Lion's Mane Mushrooms & Brain Health Benefits

Utilized in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, the lion's mane fungus goes by many names. These include Hericium erinaceus, hedgehog mushroom, monkey's mushroom, bear's head mushroom, bearded tooth fungus, old man’s beard and yamabushitake. With a flavor that is often compared to crab or lobster, it is understandable that this edible mushroom is a popular ingredient in many Asian cuisines. It can be served cooked, or dried into powder to add to soups or smoothies. For those who enjoy healthy beverages, it can also be steeped as a tea. Lion's mane is also found in numerous supplements for its' many health benefits.

Benefits for Healthy Brains 
Individuals who are at risk of dementia or are already suffering from the condition can greatly benefit from consuming lion's mane fungus. People with healthy brain function can also receive the effects of the fungus's medicinal properties to improve their cognition, focus and memory. 

Lion mane mushroom

One intriguing study reviewed the mushroom's impact on cognitive skills and hippocampal neurotransmission in healthy subjects. In conclusion, H. erinaceus induces a boost effect onto neuronal functions also in nonpathological conditions. With significant improvement in recognition memory[1].

Another study showed that oral intake of H. erinaceus significantly improved cognitive functions and prevented from the deterioration. Its speculated that chemical compounds, such as hericenones in the fungus have multiple effects to the brain neural networks and improve cognitive functions[2].

Hericium erinaceus was also found to reduces anxiety and depressive behaviors by promoting hippocampal neurogenesis.[3]

Reference List

  1. Brandalise F, Cesaroni V, Gregori A, Repetti M, Romano C, Orrù G, Botta L, Girometta C, Guglielminetti ML, Savino E, Rossi P. Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM 2017;2017:3864340. PMID 28115973
  2. Saitsu Y, Nishide A, Kikushima K, Shimizu K, Ohnuki K. Improvement of cognitive functions by oral intake of Hericium erinaceus. Biomedical research (Tokyo, Japan) 2019;40(4):125-31. PMID 31413233
  3.  Ryu S, Kim HG, Kim JY, Kim SY, Cho KO. Hericium erinaceus Extract Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Brain. Journal of medicinal food 2018;21(2):174-80. PMID 29091526