Lion’s mane mushroom also known as Yamabushitake, sheep’s head and the technically termed Hericium Erinaceus has been part of Chinese traditional medicine for thousands of years. More recently it has gained traction as a potent solution for long-term nootropic benefits. It was so highly regarded in ancient times that it used to be an exclusive right reserved only for royal blood.
Dynasties aside, Lion’s mane is now available for the average person like many other once exclusive natural solutions. It can be easily recognized for its unique posture in the fungal kingdom unlike any other. The spoors on Lion’s mane mushroom cascade down resembling still shots of a waterfall, far in appearance from their stem and cap cousins.
What has become more noteworthy in recent times is how this unusual mushroom is being used for degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s beginning to turn some heads as it makes its way into some unexpected supplements.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom: A Natural Nootropic
Lion’s Mane is being closely studied for its preventative and regenerative effects on the human body. In these result driven and compound extracted studies researchers have identified the mushroom to have adaptogenic qualities. This means unlike a drug that is designed to fix or isolate one issue alone, adaptogens are able to deliver an array of potentialities while on the search for normality – also known as Homeostasis. Adaptogens can awaken the senses for someone feeling down in the dumps while simultaneously clam an anxious mind. In fact, this mushroom works so well at regeneration that even when applied topically it can dramatically decrease the time wounds take to heal. (12)
Neural Growth factor- NGF
Consuming plants and fungi with adaptogenic qualities may be essential to longevity, although it’s not what’s forming waves from this nootropic mushroom. As with many other brain-boosting and memory enhancing natural substances they are often studied for their ability to control life crippling neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Lion’s mane is no exception to this trend which has allowed researchers to identify what makes this mushroom so special.
Studies have shown Lion’s mane to stimulate the neural growth factor (NGF) in mice. It was once thought that new neural connections were unable to form past a certain age. With the examination of the neural growth factor, we know this now to be false. In fact, a Japanese study was conducted to prove this hypothesis using lion’s Mane and found remarkable associations to taking the supplement.
Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom & Interesting Uses
Sport’s supplement –
With Sports nutrition becoming increasingly complex there is an ever-growing demand for better performing nutritional supplements. With research pointing toward Lion’s Mane as a regenerative candidate, it’s not surprising this mushroom made into the list. The Lion’s Mane Mushroom was studied by a group of researchers for its ability to transfer energy through “polysaccharides” in those experiencing fatigue. The test subjects responded with higher endurance and less muscular fatigue. This was outlined due to the decrease in blood lactic acid and serum urea nitrogen. It was also able to induce antioxidant enzyme activity, ideal for those experiencing post oxidative stress from physical activity.
Improved memory and cognition –
Due to the showcased stimulation of the neural growth factor, Lion’s Mane is becoming one of the new candidates designated to halt deadly brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia in their tracks. For those of you looking for preventative routs rather than fixing problems as they arise, long-term supplementation of Lion’s Mane could be the solution. By inducing the Neural Growth Factor Lion’s mane has been shown to improve long and short-term memory while boosting active cognition. This is represented by actual regeneration of neurons in deteriorated brain cells allowing for old connections to reform as your thought process is heightened.
Choosing What Dose to Take
Many herbal supplements work their best over long-term supplementation. This does not mean that you won’t feel the effects until later on, simply that the benefits compound over time. Lion’s Mane is no different in this case.
Lions mane mushroom liquid extract dosing
You truly get a different effect from a liquid extract of a plant or mushroom. Typically distilled in alcohol the liquid solution is able to pull compounds out of the substance that is not readily available in water extracts like tea. Typically much more potent than powdered forms a liquid extract or “tincture” is given in much smaller doses depending on the specific product you are using. This will range anywhere from 10-30 drops per serving for optimal effect
Lions mane mushroom powdered extract dosing
The benefit to taking this supplement in a powdered form along with any other mushroom in powdered form is acquired through the ingestion of the mushrooms plant fibers also known as polysaccharides. These plant fibers are unique to your microbiome and offer further benefits to your gut flora through enzyme reactions. Look for powdered lions mane mushroom that has gone through a minimal heating process to ensure no damage is done to the polysaccharides. Dosing should start at around 400mg per serving extending up to 3 times per day.
When looking for the best Lion’s Mane tonic be sure to look for extracts that involve both water and alcohol distillation. This ensures that the hydrophobic compounds are able to be extracted into the mixture along with the water-soluble ones.
Side Effects Of Lion’s Mane Mushroom
As of right now, there are no known side effects of supplementing with Lion’s Mane and there are no cases of toxicity observed in those taking it. It is recommended in general for anyone taking a new herbal supplement for the first time to start dosing slow. This allows your body to recognize the foreign substance before setting off alarm bells by your immune system. It also helps you identify any possible allergies at a safe dose before you over consume something that just doesn’t sit well.
Since this Nootropic is primarily used for its ability to rebuild neural pathways it is wise to compound this effect with a Choline supplement to aid the process. Choline is an essential amino acid that plays a key role in the neural activity. Some great choline supplements to choose include:
Ortho Brain – By AOR
Alpha GPC – By NOW
Cognizin – By Cognizin
Whether you’re edging into retirement or looking for a cognitive boost over your competition, Lion’s Mane is perfect for anyone thinking about their brain in the long run. By stimulating neural growth and providing the antioxidant support you can rest easy knowing that while other minds are gradually dulling the Lion’s Mane Mushroom is your reliable whetstone, sharpening along day by day.