Lion's Mane — HerbRally (2022)

Lion’s Mane Hericium erinaceus

by Heather Irvine

Herbalists Narrative

On a hot day, relatively, in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, I was on a meandering multitask with another herbalist. Our destinations included his friend’s farm, where he’d once lived, and helped implement various projects, such as one I’m about to describe, through novel ideas about medicinals, and the unique infrastructure to make it viable.

We were greeted by a border collie, then traveled through a greenhouse, on the side of the house down into a cellar with our hosts.

Inside were the well managed catacombs of edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation. I have known a few people to want to get into growing edible mushrooms, and as a seriously early (for the second wave) adapter of these hippie hobbies, was for a second a mini-authority on it. (Surpassed quickly by more focused entrepreneurs, such as our hosts, with land and commitment to it.)

I was impressed. Columns of tightly packed straw, resembling the size and shape of a punching bag stood about every 3-4 feet in this cellar, encased in plastic, and popping with perfect, Lion’s Mane Mushrooms of various stages. To help you with your visualization, right now, these are not your conventional button mushroom shape. These are a beard shaped toothed fungi, that naturally grow out of the sides of trees and stumps, and most closely resemble the Lorax, though paler, white, far less chatty, they are more, quietly authoritative, and as far as we know, stationary.)

They are white, though tan a bit around the edges as they develop, and or oxidize, and though they start dense and round, are characteristically fibrous, like a fake santa-clause beard, though more garden gnome-sized. Go ahead and look at some pictures now. Don’t take my word for it, or get too off track, on the gnome theme.

The cellar, naturally, was cool and moist, and the stewards of this crop kept an eye on the temperature and humidity during our visit. We picked somewhat quickly as to not raise these conditions too much during our warm, breathy, greedy hominid activities.

The farmers were selecting the most perfect for a market they would travel to, and we took the ‘culls’ (the imperfect), which we were still quivering with excitement for. These actually looked perfect, too, though a bit more mature than those the owners would keep to sell. Apparently frequent picking also encouraged new fruiting bodies to grow, which could potentially be a candidate for market during the next harvest. We probably placed these in paper bags or baskets, as plastic or other non-breathable materials are a mess for mushrooms, which quickly mush, soften, bruise, or mold, without breathing room. Though, mushrooms have some natural defenses to other fungi they are not immune to mold. We also removed the fruiting masses with clean, smooth, long blades supplied by our hosts, so as to not introduce much of any especially pervasive bacteria.

This was an occasion for me, aside from the shear abundance, because, though yes, Lions Mane is a wild mushroom, in many parts of the east, and I knew of it, I had hardly seen it since learning its medicinal traits. It is the kind of critter you cultivate if you can.

Whereas the farmers were going to sell their specimens fresh the next day, the other herbalist and I would tincture ours. The result, weeks later, a champagne colored elixir.


Actions attributed to this medicinal mushroom include, most notably, neuro-regenerative and neuroprotective, and we also call it a nerve tonic, and nootropic (which is to say a substance that enhances cognitive function in some way). There will be some pretty in depth information on this later. Additionally, like most of the medicinal fungi it is considered immune modulating and immune stimulating, due to the presence of complex polysaccharides I will say a little more about further on. And on a side note it has also been called anti-microbial, and styptic (stops bleeding), which are sort of common actions of herbs and medicinal mushrooms, but we don’t often associate this species with those actions as it is unusual to use such a rare item to achieve actions that can be achieved by other medicines. However, these two actions become interesting when we consider it is also used in some cases of stomach ulceration.

Geographic, Ecologic, and Identification

In North America, it occurs in the US from the Mississippi states, east, plus Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, Arizona, and the west coast, with almost all of the reports occurring in sanctioned forests or parks. It also occurs on both sides of Mexico, in the mountainous areas. The best indication of its North American range I found was on a webpage called Naturalista, which can be converted to many languages,, and has really excellent maps of occurrences of different species (Naturalista, 2018). Additionally, there is at least one documentation of it occurring in Alaska, by a specimen in collection at the University of Washington Herbarium (Encyclopdia of Life, 2018).

It apparently has also been reported in Denmark, where there were possibly the most concentrated reports, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Germany, Slovenia, Netherlands, France, Spain, West Bengal India, Chiang Main Thailand, and Australia. Based on traditional use, we know it is endemic to China and Japan (Stamets, 2002).

Though no occurrences of it were reported by maps I was able to reference, a 2008 study compared the growth and consituents of specimens from China, Japan and Korea (Ahmed, et. al., 2008).

In England it is considered endangered and it is protected by law (Encyclopedia of Life, 2018). It is said to be “widespread across continental Europe although it is not common” and “In Brittain, there were 11 records before 1998, and a survey of the New Forest in that year found 12 specimens”, additionally “with records from Herefordshire, Oxfordshire and Windsor Great Park”. (Hericium erinaceus, 2018).

Unlike most plants, it took a fair amount of research to piece together the range of this species. If you have a field guide to the mushrooms that I do not have, or found a more specialized resource online, or know it occurs near you in another region, please share!

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Generally, speaking, these are the fringed globose white mushrooms you may, rarely, see growing on forest trees. These grow to 8-16 cm across (

I enjoyed the words, and saprophyte-savvy of the Hericium erinaceus, author on

“In theory, this species of Hericium is easy to identify: it is the only species that forms a single clump of dangling spines, rather than hanging its spines from a branched structure. Additional identifying features include the fact that it typically appears on the wounds of living or very recently cut hardwoods, and the fact that its spines are mostly more than 1 cm in length. That’s the theory. In practice positive identification is more difficult, since immature specimens of the branched species of Hericium often begin more or less as a single clump, and develop their branches with age. Further confusion stems from the fact that the long-spined species of Hericium, like Hericium erinaceus, may have short spines (1cm in length or less) when they are young. In short you must be sure that your specimen is mature (look for signs of brownish or yellowish discoloration) before betting the house on your identification of Hericium erinaceus”. (

This is basically to say, that in distinguishing the exact species from others of its genus, there is some cross over in described traits, depending on the maturity of the specimen.

Hericium erinaceus grows on hardwood trees, mostly upright trees, though it can be a sign that they are dead, dying or in decline. It is expected to occur on the upright trees as opposed to occurring on softened, rotten wood on the ground, where you might see other species of Hericium, and other common coral fungi, similar morphology, but standing upright from decaying wood, instead of hanging from a tree, and get excited (though the coral mushrooms are at least edible). It can grow on logs or stumps, but check the morphology, or see a quick video I will reference soon, before declaring you have a Lion’s Mane. (Hericium erinaceus, 2018)

In North American, it is most notably seen on the American beech, and it is said to fruit from late summer through fall. For mushrooms, fruiting just means this is when you will see them, and when there is a mushroom body to harvest, as opposed to dormant mycelium, out of view, in the wood of its host, or otherwise not obvious to observers.

In case you are eager to hear what other hardwood trees it has been spotted on; oaks, ashes, Carpinus betulus, otherwise known as hornbeam, or hop-hornbeam, though the common names of this and other trees are sometimes interchanged, hence the Latin name, and species of Populus, which is the genus including aspens, cottonwoods, and poplar trees. (Encyclopedia of Life, 2018) Another source I consider succinct and authoritative on the medicinal mushrooms, includes walnut, maple and sycamore among the trees it can grow on (Stamets, 2002).

It is particularly associated with old trees, perhaps in part why we associate it with beech trees, which can grow quite old, and more often in old growth forests, found on the wounds of the older tree members, high off the ground. This alone suggests uncultivated it may take a while to develop, or something is taking the low hanging fruit!

Here is some fun vocabulary about fungi. Hericium is both saprobic, meaning it decomposes, presumably dead organic matter, (dead bodies, of trees and such) and parasitic, in which case it siphons a bit of nutrition off of the living (bodies of trees).

Now our Lorax analogy seems a bit sinister, doesn’t it.

One might argue, that this mushroom is a Lorax (friend of trees in danger), by jumping into action, covering and potentially protecting wounds and other vulnerable spots of old trees, or at least futily sending a signal to humans who have cut into the trunks, oh no you didn’t!

It is my opinion, and after a nauseatingly circular, though in-depth education in ecology and natural resources, that almost anytime we assign good or bad to the natural world, we err. The conclusion of a formal education in ecology and natural resources, it just is. One critter finds a niche on another, and those relationships that promote the survival of one tremendously, or of both moderately, carry on to future generations, with some genetic and morphological fine tuning over myriaannum, usually with a third, fourth, or so on, more dancers in the mix. No critter, microbe, mycelium, or yeast is an island.

While on the subject of ecology and natural resources, I want to insert a reference to a resource, developed by Cooperative Extension, staring a peer of mine, who went wholly into Agroforestry, about growing edible mushrooms, including Lion’s Mane. This video gives clear visual comparison between Hericium erinaceus, (the notable medicinal) and Hericium americanum (edible, though less research has gone into it yet as a medicinal).

Introduction to Totem Grown Mushrooms:

(with Steve Gabriel, Extension Program Aide)

This includes a great demonstration of how Hericium americanum is more branched when you break it apart and reveal the inside, Steve calls it a coral mushroom, and how the Hericium erinaceus (the one with more medicinal research) is more of a continuous ball inside,with the teeth originating at roughly the same plane as each other inside it.

There is another Hericium, Hericium coralloides, which was not featured in the cultivation video, grows more often in the wild, and is typically called a coral mushroom, (though there are others that are called this, and all are edible).

One more species, I consider an outlier, because it occurs on the wood of coniferous trees, or softwood, Hericium abietis. This one is said to be more difficult to cultivate.

Next, a little more in the way of conventional parameters identifying wild mushrooms. These we call organoleptic qualities… because you measure them with your senses:

Odor and Taste

If you have harvested Chantrelles for example, you may have almost instinctively, whiffed the first of your batch to detect a light apricot scent as a final identifier, before amassing and consuming. Unfortunately, this mushroom does not have an especially distinctive scent or odor. As far as mushrooms go its bland. This is a positive trait however, when it comes to preparation, making it somewhat versatile to cook with.

Spore Print

Spore prints of Hericium will be white – This is a fun activity to get into if identifying wild mushrooms, wherein you lay the mushroom on a piece of white and a piece of colored paper (or straddle half and half) to capture its spores, when they are released. For a thrill do one on dark paper, of a mushroom with white or light colored spores, preferably one with a little bit more order and symmetry than Lion’s mane, or coral fungi. The color of the spores is considered an identification trait for fungi with more doppelgangers.

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This seems as good a place as any to include that it is also totally edible, when cooked. A few of you are probably quivering to ask or say more about this, and you are definitely encouraged to leave a comment with your personal accounts, recipes, or questions. Personally I eat it, but with no special tricks other than those of Mushroom Anna, who on her well researched blog, Crazy About Mushrooms, describes harvesting it in North Carolina and sautéing it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and perhaps white wine, or substituting it for crab or lobster pieces in recipes. (McHugh, 2018)

Other Names

You might know this mushroom, but by a different name. In Japanese it is called: Yamabushitake (literally “mountain priest mushroom”). In Vietnamese and Chinese, hóu tóu gû (monkey head), and in Korean, “Norugongdengi-beoseot”, translated as Deertail Mushroom, or some sources say, hidden mountain mushroom. Additionally, colloquially it is called Pom-pom mushroom, though not to be confused with puffball mushrooms which are smooth and grow on the ground in grass. A few others you may hear; satyr's beard, bearded tooth mushroom, bearded hedgehog mushroom, or bearded tooth fungus.

Medicinal Dose

If you have studied herbs at all you have found it can be difficult to find a unified dose. Different sources promote different delivery methods and especially different amounts one should consume daily. The source I was the most pleased with, because it uses a somewhat unifed the dose, though based on research, for about three tiers of health conditions is “Medicinal Mushrooms: A Clinical Guide, 2nd edition, by Martin Powell”.

I refer you to this source, which includes suggested higher doses for more advanced and dire conditions, but aim to satisfy your questions about common dose, at least tepidly by telling you that 3-5 grams per day is the dose suggested by this source, for most uses and possibly twice as much in more serious conditions (Powell, 2002).

Biological Activity, Constituents, Medicinal Uses

To summarize, before we go deep, a few actions Hericiums have been credited with are, antimicrobial, anti-tumor, and cell repairing, particularly with respect to neuronal damage (Stamets, 2002). This becomes really interesting, considering neuron repairing constituents in Hericium, appear to have the ability to cross the blood brain barrier a physical property so rare, it is considered a medicinal quality in itself.

This is based on structure, bearing a resemblance to cholesterol, which makes up a great mass of brain tissue, and also, low molecular weight. a physical property so rare, it is considered a medicinal quality in itself. What do we mean by neuron repairing? Several classes of constituents specific to Lion’s Mane, and in some cases a few other fungi, such as a species of bird’s nest fungi in the genus Cyathus stimulate Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), an endogenous peptide (our bodies produce it), which is essential to the growth, maintenance and survival of nerve cells.

Known Active Constituents

Cyathane derivatives – This describes a group of three carbon ring structures, resembling cholesterol, with low molecular weight, also found in birds nest fungi, which have been studied for neuroregenerative effects. (Stamets, 2002)

Erinacines – Similar to the above, but named for the Lion’s Mane genus. (Stamets, 2002)

Hericenones – As the above to categories, stimulates nerve growth factor and possibly crosses the blood brain barrier (similar to above), but a different structure than the categories above, a six membered ring with various functional groups and a medium length carbon chain. (Stamets, 2002)

Beta-D-glucans –Polysaccharides with a range of actions dependent on exact structure and origin. Most widely known for lowering LDL cholesterol levels (Stamets, 2002; Powell, 2014)

Galactoxyloglucan – Branched polysaccharide (heteropolysaccharide). Bioactivity depends on which of many, but some have been cytotoxic (Stamets, 2002; Powell, 2014)

Glucoxylan – Immune tonic (Stamets, 2002; Powell, 2014)

Mannoglucoxylan – Another type of complex polysaccharide, possibly immune tonic, possibly other actions (Stamets, 2002; Powell, 2014)

Xylan – A common fiber in plant and fungi cell walls, with digestive and possibly immune benefits (Stamets, 2002; Powell, 2014)

Ergosterol – Provitamin D2 – This is to say it’s a precursor to Vitamin D2, which is considered D vitamin, however D2 is still a precursor to the form our bodies use, D3. Sources such as Medicinal Mushrooms, a Clinical Guide, suggest that effects on D levels may be negligible. (Powell, 2014)

In the Traditional Chinese Medicine system (TCM), Hericium erinaceus, which will be the focus, from here out, has been prescribed for stomach ailments, and for the prevention of cancer in the GI tract. Dr. Mizuno, of Shizuoka University, Japan, isolated a group of constituents which are strongly effective against liver cancer cells, and five polysaccharides with potent anti-tumor properties that extended the life of patients (Stamets, 2002).

As western herbalists, late to the party about Lion’s Mane, we often think first of an even more impressive feat of this fungi. Constituents have been shown to stimulate nerve growth factor, particularly a group of constituents which have been called erinacines (after the genus), and have been researched in vitro and in animal models for the potential to treat senility and Alzheimers disease, repairing neurological trauma, and possibly, simply improving cognitive abilities, and possibly muscle/motor response (Kawagishi et al, 1991, 1994; Kenmoku et al, 2002, as cited in Stamets, 2002).

The significance of NGF is mentioned earlier, but what is even more significant about it is that, though it is produced in various parts of the body, including mast cells, for regulation of inflammation, it is not believed to cross the blood brain barrier. Therefore, NGF activities in the brain must be effected by increasing its production, or activity there. All the qualities of several groups of medicinal constituents in Lions Mane suggest these should cross the blood brain barrier (BBB), and it has been tested in animal models. These have however been shown to stimulate NGF in human nerve cells (Mori et. al., 2009).

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Lower levels of nerve growth factor have been linked to early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, but Nerve Growth Factor also has implications in insulin regulation and diabetes, as well as cardiovascular disease. Nerve growth factor has also been shown to accelerate would healing and it has been studied for treatment of skin and corneal ulcers, and inflammation. It is also studied with respect to asthma and related symptoms, due to an observance of elevated NGF in asthma patients (Powell, 2002).

The above are statements about Nerve Growth Factor.

Lion’s mane may stimulate nerve growth factor, as well as have other actions.

The following are a few of the actions that have been confirmed, as well as how, conveniently condensed for me by another piece on Hericium (Encyclopedia of Life, 2018), and referenced individually here with the peer reviewed published reports of the research. You may note that whereas many herbs and mushrooms have medicinal actions across many systems, these largely relate to the nervous system, and the summaries of research that follow include other systems where nerve growth factor may be relevant.

Stimulated animal nerve cells (Park et. al., 2002).

These potential therapeutic uses have been established, by following traditional use and observations with progressive research in the last several decades. Though still mostly in the realm of tissue culture or animal studies, there were around 275 journal article results on PubMed for the exact species Hericium erinaceus.

Of those that were clinical trials, meaning in human patients or research volunteers, here are highlights of a few:

A 2008 study found improvement in mild cognitive impairment in a group of 30 Japanese men between the ages of 50-80 years old. The treatment group took four 250 mg tablets containing 96% of Yamabushitake dry powder three times daily for 16 weeks. At weeks 8, 12, and 16 the treatment group showed significant improvement in cognitive function. After four weeks off of the treatment, the scores decreased significantly. (Mori, et. al., 2008)

A 2010 study looked for therapeutic effects on depression and anxiety in a group of 30 females around the age of 41, plus or minus 6 years. The treatment group consumed powdered Hericium disguised in four cookies for four weeks, for a daily dose of 2 grams, and the treatment group ate similar cookies with no herbs. A standardized scale for reporting menopausal symptoms related to depression was used to index any results. Ratings of concentration, irritation, anxiousness, palpitations and other parameters of mood and physical symptoms rated more favorably, ie. improved in the treatment group. (Nagano, 2010)

An older study, 1985, but foundational in demonstrating the traditional use of this mushroom in gastritis, claims, “An obvious therapeutic effect of .HE. After comparing the data of the treated and control groups”, with “Improvement of the clinical symptoms, gastroscopic findings (p<0.001), mucosa dysplasia and inflammatory infiltration (0.0025<p<0.01) was impressive. This drug seems very effective in the treatment of chronic atrophic gastritis and no side effects have been discovered so far.” (Xu, 1985)

Animal Anti-diabetic Study

A 2018 study of fermented Hericium erinaceus showed antidiabetic effects in diabetic rats, regulating insulin, glucose, HbA1c, and cytokines and antioxidant systems associated with diabetes (Chaiyavat, 2018).

In-Vitro Multiple Sclerosis Related Study

The Medicinal Mushrooms Clinical Guide related this study to MS. A 2003 in-vitro study showed activating action on the nerve tissue, specifically, the process of myelination began earlier, and the rate was faster in the presence of Hericium extract, and the treatment promoted normal development of cultivated cerebellar cells. (Kolotushkina E. V., Moldavan, M. G. Voronin K. Y., Skibo, G. G., 2003)

Once again, there are more studies to review about Lion’s Mane, the majority animal or in vitro. These are just a few, of the clinical trials that surfaced with a basic search, and a couple of others which were widely referenced.

I look forward to reading what you have learned about Lion’s Mane, speaking about other medicinal mushrooms, and maybe you’ll be moved to contribute your favorite.

Until then, you might want to check out Annas blog: Crazy About Mushrooms which looks like it could be pretty interesting because she has a one hour audio documentary she complied by speaking with mushroom experts all over the country.

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A former foraging frolicker, who aims at answering some of often asked but tougher questions in herbalism, such as, how herbs work and what are the real versus theoretical safety issues. Heather was not long ago collecting and growing hundreds of medicinal plant species for her small herbal product line: Giving Tree Now in the heart of Boston, she is offering herbal health consultations, classes and informal one on one herbal mentorship for interested persons who have immersed themselves in one or more aspects of herbalism or related topics and want to continue with guidance, regular one on one instruction and encouragement, with the possibility of attending occasional community-building events with other students. Fits your schedule and starts where you are!

She also teaches Actions and Chemistry for the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism,www.VTHerbCenter.organd teaches two for-credit herbal courses, for Johnson State College/Northern Vermont University. She gets a great thrill out of presenting at and simply attending herbal events, from Herbstalk, a bustling educational and community gathering in the Boston area to the annual American Herbalists Guild Symposium and anything in between. She has also begun offering seminars for health professionals, the first of which is called "Supplement Straight Talk" about practical aspects of popular herbs & supplements, and talking to patients about herbs.


Chaiayavat, C., Woraharm, S., Sivamaruthi, B.S.,Lailerd, N., Kesika, P., Peerajan, S. (2018). Lactobacillus fermentum HP3-Mediated Fermented Hericium erinaceus Juice as a Health Promoting Food Supplement to Manage Diabetes Mellitus. Journal of Evidence Based Integrative Medicine. doi: 10.1177/2515690X18765699.

Hericium erinaceus. (n.d.). In Encyclopedia of Life online. Retrieved from:

Imtiaj, A., Jayasinghe, C., Lee, G.W., Shim, M.J., Rho, H-S., Lee, H.S., Hur, H., Lee, M-W., Lee, U-Y., Lee, T-S. (2008). Vegetative growth of four strains of Hericium erinaceus collected from different habitats. Mycobiology. 36(2): 88-92. doi: 10.4489/MYCO.2008.36.2.088.

Kolotushkina, E. V.; Moldavan, M. G.; Voronin, K. Y.; Skibo, G. G. (2003). "The influence of Hericium erinaceus extract on myelination process in vitro".Fiziolohichnyi zhurnal49 (1): 38–45.

McHugh, A. (2018). Hericium mushroom of the eastern United States. Retrieved from

Mizuno, T. (2009). Yamabushitake, Hericium erinaceum: Bioactive substances and medicinal utilization. Biochemistry of edible and medicinal mushrooms. 173-178: Published online, Nov 03, 2009.

Mori, K.; Inatomi, S.; Ouchi, K.; Azumi, Y.; Tuchida, T. (2009). "Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial".Phytotherapy Research23 (3): 367–372.doi:10.1002/ptr.2634.

Mori, K.; Obara, Y.; Hirota, M.; Azumi, Y.; Kinugasa, S.; Inatomi, S.; Nakahata, N. (2008). "Nerve Growth Factor-Inducing Activity of Hericium erinaceus in 1321N1 Human Astrocytoma Cells".Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin31 (9): 1727–1732.doi:10.1248/bpb.31.1727.

Nagano M,Shimizu K,Kondo R,Hayashi C,Sato D,Kitagawa K,Ohnuki K.

Biomedical Research.2010. Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Aug;31(4):231-7.

Naturalista. 2018. Hericium erinaceus. Webpage accessed April 14, 2018:

Park, Y. S.; Lee, H. S.; Won, M. H.; Lee, J. H.; Lee, S. Y.; Lee, H. Y. (2002)."Effect of an exo-polysaccharide from the culture broth of Hericium erinaceus on enhancement of growth and differentiation of rat adrenal nerve cells".Cytotechnology39(3): 155–162.doi:10.1023/A:1023963509393.

Powell, M. (2014). Medicinal mushrooms: A clinical guide. UK. Mycological Press.

Stamets, P. 2002. MycoMedicinals: An informational treatise on mushrooms. Olympia, WA. MycoMedia Productions.

Wong, K. H., Naidu, M., David, P., Abdulla, M. A., Abdullah, N., Kuppusamy, U.R., Sabaratnum V. 2001. Peripheral Nerve Regeneration Following Crush Injury to Rat Peroneal Nerve by Aqueous Extract of Medicinal Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr) Pers. (Aphyllorphoromycetideae). Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. doi 10.1093/ecam/neq062.

Xu, C. P., Liu, W. W., Liu, F. X., Chen, S. S., Liao F. Q., Xu, Z., Jiang L.G., Wang, C. A., Lu, X.H. (1985). A double-blind study of effectiveness of hericium erinaceus pers therapy on chronic atrophicgastritis. A preliminary report. Chinese Medicine Journal (English). 98(6): 455-6.

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What are the negative effects of lion's mane? ›

Bleeding conditions: Lion's mane mushroom might slow blood clotting. This might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding conditions. Surgery: Lion's mane mushroom might slow blood clotting and reduce blood glucose levels.

What does lion's mane do for the body? ›

Research has found that lion's mane may protect against dementia, reduce mild symptoms of anxiety and depression and help repair nerve damage. It also has strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-boosting abilities and been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, ulcers and diabetes in animals.

What does lion's mane do to the brain? ›

Preclinical studies suggest that Lion's mane may reduce inflammation and biological markers of Alzheimer's (i.e., amyloid plaques), improve cognition, and increase the release of nerve growth factor, a protein that can increase the length of nerve cell processes [3; 4; 5; 6; 7].

Does lion's mane give you a high? ›

No, lion's mane can't get you high. Mushrooms that can cause a high contain a compound called psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic that can alter your state of mind. As lion's mane does not contain psilocybin or other psychoactive compounds, there is no risk of you getting high from consuming the fungus.

Does lion's mane work immediately? ›

Depending on your biochemistry, you may feel energizing or anxiolytic effects of lion's mane after just a couple of days. Many users report decreased anxiety and increased mental clarity after 2-5 days of use. Depending, of course, on the dosage.

Can I take lion's mane everyday? ›

Lion's mane can be taken up to three times per day, though it is not recommended to exceed this limit. Daily dosages of 250mg to 750mg have also been shown to be effective. We recommend mixing one scoop of lion's mane powdered mix into your tea or coffee, once a day for a two week period.

Does lion's mane cause anxiety? ›

Relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety

Additionally, a 2018 study in adult mice found that lion's mane extract may reduce anxiety and depression, possibly by promoting the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus.

What time of day should you take lion's mane? ›

It's best to take lion's mane in the morning or early afternoon. That way you'll reap its energizing benefits throughout the day. Taking lion's mane later in the day could make you feel restless and unable to fall asleep.

Is Lion's Mane addictive? ›

Lion's Mane has been shown to reduce mild symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Unlike prescribed anti-depressants or other psychoactive drugs, there is no risk of becoming addicted or physically dependent on lion's mane.

Does lion's mane give you energy? ›

Speaking of energy, Lion's Mane also is a catalyst for physical energy production within the body. Packed with antioxidants, Lion's Mane has been found to increase cellular health by removing unstable molecules from the parts of the cell that create energy.

Is Lions Mane a stimulant? ›

Some people may experience their enhanced focus as contributing to feelings of clarity or alertness. However, lion's mane does not have the stimulant effects caused by some other nootropics, like caffeine. Lion's mane is not a stimulant, not a narcotic, and not a hallucinogenic.

How much lion's mane should I take daily? ›

For overall health maintenance, a daily dose of 250 mg to 750 mg of lion's mane per day should be enough, at least in the beginning. You can increase the dosage gradually if you feel like taking more lion's mane would benefit you.

Is Lion's Mane good for brain fog? ›

Yes, both anecdotal and research-based evidence seems to suggest that lion's mane can improve symptoms of brain fog. The lion's mane supplement has been reported to be effective in treating brain fog caused by insomnia, Lyme's disease, and migraines after only a few weeks of regular use.

Can I take lion's mane on empty stomach? ›

Yes, it's safe to take lion's mane on an empty stomach. However, if you have a sensitive stomach, doing so could cause some digestion issues. To prevent digestion problems, take your lion's mane supplements with a meal or opt for fortified foods, such as our granola.

Does lion's mane increase serotonin? ›

Lion's mane helps mice weather stress better, keeping dopamine and serotonin higher and reducing inflammation.

Does lion's mane interact with any medications? ›

Lion's mane mushrooms may interact with medications that work to slow blood clotting, such as antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs. The mushroom can have antiplatelet and antihyperglycemic effects, so you should use it with caution if you're on antidiabetics or medication that slows blood clotting.

Does lion's mane help you sleep? ›

Due to the early morning spike, cortisol levels will stabilize during the day and lower in time for sleep. Therefore, if taken in the morning, adaptogenic mushrooms such as lion's mane can be a great way to restore your circadian rhythm and help you maintain a healthy sleeping schedule.

Is Lions Mane good for depression? ›

Extracts from lion's mane mushrooms may be beneficial in the treatment of anxiety and depression. In a 2015 study , mice that consumed lion's mane mushroom extract displayed fewer depressive behaviors and had blood markers that indicated lower depression.

Does Lions Mane calm you down? ›

According to research, lion's mane mushrooms seem to reduce mild symptoms of anxiety and depression. In addition to its ability to make you feel more relaxed and focused, these medicinal mushrooms may be able to improve sleep problems, a common symptom of anxiety disorders.

Why does lion's mane make me tired? ›

In short - no, lion's mane mushroom will not make you sleepy. However, due to the noted benefits on anti-anxiety and possible improvements in sleep quality, it may be a good idea to take lion's mane before bedtime as part of your unwinding routine!

Does lion's mane affect hormones? ›

Lion's Mane supplements have been found to increase levels in both depression and stress hormones like cortisol, while also reducing symptoms associated with mood disorders.

Does lion's mane interact with any medications? ›

Lion's mane mushrooms may interact with medications that work to slow blood clotting, such as antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs. The mushroom can have antiplatelet and antihyperglycemic effects, so you should use it with caution if you're on antidiabetics or medication that slows blood clotting.

Does lion's mane lower testosterone? ›

Lion's Mane mushroom or just mushrooms, in general, are known to improve the level of testosterone in the body, giving you better muscle growth and overall energy throughout the day. Therefore, no Lion's mane has no evidence that it lowers testosterone as a side effect.

Is Lion's mane addictive? ›

Lion's Mane has been shown to reduce mild symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Unlike prescribed anti-depressants or other psychoactive drugs, there is no risk of becoming addicted or physically dependent on lion's mane.

Is Lion's mane FDA approved? ›

But it's important to note that, as of now, the FDA has not approved lion's mane as a safe or effective supplement to treat any health conditions or diseases, despite its long-standing use as a natural remedy for many ailments.

Does lion's mane affect blood pressure? ›

Reportedly, more than 70 active compounds in lion's mane mushroom have properties that protect against infections, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and dementia ... quite a laundry list.

Does lion's mane help with weight loss? ›

Though lion's mane mushrooms are nutritious, there is little evidence to support claims that they boost energy, prevent disease, or speed up weight loss. “Although lion's mane may have benefits, by no means is adding them to your diet a magic elixir,” says Shanta Retelny.

How much lion's mane is too much? ›

Your daily intake of lion's mane supplements shouldn't exceed 5000 mg. Even at high doses, there are no serious side effects to taking lion's mane. However, you may experience some digestive discomfort, such as indigestion and bloating, if you take a high dose, especially if you're not used to adaptogenic mushrooms.

Does lion's mane affect hormones? ›

Lion's Mane supplements have been found to increase levels in both depression and stress hormones like cortisol, while also reducing symptoms associated with mood disorders.

When should I take lion's mane? ›

It's best to take lion's mane in the morning or early afternoon. That way you'll reap its energizing benefits throughout the day. Taking lion's mane later in the day could make you feel restless and unable to fall asleep.

What mushroom is good for testosterone? ›

Cordyceps mushrooms were shown to increase the production of testosterone and may counteract any inhibitory effects of other medicinal fungi.

Does lion's mane increase serotonin? ›

Does lion's mane increase serotonin? Although lion's mane does not increase total serotonin levels, research suggests that the mushroom has the ability to stabilize blood serotonin levels, as well as levels of other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine.

Is Lion's mane legit? ›

Lion's mane mushrooms and their extracts show promise in animal and in vitro studies. However, there is not yet enough evidence to support their use for the treatment or prevention of any health condition in humans. It should be safe for most people to enjoy lion's mane mushrooms for culinary purposes.

Does lion's mane cause anxiety? ›

Relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety

Additionally, a 2018 study in adult mice found that lion's mane extract may reduce anxiety and depression, possibly by promoting the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus.

How do you take lion's mane? ›

There is no best way to consume lion's mane, as you'll reap the benefits of this medicinal mushroom whether you consume it raw, cooked, or as a supplement. However, whether you go with a whole mushroom or a supplement, it's important to get the highest quality product available.

Do mushroom supplements work? ›

New studies are proving that mushrooms' purported superpowers are likely real, such as their ability to treat, and even prevent cancer. But the best mushroom supplements can also lend day-to-day benefits like better brain function, a healthier immune system, more energy, and better sleep.

You might be wondering what lions mane does to your body and how you can start using it. You can find various information online on what it does and how ...

Hericium erinaceus (the mushroom found in lion’s mane) contains an active ingredient called hericenone, which inhibits the formation of blood clots.. The lion’s mane mushroom has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is well known for its neuroprotective effects.. Despite the limited research, the benefits of lion’s mane mushroom are impressive.. While many studies have found promising results from lion’s mane mushrooms, there is still some uncertainty surrounding the safety of lion’s mane.. The most effective substrate for lion’s mane growing is hardwood pellets.. For the best results, grow your lion’s mane mushrooms in a shady, dark area.. The lion’s mane mushroom is a slow-growing crop, and it takes about 2 years to produce fruit.. Depending on your level of experience, you can grow your own lion’s mane mushrooms indoors or on logs.. Lion’s Mane mushrooms are edible.. Lion’s Mane is a wild mushroom that has a wildly undefined cap and stem.. If you want to grow your own, you can follow the instructions in Growing Lion’s Mane mushrooms, which include cultivation tips.

What is lion's mane and what are the benefits of using it? Get the lowdown on the health purposes of this medicinal mushroom.

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.. 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 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 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 neuro-protective effect against ischemic stroke.. 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.. Studies in animals support the use of lion's mane mushrooms in managing diabetes.. Studies on the potential benefits of lion's mane in humans have shown great promise, but research so far has been limited mostly to animals.. 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.

Supercharge your menu with these delicious Lion’s Mane mushroom recipes. These dishes are so good your family will be roaring your praises. 

Supercharge your dinner menu with these delicious Lion’s Mane mushroom recipes.. So, give these delicious and nutritious Lion’s Mane mushroom recipes a try.. This mushroom dish is as delicious as it is healthy.. The mushroom “chicken” is soft and flavorful, with a lovely texture.. Try these mushroom nuggets if you’re having trouble getting someone in your family to eat their veggies!. Well, you’ve scrolled to the right recipe.. If you love bold flavors, you need to try these blackened Lion’s Mane mushroom steaks.. You’ll love this flavorful steak substitution even if you’re not plant-based.

Lion's mane (Hericium erinaceus) mushroom is most recognized for its important work in supporting brain function, memory, and mood.

Lion’s mane ( Hericium erinaceus ) has been getting special attention for its potential benefits of supporting nerve regeneration and brain health (Sabaratnam et al., 2013 ).. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of lion’s mane mushroom and the best sources of this fungi powerhouse.. Lion’s mane is a powerful brain tonic and has increasingly been studied for its neuroprotective properties (Zhang et al., 2016).. Although more research stands to be done on the side effects of lion’s mane, aside from a case of reported respiratory distress linked with the consumption of lion’s mane extract (Nakatsugawa et al., 2003), it has been found to have very few side effects and is considered safe (Zhang et al., 2016).. I was able to find a source to purchase a lion’s mane growing kit on NorthSpore.. As you can see, there is so much to know about lion’s mane mushroom!. Stamets, P. (2017).


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