Lion’s mane, or hericium erinaceus, is an edible and medicinal mushroom that grows natively across North America, Europe and Asia. Lion’s mane is also called the bearded tooth mushroom, and can be identified by its long spines and its tendency to grow a single clump of these dangling spines. These many spines give Lion’s mane its shaggy or bearded appearance and helped the mushroom earn its namesake.
Lions mane and other medicinal mushrooms are continuing to grow in popularity due to their wide range of physical and mental health benefits. With so many choices in the natural supplement world, and among medicinal mushrooms in particular, what is it that stands out about lions mane as a unique choice?
What makes lions mane unique?
Lion’s mane is a one of a kind medicinal mushroom because of its unique ability to support a variety of healthy brain functions, with a particularly strong ability to improve mood and memory. Scientists are still discovering exactly how lion’s mane can do all these things, but it’s believed that these cognitive benefits stem from other physical benefits that the mushroom offers, like improved bloodflow to the brain, lower oxidative stress, and the lowered inflammation that results from lion’s mane’s very high antioxidant content.
Like several of the other medicinal mushrooms, lion’s mane also helps to supercharge the immune system, but few other supplements can offer these unique benefits to the brain.
Lion’s Mane for Mood (Anxiety/Depression)
Lion’s mane is an excellent choice for those who suffer from anxiety or depression. Lion’s Mane can actually improve the function of the hippocampus by stimulating neurogenesis in this particular spot in the brain. The hippocampus is the region of the brain responsible for creating human emotional responses, like anxiety and depression. Improved functioning in this part of the brain may result in fewer anxious or depressive thoughts.
One human study conducted on 30 female subjects found that there was a substantial decrease in levels of anxiety & depression after a 4 week period of consistent use of lion's mane extract. The females, when undergoing psychiatric questionnaires, reported that they experienced less “irritating” and “anxious” thoughts.
Lion’s Mane for Memory and Intelligence
Studies have shown that lion’s mane can improve spacial memory, short term memory, and recognition memory. Mice supplemented with lions mane have displayed much higher aptitudes for object recognition. The mushroom continues to be considered as an herbal supplement to aid those with alzheimer’s disease.
Aside from memory, lion’s mane can improve intelligence and cognition itself. A double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled human study was performed with 50- to 80-year-old Japanese men and women who had been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. At weeks 8, 12 and 16 of the trial, the group supplementing with lion’s mane showed significantly increased scores on the cognitive function scale compared with the group that was just taking a placebo. Their improved scores dropped again after they stopped supplementing with the lions mane.
Lion’s mane has unique benefits compared to other herbal supplements and even to the other medicinal mushrooms. It’s renowned for its ability to improve brain function, and can be a potent tool for those suffering from anxiety and depression, or those looking to boost their memory and intelligence. We just got lion’s mane back in stock in the Hyperion Herbs store! Learn more about it and pick up your bag of extract here!