New to the world of medicinal mushrooms? You’ve certainly come to the right place! Here at Mountainlife we specialise in 100% natural mushroom powders, packed full of polysaccharides and beta glucans to give your physical and mental health a boost. Today we’re discussing Lion’s Mane, a fun-looking fungus native to North America, Europe and Asia. Stick with us to learn all about Lion’s Mane health benefits.
Lion’s mane is a type of medicinal mushroom that also goes by the name of ‘yamabushitake’ and ‘Hericium Erinaceus’ (meaning hedgehog). It is easy to identify by its white, shaggy appearance, which looks a little like - you guessed it, a lion’s mane!
Lion’s Mane mushrooms are used in Asian cookery and described as having a seafood-like taste. The fungus is also revered as a tonic in traditional Chinese medicine, for supporting general health and longevity. What’s more, Buddhist Shaolin drink Lion’s Mane tea to enhance their brainpower and increase focus during meditation practices.
Often dubbed ‘the miracle mushroom’ Lion’s Mane is a rich source of carbohydrates, proteins and nutrients, including B and C vitamins, essential amino acids and minerals like zinc, copper and selenium. Packed full of goodness, it’s no surprise that the powerhouse mushroom offers a broad spectrum of mental and physical benefits.
Additionally, the fruiting body of Lion’s Mane mushrooms contains Polysaccharides (complex chains of carbohydrates) and Beta Glucans (sugars found within the cell walls of fungi). These properties give the mushroom its medicinal value; helping to support cells and tissue, reduce cholesterol levels and strengthen the immune system.
While many are happy to go on the claims of traditional medicine, others need convincing with a little modern-day science. The good news? Lion’s Mane health benefits have been studied extensively in animals and more recently, humans, with promising results.
Interested in finding out more? Take a look at the Lion’s Mane benefits and findings below…
Lion’s Mane health benefits for the brain have been studied in both animals and humans. It’s 2 key compounds: hericenones and erinacines are thought to stimulate the growth of brain cells. Additionally, animal studies have found that taking Lion’s Mane may help to prevent memory problems, caused by a build-up of amyloid-beta plaques, commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. While these results are promising, more human testing is required for conclusive evidence.
According to the mental health charity Mind, 1 in 6 people report a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England.
While there are many different causes of mental health problems, it is believed that chronic inflammation could be a major contributing factor.
So where does Lion’s Mane come in? Well according to research in animals, the anti-inflammatory properties in Lion’s Mane help to reduce anxiety and depression. Additionally, studies have found that Lion’s Mane may also stimulate the regeneration of brain cells and improve the functioning of the hippocampus - the part of the brain responsible for processing memories and emotional response.
What about human studies? Although somewhat limited, a study in menopausal women found that taking Lion’s Mane daily for 1 month, helped to reduce feelings of anxiety.
Taking Lion’s Mane mushroom powder helps to prevent an overgrowth of H. pylori bacteria, commonly associated with stomach ulcers. It is also believed to protect the stomach lining and reduce inflammation in the intestines. For this reason, it may have the potential to help those suffering from common inflammatory bowel diseases like colitis and Crohn's.
Injuries to the brain, spinal cord and nervous system can lead to paralysis and loss of mental functions. In most cases, it's a long road to recovery. However, studies in rats have shown that Lion’s Mane supplements may help to speed up the process of recovery from these injuries by stimulating the growth and repair of nerve cells.
In one study, the medicinal mushroom was given to rats with nervous system injuries and was found to reduce the recovery time up to 41%. It is also believed that Lion’s Mane has the potential to reduce the severity of brain damage after a stroke.
Fun fact - Lion’s mane has one of the highest antioxidant contents of all medicinal mushrooms. Antioxidants are important for fighting free radicals and oxidative stress in the body - both influencers in the onset of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Boosts the immune system - Lion’s Mane stimulates the intestinal immune system and protects the body from pathogens entering the gut through the mouth and nose.
May help fight cancer - The unique compounds in Lion’s Mane might help to fight cancer. Test tube studies have found that when Lion’s Mane extract is mixed with human cancer cells, the cancer cells die at a faster rate. It has also been studied, with promising results in animal tests, for slowing tumour growth and preventing the spread of cancer. However, we must stress that these are test-tube and animal studies - not human.
Helps to reduce the risk of heart disease - Animal and test-tube studies have found that Lion’s Mane may help to reduce the risk of heart disease by improving fat metabolism, reducing triglyceride levels and preventing the oxidation of cholesterol in the bloodstream. ‘Hericenone B’ a unique compound found in Lion’s Mane may also decrease the rate of blood clotting, potentially lowering the risk of heart disease and strokes.
Now you’ve got the lowdown on the many Lion’s Mane health benefits, you’re probably eager to give it a try. But wait! How do you take it? And how much should you take daily?
The easiest way to get your daily dose of Lion’s Mane is by taking our 100% natural Lion’s Mane mushroom powder. Simply take 1tsp (5-10g) and mix it with hot (but not boiling) water to create a mushroom tea. Alternatively, blend it into your favourite superfood smoothie.
A quick search online will bring up a whole host of Lion’s Mane mushroom recipes for you to enjoy, including coffees, hot chocolates, soups and even desserts. Let your imagination run wild and try adding a sprinkle of the mushroom powder to some of your favourite recipes.
Looking for a reputable Lion’s Mane mushroom seller in the UK? Look no further than Mountainlife. We specialise in sourcing the wildest and most natural products of our planet, creating 100% pure and genuine health supplements for you to enjoy daily.
We’re here to help you in any way we can, so if you have questions about any of our products or would like a recommendation based on your personal requirements, please drop us a message!
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