Mushrooms have long been recognized as a superfood. A lot of them were used as medicines even in ancient times. In fact, it is believed that mushrooms were referred to as ‘plants of immortality’ in ancient Egypt!
One of these edible, health-boosting mushrooms is the Lion’s Mane Mushroom! Let’s take a more detailed look…
Exploring The Origin Of The Magic Fungus…
Today, many ancient medicines and remedies find a significant place in modern medicine, thanks to research and studies reaffirming their benefits.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom is one such medicinal product. Scientifically known as Hericium Erinaceus, the mushroom is also known as Hedgehog Mushroom and Old Man’s Beard. It is known as Yamabushitake in Japanese and as Houtou in Chinese.
It is native to Asia as well as Europe and is found in countries such as North America, Japan, and China. It was used in ancient Chinese and Japanese medicines for its restorative as well as its positive effects on brain cells. The Japanese regarded it as a tonic.
Modern research has now identified that Lion’s Mane Mushroom contains beta glucans which enhance immunity and also lend many other benefits. Today, extracts of this amazing plant are available in the form of nutrition supplements which offer almost all benefits as the plant.
Some Incredible Health Benefits Of Using Lion’s Mane Mushroom!
Here are some ways Lion’s Mane Mushroom can be beneficial for you!
- It Enhances Brain Function:
One of the best benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom is its role as NGF-stimulant. NGF or Nerve Growth Factor is a part of neurotrophins, a protein, which helps in the growth of nerve cells or neurons. NGF is crucial for many brain functions.
The higher the level of NGF, the more optimal is brain health.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom extracts also have neurogenesis as well as neuroprotective properties. Neurogenesis helps in the regeneration of nerve cells, the number of which may have impaired due to diseases, a brain injury or even age. The neuroprotective property of the mushroom also contributes to antioxidant properties that are also essential for enhancing brain functions.
- It Helps Drive Away Depression:
Depression today is a leading cause of many health problems and a trigger for suicides. Medicines, along with counselling and therapies, have found to be able to treat depression symptoms. Lion’s Mane Mushroom extracts too, have been found to aid in decreasing many symptoms of depression including anxiety, inability to concentrate, irritability, and sleep disorders, a study has found.
The 2010 study from Japan was conducted on 30 women for four weeks. Two groups were formed, 15 in each group. One group was given Lion’s Mane and the other, a placebo or an inert medical treatment.
The women who were given Lion’s Mane were found to have reduced anxiety and depression as well as better sleep.The study concluded that extracts such as hericenones and erinacines from the mushroom stimulated NGF synthesis which enhanced the functioning of autonomic nervous system and brain cells.
- It Can Boost Cognitive Functions:
Cognitive functions enable gathering and processing of information and include abilities such as language grasping, memory power, decision-making, attention span, and problem-solving skills. A 2011 research on mice showed that Lion’s Mane extracts were able to avert cognitive impairment brought about by peptides.
The mushroom extracts were also found to have positive impacts on those suffering from cognitive impairment. A 2009 clinical trial administered 3 g of extract to adults with cognitive impairment issue every day for 16 weeks. It was found that as long as the participants consumed the extracts, their cognitive functioning improved but once the supplement consumption stopped, so did cognitive improvement.
Prime Mind is one of the best nootropics available which contains lion’s mane mushroom extracts and is beneficial to increase brain functioning and cognitive functions.
- It Could Be Of Immense Help To Alzheimer’s Patients:
The communication between nerve cells is essential for normal brain functioning. A chemical called acetylcholine or ACH is responsible for facilitating communication. It is released by an enzyme Choline acetyltransferase or ChAT.
In Alzheimer patients, the level of acetycholine is found to be reduced, and in severe cases, the decrease may be around 90 percent. The drugs used in the treatment of the disease help in increasing the level of ACH.
A study conducted on a mouse model of the disease found that Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract was able to enhance the level of acetylcholine and ChAT enzyme which in turn improved brain functioning.
- It Has Anti-Carcinogenic Properties:
Th1 and Th2 cells are crucial in orchestrating the immune response, which can be critical in fighting cancer. Research has shown that polysaccharides from the mushroom have various antitumor, anti-oxidation, neuroprotection, and neurogeneration properties and an also stimulate, Th1 response, a very vital activity in fighting tumours.
As per another study, a compound known as cerebroside E isolated from Lion’s Mane Mushroom was found to be beneficial for cancer treatment.
- It Could Prove Beneficial For Treatment Of Diabetes:
Though studies are still at a nascent stage and the benefits of extracts on humans are yet to be ascertained, the positive results on the studies on rats hopefully will pave the way for finding more effective treatments for diabetes and blood pressure problems.
A 2013 study found that the aqueous extract of Lion’s Mane was effective in reducing blood glucose as well as increasing insulin levels in diabetic rats.
- It Can Prevent Aging:
A study on aged rats found that the polysaccharides in the mushroom extract contained high levels of skin antioxidant enzymes which are effective in preventing skin aging, by increasing collagen levels of the rat’s skin.
There are also studies on the effect of the extract on human cell cultures which showed that even on human cells, the anti-aging properties of the extract had a significant impact.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom’s medicinal properties have long been acknowledged by science. Hopefully, in the near future, there will be more research to throw light on more amazing benefits of the mushroom.
Meanwhile, the supplements made from Lion’s Mane Mushroom are effective in meeting many types of health issues as they are made by scientifically extracting nutrients and other beneficial compounds from the mushroom.
If you are looking for a surefire way to good health, incorporate a Lion’s Mane Mushroom supplement into your diet today!