Ancient Egyptian pharaohs and Chinese medicine practitioners used fungi as an effective therapy for millennia. In addition to their medicinal properties, mushrooms are prized for their culinary qualities.
Once known as the "Mountain Priest", The Lion's Mane mushroom has been a part of Asian culture and traditional Chinese medicine for centuries before it was introduced to the West. Historically, it was reserved for royalty and revered by Buddhist monks for its cognitive power. For centuries, people have looked to it as a medicinal ally.
Today it's more than just another upcoming food trend; knowledge of its benefits stretches back for centuries. Below we look at some of the key benefits this incredible mushroom has to offer.
Immune Boosting Properties
Many medicinal mushrooms are used today to help 'boost' immunity, strengthening the immune system, so you get sick less often and recover faster when you do.
Lion's Mane is revered for its immune-boosting properties. When you start to feel unwell, it means your body's macrophages are at work. They are the body's first line of defence, especially when it comes to respiratory infections. They then cause an increase in Cytokines, which result in fever, muscle and joint aches, eventually defeating the pathogen.
Lion's Mane polysaccharides can stimulate macrophages, giving us a stronger immune response to infections.
Mood Enhancement And Better Quality Sleep
In a study published in 2019, researchers investigated the connection between depression and sleep disorders in overweight or obese adults. Sleeping is difficult when your metabolism is off! With blood sugar stabilised, we sleep better, crave sugar less, eat less, and our mood improves.
The brain's BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) is linked to poor sleep, obesity and depression. Daily consumption of Lion's Mane increases BDNF levels in the brain's hippocampus, leading to mood enhancement and improved sleep quality.
The Lion's Mane is most commonly used as a nootropic, or brain enhancer. It is currently being studied for its potential to treat Alzheimer's disease and other brain and nervous system disorders. According to one study, taking Hericium powder daily for four months improved brain function in people with mild cognitive impairment.
Additionally, it produces erinacines and hericenones. These compounds assist in nerve-growth factor (NGF), which aids learning and memory. Hericium can cross the blood-brain barrier, stimulating neuronal and protective cell growth, improving mental performance.
The popular medicinal mushroom is said to improve memory and concentration. It can help with mood and mental health and proves to be an excellent stress reliever for many people who regularly consume it.
New research shows that Lion’s Mane mushrooms can even treat anxiety and depression. Unlike conventional antidepressants, it supports hippocampus nerves rather than affecting neurotransmitters.
Skin Care Benefits
Lion's Mane also appears to be good for the skin. As the saying goes: "as within, so without." Internal systems and our outermost layer are both affected by inflammation, oxidative stress, and environmental damage.
Hericium Erinaceus is a fantastic source of natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, so it can help with skin problems. When applied topically, it has been shown to accelerate wound healing.
Beyond these benefits, there are a host of benefits that Lion's Mane has to offer. Once you've done the research, the only thing left to do is try it for yourself.
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