Lion’s mane mushroom benefits go far beyond the taste and texture, which have made the popularity of this gourmet edible grow wildly
Have you experienced the lion’s mane mushroom? You may have heard of this furry mushroom friend as a choice edible with healthful benefits that support the brain and nervous system. Its popularity has grown particularly in the supplement market, where many companies are touting the medicinal qualities of this mushroom. However, we wanted to look deeper into studies to go beyond the hype that often exists in sales channels.
Today we are sharing some lion’s mane mushroom benefits for you, so you can be aware of them and the research that is being conducted and has already been conducted on this amazing mushroom.
For those of you who cannot get lion’s mane mushroom around you fresh, you can grow your own lion’s mane with the help of our easy-to-use growing kit. Check out this exciting lion’s mane grow kit, and learn more about lion’s mane below.
Lion’s mane mushroom benefits and the brain
One of the studies I recently looked at is entitled Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help? The authors look into various research involving the healthful constituents of mushrooms, including polysaccharides — a carbohydrate known to help stimulate the immune system.
This study considered research on lion’s mane and its impact on nerve regeneration. It states: “The culinary mushroom that has been extensively studied for its neurohealth properties is H. erinaceus (Lion’s Mane mushroom). The polysaccharides in an aqueous extract of the Lion’s mane mushroom could induce neuronal differentiation and promote neuronal survival.”
The authors of Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help? cite a variety of other studies, including Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial from 2009.
I looked further into this study for a deeper look at the impact of lion’s mane mushroom benefits through a clinical trial conducted in Japan.
Here is a look at how the study was conducted, from an excerpt in Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help?
“In another study, a double-blind trial was conducted with 50- to 80-year-old Japanese men and women diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment in order to examine the efficacy of oral administration of H. erinaceus, for improving cognitive impairment, using a cognitive function scale based on the revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale (HDS-R). The subjects in the H. erinaceus group took four 250 mg tablets containing 96% of Yamabushitake dry powder three times a day for 16 weeks. Cognitive function scale scores increased with the duration of intake. Laboratory tests showed no adverse effect of H. erinaceus. The study suggested that H. erinaceus is effective in improving mild cognitive impairment.”
Lion’s mane mushroom benefits may be enhanced through the consumption of fresh mushrooms
Many often wonder about the most effective way of consuming mushrooms for their healthful constituents. Should they be eaten fresh or is it preferable to dry the mushrooms before consuming?
When it comes to lion’s mane, the study Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help? provides some insight:
These studies are very encouraging, and the consumption of H. erinaceus-fresh or processed is acceptable. There are many preparations available off the counter. However, there should be guidelines and monitoring to ensure safety, efficacy, and other parameters to ensure that these preparations are functional as claimed. The best option will be consumption of fresh mushrooms. The processing has been reported to affect the neurite stimulatory activity of H. erinaceus. Cultivation techniques and conditions may affect the medicinal properties of mushrooms too.
So it seems that eating the lion’s mane mushroom fresh instead of dried may help stimulate the neurite activity. The term “neurite outgrowth” refers to a process where developing neurons produce new projections. These projections extend from the neural cell. These neurites, which include axons and dendrites, are used to transmit information to different neurons, muscles, and glands throughout the body.
Lion’s mane has been used throughout antiquity
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been using lion’s mane mushroom for generations. According to The Journal of Restorative Medicine 2017,
“The fruiting body is called hóu tóu gū (“monkey head mushroom”) in Chinese8 and yamabushitake (“mountain monk mushroom”) in Japanese. In Chinese and Japanese medical systems, it has traditionally been used to fortify the spleen, nourish the gut, and also as an anticancer drug. Lion’s mane is said to be nutritive to the five internal organs (liver, lung, spleen, heart, and kidney), and promotes good digestion,general vigor, and strength. It is also recommended for gastric and duodenal ulcers, as well as chronic gastritis (in prepared tablet form). The mushroom is also known for its effects on the central nervous system, and is used for insomnia, vacuity (weakness), and hypodynamia, which are characteristic symptoms of Qi deficiency in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).”
Note that this information above from TCM has not necessarily been vetted in the same way as western medicine conducts studies in modern times, although it seems that studies on lion’s mane are backing up some of these ancient traditional beliefs.
What is one of your personal favorite lion’s mane mushroom benefits?