I would like to say that Lion’s Mane Mushroom is such a great natural nootropic that it’s a ‘magic mushroom’, but that might give some people the wrong idea.
Let’s just say that it’s a ‘miracle mushroom’ instead, shall we?
So what is Lion’s Mane Mushroom good for?
Lion’s Mane Mushroom is revered within the nootropics community for its’ ability to encourage the growth of new brain cells.
This capacity naturally leads to improvements in memory & overall cognition, but the good news doesn’t stop there.
Lion’s Mane is also very effective at preventing the onset of degenerative neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Last but not least, Lion’s Mane can boost the immune system, help reduce feelings of anxiety, and alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Monks in Asia have used Lion’s Mane in tea for thousands of years to heighten awareness, and neurohackers today are putting it in their coffee to maximize their productivity.
Sounds gross to me, but I think it’s also testimony to the fact that people are willing to do just about anything to enjoy the benefits of this powerful natural nootropic.
So, let’s find out more about this mighty fungus, shall we?
Lion’s Mane Mushroom – Where’s it from? What can it do?
Lion’s Mane is cultivated in Asia, North America, and Europe.
It grows naturally in woodland areas on tree stumps, and can thrive quite easily in a lab, or at home on a culture plate.
In fact, there are numerous websites you can visit that will show you how to produce Lion’s Mane at home, and they even have culture kits you can purchase if that’s your thing.
The Latin or ‘scientific nomenclature’ for Lion’s Mane is ‘Hericeum Erinaceus’. Some other common names are Monkey’s Head, Hedgehog Mushroom, and Satyr’s Beard.
The active ingredients responsible for the regenerative benefits of Lion’s Mane are Hericenones and Erinacines.
Hericenones and Erinacines both encourage the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), which in turn promotes the growth of new brain cells.
So what practical uses have we found for Lion’s Mane?
Can it prevent the onset of neurological diseases?
Let’s find out…
Lion’s Mane Mushroom for Alzheimer’s – How does it help?
The erinacines in Lion’s Mane have been proven to be very effective at stopping the buildup of amyloid plaques at neuroreceptor sites.
Amyloid plaques are proteins that can build up at the synapses and interfere with the transmission of nerve signals in the brain.
Amyloid plaques are very closely associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Where you find one, you usually find the other.
Traditional drug therapies for Alzheimer’s have proven ineffective once the disease has taken hold, so the focus of recent research has shifted towards finding natural nootropics that can help.
In particular, scientists are looking for micronutrients that can block the onset of Alzheimer’s from the start, instead of treating the disorder after the fact.
In addition to Alzheimer’s research, Lion’s Mane mushroom is being tested for the prevention of Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and brain cell death due to ischemic stroke.
Lion’s Mane also contains large amounts of a very potent antioxidant called Beta-Glucoxylan, which can help prevent tumor growth and cancer.
Lion’s Mane Benefits – How does it Improve Brain Health?
I know this may seem repetitive at this point, but I think it bears repeating; the main advantage of Lion’s Mane Mushroom is neural regeneration.
You should be given fair warning: I am about to get up on a soap box. We all do it from time to time, so please don’t judge me too harshly.
The importance of neural regeneration to improving brain function simply can’t be overstated.
Lion’s Mane for Nerve Growth – Can it Perform Miracles?
I took advanced courses in biology and chemistry in high school.
The instructor told us that theoretically, we had the capacity to regrow lost limbs and other body tissues, except for one thing.
Scientists still hadn’t figured out how to grow new nerve tissue.
Stem cell research was still in its’ infancy at the time, so unfortunately, we still didn’t have a viable solution.
He also told us that once toddlers reach the age of 2 or 3 years old, nerve tissue in the body stops reproducing.
This seemed to make sense to me at the time, because one fateful winter, I had gotten frostbite on one of my toes.
I could stab a needle through it, and I wouldn’t feel a thing.
Currently, growing usable nerve tissue in a petri dish is still an idea that belongs in science fiction stories.
However, there is a silver lining here…
Lion’s Mane for the Brain – Where’s the Science at Now?
We can’t grow nerve tissue artificially, but what about neurons?
The consensus now is that while new nerve tissue in the body ceases to grow at the age of 2 or 3, our brain cells do in fact regenerate throughout our lifetime.
This makes sense; if they didn’t, wouldn’t we all turn into zombies by the time we were teenagers?
The truth is, the real issue is that the rate of reproduction slows down as we age.
Furthermore, our brains can accumulate debris like amyloid plaques, or have other issues over time.
The best way to mitigate all of these hazards is to nourish our neurons so they can rejuvenate themselves naturally.
That’s exactly what Lion’s Mane mushroom is good for! That’s what it can do for you!
OK. So I am going to get off my soap box now.
I hope I didn’t bore you to death!
Now let’s take stock of the advantages Lion’s Mane offers as a brain booster, shall we?
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Nootropic Benefits – Let’s get Specific!
The implications of being able to regrow brain cells are very far-reaching; in a good way.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom is good for:
- Mental Flexibility
- Improved Learning
- Boosting Immunity
Replacing old brain cells and ensuring there is no gunk at the synapses results in better neuroplasticity.
Neurohackers using Lion’s Mane often experience easier recall of information and an accelerated capacity to learn new skills.
Their reasoning ability is also enhanced, allowing them to make better decisions without hesitation or confusion.
This in turn leads to more confidence, less anxiety, and the ability to fight off symptoms of depression.
This could explain its’ effectiveness at boosting mood and staving off depression.
Lion’s Mane also contains other constituents that boost immune function and act as antioxidants, shielding the body from free radicals that can cause inflammation and cancer.
Tendencies to let the mind wander are also minimized, indicating that Lion’s Mane may be very good for individuals dealing with ADHD.
Now that we have an idea as to why we should use Lion’s Mane as a nootropic, let’s think about how to supplement with it for best results.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplements – What are your Options?
Lion’s Mane is available in many forms.
You can grow fresh Lion’s Mane yourself with a cultivation kit, if that’s the route you want to go, and you have the space.
The vast majority of us, however, will get to enjoy our Lion’s Mane as a powder supplement, capsules, extract, or tea.
The powders are the cheapest and most common. You can add them to fruit juice, smoothies, or your cup of coffee in the morning. Processing techniques vary, but these powders are usually freeze-dried.
Capsules typically have an extract in them to minimize bulk, and should be standardized to contain either 30% or 50% polysaccharides.
Polysaccharides are a type of nutrient that includes hericenones and erinacines; the chief active ingredients behind Lion’s Manes’ regenerative powers.
Extracts will have a ratio assigned to them like 10:1 or 14:1. What this basically means is that 10 ounces of mushroom was processed to produce 1 ounce of extract. So if you do the math, a 14:1 extract is slightly stronger.
The teas are usually available at your favorite health food store, and may be mixed with other herbals to improve the flavor.
The amount of active ingredient in each type of supplement is going to vary considerably, so it’s difficult for me to provide you with any comprehensive advice on dosages.
The best solution I can offer you is to read the label carefully, and take the lowest recommended serving to start.
See how your body reacts, and increase your intake if you think it’s necessary for better results.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplements – How to Find Top Quality Products
When it comes to choosing a good supplement, you really need to be patient and do your own research.
The companies making these products all want to claim that their ingredients are the highest quality.
However, I think the big question here is, how the heck are YOU supposed to know that?
Well, one way is to make sure the product is ‘Certified Organic’, and it gets tested by a neutral 3rd party for safety and effectiveness.
Several supplements will have ‘GMP Certified’, or some other stamp on them to let consumers confirm that the manufacturer has safeguards in place.
GMP Certified is the most common, and it stands for ‘Good Manufacturing Practices’.
There is no iron-clad guarantee, but these are government mandated quality standards, and they are in place for your protection. You may as well use them to your advantage.
Personally, I would look for a good extract or raw material product used in capsule form. This is mainly for the convenience factor, but it also gives you piece of mind.
You’ll know that your supplement is produced with the same method every time.
The Best Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplement – My Recommendation
One company I know of that has very rigorous production standards is Brain Forza.
All of the products made by Brain Forza are Certified Organic, and are 3rd party tested for safety and potency.
Their Lion’s Mane is grown in a lab, and then pressure cooked to 125 degrees Celcius not once, but twice.
It’s a very clean supplement!
There is some debate around whether to grow Lion’s Mane outdoors or in a lab for ‘best results’. I think ‘best results’ is a relative term.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms grown in natural conditions generally have more active constituents in them compared to mushrooms from a lab.
However, there is also the risk of contamination from bacteria, insects, and heavy metals when the mushrooms are grown outdoors, so it’s kind of a 2-edged sword.
What I like about the Brain Forza process is that it’s consistent and reliable. The active ingredients are standardized, and the product is very safe.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Dosage – Recommendations for Best Results
The recommended dosage for a capsule supplement of this type is 500-2,000 mg/day, and Brain Forza Lion’s Mane comes in 500 mg capsules.
The label instructs users to take 3 capsules a day with water, which would bring the dosage to 1,500 mg/day, and I think this is a good recommendation.
There are 90 capsules per bottle, so it should be a one month supply with the standard serving sizes.
However, new users can start themselves off on 500mg (one capsule) a day to see how they feel, and gradually increase their intake if they feel they need to for best results.
Brain Forza stands behind their products with a 90 day money back guarantee anyway, so if you don’t like the product for any reason, you can always get a refund.
In fact, the founder of Brain Forza is quoted as saying, “If I wouldn’t take it, we don’t make it. Period.”.
I find their commitment to quality very impressive.
If you’re looking for an awesome Lion’s Mane Mushroom supplement, Brain Forza has got you covered.
That being said, let’s wrap things up, shall we?
Lion’s Mane Mushroom – Final Recommendations
So what is lion’s mane mushroom good for?
Improved brain health and function, mostly.
Accelerating the speed of brain cell growth causes a cascade of benefits that trickles down to most areas of cognition.
People wanting to eliminate brain fog, perform better at work, do better at school, or just optimize their brain function can all get something out of Lion’s Mane.
That being said, I also think certain people could see more benefit than others from taking Lion’s Mane as a supplement.
They are as follows:
- People with ADHD
- Anyone with a Family History of Neurological Disorders
- Concussion or Head Trauma Victims
- Individuals Struggling with Anxiety or Depression
These folks need what Lion’s Mane is offering, and I would like to see the benefits of Lion’s Mane become common knowledge for their sake.
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed reading this article, because I loved writing it!
Lion’s Mane is absolutely one of my favorite nootropics!
In my next article, I’ll be writing about a new nootropic stack.
I haven’t done a product review in a while, and I’ve heard good things.
Until next time,
P.S. – Tell your friends!
If you know anyone that could benefit from the healing powers of Lion’s Mane, go ahead and use the social buttons on my site to send it to them!
And as always, if you have any questions, please post a comment!