Maitake (dancing) mushroom, a.k.a. the Hen of the Woods mushroom, is a highly valuable functional or…
There’s hardly any dispute about the Lion’s Mane mushroom health benefits, most notably its brain-boosting and nootropics effects. Lion’s Mane mushroom is just about a very popular substance that can repair and regenerate your brain cells.
This most unusual variety of mushroom gets its name from, a lion’s mane, from which it bears a striking resemblance. It has a noodle-like or hair-like structure that looks much like the mane of a lion.
You may find it in many nootropic supplements today, but it has a rich history, dating back to ancient China and Japan. It now grows in the wild in North America, parts of Europe, and across Asia.
Lion’s Mane mushroom is famous with several names, including Monkey Head mushroom, The Hedgehog mushroom” and “Bearded Tooth Fungus”. But its scientific name is Hericium Erinaceus.
Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor and nothing it this article should be considered medical advice.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 Lion’s Mane mushroom science backed health benefits:
1. Mental Health Improvement
Think, nootropic with virtually no side effects. Top performance requires long periods of concentration, sharpness, and energy. Nootropics are anything enhancing the brain’s functions, such as cognitive function, creativity, and overall sharpness, without any side effects. Biohackers and top performers have popularized nootropics in recent years and have turned it into a multi-billion industry.
Lion’s mane has made its way into this space, largely due to it’s scientifically proven benefits on brain health. It helps the brain create new connections and new cells, which tend to decline with age. Therefore, it presents possibilities and potential that could help combat the effects of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative diseases.
As more studies continue to show, lion’s mane, and all its extracts, promote secretion of nerve growth factor (NGF), which maintains and organizes cholinergic neurons in our central nervous system. Although more human studies are still important, this is a strong indication that lion’s mane mushroom may be useful. It can help to prevent cognitive dysfunction such as memory loss and other learning functions.
2. Reducing Chronic Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
Many modern illnesses, such as cancers and heart diseases, have their roots in inflammation and oxidative stress. Lion’s mane mushroom, as compared to other mushroom species, has one of the highest properties of antioxidant activities.
Therefore, scientists and nutritionists recommend it as a source of antioxidants and, by extension, a healthy way to ward off potential illnesses and autoimmune disorders.
3. Immune System Boost
Our immune system resides in the gut microbiome, wherein various changes help the body fight infections. A weak immune system makes us vulnerable to diseases and infections. Studies have shown that Lion’s mane mushroom can affect positive changes in the gut microbiome, which means it can be a powerful agent in helping the body combat various kinds of disease-causing pathogens.
Up to this point, much of the research has been conducted on mice. Yet the results have shown massive potential in stimulating our immune system. Our intestines host a large number of healthy bacteria which help fight harmful bacteria or microorganisms. Lion’s mane mushroom can have a positive impact on the gut and therefore, beef up our immune system in the process.
Not to mention this mushroom is loaded with Beta-Glucans which also boost the immune system.
4. Increased Energy Levels
Rather than reaching out for that caffeine boost or chemical-infused energy drink, there is a more helathy alternative to this. Consuming lion’s mane mushroom extracts may provide a healthier replacement whenever you need that vital energy boost. And it doesn’t come with the usual hang-ups that come with caffeine consumption.
Researchers have found that extracts of Lion’s mane mushroom show significant anti-fatigue properties. Certain parameters such as blood lactic acid and tissue glycogen levels, indicate fatigue, exhaustion, or a drop in energy levels. Injecting lion’s mane mushroom extracts into animal test subjects has revealed anti-fatigue activity.
One of the health benefits of lion’s mane mushroom is supporting good, overall cellular health. That’s why consuming it will make it easier for your body to efficiently produce and manage energy.
5. Supporting Diabetes Management
Research is still ongoing to determine whether lion’s mane mushroom might prove to be a viable option towards managing diabetes. But thus far, there’s strong evidence to show that it may improve the body’s blood sugar control and help manage the side effects of diabetes disease.
This is a potential therapeutic supplement for diabetes care. Lion’s mane extracts may significantly lower diabetic nerve pains in both the hands and feet. They can also block the activity of alpha-glucosidase, an enzyme that helps break down complex carbohydrates like starch. By so doing, the body will not be able to digest or absorb carbs as effectively as it normally would. This will result in lower blood sugar levels.
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6. Cancer Fighting Properties
Emerging research now shows that lion’s mane extracts may play a crucial role in fighting off cancer from our bodies. When our DNA gets damaged, cells can divide themselves and replicate uncontrollably, causing various kinds of cancers.
In 2011, a study found that lion’s mane extracts may have therapeutic effects against leukemia cells. According to the study, consuming free dried lion’s mane extracts provides safe compounds for the chemoprevention of cancer, including suppression of tumors as well as metastasis.
A similar study conducted on mice indicated that daily injections of lion’s mane extracts for a period of two weeks led to significant reduction of tumor weights, as high 41%. According to the study, this is due to the immune response stimulation in the test subjects.
While much of this research was conducted on animal specimen, it still shows remarkable potential in humans. Lion’s mane might help slow down the spread of tumors and killing cancer cells in our bodies.
7. Depression and Anxiety Support
Depression and anxiety is now a worldwide concern, particularly in the developed countries where reports indicated that it affects up to one in three people. Of course, there are several factors that lead to depression and anxiety. However, a Vitamin B12 deficiency and chronic inflammation also play a role.
In 2010, a study was conducted on 30 menopausal women, with respect to the clinical effects of menopause, including sleep quality, depression, indefinite complaints. They were divided into two groups, one which was fed placebo lion’s mane cookies and another which was fed real lion’s mane cookies.
After a period of 4 weeks, test results indicated that lion’s mane extracts can have an effect on the brain’s functions as well as the autonomic nervous system. Test subjects who consumed lion’s mane cookies showed reduced irritation and anxiety. They also had less trouble with concentration.
Although this is the only study of its kind so far, it does indicate that there might be more health benefits of lion’s mane mushroom than we know.
8. Protects Against Stomach Ulcers
A study by the University of Malaya Mushroom Research Centre in Malaysia and additional research published in China’s International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms shown that active components found within the Lion’s Mane mushroom extract will protect against gastric ulcers.
9. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Protection
A clinical study was conducted to test the anti-inflammatory activity of Lion’s Mane extract on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The study showed to not only suppress the production of inflammatory mediators including tumor necrosis in colon tissues but also to suppress the oxidative stress. These results suggest that it can be applied as a protective agent in the treatment of IBDs.
10. Cholesterol Lowering Benefits
The Journal of Mycobiology published a clinical study showing that when Lions Mane mushroom extract was given to a control group they showed dramatically lower cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-c), and triglyceride (TG) levels compared to the normal group. While at the same time showing significantly higher High-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-c) levels.
Basically, there good cholesterol went up and their bad cholesterol went down while at the same time lowering their overall cholesterol levels.
Is Lion’s Mane Mushroom Safe to Consume?
It’s a no-brainer that you ought to be doubly sure about any food substance before you consume it. There are hardly any negative reports or outcomes recorded from humans who have consumed lion’s mane mushroom. Studies conducted on animal specimens show that even a daily dosage of 1000 mg for a period of 90 days was deemed to be safe after an autopsy analysis.
Since toxicological assessments have not revealed any danger thus far, the only risk would be if the lion’s mane mushroom were exposed to harmful pesticides. Pesticide exposure has, of course, been known to have negative effects to both the environment and human health.
While some may feel a bit apprehensive about ingesting fungi, research consistently highlights the many health benefits of lion’s mane mushroom when included in a diet. A lot of the research may be in their nascent stages and some of it performed on animal species. But nutritionists, scientists, and food experts agree that there’s massive potential for lion’s mane mushroom, particularly in the medicine field.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Health Benefits Conclusion
This mushroom has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and these are only a handful of all the health benefits of lion’s mane mushroom and all its extracts. However, this wonder food is indeed something of an elixir and there are now hundreds of products and supplements based on its extracts.
While mushrooms are normally regarded as natural, gourmet foods, loaded with vitamins, proteins and healthy fat. Many people have actually reported seafood texture and flavor whenever they’ve consumed lion’s mane mushroom. Others even consider it as a great substitute for fish, crab, and lobster.
Lion’s mane mushroom sits somewhere at the top of mushroom varieties, given its long history in many cultures around the world and its potential in medicine. But perhaps the best part about this superfood is the fact that it grows naturally in late summer and fall, and on hardwood trees such as American beech trees.
Keep in mind that you can obtain this mushroom through hunting it in the wild, buying it fresh online or growing it at home. If you decide you want the health benefits without having to find it and cook it you could also buy it in dietary supplement form.
Now you you have a thorough understanding of the top Lion’s Mane mushroom health benefits and you just need to go get your hands on some. Once you get your hands on this mushroom, check out how to cook it so it tastes like lobster. Let Curative Mushroom know if you need any help in finding them and Happy hunting!
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