Asia, the lion’s mane mushroom has been used medicinally for centuries to treat a variety of ailments including cancer. Recent studies have shown that this mushroom may indeed help fight cancer. The compound hericystin, found in the mushroom, has been shown to inhibit tumor growth and proliferation in laboratory tests.

Additionally, the mushroom is a rich source of antioxidants which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, a known contributor to cancer development. While more research is needed to confirm the anti-cancer effects of the lion’s mane mushroom, this fungi shows great promise as a natural cancer fighter.

Boosts the immune system

Lion's mane mushroom may boost the intestinal immune system

Recently, this fungus has been shown to have a number of health benefits, including boosting the immune system. One study showed that lion’s mane mushroom was able to increase the number of natural killer cells in the body. These cells are critical for fighting off infections and cancer cells.

Another study showed that lion’s mane mushroom was able to increase the activity of T-cells, which are also important for fighting off infections and cancer cells. In addition, lion’s mane mushroom can improve cognitive function and memory in older adults. This fungus may help promote brain health by increasing levels of proteins in the brain, which helps protect against neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Reduces inflammation and oxidative stress

Animal studies published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that lion’s mane reduced inflammation and oxidative stress in mice with colitis. The study also found that lion’s mane was able to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in vitro. These findings suggest that lion’s mane may be a promising treatment for inflammatory bowel disease.

Protects against ulcers in the digestive tract

The lion’s mane mushroom is a type of fungus that has been shown to protect against ulcers in the digestive tract. Studies have shown that the mushroom can help to stimulate the production of mucus in the stomach, which can help to protect the stomach lining from damage. Additionally, the mushroom has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation and irritation in the stomach.

Could protect against dementia

Lion's mane mushroom may help people with mild cognitive impairment

A growing body of evidence suggests that the extract from lion’s mane mushroom can protect neurons from damage and death, which may prevent or delay the onset of dementia. H. erinaceus has also been shown to promote nerve growth and regeneration, suggesting that it could be used to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Lion’s mane mushrooms may have neuroprotective effects in animal models of Parkinson s disease, which is a neurodegenerative condition that affects motor control and movement.

May speed recovery from nervous system injuries

Recently, scientists have begun to study the potential benefits of lion’s mane mushroom for treating nervous system injuries. A recent study found that lion’s mane mushroom may speed up recovery from nervous system injuries. The study participants who received lion’s mane mushroom extract showed significant improvements in their symptoms compared to the control group. Lion’s mane mushroom is thought to promote nerve growth and regeneration, which may explain its beneficial effects on recovering from nervous system injuries.

Helps manage diabetes symptoms

Lion’s mane mushroom has been shown to help manage diabetes symptoms. In one study, diabetic rats who were given a daily dose of lion’s mane mushroom extract had improved blood sugar levels and better liver function than those who did not receive the extract. Lion’s mane mushroom has also been shown to improve cognitive function and nerve health in diabetic patients.


In conclusion, lion’s mane mushroom is a medicinal mushroom with many benefits. It can improve cognitive function, help protect the brain from age-related damage, and has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It is also a rich source of antioxidants and polysaccharides. For these reasons, lion’s mane mushroom is a valuable natural remedy and should be considered for inclusion in any diet.

Frequently asked questions

What does a lion's mane do to the brain?

The lion’s mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus, has been shown to have positive effects on the brain. Studies have found that the mushroom can improve cognitive function, memory, and creativity.

It has also been shown to protect against age-related damage to the brain. One of the main compounds in the mushroom, hericystin, is thought to be responsible for these benefits.

On the other hand, although, the lion’s mane mushroom has been shown to improve memory, but it has not been shown to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s, which is an age-related condition.

What are the negative effects of the lion's mane?

Lion’s mane is becoming increasingly popular as a dietary supplement for its alleged cognitive benefits. However, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims. Lion’s mane may also have negative effects on the body. Lion’s mane can cause nausea and vomiting if it is consumed in large quantities. It may also lead to increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, which can be dangerous for people with certain health conditions.

There are some health conditions that may interact with lion’s mane mushroom. For example, people with diabetes should avoid lion’s mane mushroom, as it can lower blood sugar levels. People taking medications for diabetes should consult their doctor before taking lion’s mane mushroom. Additionally, people with compromised immune systems should avoid lion’s mane mushroom, as it can increase the risk of infection.

How much lion's mane should I take daily?

A recent study showed that taking 1,000 mg of lion’s mane per day improved cognitive function and memory in adults with mild cognitive impairment. Lion’s mane has also been shown to improve nerve growth factor (NGF) production, which is important for maintaining healthy nerve cells. Most people who take lion’s mane supplements do not experience any adverse side effects, but it is always best to speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.

How long does it take for a lion's mane to work?

One of the main questions people have about lion’s mane is how long it takes for it to work. There is limited research on this topic, but some preliminary evidence suggests that there may be a delay before the full benefits of lion’s mane are seen. As with any supplement, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting lion’s mane.

How does lion's mane work in the brain?

There is growing interest in the potential health benefits of lion’s mane, a type of mushroom that grows on trees and logs. Some research suggests that this mushroom may help improve cognitive function and memory. Lion’s mane contains a compound called erinacine, which is a neurotransmitter. It is believed that the neurotransmitter may help improve memory, attention and learning.