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Lion’s Mane Powder: a Guide to Mushroom Supplements

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Lion’s mane (Hericium Erinaceus) is a type of medicinal mushroom. Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, lion’s mane is widely available in fresh, dried, and supplement forms such as mushroom gummies; made from lion’s mane powder. Scientific research shows that lion’s mane contains a number of health-promoting substances, including antioxidants and beta-glucan.

Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Powder

Proponents claim that lion’s mane can help with a variety of health problems, including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • High cholesterol
  • Inflammation
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Ulcers

In addition, lion’s mane is said to strengthen the immune system, stimulate digestion, and protect against cancer.

So far, research on the specific health effects of lion’s mane is fairly limited. However, findings from animal-based research, test-tube studies, and small clinical trials indicate that lion’s mane may offer certain health benefits, including support for neuronal health. Here’s a look at some key study findings.

Brain Function and Lion’s Mane Gummies

Lion’s mane may benefit older adults with mild cognitive impairment, according to a small study published in Phytotherapy Research in 2009. For the study, researchers assigned 30 older adults with mild cognitive impairment to take either lion’s mane extract or a placebo every day for 16 weeks. In cognitive tests given at weeks eight, 12, and 16 of the study, members of the lion’s mane group showed significantly greater improvements compared to members of the placebo group.

In a more recent study (published in Biomedical Research in 2011), scientists examined the effects of lion’s mane on brain function in mice. Results revealed that lion’s mane powder, as well as full mushroom, helped protect against memory problems caused by the buildup of amyloid beta (a substance that forms the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease). Studies have also shown a possible neuroprotective effect against ischemic stroke.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) cautions that while some small preliminary studies on the impact of natural supplements on cognitive function have shown modest effects, “direct evidence is lacking.” Claims made to the contrary are not supported by evidence.

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but Lion’s Mane powder infused into tasty, vegan gummies may prevent more.

Depression and Anxiety

Research to date suggests that Lion’s mane may help alleviate depression and anxiety. For example, a 2020 review of the literature called Lion’s mane “a potential alternative medicine for the treatment of depression.” Lion’s Mane powder isn’t new, however, mushroom gummies (not magic mushrooms) are on the rise. The most beneficial mushroom is debatable, but many would place Lion’s Mane powder at the top of their mushroom supplements list!

Likewise, a 2021 research review detailed several studies that showed significant anti-anxiety effects. Lion’s mane appears to offer “neuroprotective functions, cytotoxicity, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, and herbicidal activities,” as well.

Cancer

Preliminary research suggests that lion’s mane shows promise in protection against cancer. For example, in a 2011 study published in Food & Function, tests on human cells revealed that lion’s mane may help knock out leukemia cells. In nature, mushrooms are vital to decompose plant life and redistribute nutrients from gummies to sustain ecosystems.

In addition, a 2011 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that lion’s mane extract helped reduce the size of cancerous colon tumors in mice. The study’s findings suggest that lion’s mane may help fight off colon cancer, in part by increasing activity in certain cells involved in the immune response. Another study found that the extract might help reduce the spread of colon cancer cells to the lungs. However, it’s too soon to tell whether lion’s mane can help prevent or reduce cancer in humans.

Diabetes

Studies in animals support the use of lion’s mane mushrooms in managing diabetes. The mushrooms may improve metabolic function by helping to regulate glucose and insulin levels. Make sure to find a healthy, low-sugar lion’s mane mushroom gummy – we suggest Mushroom FX as they are vegan, lab tested and established in the health industry.

lions mane powder gummies

Digging Deeper into Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane (Hericium Erinaceus) is an ancient Chinese medicinal mushroom with powerful properties proven to improve brain health, enhance cognition, and protect the brain against injury, disease, and the effects of aging. It is quickly becoming universally recognized as a supplement that provides a wide array of benefits. [2] It grows naturally in the wild in Europe, Asia, and North America – beginning to grow in the late summer through the fall, primarily on hardwood trees.

It is certainly a unique and exceptionally promising natural nootropic that belongs to the edible tooth fungi group. It is sometimes referred to as ‘bearded tooth mushroom’, ‘hedgehog mushroom’, and even ‘pom mushroom’ because of its long dangling clusters of spines.

These mushrooms are also prized for their nutritional and cuisine qualities. They are typically dried and ground into a powder to make Lion’s Mane mushroom capsules. The extract for the capsules is made from the whole mushroom that you can see above the ground by breaking down the cell walls of the mushroom with hot water in order to get to the beta-d-glucans trapped within the cell walls. Lion’s Mane Mushroom has been recognized as potentially stimulating Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the brain.

Known for its powerful effects as a “brain tonic”, Lion’s Mane is said to have been used as a tea for thousands of years by Buddhist monks to enhance brain power, and heighten their ability to focus during meditation.

Lion’s Mane may be a powerful catalyst for brain cell regeneration helping improve memory and cognition.

The primary active compounds in Lion’s Mane are hericenones and erinacines. Hericenones help your brain produce more Nerve Growth factors (*). And erinacines easily cross the blood-brain barrier to boost the production of neurons (*).

lions mane powder

Lion’s Mane Precautions and Interactions

Avoid using lion’s mane mushroom products if you’re pregnant. Not enough research has been done to determine if any dosage is safe during pregnancy.

If you take diabetes medications, be aware that Lion’s mane mushroom can lower your blood glucose levels too much. Keep a close eye on your readings.

Likewise, taking lion’s mane along with anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs can cause blood clotting difficulties that can result in bleeding or bruising.

Some people are allergic to lion’s mane. Seek medical help immediately if you notice throat swelling, breathing trouble, or other signs and symptoms after taking lion’s mane.

RELATED: Mushroom Mycelium To Build A Better World

Inspect Lion’s Mane Powder, Gummies, Recipes

Watch out for products claiming proven health benefits in humans; the majority of research has been limited to animal studies. Some lion’s mane supplements have been marketed with unsupported claims, such as the promotion of weight loss, brain health, and the prevention of heart disease.

For example, in 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a warning letter to Pure Nootropics, LLC, for making unsubstantiated claims about a variety of their products, including for their lion’s mane powder. The company was marketing the supplement as “great for brain injury recovery” and to “reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.” Since then, the company has removed these specific claims from their marketing but continue to claim that the product “supports overall cognitive health.”

Where to Find Best Lion’s Mane Supplements

Many big-box and specialty online and brick-and-mortar stores sell fresh, dried, and/or Lion’s mane powder, as well as capsules, teas, and various forms of blends featuring mushroom gummies made of fungi blends. In nature, they tend to grow in logs, decaying wood, and tree wounds.

We recommend Mushroom FX for as your source for a premium, quality and flavorful lion’s mane supplement provider. Mushroom FX manufacutures mushroom gummies, specifically lion’s mane gummies which are vegan, lab tested, gluten free and low sugar. This allows their mushroom gummies to deliver lion’s mane benefits, without harmful sugar or added chemicals!

Other Questions About Lion’s Mane

Due to a lack of supporting research, it’s too soon to recommend lion’s mane for any specific health condition. If you’re considering the use of lion’s mane for a chronic condition, make sure to consult your physician before starting your supplement regimen. Self-treating a chronic condition with lion’s mane and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.

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Sources

  • Credit: Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within their articles.
  • Jiang S, Wang Y, Zhang X. Comparative studies on extracts from by different polarity reagents to gain higher antioxidant activities. Exp Ther Med. 2016;12(1):513-517. doi:10.3892/etm.2016.3279
  • Sabaratnam V, Kah-hui W, Naidu M, Rosie David P. Neuronal health – Can culinary and medicinal mushrooms help?. J Tradit Complement Med. 2013;3(1):62-8. doi:10.4103/2225-4110.106549
  • Mori K, Inatomi S, Ouchi K, Azumi Y, Tuchida T. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2009;23(3):367-72. doi:10.1002/ptr.2634
  • Mori K, Obara Y, Moriya T, Inatomi S, Nakahata N. Effects of Hericium erinaceus on amyloid β(25-35) peptide-induced learning and memory deficits in mice. Biomed Res. 2011;32(1):67-72.
  • I-Chen Li, et al. Neurohealth Properties of Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Enriched with Erinacines. Neurol. 2018; 2018. doi:10.1155/2018/5802634
  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Dietary Supplements and Cognitive Function, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Updated June 15, 2017.
  • Chong PS, Fung ML, Wong KH, Lim LW. Therapeutic potential of hericium erinaceus for depressive disorder. IJMS. 2019;21(1):163. doi:10.3390/ijms21010163
  • Hericium erinaceus – A rich source of diverse bioactive metabolites. FunBiotec. 2021;1(2):10-38. doi:10.5943/FunBiotec/1/2/2
  • Kim SP, Kang MY, Choi YH, Kim JH, Nam SH, Friedman M. Mechanism of Hericium erinaceus (Yamabushitake) mushroom-induced apoptosis of U937 human monocytic leukemia cells. Food Funct. 2011;2(6):348-56. doi:10.1039/c1fo10030k
  • Kim SP, Kang MY, Kim JH, Nam SH, Friedman M. Composition and mechanism of antitumor effects of Hericium erinaceus mushroom extracts in tumor-bearing mice. J Agric Food Chem. 2011;59(18):9861-9. doi:10.1021/jf201944n
  • Kim SP, Nam SH, Friedman M. Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) mushroom extracts inhibit metastasis of cancer cells to the lung in CT-26 colon cancer-transplanted mice. J Agric Food Chem. 2013 May 22;61(20):4898-904. doi:10.1021/jf400916c.
  • Lee SK, Ryu SH, Turk A, et al. Characterization of α-glucosidase inhibitory constituents of the fruiting body of lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus). Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2020;262:113197. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2020.113197
  • Liang B, Guo Z, Xie F, Zhao A. Antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic activities of aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus in experimental diabetic rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013;13:253. doi:10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2017.01.040
  • Sabaratnam V, Kah-hui W, Naidu M, Rosie David P. Neuronal health – Can culinary and medicinal mushrooms help?. J Tradit Complement Med. 2013;3(1):62-8. doi:10.4103/2225-4110.106549
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom – Uses, Side Effects, and More. WebMD. Updated June 28, 2021.
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