What's the best way to take the lion's mane mushroom and reap its many health benefits?
From mushroom powders to capsules to...our tasty granola, we lay out your options for consuming this adaptogenic mushroom!
What Is Lion's Mane?
Lion's mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) are medicinal mushrooms that grow in northern parts of Europe and Asia, as well as North America. Due to the many potential health benefits this mushroom species provides, it has been a staple in traditional medicine across the globe. If you want to learn more about Hericium erinaceus, check out our handy guide to lion's mane mushrooms.
Potential Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Lion’s mane mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, and they remain a staple in alternative medicine.
Hericium erinaceus has a plethora of benefits, as research suggests that this mushroom could aid in oxidative stress relief, improve overall immune function and have protective effects on the whole body. Many use these medicinal mushrooms for weight management and weight loss, while others praise them for their antioxidant activity.
Anti-Diabetes Properties of Lion’s Mane
Lion's mane may help alleviate symptoms of diabetes. Polysaccharides, compounds commonly found in medicinal mushrooms, including Hericium erinaceus, contain anti-hyperglycemic properties, meaning they can lower blood sugar levels.
This means lion's mane can be quite helpful for people with diabetes who need to keep their blood sugar stable after a meal.
An animal study on the effects of lion’s mane on diabetes seems to confirm the anti-hyperglycemic potential of this mushroom. After 28 days on a lion’s mane extract, the blood glucose levels in rats with diabetes stabilized.
Lion's mane mushrooms also appear to alleviate neuropathic pain, one of the most common symptoms of diabetes.
Lion’s Mane and Cancer Protection
According to a few studies, one of the many lion’s mane mushroom benefits seems to be apoptosis (the process of programmed cell death) of cancer cells, and protection against various types of cancer, such as leukemia, gastric cancer, and breast cancer.
Cerebrosides, compounds found in the fruiting bodies of lion’s mane mushrooms, show promising potential in cancer treatment. In particular, Cerebroside E seems to aid in cancer treatment, according to an in vitro study.
Neurological Health Benefits of Lion's Mane
Research on lion’s mane and Alzheimer's indicates that the mushroom mitigates the disease. For one, these adaptogenic mushrooms appear to preserve cognitive functions and reduce memory loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease, and could slow down the progression of the illness.
Chemical components found in Hericium erinaceus aid in the growth of new brain cells, according to a recent study. Remarkably, lion's mane appears to promote neurogenesis, or the growth of new brain cells. This seems to be the main mechanism behind its neurological health properties, such as overall nervous system protection and mild cognitive impairment prevention.
Additionally, lion’s mane extracts show potential in Parkinson’s disease treatment due to the mushroom’s neurotrophic properties.
Heart Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, with heart attacks and coronary artery disease being the most prevalent heart health conditions.
Healthcare professionals stress proper nutrition as a number one way to prevent heart problems, and studies on the effect of Hericium erinaceus mushroom extracts on heart health suggest that lion’s mane may be a great addition to a health-conscious diet.
A 2010 clinical trial examined a compound found in this mushroom called hericenone and found that it seems to lessen platelet aggregation, a mechanism behind the formation of blood clots. Therefore, lion’s mane could be useful for blood clot prevention in people susceptible to thrombosis.
Mental Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane
In addition to cognitive health, Hericium erinaceus seems to aid in overall mental clarity, as well as anxietyand depressionrelief. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study looked at the effects of the lion’s mane mushroom on various menopause symptoms, including depression and anxiety.
The participants that took lion’s mane for 4 weeks ended up scoring lower on tests that measure symptoms of depression and anxiety than the control group, meaning that they exhibited fewer signs of these conditions.
How to Take Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Fresh lion's mane mushrooms can be enjoyed raw, cooked, steeped as a tea, or by making mushroom powder out or dried lion's mane.
You should be taking lion’s mane every day for at least two weeks in order to notice all the benefits this mushroom provides. Luckily, there are a lot of mushroom supplement options to choose from, such as lion’s mane capsules, powders, and extracts, lion’s mane tea and coffee, as well as foods fortified with the lion’s mane mushroom.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Powder
Lion’s mane powder is a popular way to consume this fungus, as it’s easy to use, often cheaper, and more accessible than some of the other options. You can put the lion’s mane powder in your shakes and smoothies or mix it with water. We recommend mixing a scoop of lion's mane powdered mix into your tea, coffee, or hot water, once a day for around two weeks. The downside of lion’s mane mushroom powder, for some, is the taste.
Lion’s Mane Supplements
A lion’s mane dietary supplement is a popular choice for people who already take certain medicine or daily vitamins. Supplements come in many forms, with lion’s mane mushroom capsules being the most common.
Although this way of lion’s mane consumption is quick and easy, it’s not the best option for people who aren’t used to taking pills and capsules daily, as forgetting to take the supplements may diminish the effects of lion’s mane.
Lion’s Mane Tea
If you love the taste of mushrooms, you should give lion’s mane tea a try. Simply steep the lion’s mane mushroom powder in boiling water for about 10 minutes, strain it and enjoy. Alternatively, go with a pre-made tea mix or opt for mushroom coffee.
Cooking with Lion’s Mane in Recipes
Adding lion's mane mushrooms to dishes is a delicious alternative to eating them raw if you don't like the texture of raw mushrooms. The flavor of Hericium erinaceus is similar to that of crab or lobster meat, making it an amazing vegan alternative to seafood.
You can use lion's mane mushrooms in soups, risotto, or pasta. There are plenty of lion's mane mushroom recipes available, so you're sure to find one that you love.
Forij Superfood Granola
If you can’t stomach the taste of mushrooms, but you still want to reap the many benefits of lion’s mane, try adding them into your diet with fortified foods.
For example, our healthy granola comes in three delicious flavors and contains a hyperconcentrated extract of lion’s mane, as well as chaga and cordyceps mushrooms. You’ll get your daily dose of lion’s mane without the earthy taste.
What Is the Best Way to Consume Lion’s Mane?
There is no best way to consume lion’s mane, as you’ll reap the benefits of this medicinal mushroom whether you consume it raw, cooked, or as a supplement. However, whether you go with a whole mushroom or a supplement, it’s important to get the highest quality product available. Many cheap products don’t contain a high-quality extract and provide very few benefits.
What Is the Best Fresh Lion's Mane Dosage?
You can eat as much fresh mushrooms as you want, whether you're taking a lion's mane supplement or not. If you want to make fresh lion's mane a part of your daily routine, make sure you're buying organic lion's mane mushrooms foraged by skilled professionals. If you want to reap the benefits this mushroom has on the immune system, physical, and mental health, it's best to combine fresh lion's mane with a supplement.
What Is the Ideal Lion's Mane Supplement Dosage?
When taking a lion's mane product, you should aim for up to 2000 mg of lion's mane per day. Most supplements contain a lower lion's mane dosage, so you'll likely have to take more than the recommended dosage to get the most out of this mushroom.
If you're looking for a lion's mane mushroom product that contains all the lion's mane you need for the day in one delicious serving, check out our healthy granola infused with a Hericium erinaceus extract.
Interested in Trying Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?
Lion’s mane is quite beneficial and generally safe for most people. If you want to incorporate the helpful mushroom into your diet, you can do so with our Forij Superfood Granola.
The granola is vegan, gluten-free, packed with nutrients, and delicious. What more could you want in a morning bowl of cereal?
How to Take Lion’s Mane FAQ
How much lion's mane is in Forij granola?
Forij granola uses a high-quality lion's mane mushroom extract made from whole medicinal mushrooms. Our dual extraction method extracts both water-soluble beta-glucans as well as alcohol-soluble triterpenes. Our decoction process breaks down indigestible chitin cell walls of the mushroom to get much more of these compounds out than ordinary processes do.
One serving of our granola provides 250 mg of hyperconcentrated lion's mane extract, which is eight times more concentrated than a regular lion’s mane supplement. Therefore, you get as much lion's mane potency as you would if you were taking a 2000 mg lion's mane mushroom supplement, all in one bowl of granola.
Can you take lion’s mane and reishi mushroom together?
Yes, you can take lion’s mane with any other type of medicinal fungus, including reishi mushrooms, turkey tail, cordyceps, and more. The whole is always greater than the sum of its parts when it comes to adaptogenic mushrooms. Therefore, the benefits of reishi can only be improved upon if you take them with lion’s mane mushrooms and vice versa.
Does lion’s mane help gut health?
Studies show that lion’s mane mushrooms seem to improve digestive health and have gastroprotective properties, and they could even protect against stomach ulcers, according to an animal study published in 2013. This mushroom may also aid in the treatment of digestive health issues such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
When should you take lion’s mane?
Ideally, you should take a lion’s mane supplement in the morning or early afternoon. Lion’s mane may make you more focused and alert, which is quite useful during a workday. However, if you take this mushroom late at night, you may feel restless and unable to fall asleep due to its energizing properties.
Should you take lion’s mane on an empty stomach?
Yes, it’s safe to take lion’s mane on an empty stomach. However, if you have a sensitive stomach, doing so could cause some digestion issues. To prevent digestion problems, take your lion's mane supplements with a meal or opt for fortified foods, such as our granola.
What are the benefits of lion's mane for brain health?
Lion's mane got its nickname the smart mushroom due to the many benefits it provides for brain health. This mushroom contains bioactive compounds that stimulate the growth of nerve cells by promoting the production of nerve growth factor proteins.
This mechanism is likely behind the ability of Hericium erinaceus to improve cognition and mental functions, reverse damage caused by neurodegenerative illnesses, and preserve various brain functions. Additionally, lion's mane appears to provide a natural energy boost, as well as aid in overall immunity, health, and wellness.
This article was written strictly for informational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or provide medical advice. The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).