What is Lion’s Mane?
Lion’s Mane is one of the most talked about medicinal mushrooms of recent times, with supposed neurotropic benefits that may even include neurogenesis (the birth of neurons). The fungi, which is scientifically known as Hieracium Erinaceus, is an edible and medicinal mushroom, which has a history of use dating back up to 2,000 years in Traditional Chinese Medicine, where it was formulated into a tonic, used to support the overall health of the consumer.
The fungi, which is native to Europe, Asia and North America grows naturally in deciduous forest areas.It grows on the deadwood of fallen trees and on the trunks and large branches of standing trees, especially old, veteran or ancient individuals.
The fungi is composed of layers of cascading white to yellow spines, with it’s commonly known name coming from the lion’s mane jellyfish, which it shares its appearance with. Even the scientific name gives an idea of the mushroom’s appearance, with the Latin word erinaceus actually meaning hedgehog, matching the spined fashion in which lion’s mane grows. Although the fungi grows naturally, it is so rare to find that it is actually endangered within the UK. Fortunately the mushroom is easy to grow indoors, meaning that there is never a shortage of lion’s mane, however there is evidence to suggest that controlled outdoor growing is both possible with lion’s mane along with being much less labour and energy intensive than indoor growing. As lion’s mane is extremely beneficial for a woodlands ecosystem, supporting regrowth through the breaking down of minerals within dying woods, it would be amazing to see outdoor grown lion’s mane becoming more popular in the future.
Why is there so much excitement surrounding Lion’s Mane?
The current excitement and scientific buzz around lion’s mane largely comes from its reported neurogenetic properties. Reports state that patients treated with lion’s mane have been shown to have an increased cognitive function over placebo groups. An ever increasing aging population emerging over the past half-century has led to a ‘silver tsunami’ of age related diseases. Among these diseases, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the fifth-leading cause of death among adults aged 65 years and older and is also a leading cause of disability and morbidity. Unlike other major diseases for which there has been steady progress in the development of novel therapies no new pharmacologic treatment for AD has been approved since 2003.
New treatments for the disease have been extremely hard to find, as AD is believed to be a progressive disease, whereby the damage to the neurons and brain can occur many years before any clinical symptoms are seen. Treatments of prevention before any symptoms show are much harder to implement than treatments of intervention, which look to combat symptoms after they appear. AD requires a prevention over an intervention treatment, which is where we fall into difficulties.
AD is caused by a buildup of amyloid-beta plaques, which will eventually kill the neurons which it is encasing, causing dementia. Lion’s mane has been found to contain high levels of two chemicals (hericenones and erinacines), which have been linked to the growth and stimulation of new neurons, which may be able to replace those that have been damaged or even killed. Some studies have even shown that the use of lion’s mane as a preventative medicine can even protect the brain from the initial plaque damage caused by AD.
A 2009 study saw 50 to 80 year old Japanese men and women, who were diagnosed with mild cognitive disorders, testing the efficiency of lion’s mane on cognitive function. The study showed that adults who consumed 3 grams of powdered lion’s mane daily for four months saw an <a “href=”https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18844328/”>increase in cognitive function.The cognitive function increase did drop after lion’s mane treatment was stopped, showing the need for a continuous supplement treatment.
Studies on neurogenesis as a whole are still relatively new, meaning that lion’s mane studies are currently very limited. With that being said there is still clearly some scientific evidence supporting lion’s mane increasing cognitive function in humans. We are not making any medical claims at Greenhaus, however there must be a reason for all the current hype surrounding lion’s mane
What else can lion’s mane be used for?
Whilst the main modern interest for lion’s mane comes from its effects on cognitive function, there are a whole host of other benefits that have been reported through Lion’s Mane use. Again scientific backing for these benefits is limited, however some of the reported benefits include;
- Potential to speed recovery from central nervous system injuries
- Reduce levels of anxiety and depression for mild sufferers
- Reduces heart disease risk
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- Potential to protect against stomach ulcers
As always at Greenhaus, we always encourage independent research, to ensure you truly understand the benefits that may be on offer from the supplements you are taking. We hope our guides can in some way give you an overview of the potential benefits of certain mushrooms. Always start slow and regularly monitor how you feel after taking your supplements.
Lion’s Mane at Greenhaus
If you are interested in adding lion’s mane to your daily routine, then we have you covered at Greenhaus. Whether you prefer tinctures, capsules or even gummies, at Greenhaus there is always a way to add the supplements you want into your diet;
If you are only looking to add lion’s mane supplements to your daily routine, whilst keeping away from other medicinal mushrooms, then the Kaapa Health is the range for you. You will receive a glass bottle with 30ml of tincture containing 1000mg of organic Lion’s mane mushroom extract. Use the dropper to add 2ml of tincture to your morning hot or cold drink to easily incorporate the tincture into your diet.
If you want a product that is stronger than Kaapa Health’s offering then look no further than Isle of White Mushrooms. Their tincture contains 5000 mg of lion’s mane mushroom extract in each 50 ml bottle. Using the dropper, start with 2ml in the morning before increasing dosage.
Easily one of our favorite products in stock, the Plant People WonderDay gummies offer the benefits of ten different adaptogen mushrooms (including, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Reishi, Chaga, and Turkey Tail), packed into a tasty gummy. For optimal effects eat two gummies at the start of your day. Who knew taking supplements could be so much fun?
If you prefer a more traditional route of administration then we still have you covered at Greenhaus. In the Antioxi Cordyceps pack you will receive 90 vegan friendly mushroom capsules, containing a comprehensive blend of 8 different organic, medicinal mushroom that brings organization to your daily supplement regime. Take two to four capsules daily.