Lion’s Mane Mushrooms: Your Guide to Nature’s Nootropic

If you haven’t heard of Lion’s Mane mushrooms, you might recognise it by its striking appearance that resembles the regal mane of a majestic lion. This fascinating fungi has had its fair share of the limelight in recent years within the mysterious world of mushrooms, and for good reason. Traditionally used in medicinal practices in East Asian countries, notably China and Japan, for its perceived therapeutic potential [1], they are becoming increasingly popular globally for their myriad of potential health and wellness benefits. Join us as we unravel the secrets of this versatile mushroom and unlock a realm of holistic wellness possibilities.

Lion's Mane mushroom

What Is Lion’s Mane?

Lion’s Mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus), native to East Asia, North America and Europe[2], is a specimen of fungi belonging to the tooth fungus group, Hericiaceae. Also commonly known as ‘Hou Tou Gu’ (in China) and Yamabushitake (in Japan), the botanical name ‘Hericium erinaceus’ comes from the Latin term ‘erinaceus’, which translates to ‘hedgehog’. Lion’s Mane can be likened to long flowing pom-poms (and that of an actual lion’s mane) that are off-white to yellow in colour, depending on its age, and it’s usually found growing on the deadwood of fallen trees.

For our forest enthusiasts in the UK, should you be lucky enough to come across this bearded tooth fungus, leave them as they are! Lion’s Mane mushrooms are officially protected under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 [3], which means it is illegal to collect them in the wild. Although they are rare gems of nature, you can easily purchase them in many places from supermarkets to online supplement sites.

Fresh Lions Mane Mushroom

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Benefits

Lion’s Mane mushrooms are referred to as a type of functional mushroom[4], a class of edible fungi that are believed to possess health benefits beyond its nutritional compositions. Studies have found many potential health and wellness benefits for humans who consume Lion’s Mane mushrooms [5]. These may include:

Supporting mental health:

Lion’s Mane has been found to be able to replenish depleted levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, indicating its ability to possess mood-boosting potential which can aid with symptoms of depression and anxiety [6].

Improving cognitive function:

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms contain bioactive compounds – hericenones, beta-glucans and erinacines – that may boost mental acuity, memory and focus [7]. It is also reported to help protein the brain from cognitive degeneration linked to growing old [8].

Supporting the nervous system:

These mushrooms contain bioactive elements possessing anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate the symptoms of conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis [9].

Immune boosting properties:

The fungi is alleged to help stimulate activity of the intestinal immune system, strengthening the body’s natural defences against harmful pathogens that enter the gut [10].

Lion’s Mane Dosage: How much Should I Take?

For liquid extract supplements, the recommended dosage is typically around 1-2 mL per day, which is usually equivalent to about 20-40 drops.

For a powder extract, the recommended dosage is generally between 500 mg to 3000 mg per day. Depending on your tolerance as well as preference, this can be taken either in equally divided doses throughout the course of the day or as a single dose. 

We recommend consulting a healthcare professional or a qualified herbalist should you require personalised advice and dosage recommendations tailored to you.

The best time to take Lion’s Mane will also depend on personal preferences, as individuals may differ due to different daily routines and habits. We recommend taking it around midday or late afternoon. 

Erik Director Love Mushrooms holding Lions Mane

Erik (Co-Founder Of Love Mushrooms)

Lion’s Mane Supplements Options

You might be wondering – Which form of Lion’s Mane works best for me? Although fresh Lion’s Mane might be the best way to get the most out of the fungi’s benefits, there are many other ways to incorporate these mushrooms in your daily routine. We offer organic Lion’s Mane supplements in the form of liquid tinctures, capsules, and even delicious raspberry-flavoured  gummies you can have on-the-go!

For our readers who are also foodies, here’s an interesting fact you may not know about this fun fuzzy fungi: Lion’s Mane mushrooms has a texture that can be likened to that of white fluffy bread, and it tastes similar to seafood such as lobsters and crabs. There are many easy recipes to follow, so go ahead and give it a try!

"Lion's Mane supplements for focus, clarity, and mental acuity"

[1] Khan, Md.A., Tania, M., Liu, R. and Rahman, M.M. (2013). ‘Hericium erinaceus: an edible mushroom with medicinal values’. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 10(1). Doi: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2013-0001.

[2] David, G. & Williams, J. (2023). ‘Lion’s Mane Mushroom- From Culinary to Medicine’. Annals of Innovation in Medicine. Doi: https://doi.org/10.59652/aim.v1i2.55 

[3] Anon, (2021). The Lion’s Mane Fungus (Hericium Erinaceus) Identification. [online] Available at: https://totallywilduk.co.uk/2021/12/16/the-lions-mane-fungus-hericium-erinaceus-identification/ 

[4] Rai, S.N., Mishra, D., Singh, P., Vamanu, E. and Singh, M.P. (2021). ‘Therapeutic applications of mushrooms and their biomolecules along with a glimpse of in silico approach in neurodegenerative diseases’. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & Pharmacotherapie, [online] 137, p.111377. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2021.111377

[5] Martínez‐Mármol, R., Chai, Y., Conroy, J.N., Khan, Z., Hong, S., Kim, S.B., Gormal, R.S., Lee, D.H., Lee, J.K., Coulson, E.J., Lee, M.K., Kim, S.Y. and Meunier, F.A. (2023). ‘Hericerin derivatives activates a pan‐neurotrophic pathway in central hippocampal neurons converging to ERK1 /2 signaling enhancing spatial memory’. Journal of Neurochemistry, 165(6). doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jnc.15767

[6] Chiu, C.-H., Chyau, C.-C., Chen, C.-C., Lee, L.-Y., Chen, W.-P., Liu, J.-L., Lin, W.-H. and Mong, M.-C. (2018). ‘Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Produces Antidepressant-Like Effects through Modulating BDNF/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β Signaling in Mice’. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(2), p.341. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020341

[7] Kushairi, N., Phan, C.W., Sabaratnam, V., David, P. and Naidu, M. (2019). ‘Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. Suppresses H2O2-Induced Oxidative Damage and LPS-Induced Inflammation in HT22 Hippocampal Neurons and BV2 Microglia’. Antioxidants, 8(8), p.261. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8080261

[8] Spelman, K., Sutherland, E. and Bagade, A. (2018). Herbal Medicine for Alzheimer’s Disease: Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus). [online] Restorative Medicine. Available at: https://restorativemedicine.org/journal/neurological-activity-lions-mane-hericium-erinaceus/

[9] Yang, P-P., CY, L., TY, L. & WC, C. (2020). ‘Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Exerts Neuroprotective Effect in Parkinson’s Disease-in vitro and in vivo Models’. Journal of Drug Research and Development. 6(1). Doi: 10.16966/2470-1009.150

[10] Diling, C., Chaoqun, Z., Jian, Y., Jian, L., Jiyan, S., Yizhen, X. and Guoxiao, L. (2017). ‘Immunomodulatory Activities of a Fungal Protein Extracted from Hericium erinaceus through Regulating the Gut Microbiota’. Frontiers in Immunology, 8. doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00666

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