Are you looking for a powerful and natural remedy to add to your diet? Perhaps you want something to give you a mental and emotional boost. Either way, the Lion's Mane mushroom (Hericium Erinaceus) is something you must consider. Below we will discuss what this mushroom is and the incredible Lions Mane benefits.
What Is Lion's Mane?
Top 21 Science-Backed Lion's Mane Benefits
Lion's Mane Side Effects, Safety and Interactions
- Lion's Mane Protects Against Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Dementia
- Lion's Mane Relives Mild Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
- Lion's Mane Supports a Healthy Nervous System
- Lion's Mane Prevents Digestive Ulcer Formation
- Lion's Mane Shows Promising Myelination Regrowth Promise for Multiple Sclerosis
- Lion's Mane Reduces Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
- Lion's Mane Gives Your Immune System a Boost
- Lion's Mane Protects Your Digestive System
- Lion's Mane Inhibits the Growth of H. pylori
- Lion's Mane Has Anti-Aging Properties
- Lion's Mane Encourages Nerve Regrowth
- Lion's Mane Helps to Prevent Scar Formation
- Lion's Mane Improves Heart Health
- Lion's Mane Has Promising Anti-Cancer Properties
- Lion's Mane Protects Against HIV Cell Spreading
- Lion's Mane Encourages Healthy Circulation
- Lion's Mane Protects Against Liver Damage
- Lion's Mane Increases Bone Density
- Lion's Mane Adjusts Circadian Rhythms
- Lion's Mane Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
- Lion's Mane Prevents Fatigue
What Is Lion's Mane?
The Lion's Mane
is an edible mushroom species that has a long history of use throughout Asia. You can find this mushroom species growing naturally in North America, Europe, Japan and China on dead or dying trees. Originally reserved for the royal family and revered for its medicinal uses in China, the Lion's Mane mushroom is gaining attention for its powerful health benefits.
This attention has quickly turned to various clinical trials to prove the various medicinal claims of the Lion's Mane mushroom. Along with being packed full of minerals and vitamins, this mushroom also comes with specific compounds
that perform a variety of functions throughout your body. This is what we're going to talk about in this post — the 21 science-backed Lion's Mane benefits.
Top 21 Science-Backed Lion's Mane Benefits
1. Lion's Mane Protects Against Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Dementia
Diseases that cause memory issues like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Dementia affect roughly 16 million people in the United States alone, and that number continues to grow. These diseases have no cure, but researchers are looking for ways to slow the progression.
Scientists studied mice
with markers of Alzheimer's and found that taking Lion's Mane as a supplement can increase levels of acetylcholine, which is what helps nerve cells in the brain communicate. Another study
showed that Lion's Mane could potentially slow down the progression of Parkinson's Disease by preventing cell damage and loss, and a third study
suggested that this mushroom could decrease the amount of amyloid-beta-plaque, which contributes to dementia.
2. Lion's Mane Relieves Mild Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Depression and anxiety are two mental health conditions that often affect people at the same time. It is believed that hormone imbalances coupled with chemical changes in the brain can contribute to these mental health conditions, and the symptoms can fluctuate day by day or from person to person.
One human study
that lasted four weeks took women with menopausal symptoms like depression, anxiety, irritability and loss of concentration and gave them a daily dose of Lion's Mane extract. The symptoms significantly decreased over the course of the study. A study with mice
showed that it also had promising antidepressant effects.
3. Lion's Mane Supports a Healthy Nervous System
Your nervous system
consists of your spinal cord, brain and the network of nerves that run throughout your body. They transmit signals that control your movements and bodily functions. Injuries or damage to any part of your nervous system can have devastating repercussions.
A study involving rats showed that Lion's Mane extract could potentially help heal damage to your nervous system and speed up your overall recovery times by 23% to 41%
when they received it daily. Another study showed
that Lion's Mane was a powerful tool that could protect your brain in the event of a stroke. It shields your brain and it encourages new and healthy cell growth.
4. Lion's Mane Prevents Digestive Ulcer Formation
When you have ulcers, you have a hole or a sore in the lining of your stomach or in your gastrointestinal tract. They can form anywhere in your GI tract, and they can flare up and cause pain without much provocation. Taking a lot of over-the-counter pain relievers can cause ulcers to form, as can an overgrowth of bacteria.
For people with alcohol-induced digestive ulcers, one animal study
proved that using extract of Lion's Mane was more effective at treating the ulcer than popular acid-reducing drugs. Additionally, there aren't any side effects with Lion's Mane. Another study gave people with ulcerative colitis
14% Lion's Mane extract and monitored them over a period of three weeks. They ended up with a better quality of life and a significant reduction in their pain levels.
5. Lion's Mane Shows Promising Myelination Regrowth Promise for Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neuroinflammatory disease. This disease directly affects your body's levels of myelin, or white matter. Myelin is what makes up the membrane or sheath that wraps around your body's nerve fibres. MS causes your body to build up plaque or lesions and disrupt your normal nerve processes.
obtained from several research studies showed that taking Lion's Mane extract could possibly promote Myelination regrowth around your nerves. It speeds up the natural growth cycle, and it also promotes myelin sheath growth, repair and reformation. This could potentially slow the progression of MS.
6. Lion's Mane Reduces Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
When you have inflammation
, it can be in one part of your body, or it can be throughout your entire system. Inflammation is your body's way of fighting what it sees as an infection, even if it's not always the case. Oxidative stress is a condition that damages your cells and causes your skin to look wrinkled or lose its elasticity.
Lion's Mane has anti-inflammatory properties and works to reduce your levels of inflammatory factors
like NF-kB. One study
showed that it was effective in helping to heal digestive inflammation and bleeding in mice. Another study
showed that it's effective in fighting oxidative stress because it has several anti-oxidative qualities. This can protect you from cell damage and death.
7. Lion's Mane Gives Your Immune System a Boost
Your immune system is your body's defence against sickness or infection. It distinguishes between normal and healthy cells in your body and unhealthy cells or infections. When it detects an infection, it'll send white blood cells to the infection site in order to contain it or destroy it, which often results in inflammation.
Lion's Mane is a natural and effective way to boost your immune system. It works to enhance your immune system's
humoral immunity and its cell-mediated immunity. This makes it more resistant to infections or damage. A study with mice
showed that Lion's Mane can also encourage a regulation of your immune responses as well, and this can help to fight unnecessary inflammation or an overactive immune system.
8. Lion's Mane Protects Your Digestive System
Your digestive tract withstands a lot, from high levels of stomach acid, to bacteria breaking down everything you eat. Inflammation or problems
with your digestive system are very common, and this can lead to discomfort and trouble breaking down your food and pain or bloating. These can get worse if you don't treat them.
Researchers took mice
with inflammation and bleeding in their digestive systems and gave them Lion's Mane extract. They found that the extract helped to reduce the amount of intestinal bleeding they had, and it also suppressed inflammatory cytokines. Another study
showed that this extract can protect your digestive system against ulcers and injury due to alcoholism.
9. Lion's Mane Inhibits the Growth of H. pylori
) is a bacteria that you find in the mucosal lining of your digestive system. It's the root cause for a lot of inflammation and infections you get in your gut, and you have to treat the bacteria infection for it to go away. An infection of this bacteria is the root cause for 80% to 90% of gastric ulcers.
Two different laboratory
studies showcased the effectiveness of Lion's Mane extract when it came to inhibiting the growth of this bacteria. This extract goes to the bacteria
through the mucosal layer and prevents it from spreading.
10. Lion's Mane Has Anti-Aging Properties
As we age
, our skin naturally starts to lose elasticity. Things like sun damage can speed up the aging process and encourage cell damage. Your metabolism starts to slow and secrete a waste product as we age as well, and this waste product contributes to cell wasting.
Studies with flies and mice
showed that taking Lion's Mane each day helps to reduce this metabolic waste product in your system. This helps to control the appearance of aging. A second study
showed that taking Lion's Mane could help your cells combat the aging process, and this allows you to stop skin damage and wrinkles from forming.
11. Lion's Mane Encourages Nerve Regrowth
Injuries to your nervous system itself of injuries to your body can result in nerve damage
. This nerve damage can cause you to lose sensation in that part of your body or experience too much sensation so it's painful. You can also experience numbness, tingling, swelling or ever muscle weakness due to nerve damage.
One study showed that Lion's Mane can stimulate nerve growth factor
production in your body, and this can encourage nerve healing. Another study involving rats showed that taking Lion's Mane each day can encourage nerve growth after a significant limb injury
. It can also help with nerve regulation due to medical conditions like diabetes.
12. Lion's Mane Helps to Prevent Scar Formation
When your body tissues are damaged as a result of a physical injury, you'll end up with scar tissue formation
at the injury site. Depending on the severity of the injury, your scar tissue can be raised, painful and itchy, or it can be flat and a lighter colour than the rest of your skin. While you can't make scars go away, you can help prevent them from forming.
took rats with significant injuries and treated their injuries with both antibiotics and applications of Lion's Mane extract. They found that the treatment involving Lion's Mane had less scarring once the wound healed. They also found that it had higher levels of collagen in the wound area.
13. Lion's Mane Improves Heart Health
Did you know that cardiovascular disease is responsible for around 70% of the deaths in the United States alone? Many things play a role in your cardiovascular health, and they include your lifestyle choices like alcohol or smoking, your weight, diet, and how well you take care of yourself. Genetics also play a role, and people with a family history of heart problems are more susceptible to it.
Fortunately, one study
showed that Lion's Mane is capable of decreasing the levels of fat weight, weight gain and liver triglyceride levels in mice that were fed a high-fat diet. A second study
with mice showcased Lion's Mane and the ability to decrease cholesterol, fat tissue and leptin levels for better heart health.
14. Lion's Mane Has Promising Anti-Cancer Properties
Worldwide, cancer is the leading cause of death with 8.2 million deaths and over 14 million new cases diagnosed each year. These trends are expected to rise by 2030, and it is widely estimated that new cancer cases will rise to over 23 million new cases in just 12 years.
However, the anti-cancer properties of Lion's Mane have been known and studied since 1992. One of the first studies
involving Lion's Mane showed that it had anti-tumour activity that could help increase a person's longevity after the initial diagnosis. A second study
showed that this extracted induced cancer cell death, and a third study
showed that it could stop cancer cells from spreading from your lungs to other parts of your body.
15. Lion's Mane Protects Against HIV Cell Spreading
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that is responsible for causing AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Currently, there are almost 37 million people worldwide who have HIV/AIDS. This virus attacks your immune system and destroys your white blood cells. This leaves you very vulnerable to infections.
In order for the HIV virus to spread, there has to be reverse transcriptase activity from the HIV-1 etiologic agent. If it goes unchecked, this is how HIV/AIDS can spread. However, research has promising results concerning Lion's Mane and reverse transcriptase activity. They found that this extract can actually inhibit this activity.
In turn, this can stop the spread and expansion of the virus.
16. Lion's Mane Encourages Healthy Circulation
Your circulatory system
is responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients to your body's cells. You have two circulatory systems in your body. Your systematic circulatory system gives your tissues, organs and cells blood so they can get the oxygen and nutrients they need to function. The pulmonary circulatory system is responsible for oxygenating your blood.
Researchers studied rats and found that Lion's Mane is able to inhibit the production
of excessive blood cells. These excess blood cells are the main reason you have artery thickening. It's also useful for stopping blood clots
from forming, and this encourages your circulatory system to function at optimal levels.
17. Lion's Mane Protects Against Liver Damage
Your liver is an essential organ
that helps your body filter out contaminants. It also breaks down chemicals and nutrients that your blood passes through it. Finally, your liver also pushes waste products through the bile duct and out of circulation.
However, your liver is also easy to damage, especially if you consume a lot of alcohol or contract certain diseases like Hepatitis C. Researchers studied
Lion's Mane extract with mice and found that it could protect their liver against chemical damage. Another study showed
promising results that this extract could also prevent liver damage due to alcohol.
18. Lion's Mane Increases Bone Density
As you get older, your bone density starts to decline, which is why it's easier for people in their late 50s to early 60s and up to break or fracture a bone if they fall. It also makes it more difficult for them to heal correctly. Along with the natural aging process, medical conditions like osteoarthritis can decrease your bone density.
Researchers took rats
with low bone density and strength and gave them a supplement of Lion's Mane. After the course of the trial, they noted that the polysaccharides in Lion's Mane significantly increased the rat's bone density. A laboratory test
also showed that Lion's Mane extract restricted the production of cells that break down your bone's tissues.
19. Lion's Mane Adjusts Circadian Rhythms
Your body's circadian rhythm
refers to the 24-hour cycle that your body systems and functions run off of. It's what causes you to feel tired at night and awake during the day. People who are blind may have problems regulating their circadian rhythm, as well as people who have insomnia or trouble sleeping.
Trials with mice
showed that taking Lion's Mane extract can help you naturally adjust your circadian rhythm. It promoted decreased wakefulness in the mice at the end of their activity period. This study showed Lion's Mane's potential use
for people who have naturally disrupted circadian rhythms like patients with Alzheimer's or Dementia.
20. Lion's Mane Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Your blood glucose or blood sugar levels
constantly fluctuate, and your pancreas is responsible for helping to keep your blood sugar levels within acceptable ranges. Insulin is responsible for taking the sugar from the food you eat and breaking it down for use in your cells. It also takes some of the sugar and stores it in your liver. If you have diabetes, you can't regulate your blood sugar levels on your own.
involving diabetic mice and normal mice showed that Lion's Mane could decrease their blood sugar levels by almost half, to safe levels. In another study
involving diabetic rats, Lion's Mane extract increased their natural insulin levels and decreased their blood sugar levels.
21. Lion's Mane Prevents Fatigue
Fatigue is very common, and it's typically described as a lack of energy or initiative. Additionally, fatigue can be both physical or mental. You may find yourself not motivated to do anything, and wanting to sleep can accompany your feeling of fatigue.
Researchers studied flies
and found that Lion's Main can increase their flying ability and decrease their fatigue levels. Another study
showed that Lion's Mane could extend a person's exhaustive swimming time and reduce their levels of biochemical fatigue parameters.
Lion's Mane Side Effects, Safety and Interactions
Always talk to your doctor before you introduce a new remedy into your current health routine. They'll be able to tell you if Lion's Mane will interact with any of your current medications, and they'll also be able to monitor you for side effects or reactions.
So far, there aren't many documented side effects except for one case of allergic dermatitis
and one case of respiratory distress
. There haven't been any documented cases of interactions or adverse side effects pertaining to Lion's Mane except the two we mentioned above. If you have a Th1-dominant autoimmune problem, you may want to avoid Lion's Mane.
Lion's Mane has proven to be a powerful and natural agent that promotes a variety of health benefits for people who take it like they're recommended. However, the research is still mostly contained to animals, and more human-based research and trials are needed to solidify Lion's Mane as a viable dietary supplement.