Lion's Mane: The Brain Booster!
Lion’s mane mushroom
Mushrooms are found abundantly in nature. Though not everyone might like them, they are a form of wild harvested superfood. What's a superfood, you ask? A superfood is a term for foods rich in nutrients (high nutrient density). That said, natural mushroom medicinal qualities are second to none. Hence today, we are focusing our attention on one of them, Lion's mane mushroom.
Lion’s mane – insight
The scientific name of the Lion’s Mane mushroom is Hericium Erinaceus. It is a fungus belonging to the ‘Hericium’ genus of the ‘Hericiaceae’ family. It is also commonly known as monkey head mushroom, pom pom mushroom, or bearded tooth mushroom.
Structurally, it is characterized by its long spines. These spines tend to grow in a single clump of dangling spines, thus, creating the impression of a mane and hence, the name.
Growing conditions and habitat
This wild harvested superfood is mostly found in the northern hemisphere, in parts of North America, Europe, and Asia. It grows on various tree species, like oak, rubber, acacia, sycamore, beech, and maple. You can even find them on walnut trees. It mostly grows on the hardwood in late summer and fall.
Concerning nutrition numbers, lion’s mane contains 20.46 grams of protein, only 5 grams of fat with a total of 375 calories. In a 100 gram of serving, it has 57 IU of vitamin D, 61.8 grams of carbohydrates and 40.9 grams of complex carbs. Apart from these, you get 39.2 grams of dietary fiber, 11.8 grams of niacin, 20.9 grams of sugars, along with pantothenic acid, thiamine, potassium, calcium, B1, B5, riboflavin, and selenium.
Use and health benefits
It has been a while since people started using the lion's mane mushroom. It was reserved for the royalty as a part of their cuisine, with its fleshy texture tasting a lot like seafood. Its ancient usage also includes its use as Chinese medicine for treating stomach disorders.
Since then, we have learned massively about this mushroom through studies and researches. Reports are suggesting the benefits of using Lion's mane in cognitive enhancement, depression, anxiety, and brain function. Additionally, it also aids in tending inflammation and oxidation, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems along with some gastroprotective effects.
The lion's mane also stimulates the growth and repair of nerve cells, thus, aiding in speedy recovery in case of nervous system injuries.
Enhanced brain function and cognition
The Lion's mane can be helpful for enhancing brain function. As per a study, it contains two unique compounds, hericenones, and erinacines that can stimulate the growth of brain cells.
Moreover, it might help protect against Alzheimer's disease. Studies prove that lion's mane along with its extracts shows a reduction in memory loss symptoms while also preventing neuronal damage in case of Alzheimer’s disease.
Another study talks about its cognitive enhancement in older adults with consumption of 3 grams of powdered lion’s mane mushroom daily.
Reducing depression and anxiety
This natural mushroom can also tend to symptoms of depression and anxiety. The extracts have anti-inflammatory effects which can diminish anxiety symptoms. Besides, its aid in regenerating brain cells improves the hippocampus which is associated with memories and emotion, thus, helping with depression.
Fight against inflammation and oxidation
Inflammation and oxidative stress might be a factor in various health problems like heart diseases and cancer. With powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, lion's mane can help reduce the effect of these diseases in patients.
Strengthen the Immune system
Research shows lion’s mane can help boost the immune system of the body and help it fight against foreign elements.
The lion's mane is safe for use unless you are allergic to mushrooms in general. With that said, people with allergic symptoms might have skin irritation, itchiness, breathing difficulty or skin rashes, as it has been seen in some cases.
With so many benefits, it doesn't hurt to try it out considering it does not come with any known side effects, besides allergy.
You can get medicinal benefits of natural mushrooms in both extract and dried form. The mushroom extract is obtained from a double-extracted method using water and alcohol. Sometimes, the extract is freed from water content and made into powder form. If interested, we suggest you go for double extracted tinctures as they are readily available, easy to use and have a long shelf life.
The lion’s mane is mainly found in the wild. However, with growing demand, people have started cultivating them in large amounts.