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LIONS MANE: Hericium Erinaceus

Used for culinary as well as medicinal purposes, Lions Mane has been a go-to mushroom for boosting cognitive health and memory, immunity, and mitigating anxiety and depression. Popular with biohackers worldwide to enhance their cognitive spectrum, added to restaurant menus by the worlds’ top chefs, and medically trialed in attempts to combat Alzheimer’s disease, Lions Mane has burst back into the mainstream.

These white, globe-shaped fungi have long shaggy spines like a Lions Mane. It grows wild on deciduous trees and is now cultivated on sawdust substrates. We only use the fruited body of the mushroom, and not mycelium on grain (MOG). These natural substrates contain precursors that guarantee the production of important medicinal compounds. 

Why we love Lions Mane:

  • Lions Mane is an immunomodulator that is helpful in conditions where immunity is compromised.
  • Clinical trials showing Lions Mane is helping patients with Alzheimer’s disease restoring neuron activity.
  • May support a calm nervous system and help mitigate depression.

Our Lions Mane extract is processed by a hot water extraction process, and is an 10:1 ratio. This means that it takes 10 kilograms of dried mushroom to produce 1 kilogram of extract powder. The extract can be ingested hot or cold, without compromising the quality of the product.

Health benefits of Lions Mane:

While research is ongoing, studies have shown that lions mane may provide several health benefits, including:

  • Nerve health
  • Cognitive function
  • Immunity

Contemporary studies and clinical trials featuring Lions Mane are mostly animal-based and test-tube studies (in vitro). Few studies have been done featuring humans, however, those that have been done demonstrate promising results-validating the historical and traditional uses within Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

Historically within Traditional Chinese Medicine, Lions Mane has been used to fortify the spleen, nourish the gut, and fight cancer. When integrated with mainstream/conventional medicine, Lions Mane could amplify effects of neurological treatments to provide excellent synergy and sustainability for patients. 

We’ve provided a summary of our research below, along with some scientific studies that we found informative. As always, we encourage you to dive into the mycelial web of wisdom and decide for yourself. We also encourage you to speak with your doctor or natural health practitioner if you have any concerns about whether taking lions mane is right for you. 

Some interesting aspects of the studies:

Lions mane has been shown to benefit adults with cognitive impairment. The bioactive compounds from lions mane mycelia have been shown to stimulate the synthesis of nerve growth, an essential function of the neurons in the central nervous system. These incredible results show that lions mane may play a vital role in defeating dementia and other diseases of cognitive degeneration, such an Alzheimer’s disease. 

Clinical trials in both humans and mice have shown that lions mane contributes significantly to improved cognitive functioning compared to the controlled placebo group. Studies conducted in Japan in 2008 and 2010 have shown the promising effect of lions mane for dementia, as well as the clinical effects of menopause. Great for men and women! 

In 2008, Mori et. al. conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study on 50- to 80-year-old Japanese men and women with mild cognitive impairment to assess the efficacy of Lion’s Mane for improving this condition. The experimental group subjects took a Lion’s Mane supplement for 16 weeks. Their cognitive function was assessed based on the Revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale (HDS-R). The Lion’s Mane group showed significantly increased scores compared to the placebo group at Weeks 8, 12, and 16. Scores decreased significantly 4 weeks after the termination of the study. During the experiment, no adverse effects were found in the Lion’s Mane group. While a relatively small sample of only 30 individuals, this randomized human research data suggests that Lion’s Mane Mushroom is effective in improving mild cognitive impairment.

In 2010, Nagano et. al. assessed the clinical effects of Lion’s Mane on menopause, depression, sleep quality and indefinite complaints. After 4 weeks of consumption, scores of depression were significantly lower in the Lion’s Mane group, as measured by the Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Furthermore, there was a significant decrease in scores of the Indefinite Complaints Index (ICI) within the Lion’s Mane group. In particular, “insensitive” and “palpitation” terms of the ICI were significantly lower in the Lion’s Mane group that in the placebo. Moreover, “concentrations”, “irritating” and “anxious” tended to be lower in the Lion’s Mane group. These results indicate that Lion’s Mane may have the potential to reduce depression and anxiety. Additional studies on a larger population and for a longer duration may be warranted to continue validating these potential benefits and draw deeper insights for applications.

It is important to note that we cannot provide statements about the benefits of Lions Mane. Please find number of scientific studies on the benefits of Lions Mane at the bottom of this post.

This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. We encourage you to do your own research to see if Lions Mane is right for you. 

Consult a physician if you are pregnant or nursing, have or had a medical condition, or are taking prescription medicine. 

Scientific Studies:

  • Mori K. et.al., Improving Effects of the Mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Double-blind Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial. PHYTOTHERAPY RESEARCH
Phytother. Res. 23, 367–372 (2009)
  • Nagano, Mayumi, Kuniyoshi Shimizu, Ryuichiro Kondo, Chickako Hayashi, Daigo Sato, Katsuyuki Kitagawa, and Koichiro Ohnuki. “Reduction of Depression and Anxiety by 4 Weeks Hericium Erinaceus Intake.” Biomedical Research 31, no. 4 (2010): p. 231. doi:10.2220/biomedres.31.231.
  • Wong KH et.al., Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers., a medicinal mushroom, activates peripheral nerve regeneration. Chin J Integr Med. 2014 Aug 26
  • Effects of Hericium erinaceus on amyloid β(25-35) peptide-induced learning and memory deficits in mice. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21383512
  • The Neuroprotective Properties of Hericium erinaceus in Glutamate-Damaged Differentiated PC12 Cells and an Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27809277
  • Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5237458/
  • Anti-Gastric Ulcer Activity of Polysaccharide Fraction Isolated from Mycelium Culture of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26853960
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