4 Lion’s Mane Mushroom Benefits to Convert You to Nootropics
Lion's Mane Mushroom BenefitsMushrooms might possibly be the strangest, most diverse species on the planet. A mushroom can feed you or cause you to hallucinate or even kill you. Mushrooms have tastes from earthy and woodsy to fishy like the ocean...or no taste at all. So it makes sense that there could be mushrooms with beneficial health properties. One such species, currently being explored for its nootropic and adaptogen possibilities, is the lion’s mane mushroom, also known as hou to gu or yamabushitake. Could the beneficial properties of lion’s mane mushroom convert you to adaptogens? Take a look.
A Friendly Sort of LionSo what is lion’s mane mushroom? Lion’s mane mushrooms have great, swooping, shaggy edges that resemble a lion’s mane as they grow (hence the name). In parts of Asia, especially China, Japan and Korea, they have been used for medicinal purposes and eaten for their seafood-like taste, often compared to crab or lobster. In addition to eating lion’s mane mushrooms--raw, cooked, dried or steeped in tea--extracts of lion’s mane get sold as supplements. In supplement form they are most often a powder. Lion’s mane mushroom benefits have many potential health plus sides. At this time, medical studies of lion’s mane mushrooms have largely been conducted on animals, especially rodents. But such promising results have potential for humans. Here are four of the top lion’s mane mushroom benefits.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms May Protect Your Nerves and BrainIn animal studies some miraculous things have occurred with lion’s mane mushrooms involving brain and nerve cells. Brain and spinal injuries are some of the most devastating possible injuries. Not only can a spinal injury cause paralysis, but in most cases a brain or spinal injury is permanent. This happens because damaged nerve cells do not regenerate. ...Or do they? In studies of lion’s mane mushrooms, two compounds have been found to stimulate the growth of brain cells. After administration of lion’s mane mushroom, mice with memory loss showed improvement, as well as decreased quantities of a plaque associated with Alzheimer’s disease. What about humans? In one study, older adults with mild cognitive impairment showed significant improvement in mental function after consuming powdered lion’s mane mushroom daily for four months. Unfortunately, after cessation of the supplement the benefits disappeared, which may suggest that the supplement really did only supplement cognitive function, as opposed to changing brain function. Another study did find that regularly taking lion’s mane mushrooms helped speed recovery of damaged cells. But in animal studies lion’s mane has also improved recovery after:
- Spinal injury
- Brain injury
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms May Improve Symptoms of Anxiety and DepressionWhether due to the effect on the brain or some other feature, animal research further suggests that lion’s mane mushrooms may help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. In particular, stimulation and regrowth of cells in the hippocampus, in one study, were thought to have contributed to improved feelings of well-being. Users have also self-reported reduced irritation or anxiety, and increased feelings of well-being when supplementing with lion’s mane mushrooms.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom BenefitsOkay, so that subheading is also to ensure you’re still paying attention. Lion’s mane mushrooms won’t guarantee eternal life, but they may help beat back some of the biggest reasons people die early--heart disease, obesity and cancer. Lion’s mane mushroom extract may:
- Improve metabolism.
- Lower triglycerides.
- Reduce the risk of blood clots.
- Prevent oxidation of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
- Reduce inflammation, which may be the underlying cause of cancers and many other diseases.