Top 10 Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom


Lion’s Mane mushroom (also known as hou tou gu or yamabushitake) is an adaptogen that has been used in traditional Asian medicine for centuries. An adaptogen (we wrote an article about our 10 favorite Adaptogens here) is a substance that helps the body adapt to stress and exert a normalizing effect on bodily processes. The range of health benefits for Lion’s Mane is huge, going from cognitive function to heart health and many others. In recent years, there’s been a growth in coffees containing Lion’s Mane, making it easy to reap the health benefits while enjoying a routine you partake in every morning anyways! Here are the Top 10 Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom:

  • Improves cognitive function: Lion’s Mane mushroom, also known as Hericium erinaceus, has been used for many years in Chinese medicine for its benefits in supporting cognitive and neurological health. A study conducted on Japanese men and women with mild cognitive impairment suggests that “Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus)  is effective in improving mild cognitive impairment”. 
  • Boosts the immune system: Lion’s Mane is known to be an adaptogen, a substance that helps bring the body back to homeostasis when the body is out of sorts from an attack to the immune system. This mushroom could bolster health by increasing the activity of the intestinal immune system, which protects the body from pathogens that enter the gut through the mouth or nose A study done on gut microbiota in mice determined that “[the] fungal protein from H. erinaceus could be used as a drug or functional food ingredient for immunotherapy because of its immunomodulatory activities.”
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  • Reduce the risk for Heart Disease: A major risk for developing heart disease is having high triglycerides, which could lead to getting blood clots. Heart disease is the leading cause of death In the United States, causing 1 in 4 mortalities. Research done on lipid metabolism in mice fed a high-fat diet, illustrates “EtOH-E (ethanol extract of Yamabushitake mushroom) improves lipid metabolism in mice fed a high-fat diet, and that these effects were mediated by modulation of lipid metabolic gene expression”. This means that lion’s mane extract can help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the bloodstream, stopping them from attaching to the walls of arteries.
  • Protect against ulcers: Ulcers are capable of forming anywhere along the digestive tract, including the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Stomach ulcers are caused by two things- but the main reason is the overproduction of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). There has been research done on the effects of lion’s mane on anti-H. pylori activities and they demonstrated that the extract may protect against the development of stomach ulcers by inhibiting the growth of H. pylori and protecting the stomach lining from damage. Lion’s mane extract can also reduce inflammation and prevent tissue damage in other areas of the intestines.
  • Nerve Regeneration: The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and multiple nerves that travel throughout the body. These components work together to send signals that control bodily functions. Injuries to this area are known to be severe, often causing paralysis and or loss of mental function. A study was done on female mice with peroneal nerve injury and it suggests that daily oral administration of aqueous extract of H. erinaceus fresh fruiting bodies could promote the regeneration of injured rat peroneal nerves in the early stage of recovery.
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  • Depression and Anxiety: Globally, depression and anxiety are on the rise. There are many different ways to cope (and always reach out to mental health professional if needed) but research on depressive mice that consumed Lion’s mane displayed fewer depressive behaviors and had blood markers that indicated lower depression. In a small Japanese study, researchers found that taking lion’s mane for four weeks reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in study participants. 
  • May help fight cancer: Cancer occurs when some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body. New research done on human monocytic leukemia cells indicate “that H. erinaceus mushrooms may have therapeutic potential against human leukemia.” Another study using animal models found that these mushroom extracts may also fight liver, colon, and gastric cancer cells.
  • Reduce Inflammation: Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are believed to be at the root of many modern illnesses. A study done on Mice with Ulcerative Colitis which mirrors the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) model showed that HEEE (ethanol extract of H. erinaceus) can be applied as a protective agent in the treatment of IBDs.
  • Antioxidant properties and faster healing: An antioxidant is known to be a substance that protects your cells against free radicals. These free radicals are known to cause many different issues in the body, such as heart disease and cancer. A recent study done on rats with wounds in the posterior neck area concludes wounds dressed with HEFB significantly enhanced the acceleration of wound healing enclosure in rats. 
  • Anti-Fatigue: Lion’s man can give you more energy! A recent study on mice demonstrates some promising results, suggesting that HEP (Hericium erinaceus) has significant anti-fatigue activity by decreasing BLA, SUN and MDA content, as well as increasing tissue glycogen content and antioxidant enzyme activity. Secondly, lion’s mane has been shown to reduce lactic acid in the blood, which may cause fatigue after intense physical activity.

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