Generic Name: Lion’s Mane (Hericium Erinaceous)
Brand Names: Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Lion’s Mane Cognition
Drug Class: Herbals
Available Dosage Forms: Powder, capsule, tablet, and extract
What is Lion’s Mane?
Hericium Erinaceus is a species of mushrooms referred to as a Lion’s Mane for its long spines suspended from the mushroom’s stalk. Folk medicine has utilized Lion’s Mane as a remedy for fever, dyslipidemia, diabetes, inflammation, infection, and cancer. It has also been shown to exert neuroprotective effects in:
Bioactive components of the mushroom can pass through the blood-brain barrier, a property that accounts for its neuroprotective and neurogenic effects. Mental disorders like depression and anxiety alter the normal functioning of various regions in the brain, including the hippocampus.1 Neuroregenerative constituent in the mushroom potentiates the growth and survival of hippocampal neurons.
Depression depletes the availability of monoamines, the principal neurotransmitters of mood regulation. Chronic consumption of a high dose (400 mg/kg) of Lion’s Mane was associated with improvement in depressive symptoms.1 The definite mechanism of action is unknown; however, it is presumed that Lion’s Mane restores the concentration of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
In a study, acute administration of Lion’s Mane supplements in obese participants significantly improved mood instabilities, binge eating, and sleep patterns. Apparent changes in levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) lead to enhanced neuronal growth in the hippocampus and parahippocampal regions.2
Levels of inflammatory molecules in brain tissues increase in response to prolonged stress. Administration of high-dose Lion’s Mane proved beneficial in stressed rats as inflammatory molecule levels noticeably decreased.1
How to use Lion’s Mane?
-Lion’s Mane is consumed as a food source as well as medicine
-The powder form can be mixed with water or beverage like tea and coffee
-Typical dosage for tablets is 250 mg thrice daily for 16 weeks
-Tablets contain 96% of Lion’s Mane powder
-If you have a chronic condition, ask your doctor if it is safe to take Lion’s Mane as a supplement
What are the side effects of Lion’s Mane?
Lion’s Mane is considered safe for use. However, few side effects can occur that includes:
Who should not use Lion’s Mane?
-People hypersensitive to Lion’s Mane
-People with diabetes
-Pregnant and lactating women
-Individuals with bleeding disorders
-Anyone that has an upcoming surgery should quit taking Lion’s Mane at least two weeks before the surgery
- Chong PS, Fung ML, Wong KH, Lim LW. Therapeutic Potential of Hericium Erinaceusfor Depressive Disorder. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;21(1):163. Published 2019 December 25. doi:10.3390/ijms21010163
- Vigna L, Morelli F, Agnelli GM, et al. Hericium erinaceusImproves Mood and Sleep Disorders in Patients Affected by Overweight or Obesity: Could Circulating Pro-BDNF and BDNF Be Potential Biomarkers?. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019;2019:7861297. Published 2019 Apr 18. doi:10.1155/2019/7861297