Medicinal Uses of Lion's Mane Mushroom

Medicinal Uses of Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s Mane mushroom is known by many different names. It is commonly referred to as the “sacred mane” or “shaggy mane”. Other names include “sheep’s head”, “lambshead”, “bear’s head”, and “tiger’s head”. 

The lion’s mane is also called the “king of mushrooms” in Japan. Lion’s Mane mushrooms can grow in a variety of locations, but are most abundant in North America, Eastern Russia, Central Asia, France, Eastern Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and Scotland. 

Lion’s mane mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety and depression. They are generally well tolerated and considered safe for long-term use and the capabilities of Lion’s Mane in the treatment of depression give it a good reputation among users. 

In this article, we will highlight some of the other benefits and potential side effects of Lion’s Mane mushroom.

Benefits and Side Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms:

Treating Symptoms of Depression

The polysaccharides present in lion’s mane mushrooms have capabilities and studies to show that they can effectively treat symptoms of depression. Although the mushroom Hericium Erinaceus has a variety of other benefits, one of the most popular is that it can be used to treat depression.

This fungus works by increasing the mental energy, focus, and calmness required in dealing with depression. Hericium Erinaceus is also linked to anti-inflammatory effects which can help treat arthritis, asthma, ulcers, etc. 

This mushroom also has polysaccharides that have been shown to improve cognitive function. Hericium Erinaceus has also been shown to reduce depressive symptoms in patients with mild to severe depression. However, there are some side effects associated with this mushroom as well. Some people may experience gastric distress or allergic reactions after consuming it. 

Lion’s Mane mushrooms are generally considered safe for most people, but as with any supplement, it is always best to exercise caution.

Medicinal Uses of Lion's Mane Mushroom

Helps Increase Mental Energy, Focus, and Calmness

One of the most popular benefits of Hericium Erinaceus is that it can be used to treat depression. This fungus works by increasing mental energy, focus, and calmness which are all requirements for dealing with depression. 

Furthermore, Lion’s Mane mushroom is rich in essential minerals such as selenium, copper-zinc, manganese, potassium, magnesium, and niacin. It is also high in antioxidants which can help protect the heart from damage caused by free radicals due to aging and pollution. 

Reduces Inflammation

Hericium Erinaceus has also been linked to a reduction in inflammation and can help with the treatment of conditions such as arthritis, asthma, and ulcers. One way it may reduce inflammation is by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. 

In addition, Lion’s Mane mushrooms have been shown to enhance the activities of anti-inflammatory cells in the body such as macrophages and neutrophils. Hericium Erinaceus may also help to reduce inflammation by suppressing the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), a pro-inflammatory protein.

Improved Immune Function

Hericium Erinaceus may help support the immune system by stimulating the production of T-cells which guide your body’s response to antigens such as bacteria or viruses. The mushroom contains a unique group of protective molecules called hericyclopeptides which can help support the function of your immune system. 

It does this by activating the macrophages that circulate throughout the body and stimulate the production of natural killer cells or white blood cells that protect against harmful viruses and bacteria found in the air we breathe, food we eat, and water we drink. 

Lion’s Mane mushrooms also contain a number of antioxidants as well as other important vitamins and minerals including B1, B2, P, selenium, copper, zinc, and niacin which are all known to play an important role in promoting healthy immune function.

Improved Heart Health

Hericium Erinaceus is also high in antioxidants which can help protect the heart from external and internal toxic elements. 

Hericium Erinaceus may improve circulation since it contains erinacine A. Erinacine A is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that increases muscle contraction of blood vessels thus improving blood flow. Hericium Erinaceus is also a good source of B vitamins necessary for heart health.

Decreases Risk of Cancer

Lion’s Mane mushrooms have also been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. In one study, Lion’s Mane extract was found to suppress the proliferation of human bladder cancer cells in vitro

Additionally, Lion’s Mane has been shown to increase the activity of natural killer cells, which are essential for fighting tumors and virus-infected cells. However, we need more research to determine whether Lion’s Mane can be used to an alternative treatment for cancer.

Reduces Anxiety and Stress 

Lion’s Mane mushrooms have also been shown to help reduce anxiety and stress. One study showed that lion’s mane extract reduced anxiety-like behavior in mice. 

Lion’s Mane has been shown to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine which are neurotransmitters essential for mood regulation. 

Hericium Erinaceus is also a good source of magnesium which helps regulate levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone”, and is often deficient in people with anxiety or stress.

As you can see, Lion’s Mane mushrooms offer a variety of health benefits.

If you’re looking for an all-natural way to improve your cognitive function, mood, and heart health, Lion’s Mane mushrooms may be the right choice for you! It is important to talk to a health professional before starting these mushrooms, but Lion’s Mane mushrooms are generally considered safe for most people.

Which Type of Lion’s Mane Mushroom is the Best for Medicinal Use?

Medicinal Uses of Lion's Mane Mushroom

There are three types of lion’s mane mushrooms: Hericium Erinaceus, H. Americanum, and H. Coralloides. 

Hericium Erinaceus is the most common and contains the most active compounds. H. Americanum and H. Coralloides are less potent but may be better for people who are allergic to mushrooms or have a sensitive stomach.

Lion’s Mane mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat many different ailments, including depression, anxiety, nerve pain, inflammation, and asthma. Recent studies have shown that lion’s mane mushrooms can effectively treat some of these conditions.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplements and Dosage

There is no standard dosage for lion’s mane supplements because different brands contain different active compounds. 

It is best to start with a lower dose and gradually increase if needed until to minimize the side effects you experience. Some brands recommend taking Lion’s Mane supplements two to three times a day for up to eight weeks and then reducing the dosage once symptoms improve.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Side Effects

Like any other supplement or medication, you should be aware of the potential side effects before using Lion’s Mane mushrooms to treat a condition or conditions. Although Lion’s Mane mushroom is generally safe, it may cause an upset stomach if taken on an empty stomach, so it is recommended to take Lion’s Mane with food to reduce this risk. It may also interfere with some types of blood sugar medications such as insulin and sulfonylureas.

How Do Lion’s Mane Depression Reducing Capabilities Work?

Lion’s Mane mushrooms contain compounds called erinacines and hericenones that increase nerve growth factors (NGF) which are needed to develop new neurons. 

Researchers believe Lion’s Mane may be helpful in reversing depression because it can reverse some of the brain damage caused by chronic stress including low levels of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine or serotonin, and high cortisol levels.

Potential side effects of Lion’s Mane mushrooms include heartburn, upset stomach, hives, and redness. It can also cause liver damage, so it should be avoided if you have a history of hepatitis B infection. 

Taking Lion’s Mane with certain medications could cause problems, including high blood pressure and increased bleeding which is why anyone thinking about taking Lion’s Mane for depression should first consult their doctor. 

There is also some evidence that Lion’s Mane may interact with antidepressants, so it’s important to let your doctor know about all the medications and supplements you’re taking.

Lion’s Mane mushroom supplements can help improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation making it an excellent choice for those suffering from conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Some people also look to Lion’s Mane as a natural way to boost energy levels and increase productivity. As with any new supplement, it is essential to speak with your healthcare provider before beginning a regimen to ensure there are no interactions with medications you’re currently taking.

How to Use Lion’s Mane Mushroom?

You can take Lion’s Mane mushroom in a few different ways, including as a tea, tincture, or supplement capsules. There are also recipes online for incorporating Lion’s Mane into meals. 

When using Lion’s Mane for medicinal purposes, it is essential to consider significant risk factors. Additionally, people with allergies to mushrooms should avoid consuming this herb altogether.

It is important to consider major risk factors before using Lion’s Mane for medicinal purposes and know that there might be interactions with existing medications such as blood thinners or others that can affect the liver enzymes. Also, people who have mushroom allergies should avoid consuming this herb entirely.

If you take too many Lion’s Mane mushrooms at once, there might be significant complications that can cause severe discomfort in the digestive system. Make sure to keep an eye on how often this happens when increasing your dosage. It is always best to follow dosage instructions carefully before deciding upon alternative application methods.

Finally, if you take too much of Lion’s Mane mushroom, you may experience gastrointestinal problems. Some also experience mild side effects from ingesting Lion’s Mane mushrooms, such as stomach issues, so starting with a low dose and working your way up is recommended. 

If taking too much of the herb causes any major health risks or unwanted symptoms like nausea and diarrhea, then stop use immediately and consult your doctor for further guidance.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom for Diabetes

Lion’s Mane mushroom can be beneficial for blood sugar levels. The fungus has shown positive results in the treatment of diabetes by lowering levels of glucose and lipids in the blood and increasing antioxidant activity within the body. 

Also, Lion’s Mane is a nootropic, which can increase mental clarity and energy. It balances neurotransmitters responsible for mood regulation such as dopamine, serotonin, and GABA. For individuals suffering from depression, Lion’s Mane mushroom extract could serve as a natural and alternative treatment.

Diabetes can cause polydipsia, which is a scientific term for excessive thirst, so regularly monitoring blood sugar levels is essential. Since the fungus has shown positive results in reducing blood glucose and blood lipid levels as well as increasing antioxidant activity within the body, consuming Lion’s Mane mushroom extract may help reduce polydipsia.

Pancreatic B-cell dysfunction is a complication that often accompanies diabetes. This happens when the pancreatic cells that produce insulin become damaged. The extract of Lion’s Mane mushroom has been shown to help protect these B-cells from damage, allowing for the maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels in people with diabetes

Overall, Lion’s Mane mushroom can be beneficial for those who have diabetes by reducing blood glucose levels, blood lipid levels, and polydipsia while also protecting the B-cells found in the pancreas. It can also improve mental clarity and energy by balancing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom and Surgery

Lion’s Mane mushrooms have also been linked to benefits that can help those recovering from surgery. The anti-inflammatory effects of Lion’s Mane can help reduce swelling and speed up the healing process. Lion’s Mane mushrooms are a great way to boost the immune system during this time.

The additional benefits of Lion’s Mane mushrooms can help those recovering from surgery enjoy a safer and more effective recovery process. Lion’s Mane mushroom has anti-inflammatory effects that reduce swelling, relax muscles, and speed up the healing process for those who have recently undergone surgery.

This is especially important because it helps to ensure that all wounds heal properly and shorten the amount of time spent in pain before full recovery is possible.

Also, since Lion’s Mane mushroom boosts immunity levels when consumed or applied topically on skin infections such as eczema and psoriasis, it also reduces risks associated with sudden illness due to compromised immunity caused by surgeries that require anesthesia.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom as a Supplement

Lion’s Mane has antidepressant-like effects, which is why it aids in stress reduction. This mushroom promotes feelings of happiness and relaxation without causing drowsiness or fatigue.

It also boosts immune function by increasing the production of TNF (tumor necrosis factor), an anti-inflammatory cytokine that helps fight infections like colds and the flu.

Lion’s Mane is also thought to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, such as high cholesterol and triglycerides issues. 

Lion’s Mane is used in many parts of Asia to treat gastrointestinal disorders, including gastric ulcers and constipation. The mushroom also has antidepressant-like effects by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. 

It can reduce ocular pressure because it contains an enzyme that dissolves protein fibrils similar to those found in human eye lens proteins. This is thought to be responsible for its ability to promote healthy eyesight.

This ingredient helps improve symptoms associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s Chorea, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). 

It can also help with age-related cognitive decline such as dementia and memory loss.

Some people have noted experiencing some side effects from consuming Lion’s Mane mushrooms, such as upset stomach, dizziness, and headache.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom as an Alternative Medicine for Long-Term Use

Lion’s mane mushrooms are being studied as a potential alternative medicine for long-term use. Preliminary studies have shown that Lion’s Mane mushrooms can help improve cognitive function and memory in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. 

Lion’s Mane mushroom may also help improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. It has been shown to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine which are neurotransmitters that play a key role in mood regulation.

However, some potential side effects are associated with consumption of Lion’s Mane mushroom supplements. These include gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

High doses of lion’s mane mushrooms may also cause liver damage. It is essential to speak with a healthcare provider before taking Lion’s Mane mushrooms especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Conclusion:

Lion’s Mane mushrooms are an alternative medicine that can be used long-term to relieve symptoms of and treat conditions such as anxiety and depression among others. They are a natural source of antioxidants and polysaccharides which help improve cognitive function and protect the brain from damage.

While there are some side effects associated with Lion’s Mane mushrooms, they are generally well-tolerated and considered safe for long-term use. 

If you’re looking for an alternative way to treat anxiety, depression, or other conditions, Lion’s Mane mushroom may be a viable option. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether it might be the right choice for you.

References

  1. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Feb
  2. 9 Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Plus Side Effects)Healthline.com
  3. lions-mane.pdf Kevin Spelman, PhD, MCPPa Elizabeth Sutherland, NDb Aravind Bagade, MDc
  4. Structures, biological activities, and industrial applications of the polysaccharides from Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) mushroom: A review -January 2017 International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
  5. Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from MalaysiaPuei-Lene Lai 1, Murali Naidu, Vikineswary Sabaratnam, Kah-Hui Wong, Rosie Pamela David, Umah Rani Kuppusamy, Noorlidah Abdullah, Sri Nurestri A Malek
  6. Lion’s mane mushrooms: Benefits and side effects– Medical News Today
  7. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Lion’s Mane Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) in a Coculture System of 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and RAW264 Macrophages– January 2015 International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 17(7):609-618
  8. Protective Effect of Ethanol Extracts of Hericium erinaceus on Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Neuropathic Pain in Rats– Zhang Yi, Yang Shao-long, Wang Ai-hong, Sun Zhi-chun, Zhuo Ya-fen, Xu Ye-ting, and He Yu-ling 
  9. IJMS | Free Full-Text | Therapeutic Potential of Hericium erinaceus for Depressive Disorder (mdpi.com)– by Pit Shan Chong 1,Man-Lung Fung 1,Kah Hui Wong 2,*ORCID andLee Wei Lim

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