Lion’s mane mushrooms provide too many benefits to count, but can you get addicted to them?
According to research and anecdotal experiences, the answer is no!
Let’s dive deeper into lion’s mane benefits, side effects, and potential uses.
What Is Lion’s Mane?
The lion’s mane medicinal mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is an adaptogenic mushroom that has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. It’s considered one of the healthiest mushrooms in the world. This fungus grows on dead tree debris, and it prefers the cooler climate of its native Europe, northern Asia, and North America.
Lion’s Mane Benefits
Research on the lion’s mane benefits suggests that this fungus has the potential to promote nerve cell growth and repair brain cells through the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) proteins. It appears to provide antiinflammatory and antioxidant activities, lower blood sugar levels, improve cognition, as well as provide beneficial effects for mental health.
Some of the potential health benefits of lion’s mane include:
- reduces mild symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders and aids in stress relief
- improves central nervous system functions by stimulating nerve growth factors
- has a protective effect against nerve damage and improves brain health
- reduces the risk of heart disease and blood clots
- promotes the growth of nerve cells and nerve regeneration, which is beneficial for cognitive functions and nervous system injuries
- reduces symptoms of oxidative stress
- prevents memory loss and provides a protective effect against mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease
- lowers blood glucose levels, which is quite beneficial to those with diabetes
- encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells, and has the potential to fight cancer
- improves digestive tract health and protects against stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori and ulcerative colitis
- boosts immunity and improves immune function
- promotes healthy hair growth
- has neuroprotective properties and reduces nerve damage in neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, ALS, and Parkinson’s disease
For more information on the effects of lion's mane on overall health, take a look at our guide to Hericium erinaceus benefits.
Lion’s Mane Spiritual Benefits
Lion's mane appears to have spiritual benefits. This mushroom can enhance focus and memory, aid in anxiety relief, and improve overall mental health. Shaolin monks in ancient China used lion’s mane daily to improve their concentration. They believed it increased their "Qi," a mystical, energetic life force.
Lion’s Mane Side Effects
There are no known side effects of lion’s mane. Although there are no studies on the negative effects of Hericium erinaceus, anecdotal evidence and centuries of use suggest that lion’s mane is completely safe to consume, both as a food and as dietary supplementation.
Is Lion’s Mane Addictive?
Unlike prescribed medication or psychoactive drugs, there is no risk of becoming addicted or physically dependent on lion's mane mushrooms. So, if you’re worried about lion’s mane mushrooms addiction, you can keep taking these mushrooms without any fear.
Even if you’re taking high doses of lion’s mane, you won’t experience any side effects or withdrawal symptoms once you stop taking it, although you’ll also stop reaping its benefits.
Does Lion’s Mane Get You High?
No, lion’s mane 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. Lion’s mane does not contain psilocybin or other psychoactive compounds, so there is no risk of you getting high from consuming this fungus.
Is Lion’s Mane Psychedelic?
No, lion’s mane is not psychedelic and won’t make you hallucinate. It’s safe to take the Hericium erinaceus mushroom during your workday, as it won’t impair your cognitive abilities.
Can You Take Lion’s Mane Everyday?
Yes, you can take lion’s mane every day. If you’re taking a mushroom powder or a food infused with a lion’s mane extract, we recommend taking up to 2000 mg of this mushroom per day. You can eat as much cooked lion’s mane as you want without any risks or side effects, even if you are taking a lion’s mane supplement as well.
Can You Take Lion’s Mane Long-Term?
Yes, you can take lion’s mane long-term. Taking lion’s mane long-term can only benefit you, as you’ll get the most lion’s mane benefits by taking this mushroom for a long time.
A Unique Way of Taking Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
If you want to get the benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms but don’t like their flavor, why not give our delicious medicinal mushroom granola a try?
The hyperconcentrated extract we use contains 10-15 times the nutrients a regular lion’s mane mushroom powder does, without any of the mushroom flavor.
The granola is vegan, made with high-quality ingredients, and contains a perfect daily dose of lion’s mane. What more could you want from a morning bowl of cereal?
FAQ on Lion’s Mane Addiction
How much lion’s mane 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 mushroom 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.
Can lion’s mane increase anxiety?
No, lion’s mane should not increase anxiety. Research shows that lion’s mane extracts can aid in anxiety reduction.
A recent clinical trial examined the effects of Hericium erinaceus on sleep quality and general well-being of female students during a particularly stressful exam season.
The students reported feeling less anxious and their sleep schedules improved significantly after 4 weeks of using the lion's mane mushroom extract.
Is lion’s mane a stimulant?
No, lion’s mane is not a stimulant. While the effects of lion’s mane mushrooms can include a slight energy boost, lion’s mane supplements should not make you jittery or cause a midday crash, unlike traditional stimulants such as coffee, tea, and energy drinks.
Does lion’s mane increase dopamine?
Lion’s mane does not increase dopamine, per se, but it does appear to stabilize dopamine levels, at least in animals. A 2018 animal study examined the underlying mechanisms of antidepressant effects of Hericium erinaceus in mice. The results suggest that when the mice were under stress, their dopamine levels decreased.
However, after taking lion's mane, their dopamine levels stabilized, even though there were no changes in their stress levels. This suggests that lion's mane could be responsible for the rise in dopamine levels, although further human research is needed to fully understand this lion’s mane benefit.
Does lion’s mane cause depression?
No, lion’s mane can’t cause depression. On the contrary, lion’s mane is known for reducing symptoms of depression.
A recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined how the extract of Hericium erinaceus affected mild symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders in menopausal women.
After taking a lion’s mane supplement for 4 weeks, these women reported feeling less depressed than they did at the beginning of the trial, while the women who were taking a placebo did not report an improvement in their symptoms.
Can lion’s mane affect your mood?
With regular use, lion’s mane can improve your mood. This mushroom appears to alleviate symptoms of brain fog, depression, and anxiety, as well as provide a natural source of energy.
Plus, studies suggest that Hericium erinaceus improves cognitive function and stimulates the growth of nerve cells, which will certainly aid in mood improvement. To learn more about these amazing benefits of Hericium erinaceus, check out our article detailing the benefits of lion's mane for the brain.
What are the lion’s mane neurogenesis benefits?
Research on the health benefits of lion's mane indicates that Hericium erinaceus has significant potential to promote neurogenesis, as well as prevent and repair nerve damage.
Lion’s mane mushrooms contain bioactive compounds (hericenones and erinacines) in their fruiting bodies. These bioactive compounds promote the growth of nerve growth factors, which are largely responsible for nerve regeneration.
What is the lion’s mane dosage for depression?
There is no ideal lion’s mane dosage for depression. While some people report taking 750-1000 mg daily, others take up to a couple of spoonfuls of lion’s mane mushroom powder (around 5000 mg) to feel the calming effect of this mushroom. If you’re taking lion’s mane for depression, start with a lower dosage (750 mg per day) and work your way up over time.
What are the lion’s mane ADHD benefits?
While there is no human research on the effects of lion’s mane on ADHD, anecdotal evidence suggests that Hericium erinaceus can aid in ADHD symptom management. This mushroom can improve focus, memory, and clarity, as well as reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, which are all common symptoms of ADHD.
Are there any lion’s mane drug interactions?
There are a few lion’s mane drug interactions you should be cautious of when taking Hericium erinaceus. For example, lion’s mane lowers blood sugars and could interact with medication that also has anti-diabetic properties.
Lion’s mane may also interact with blood thinners. In an in vitro study, lion’s mane mushroom extract was shown to have an inhibitory effect on collagen-induced platelet aggregation. Since platelet aggregation is responsible for blood clotting, Hericium erinaceus could interact with medication used to slow down the body’s ability to make blood clots.
Can I take lion’s mane mushrooms with turkey tail?
Yes, you can take lion’s mane with any medicinal mushroom, including reishi, turkey tail, chaga, and shiitake 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.
Is lion's mane good for digestion?
Yes, lion's mane has amazing benefits for digestive health. For example, studies have shown that this traditional Chinese medicine staple has gastroprotective effects in animals, and it also appears to aid in irritable bowel disease treatment. To learn more about the gut health benefits of this mushroom, read our article on the effects of lion's mane on digestion.
Is lion's mane good for psoriatic arthritis?
Yes, both fresh lion's mane and its supplements are good for psoriatic arthritis. According to research, lion's mane reduces inflammation in the body. Since psoriatic arthritis is caused by chronic inflammatory processes, the beneficial effects of lion's mane on inflammation could aid in the treatment of this condition.
- Okamura, H. (2015). The effects of Hericium erinaceus (Amyloban® 3399) on sleep quality and subjective well-being among female undergraduate students: A pilot study. Personalized Medicine Universe, 4, 76–78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmu.2015.03.006
- Chiu, C. H. (2018). Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Produces Antidepressant-Like Effects through Modulating BDNF/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β Signaling in Mice. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(2), 341. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020341
- Nagano, M. (2010). Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Biomedical Research, 31(4), 231–237. https://doi.org/10.2220/biomedres.31.231
- Mori, K. (2010). Inhibitory effect of hericenone B from Hericium erinaceus on collagen-induced platelet aggregation. Phytomedicine, 17(14), 1082–1085. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2010.05.004
- Wong, J. Y. (2013). Gastroprotective Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushroom Hericium erinaceus Bull :Fr. Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) Extract against Ethanol-Induced Ulcer in Rats. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/492976
This article was written strictly for informational purposes. This website is not intended to inform about professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any kind. The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For more information, consult a healthcare provider.