Adaptogenic mushrooms are gaining popularity. Many of them have amazing health benefits, but none more so than Hericium erinaceus, commonly called lion’s mane mushroom. Let’s look at some of the lion’s mane benefits and the scientific research that’s been done on this medicinal mushroom.
Lion’s Mane Health Benefits
While research on the advantages of lion’s mane mushrooms is still in its early stages, the studies that have been published so far are promising. This mushroom appears to be beneficial to the brain, digestive system, and immune system, as well as aiding in the battle against cancer and autoimmune illnesses. From a scientific standpoint, this medicinal fungus has enormous potential and should be studied further.
Anti-Cancer Properties of Lion’s Mane
Cerebrosides, which are present in the fruiting bodies of Hericium erinaceus, are shown to have promising anti-cancer properties. According to an in vitro study, cerebroside E, a common lion’s mane component, appears to help in cancer treatment.
The adaptogenic fungus lion’s mane is one of the few that appears to promote cancer cell death (cordyceps mushrooms appear to have the same ability). This suggests that these mushrooms may guard against cancers like colon cancer and leukemia by assisting cancer cells in their planned death.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Have Anti-Diabetes Properties
Polysaccharides, which are contained in Hericium erinaceus, have anti-hyperglycemic characteristics, which means they can help reduce blood sugar levels. As a result, lion’s mane can be beneficial to diabetics who need to maintain their blood sugar levels from climbing too high after a meal.
A study on the effects of lion’s mane on diabetic rats appears to back up the mushroom’s anti-hyperglycemic claims. The rats’ blood glucose levels normalized after 28 days on a lion’s mane extract.
Lion’s Mane’s Digestive Health Benefits
At least in animals, Hericium erinaceus appears to offer digestive-protective properties. The effects of this medicinal fungus on the stomach were studied in rats, and the results showed that lion’s mane reduced the likelihood of ethanol-induced stomach ulcers.
Although further human studies are needed, if you have gastrointestinal problems, it can’t hurt to take a lion’s mane mushroom supplement.
Lion’s Mane’s Neurological Health Benefits
The capacity of lion’s mane to promote cognition and overall brain health is one of its most well-known properties. Lion’s mane is used in alternative medicine to cure disorders including multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, as well as to relieve nerve pain and prevent nerve damage, due to its neurotrophic characteristics.
The most well-known human research on Hericium erinaceus looked at how it affected moderate cognitive impairment. The placebo-controlled, double-blind trial was conducted on Japanese adults aged 50 to 80 who had minor cognitive impairment related to age or underlying diseases. After consuming lion’s mane for 16 weeks, the subjects’ cognitive health improved dramatically.
Mental Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane
Lion’s mane appears to help with mental clarity and the treatment of depressive illnesses, in addition to aiding in the therapy of cognitive deficits. The effects of the lion’s mane mushroom on numerous menopause symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, were investigated in a study.
Participants that took a lion’s mane mushroom extract for four weeks scored lower on tests measuring depression and anxiety symptoms than the control group. While further research is needed, lion’s mane has the potential to improve mental wellness and alleviate milder symptoms of mental diseases.
Immunity-Boosting Properties of Lion’s Mane
According to research, lion’s mane mushrooms have antioxidant and immunity-boosting characteristics. A study in mice looked at the impact of lion’s mane on immunological function. The lion’s mane mushroom boosted overall immune function in mice by enhancing cell and humoral immunity, according to the findings.
Risks and Side Effects of Lion’s Mane
There is no proof from scientific or anecdotal evidence that consuming lion’s mane mushroom is harmful.
Hericium erinaceus has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for millennia and is still widely used today, with the only recorded side effects being an upset stomach and diarrhea.
Negative effects are extremely uncommon and generally mild from consuming this adaptogenic mushroom. Although lion’s mane side effects are uncommon, you should start with a low dose of the mushroom to avoid digestive troubles, especially if this is your first time using medicinal mushrooms.
Do Medications Interact with Lion’s Mane?
Although research on lion’s mane medicine interactions is limited, the mushroom may have effects that interfere with diabetic or blood coagulation medications.
The lion’s mane, for example, appears to have healing properties. If you’re already taking blood thinners, talk to your doctor about the possibility of a drug interaction to avoid symptoms including extended wound healing and bruises.
The effects of lion’s mane supplements on diabetic mice in an animal study imply that this adaptogenic mushroom possesses antihyperglycemic properties. If you’re already using a blood sugar-lowering prescription, such as insulin, you should monitor your blood sugar levels while taking lion’s mane to ensure it doesn’t fall below normal.
Is Lion’s Mane Harmful?
Even if you take them every day, lion’s mane mushrooms are not addictive. Lion’s mane has no psychoactive impact and will not give you a high, and you can stop taking it at any time with no negative consequences.