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8 Lion’s Mane Health Benefits

Lion's mane mushroom growing on a dead tree

Written By: Emily Spring

Some of the strangest looking foods offer some of the best health benefits. Knobby celeriac, fuzzy kiwi, and spiky artichokes all have amazing health benefits, as long as you can get past their odd appearance. Lion’s Mane mushroom is one of these wildly weird while beneficial superfoods.

These shaggy-headed fungi are believed to support many critical areas of your body, including your neural, immune, and digestive systems.1

Researchers are still studying the full reach of these possible benefits. However, the prospects of this potential superfood are quite intriguing. Learn more about the benefits of Lion's Mane with this helpful guide.

What Are Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?

The first thing you’d notice about a Lion’s Mane mushroom is its distinct appearance—the shaggy white mushrooms truly resemble a lion’s mane. These functional, medicinal  mushrooms are also called:

  • White-bearded mushrooms
  • Satyr’s beard fungus
  • Bearded tooth fungus
  • Bearded hedgehog mushroom

Even its Latin name, Hericium erinaceus, refers to the mushroom’s appearance as erinaceus, which refers to the hedgehog’s scientific genus name. 

The medicinal mushroom is native to North America, Europe, and Asia, and it can be used in various culinary creations, whether that’span-fried, thrown in a pasta dish or incorporated into a colorful stir fry. 

Discover the power of Reishi mushrooms. Shop now!

Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

While these medicinal mushrooms have been called by many names, they’ve been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Today, modern researchers are studying the Lion’s Mane health benefits to understand how these fungi may support our overall wellbeing.

#1 May Possess Anti-inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is your body’s way of stimulating its healing response. However, too much inflammation can lead to severe consequences and is linked to:

  • Heart disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Some cancers

Incorporating foods that are high in antioxidants can help reduce unwanted chronic inflammation. 

Research findings posted in the journal “Molecular Medicine Reports” show that Lion’s Mane mushrooms contain high levels of inflammation-fighting antioxidants.2 A mushroom supplement containing Lion’s Mane and nine other functional mushrooms, such as our WonderDay Mushroom Gummies, may give your body an inflammation-battling boost.

#2 May Help Manage Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetics may benefit from the hypoglycemic properties of Lion’s Mane mushrooms. These properties might assist with:3

  • Managing blood sugar levels
  • Helping the body digest and utilize carbohydrates more effectively
  • Controlling oxidative stress resulting from elevated blood sugar

Most studies reflecting these benefits have been conducted on diabetic rats, so ore research is necessary to confirm that the same benefits extend to humans.

#3 May Give Your Immune System a Boost

You’ve probably heard a lot about gut health recently as the importance of nourishing your body’s natural microbiome has become more widely known. More specifically, there’s a link between a flourishing microbiome and your immune system—and a robust immune system is critical to protect you from harmful:

  • Viral infections
  • Bacterial infections
  • Pathogens
  • Changes to your cells

It’s believed that a protein found in Lion’s Mane mushrooms helps regulate gut bacteria, resulting in an immune system that’s primed to fight off infection. This is very similar to cordyceps mushroom benefits.4 Since most studies have focused on mice, more research with human subjects is the future for proving this benefit.

Incorporating a Lion’s Mane supplement or other herbs for immune system support may help your body function properly.

#4 May Protect Your Digestive Tract 

Stomach ulcers are can be  caused by a bacterial infection. The bacteria responsible for ulcers is Helicobacter pylori. Along with pain and discomfort, stomach ulcers can also lead to more serious issues, like bleeding and stomach obstruction.

Test tube studies discussed in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” found that Lion’s Mane extract was an effective tool against Helicobacter pylori.5 It’s not yet known if the same effect can be replicated in a human trial.

However, our WonderDay Mushroom Gummies do provide whole-body balance and support, helping to encourage healthy digestion, as well as cognitive function.

#5 May Support a Healthy Heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to CDC statistics. The factors contributing to heart disease include:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Smoking
  • An unhealthy diet
  • Inactivity
  • High cholesterol

While Lion’s Mane mushrooms can’t make you stick to your New Year’s resolutions to exercise daily or eat a healthier diet, they may still influence a few other aspects of your heart health.

Research in rodents has shown that Lion’s Mane mushrooms might help lower levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol.6 Furthermore, mice who consumed Lion’s Mane gained less weight over four weeks than those who did not. 

Lion’s Mane may also help prevent the hardening of arteries that leads to plaque build-up, which can cause strokes and heart attacks.7 This particular effect has been demonstrated in a laboratory setting, but not yet in human subjects.

#6 May Help Fight Cancer Cells

The antioxidant properties present in Lion’s Mane mushrooms might help your body fight against cancer cells. Studies with rodent subjects have shown that Lion’s Mane may contribute to:8

  • A reduction in tumor size
  • The destruction of cancer cells
  • Possible prevention of cancer’s spread between organs

The potential benefits of Lion’s Mane as a therapeutic weapon against cancer haven’t been fully studied in humans. However, the possibility that they may help fight cancer is exciting to consider.

#7 May Provide Support for a Healthy Brain

One exciting potential benefit from Lion’s Mane is its ability to provide support for a healthy, functioning brain. Studies analyzing the effects of Lion’s Mane have been conducted on the following disorders with positive results:9

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Ischemic strokes

Those studies demonstrated improved cognitive function and better memory protection when they took regular doses of Lion’s Mane. 

While further research is needed to fully understand Lion’s Mane mushrooms’  impact on your brain function, Lion’s Mane supplements like our Advanced Clear Focus Capsules are designed to help support your brain function, mood, and focus. They include Lion’s Mane mushroom extract along with other beneficial ingredients to support your mental clarity, including additional mushrooms for brain health like Cordyceps.

#8 May Elevate Your Mood

Lastly, Lion’s Mane mushrooms might help to improve your overall mood. The same properties that help reduce inflammation may also help to balance your emotions. 

Research on mice indicates that Lion’s Mane may help improve the function of your hippocampus—a part of the brain that controls emotions and mood—by repairing or regenerating some of the area’s brain cells.10 

It’s important to remember that mood-related Lion’s Mane studies have only been conducted in mice. Further research on the effects on humans is still needed to confirm that these same benefits apply to people.

Your Lion’s Mane Questions Answered

Once people learn about Lion’s Mane mushroom health benefits, they often have questions about incorporating these fungi into their lifestyle. As such, we’ve compiled a list of the most common questions to help you understand this superfood:

  • How can I buy Lion’s Mane? – There are many mushroom and herbal supplements on the market. Some of the most common forms of Lion’s Mane supplements include powders, liquids, gummies, and capsules. You can also consume them whole, although they’re known for having quite a bitter taste—so be sure to add a dipping sauce!
  • How much Lion’s Mane should I take? – There aren’t many studies about the proper dosage of Lion’s Mane.11 However, the research that exists states that you can consume up to 750 mg per day, with three doses of 250 mg to support cognitive function.
  • How might Lion’s Mane make you feel? – Luckily, Lion’s Mane mushrooms aren’t psychoactive and won’t make you feel high. Instead, they may help to reduce feelings of stress.
  • How long does it take for Lion’s Mane to work? – The length of time it takes for Lion’s Mane to work isn’t known for sure. Studies have been conducted in varying lengths of time ranging from two weeks to several months.

As with many supplements, it’s difficult to pin down the exact answers to some of these questions. They’re heavily dependent on your overall health and the quality of the products you purchase.

How to Purchase Lion’s Mane Products

The mushroom  supplement market is flooded with questionable products making dubious claims. The lack of FDA regulation allows untrustworthy companies to sneak in, leaving consumers to guess which products are legitimate. 

Luckily, there are a few key things you can look for when you purchase Lion’s Mane supplements to ensure that you’re getting what you pay for. Some signs that you’re buying a quality product include:

  • They’ve been tested by a third-party laboratory
  • Natural, organic ingredients are prominently featured
  • Claims are truthful and not outlandish or overstated
  • The label matches what is really in the product

You should always research the company you’re planning on buying supplements from for reports of poor product quality or untruthful labeling. 

Find Supplements You Can Trust from Plant People

Lion’s Mane mushrooms are fascinating fungi. They have the potential to benefit you in many ways when added to your regular routine. The biggest boosts you might experience come in your immune, digestive, cardiovascular, and neural systems. Other benefits include support for managing inflammation and blood sugar levels.

When it comes to understanding mushrooms, it can be hard. You may be confused about the difference between chaga vs reishi or where to find Lion’s Mane. If you’re excited about the prospects of Lion’s Mane mushrooms and want to try them out for yourself, we’re here to help. At Plant People, we sell regenerative-organic supplements you can trust. Our Advanced Clear Focus Capsules and WonderDay Mushroom Gummies harness the power of Lion’s Mane for the health and wellness support you crave.

Written by Emily Spring 

Emily Spring is the Director of Marketing at Plant People. A longtime proponent of balanced living, she has enjoyed over 8 years driving growth in the lifestyle, health and wellness sectors with deep experience in functional solutions for optimizing anyone's everyday life.

Reviewed by Gabe Kennedy

 Co-Founder of Plant People, Gabe Kennedy is an acclaimed chef and entrepreneur. Growing up in a house of healers and herbalists, he is passionate about the power of food as a tool for health, and actualized this passion and belief system into his company, Plant People. Named to Forbes 30 under 30 Gabe has shaped menus and cooked his way around the world with his mission to promote a more communal, green and healthy world.

 Gabe is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. You can learn more about his work at his website.


Sources: 

  1. Acta Mycologica. Biology, Cultivation, and Medicinal Functions of the Mushroom Hericium erinaceum. https://pbsociety.org.pl/journals/index.php/am/article/view/am.1069
  2. Molecular Medicine Review. Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Water-soluble Oligosaccharides from Hericium erinaceus. https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/mmr.2014.3121
  3. PubMed. Antihyperglycemic and Antihyperlipidemic Activities of Aqueous Extract of Hericium erinaceus in Experimental Diabetic Rats. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3852124/
  4. PudMed. Immunomodulatory Activities of a Fungal Protein Extracted from Hericium erinaceus. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28713364/
  5. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Anti-Helicobacter pylori Activity of Bioactive Components Isolated from Hericium erinaceus. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874115301306?via%3Dihub
  6. PubMed. Yamabushitake Mushroom Improved Lipid Metabolism in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20622452/
  7. PubMed. Inhibitory Effect on In-vitro LDL Oxidation and HMG Co-A Reductase Activity. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24959591/
  8. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Composition and Mechanism of Antitumor Effects of Hericium erinaceus Mushroom Extracts in Tumor Bearing Mice. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jf201944n
  9. Behavioral Neurology. Neurohealth Properties of Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Enriched with Erinacines. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bn/2018/5802634/
  10. PubMed. Hericium erinaceus Extract Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Brain. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29091526/
  11. Drugs.com. Lion’s Mane Mushroom. https://www.drugs.com/npp/lion-s-mane-mushroom.html

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