Active Compounds From the Lion’s Mane Mushroom May Boost Neuron Growth

Lion's Mane Mushroom growing on an oak tree
It is Rare to Find a Lion’s Mane Mushroom Growing in the Wild

A study was recently published in the Journal of Neurochemistry linking the active compounds found in Lion’s Mane mushroom to brain cell growth and improved memory. First, brain cell growth was studied in a controlled environment. They were soaked in a water soluble extraction of H. erinaceum. It was concluded that Lion’s Mane promoted growth in neuron projections. These are the pathways that extend and connect to other neurons.

As a second part of the test, the researchers diluted the mushroom in water and administered it to a group of mice for thirty days and another group received either ginkgo biloba or nothing. On days 28-30, the mice were subject to a Y-shaped maze which they ran eight minutes a day. A second test placed the mice into a box with a pair of similar objects, and they were given three minutes to explore each day. All of their movements were recorded. The mice that received the Lion’s Mane showed a similar pattern all three runs through the maze, and an affinity to explore the same object repeatedly. It was concluded after an examination of their brains that the mushrooms had enhanced their recognition memory. These results are important as Lion’s Mane mushroom could one day be used to combat neurodegenerative diseases.

What is the Lion’s Mane Mushroom?

The Lion’s Mane Mushroom is scientifically known as Hericium erinaceus. It has played a major role in Traditional Chinese Medicine long before it was introduced to the West. It is said that Buddhist monks created some of the first teas that used Lion’s Mane Mushroom. Today, it is being widely cultivated for its medicinal demand as it is believed to benefit the liver, spleen, lung, heart, and kidney.

This mushroom prefers to grow on hardwood trees in temperate forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The Lion’s Mane has a white body with spikes, or fronds, sticking out and hanging all over. The appearance is similar to the mane of a lion. After they are harvested, the mushrooms are dried, and then turned into a powder or tincture.

Health Benefits of Microdosing Lion’s Mane

While they have been eaten for potentially centuries, the research into Lion’s Mane mushrooms is still relatively new. The following are some of the potential benefits that these studies found.

Lion's Mane can grow neurons
Lion’s Mane has Shown Potential to Grow Neurons

Neuroprotection and Neuron Growth: As the brain ages it can’t build or repair new neurological connections as well. This can lead to a decline in mental abilities for some people. Besides the study mentioned above, Lion’s Mane has been shown to help people with mental decline. In a study in 2020 , participants were given 1 g of Lion’s Mane daily for 49 weeks. There was a noted improvement in cognition over those that received a placebo.

Depression and Anxiety Relief: Many researchers believe that depression and anxiety are a result of the reduced function of the hippocampus. This region of the brain processes memories and emotional responses. Several studies have shown that Lion’s Mane has the potential to improve the function of the hippocampus.

Digestive Tract Protectant: Ulcers form due to the overgrowth of bacteria and damage to the mucous layer of the stomach. Regular use of Lion’s Mane might protect the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine from ulcers. Several studies outline the success of Lion’s Mane as an inhibitor for bacteria growth.

ShroomBuddy Can Help You Add Lion’s Mane to Your Self-Care Routine

Adding Lion’s Mane mushrooms to a daily self-care routine is as easy as drinking a cup of coffee. In fact, ShroomBuddy has Lion’s Mane coffee that can be brewed in the morning, or a tincture that can be added to your favorite cup of joe. Our Lion’s Mane collection also includes capsules and gummies. ShroomBuddy’s full line of functional mushrooms include Chaga, Reishi, Turkey Tail, Cordyceps, Maitake, as well as the psychoactive Amanita Muscaria and Amanita Pantherina.

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