The incredible health benefits and properties of lion’s mane mushrooms are just starting to be understood by science.
But what’s a better way to reap these benefits—a powder, or an extract?
We compared the two main ways of consuming lion’s mane, and here’s what we found.
What Is Lion’s Mane?
The lion’s mane medicinal mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is a fungus that’s been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. Hericium erinaceus mainly grows in Asia, Europe, and North America. This mushroom species is saprotrophic, meaning that it feeds off dead tree debris.
We are just starting to learn about the beneficial effects of lion’s mane on your mind and body. However, current research suggests that this functional mushroom may be beneficial in preventing and treating many illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
What are the Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane?
Research on the lion’s mane mushroom benefits indicates this fungus has the potential to promote neurite outgrowth and repair brain cells. It appears to ease the symptoms of dementia, lessen oxidative stress, as well as improve overall mental clarity and neuronal health.
Some of the benefits this adaptogenic mushroom provides include:
- provides antioxidant activity
- improves digestive health and protects against stomach ulcers
- lowers blood sugars and aids in diabetes management
- improves cognitive health and provides protective effects on the brain function
- encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells
- reduces the risk of heart disease and blood clotting
- boosts the immune system and improves immune function
How Does Lion’s Mane Make You Feel?
Hericium erinaceus provides an abundance of spiritual benefits and can make you feel amazing. Lion’s mane mushrooms appear to boost the nervous system, reduce brain fog, and improve mental clarity and focus. They can also ease symptoms of depression and anxiety, so you’ll likely feel more relaxed.
Does Lion’s Mane Have Side Effects?
As of yet, there’s no good research on the side effects of Hericium erinaceus. However, centuries of lion’s mane use in traditional Chinese medicine, as well as culinary use, suggest that lion’s mane is completely safe to consume.
However, if you want to err on the side of caution, talk to a medical professional before you start taking lion’s mane supplements or including this medicinal mushroom into your diet.
Lion’s Mane Extract Uses
Lion's mane mushroom extracts are usually more potent than mushroom powders. Due to their potency, mushroom extracts are often used in scientific research on the potential health benefits of the lion’s mane mushroom.
Commercially available products that contain a lion’s mane extract can be alcohol-based (ethanolic extract) or water-based (aqueous extract). They are used to maintain overall mental and physical health and prevent various illnesses.
You can also get your daily dose of Hericium erinaceus extract via foods fortified with this mushroom (for example, our healthy mushroom granola).
How to Take Lion’s Mane Extract
You can add a lion’s mane extract to any food or drink you want or take it on its own. Alternatively, opt for fortified foods if you don’t want to worry about taking an extract every day or don’t like the taste of Hericium erinaceus.
Lion’s Mane Extract Side Effects
The high potency of lion’s mane extracts could cause stomach issues if you’re not used to taking functional mushrooms. If you notice any bloating or diarrhea, go with a lower dosage until your body adapts to the effects of lion’s mane.
Lion’s Mane Extract Dosage
Lion’s mane extracts vary in potency depending on the brand. Therefore, following the brand's recommended dosage is essential when taking an extract. If you don’t notice any effects after a few weeks, you can increase the dosage slightly until you find one that works for you.
Lion’s Mane Powder Benefits
Lion’s mane powder is made from dried mushrooms. You can consume it in powder form by adding it to drink mixes and smoothies, making tea, or mixing it with water.
Lion’s mane supplements such as capsules and mushroom coffee usually use a mushroom powder.
Taking a lion’s mane mushroom supplement or powder can reduce symptoms of many illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, anxiety, and depressive disorders.
How to Take Lion’s Mane Powder
You can integrate lion’s mane powder dietary supplementation with hot drinks, such as coffee or tea, or add it to a smoothie. You can also add the powder to baked goods or dishes such as pasta and risotto.
If you’re taking a mushroom supplement in capsule form, simply swallow the lion’s mane capsule with some water and other vitamins and adaptogens you may be taking.
Lion’s Mane Powder Side Effects
Mushroom powders are made from ground-up mushrooms. Thus, if you don’t like the taste of mushrooms, you may have trouble including a lion’s mane powder in your diet.
Hericium erinaceus powders are also less potent than extracts, so you’ll have to take a higher dosage to reap the full scope of lion’s mane health benefits.
If you’re not used to adaptogens, you may experience some stomach discomfort the first few days of using a lion’s mane powder. This side effect should subside within a few days.
Lion’s Mane Powder Dosage
If you’re taking a powder on its own, follow the dosage recommendations provided by the manufacturer. You can increase the dosage after a few weeks. Similarly, if you’re taking lion’s mane mushroom capsules, follow the suggestions provided by the brand you’re taking, as capsules can vary in potency, depending on the brand.
Lion’s Mane Extract Vs. Powder: Which Option is Better for You?
When it comes to lion’s mane dietary supplements, it can be difficult to decide between an extract and a powder. Each has pros and cons.
A lion’s mane extract is more concentrated, which can be beneficial if you want to prevent or combat symptoms of a progressive illness. A powder is usually less expensive and easier to include in your diet but can have an overpowering taste.
You can try both and stick with the one you prefer, combine them, or go with foods fortified with mushroom extract (such as Forij granola) as they provide the potency of an extract without the mushroom flavor.
Are You Interested in Taking a Lion’s Mane Extract?
If you’re interested in trying a lion’s mane extract, why not do it with delicious granola fortified with a hyperconcentrated extract made from organic mushrooms.
Our granola contains extracts of some of the healthiest mushrooms you can take—lion’s mane, chaga, and the cordyceps mushroom.
The granola is vegan, gluten-free, packed with nutrients, and comes in three delicious flavors. What more could you want in a morning bowl of cereal?
Lion’s Mane Extract Vs. Powder FAQ
How much lion's mane extract is in Forij granola?
Forij granola uses a high-quality lion's mane 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 mushroom powder supplement, all in one bowl of granola.
What does lion's mane do to the brain?
Lion’s mane mushrooms can maintain optimal brain health and even repair nerve cells. These mushrooms have neurotrophic properties and promote the production of nerve growth factor proteins. Thanks to its ability to aid in nerve regeneration, lion’s mane appears to reduce, and even reverse mild cognitive impairment.
How long until I feel the effects of lion's mane?
That depends on what you’re taking the mushroom for. You can notice the short-term effects of lion’s mane after just a few days. You’ll likely feel less anxious and more energized within the first two weeks of taking lion’s mane extracts. However, to reap the long-term benefits of lion’s mane, you should be taking it consistently for at least a few months.
Does lion's mane lower testosterone?
Lion’s mane doesn’t appear to lower testosterone. To the contrary, this fungus may increase the production of testosterone through the beneficial effects it has on the brain and hormone production. Still, more human research is needed to fully understand the underlying mechanisms of Hericium erinaceus and its effects on testosterone production.
Is lion's mane a stimulant?
Lion’s mane is not a stimulant, but it can have stimulating effects on the brain. This functional mushroom appears to improve cognitive functions (especially focus and memory) and may even reduce symptoms of ADHD. However, unlike coffee and other stimulants, it doesn’t cause jitters or a midday crash in energy.
Can I take lion's mane everyday?
It’s not only completely safe but highly beneficial to take lion’s mane mushrooms every day. Long-term benefits of lion’s mane—such as their ability to lower blood sugar levels and alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease—become more pronounced the longer you use this mushroom.
Is lion's mane psychedelic?
The lion’s mane mushroom has absolutely no psychedelic properties and can’t get you high. Mushrooms that can cause a high contain a compound called psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic that can alter your state of mind. As lion’s mane does not contain psilocybin or other psychoactive compounds, there is no risk of you getting high from consuming the fungus.
Can you take lion’s mane with reishi mushrooms?
Yes, you can take lion’s mane with any medicinal mushroom, including maitake, turkey tail, and reishi mushrooms. When it comes to medicinal mushrooms, the whole is better than the sum of its parts, so you’ll likely reap more benefits of lion’s mane if you take it with other adaptogenic fungi.
This article was written strictly for informational purposes. Our product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or medical reviewers.