Mushrooms are incredible plants.
Mushrooms grow naturally from our Earth - in so many weird and wonderful shapes and colours - and they provide us with a vast range of uses and benefits.
Some of them are edible and delicious, some will literally kill you, some will send you on a hallucinatory trip, and some have incredible benefits for your health. For early human civilisations, picking mushrooms was probably like a game of Russian Roulette… mushroom roulette!
Lion’s Mane mushrooms grow from fallen trees. For centuries, they have been commonly used in Asian cuisine and Asian medicine due to their benefits for cognitive and digestive health.
In this article, we will be explaining the 6 key mushroom health benefits of Lion’s Mane - for both mental and physical health - as well as the science behind these claims.
Depression and Anxiety
One of the first Lion’s Mane benefits is that these mushrooms may be able to help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Many people are unaware of this, but one major cause of depression and anxiety is chronic inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory effects of Lion’s Mane may help to decrease chronic inflammation and improve mental health.
It’s also believed that Lion’s Mane can help to regenerate brain cells to improve the functioning of the hippocampus. This is a section of the brain responsible for processing memories and emotions.
So, Lion’s Mane mushrooms may help to promote a relaxed and calm state of mind, which then improves cognitive function, focus, concentration, and brain performance.
- Lion’s Mane was shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in mice.
- Menopausal women ate Lion’s Mane daily for one month and reported reduced feelings of irritation and anxiety compared to those who didn’t.
Problems with heart health - such as heart disease - are often caused by obesity, high cholesterol, or high triglycerides. Triglycerides are fatty acids that provide us with energy, but too much of them can lead to various health concerns.
Research suggests that Lion’s Mane mushroom benefits our health by improving fat metabolism, leading to a decreased risk of obesity. Plus, Lion’s Mane could help to lower triglyceride levels.
In addition to this, Lion’s Mane contains a special compound called Hericenone B. This compound helps to decrease the rate of blood clotting, leading to a reduced risk of heart attack or stroke.
- A group of rats were fed a high-fat diet. Some of the rats were then given Lion’s Mane mushrooms for 28 days. They found 27% lower triglyceride levels, and 42% less weight gain.
- In test-tube studies, Lion’s Mane was shown to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood. Oxidation of cholesterol is what leads to health problems – it causes the cholesterol to stick to the artery walls and harden, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
One of the most prominent Lion’s Mane health benefits is that it's said to help maintain healthy neuron function and regeneration in the brain. In other words, it could help to prevent the destruction of brain cells and neurons to improve brain health.
In addition, Lion’s Mane mushroom could reduce the levels of harmful plaque in the brain, which can lead to various cognitive health issues.
This suggests Lion’s Mane could improve our cognitive functioning and brain health – for example, improving focus and concentration, improving brain performance, and protecting against memory problems.
- Researchers gave Lion’s Mane to people suffering from mild cognitive impairments. These people showed a significant improvement to brain health compared to those given a placebo.
The nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. So, unsurprisingly, it essentially controls everything.
Injuries to the nervous system can cause some pretty devastating problems, such as paralysis or loss of mental functions.
It’s thought that Lion’s Mane could help to speed up the recovery from nervous system-related issues by stimulating the repair of our nerve cells. It could even help to reduce the severity of brain damage after a stroke!
- Lion’s Mane was given to rats who had suffered from a nervous system-related injury. They found it reduced the recovery time by 23-41%.
- Lion’s Mane mushroom was also shown to reduce inflammation and the severity of brain damage after a stroke in rats by 44%.
It’s thought that Lion’s Mane can help to reduce inflammation and prevent the oxidation of cells in the body. In other words, it can work as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
In this way, it could help to boost our immune system and strengthen our ability to fight off illness.
- A study on mice found that Lion’s Mane mushrooms boosted the activity of their immune systems. It also encouraged the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut – another factor that leads to better immunity.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms have been used to improve digestion for centuries in Asian medicine and cuisine.
This mushroom has anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it can benefit the digestive system. Lion’s Mane may protect against problems like stomach ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Research shows that Lion’s Mane has antibacterial properties, meaning it helps to prevent the growth of a certain bacteria called H. pylori. This bacteria has harmful effects on the digestive system, including causing stomach ulcers.
How To Use Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
If you want to, you can eat Lion’s Mane mushrooms as they are. They have a taste and texture similar to lobster or crab – stringy and meaty. If you cook them, they tend to have a chewy, tender, juicy texture with a flavour that resembles seafood.
So yes, Lion’s Mane mushrooms are pretty weird. They definitely aren’t everyone’s cup of tea!
Alternatively, you can use dietary supplements that contain Lion’s Mane extract. This is a far easier and quicker way to reap the benefits of this mushroom – no flavour and no cooking!
For a Lion's Mane supplement, we recommend The Brain Capsule from Core which contains Lion’s Mane as well as several other mushroom extracts. Take a look at these mushrooms below:
- L-Arginine – Reduces inflammation, improves heart and blood health, reduces anxiety.
- L-Theanine – Improves mental focus, sleep, relaxation, and cognitive performance.
- Chaga Mushroom – Reduces inflammation, improves immunity, reduces cholesterol.
- Cordyceps Mushroom – Reduces coughs or respiratory issues, improves kidney health, improves heart health.
The Brain Capsule is a Nootropic supplement, meaning it’s designed to enhance and improve cognitive functions. These are the main benefits of The Brain Capsule:
- Promotes physical and mental health
- Helps to calm, clear, and relax the mind
- Enhances mental performance
- Enhances focus, alertness, concentration, and reaction time