Lion’s Mane Mushroom
Scientifically known as Hericium erinaceus, Lion’s Mane is a medicinal, edible mushroom used extensively in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine throughout history for its healing properties. It belongs to the Hericiaceae family and is often identified by it’s long spines, it looks like a skating white icicle growing off of American hardwood like American beech often in one large puff ball of dangling spines.
Also called: Bear’s Head, Bear Mushroom, Hedge hog, Mushroom Houtou (Chinese), Monkey’s mushroom, Old Man’s Beard, Yamabushitake (Japanese), Pom Pom Blanc
“Lion’s mane contains a unique group of compounds called erinacines and hericerins. These compounds regenerate the myelin on the axons of nerves. A Japanese researcher, Dr. Kawagishi discovered this in 1994. He postulated this as a treatment or a preventive measure against Alzheimer’s and muscular dystrophy.” – Paul Stamets
Lion’s Mane is an incredibly intriguing and unique nootropic (used to enhance memory or other cognitive functions) superfood that can modulate the immune system and would make a great addition to your supplementation regimen. Lions Mane has gained considerable popularity over the years in the nootropic community when it was found to affect Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). NGF is a neuropeptide that helps maintain neurons, which are the cells responsible for helping your brain process and transmit information.
it’s vital to the function and survival of nerve cells. Lion’s Mane has been shown to increase the amount of Nerve Growth Factor in the brain, which improves cognition by promoting neuronal growth, reducing inflammation, and supporting overall brain health and is now considered nature’s most powerful brain foods.
A mouse study that showed that lion’s mane was effective for significantly improving cognitive function in those with mild cognitive impairment when taken for at least 4 weeks. Another study also demonstrated that lion’s mane can help preserve photographic and short-term memory loss.
“I believe we should stacking psilocybin with Lions Mane and B-3 (Niacin), the advantage is that Niacin will help drive the neurogenic benefits of psilocybin erinaceums to the end of the peripheral nervous system. I am hoping to start a clinical trial on 30 patients by the end of 2017” -Paul Stamets
Lion’s Mane contains some particularly unique compounds including compounds such as erinacines, erinacea lactones, glycoproteins, hericerins, and polysaccharides (beta-glucans). These bioactive compounds are believed to be the elements responsible for the plethora of benefits Lion’s Mane has to offer, including but not limited to:
- Anti-aging : superoxide dismutase (an enzyme that converts reactive oxygen species O- into oxygen or O2) decreases significantly with age. Lion’s Mane polysaccharides can increase the activity of superoxide dismutase in the brain and the liver
- Antioxidant : Lion’s Mane has anti-aging effects on the skin. Polysaccharides found in this mushroom enhance antioxidant enzyme activities and increase collagen levels in aged rat skin.
- Antibiotic: Lion’s Mane promotes the anti-bacterial immune response. In mice infected with a lethal dose of Salmonella typhimurium, Lion’s Mane extended lifespan and protected against liver damage
- Anticancer : Components of Lion’s Mane showed high antitumor activity. These components prolonged the longevity and reduced the mortality of animal hosts. Lion’s Mane promotes the Th1 response, which is important for fighting tumors.
- Anti-inflammatory: Lion’s Mane exerts an anti-inflammatory effect by reducing excessive nitric oxide, prostaglandin, reactive oxygen species, and pro-inflammatory factors such as NF-κ In mice with acute gut inflammation, Lion’s Mane improved symptoms and decreased intestinal bleeding. Lion’s Mane also exerts anti-inflammatory effects on macrophages and prevents or ameliorates fat tissue inflammation associated with obesity. Lion’s Mane alcohol extracts also protects against gastritis and colitis, by suppressing inflammatory cytokines and reducing intestinal bleeding.
- Improves Circulation : Alcohol extracts of Lion’s Mane inhibit the production of excess blood vessel cells in rats. Excess blood vessel cells contribute to atherosclerosis (thickening of the arteries).
- May Protect the Liver: A component of Lion’s Mane was shown to protect mice from chemically induced liver damage and decreases liver damage caused by acute alcohol exposure in mice, decreasing blood ALT, AST, and MDA levels. Lion’s Mane extracts have been shown to protect against alcohol-induced stomach lining injury and ulcers in rats.
“Mushrooms have many helpful nutrients, including beta glucans for immune enhancement, erothionenines for antioxidative potentiation, nerve growth stimulators, for helping brain function and antimicrobial compounds for limiting viruses.” ~Paul Stamets
The only Mushroom Supplements I use and trust are from Paul Stamets, owner of Fungi Perfecti is a top mycologists in the country and a man of Integrity. Not all mushroom supplements are equal, many companies just blend up dried mushrooms and sell the powder or put it in capsules, this is completely different from mushroom extracts. You always want a double extraction: the fruiting body and the mycelium. Some mushrooms are better when extracted with water or alcohol and when water and alcohol is used it is often called a dual extraction. Each mushroom is different and needs the correct solvent used for its unique compounds, only buy from a trusted source. I prefer the liquid Extract but the lion’s mane capsules are convenient when you have to travel, I take lions mane everyday along with Dr. Shultzes Superfood Plus because it has Niacin derived from nature in it, this is not easy to come by.
Medicinal Mushroom Extract:
For More Information on Medicinal Mushroom:
The Mushroom Cultivator By Paul Stamest and J.S. Chilton: A Practical Guide to Growing Mushrooms at Home
Mycelium Running is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet
Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushroom at Home: Third Edition
Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World: An Identification Guide – 1st Edition.