Lions Mane is a white (or sometimes yellow) mushroom that has a shaggy appearance, characterized by the icicle-like structure of its cap.
Lions Mane ‘icicles’ hang individually from the central stem, making it appear like a Lion’s Mane, hence the name.
These icicles hang in a place of the traditional mushroom ‘cap’. This feature is what makes Lion Mane mushrooms truly unique, and quite easy to differentiate from other mushrooms.
What Are Lions Mane Mushrooms?
Lions Mane Mushrooms are large shaggy-looking fungi that grow in China, Japan, India, Korea, and some parts of America.
Liona mane, also known as hou tou or yamabushitake can be eaten raw or served as tea. However they are most commonly cooked, and extracts of Lion’s mane are available in capsule form or powder as a health supplement.
Those who try Lion’s mane often report that it tastes like seafood, and makes a better accompaniment to fish than meat.
Lion’s mane is taken as traditional medicine and is used to treat a number of ailments, especially for the heart, brain, and stomach.
Is Lions Mane Good For You?
Lion’s Mane is very good for you. As well as providing the body with the same nutrients and vitamins as regular mushrooms, Lions Mane has additional health benefits and has been taken as a natural remedy for thousands of years.
Lion’s Mane has been scientifically proven to help protect the brain from developing dementia. It boosts brain activity and encourages the growth of new connections, a phenomenon that usually declines with old age.
Scientists theorize that Lion’s Mane could have the same effect for Alzheimer’s – but so far only animals have been tested.
Lions Mane is also taken as a natural anti-depressant. It has anti-inflammatory properties that rid the brain of inflammation (which is a possible cause of anxiety and depression) and help to regulate the hippocampus – the area of the brain that is responsible for mood.
Other potential health benefits of Lions Mane are:
- Protection against digestive ulcers
- Reduces the risk of heart disease and blood clotting
- Diabetes management
- Can help in the recovery of nervous system injury
- Reduces oxidative stress that can lead to autoimmune disorders and heart disease
- Can help boost recovery from cancer
Where Can I Find Lions Mane?
If you are looking to buy Lion’s mane then it is readily available online or on the shelves at wholesale retailers.
Some supermarkets have begun stocking Lions Mane extract, however, it is not commonly sold across all major retail stores.
If you are looking for Lions Mane in the wild, You can find them growing naturally across the Asian continent. A variety of species also grows in North and South America.
They can be found growing on the trunks of dead trees and logs during summer and fall. They prefer hardwood to softwood trees and their white cascading shaggy hairs make them easy to identify.
What Are The Negative Side Effects of Taking Lions Mane?
So far, no negative side effects of taking Lions Mane have been reported or studied. This makes Lion’s mane one of the safest mushrooms to consume regularly.
Even those who take Lions Mane for depressive symptoms or anxiety management report no additional problems and no withdrawal effects.
Only in cases when an individual has a particular allergy to mushrooms have any negative side effects occurred, but these instances are rare.
However, it is important to note the Lion’s Mane is not a regulated food, and studies on the effect of Lion’s Mane on the human body have been minimal.
How Do I Take Lions Mane?
How you take Lion’s Mane depends on what form of the mushroom you wish to take. Lion’s Mane is available currently as:
The recommended doses vary between forms and manufacturers. This is because the production of Lions Mane is not regulated, and different countries have different recommended allowances.
Therefore it is wise to check the leaflet and follow the instructions. Although overdosing on Lions Mane is unlikely, the fact is that there is no recognized limit and the consequences of taking too much Lions Mane for your condition is currently unknown.
If you have any adverse reactions after taking Lions Mane, you should stop using it as a supplement and visit a doctor immediately.
How Does Lions Mane Make You Feel?
Those who take Lions Mane regularly report an overall increase in wellbeing. Lions Mane has a positive effect on the brain, and helps to regulate mood, and is a popular alternative medicine for those suffering from low-grade anxiety or depression.
Lion’s Mane is known for helping people to feel healthier and clearer in their thoughts and communication skills. Lion’s mane is a good supplement for students or those that are required to maintain focus for long periods.
Does Lions Mane Make You Sleepy?
Lion’s mane is not known for causing drowsiness. In fact, some people report an increase in sleep quality after taking Lions Mane regularly.
Lions Mane is great for helping people to unwind, and better relaxation and sleep leads to improved energy levels throughout the day.
Can Lions Mane Cure Dementia?
Lions Mane is not a cure for dementia but it can prevent or slow the development of the disease.
Some randomized controlled trials have successfully demonstrated that Lions Mane helps to improve the symptoms of dementia and is a recommended supplement for dementia patients alongside clinical treatment and supervision.
Does Lions Mane Make You High?
Lions Mane is not a hallucinogenic mushroom and does not contain any psychoactive compounds.
However, it does affect the brain in a positive way by strengthening connections and improving overall cognition.
Lions Mane is known to improve focus and ease mental uncertainty. Some people have reported improvement in their speech, memory, and perception.
Overall, Lions Mane is a brain-boosting supplement, but you will not feel a high or a buzz from taking it. Lions Mane is a safe alternative medicine that will not have a negative impact on any of your daily activities or reduce your ability to complete tasks.