Lion’s mane mushrooms are known for their brain-boosting benefits. But, can this medicinal mushroom alleviate symptoms of ADHD?
We took a closer look at what research has to say about the effects of Hericium erinaceus on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and were quite impressed with the results.
Here are our findings on lion’s mane and ADHD.
What is Lion’s Mane?
Lion’s mane is widely regarded as one of the world’s healthiest mushrooms. People praise it for its anti-inflammatory effects and its benefits on memory and cognitive health.
These adaptogenic mushrooms feed off tree debris and prefer cooler climates, which is why they mostly grow in northern Europe, Asia, and North America.
Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane
Research on the therapeutic potential of the lion’s mane mushroom indicates this fungus has the potential to promote the production of nerve growth factors and repair nerve cells. It appears to ease the symptoms of dementia, mood disorders, and neuropathic pain, as well as improve overall cognitive function.
Some of the beneficial effects of lion’s mane mushrooms:
- reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression
- improves cognitive functions and overall brain health
- protects against mild cognitive impairment and memory loss in illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease
- reduces inflammation and nerve pains
- encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells
- improves gut health
- lowers blood sugar levels
- reduces inflammation
- reduces symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis
Lion’s Mane Bioactive Compounds
Hericium erinaceus delivers an arsenal of healthy bioactive compounds, such as:
- digestive enzymes
- prebiotic fibers
- hericenones and erinacines
While many of these compounds are only beginning to be understood by science, some are known to have profound effects. For example, hericenones, found in lion’s mane fruiting bodies, and erinacines, present in the mycelium of the fungus, have incredible neurotrophic potential.
What is ADHD?
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a medical condition that affects attention and self-control. These days, the condition is usually diagnosed in childhood, although many folks who grew up in decades past learn about their condition as adults.
The cause of ADHD is unknown, but genetics and environmental factors are known contributors. Additionally, alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy could influence a predisposition toward ADHD.
There may be differences in brain chemistry in people with ADHD compared to those who don’t have the disorder.
Symptoms of ADHD
People with ADHD experience struggle with a low attention span and hyperactivity. The nine main symptoms of ADHD are:
- Problems focusing on a task
- Poor time management
- Issues with multitasking
- Low tolerance to frustration
- Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety
- Trouble coping with stress
ADHD Treatment Options
Traditional ADHD treatment usually consists of medication and psychotherapy. The most common medication is an amphetamine called Adderall. When it comes to psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common modality used to treat the condition.
In addition to traditional treatment, ADHD patients often turn to alternative medicine in the form of dietary supplements. The most promising natural remedies include ginkgo biloba, omega-3 fatty acids, and medicinal mushrooms, such as lion’s mane.
What Does Lion’s Mane Do to Your Brain?
Lion’s mane mushrooms contain incredibly beneficial compounds called hericenones and erinacines. These compounds stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) proteins, which provide a plethora of benefits for your brain.
NGF proteins protect your brain from injuries and degenerative illnesses by promoting nerve regeneration and myelination. Therefore, lion’s mane is a potent nootropic and may protect the nervous system and support brain functions, including focus and memory.
Can You Take Lion’s Mane for ADHD?
Lion's mane mushrooms have been used to improve cognitive functions in conditions ranging from Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain injury to ADHD.
Although there is no research on the effects of lion’s mane extract on ADHD, anecdotal evidence suggests that it could be quite beneficial when used with traditional treatment methods.
Many people with ADHD use the medicinal mushroom as a natural remedy due to its ability to improve focus and alleviate symptoms of mental health disorders that often accompany ADHD.
Taking Lion’s Mane for ADHD Symptoms
Lion’s mane shows great potential when it comes to overall brain function improvement. It’s shown to help with focus, memory, and clarity. It’s also been demonstrated to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
In short, lion’s mane helps with many of the symptoms of ADHD, even if the research is lacking on its effects on ADHD itself.
If you have ADHD, taking a lion’s mane supplement may help you focus, alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improve your overall cognitive health.
Does Lion’s Mane Help With Focus?
Yes, according to research, lion’s mane could improve your ability to focus. This medicinal mushroom reduces symptoms of brain fog, which greatly impacts your ability to focus on the task at hand.
Anecdotal evidence confirms these findings, as well. Many people swear by lion’s mane mushrooms when it comes to focus and memory and use them to boost their productivity, even if they don’t have ADHD.
Does Lion’s Mane Benefit Cognitive Health?
Cognitive impairments are common in people with ADHD. This disorder often comes with verbal and non-verbal learning disorders, as well as issues with alertness and executive functioning.
Human studies suggest that lion’s mane could be beneficial to cognitively impaired people. For example, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined the effects of lion’s mane on Japanese patients with mild cognitive impairment.
The participants who were taking the lion’s mane mushroom extract showed increased scores in their cognitive functioning. According to these results, lion’s mane supplements could have the potential to improve mild cognitive impairment common in ADHD.
Can Lion’s Mane Alleviate Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety?
People with ADHD often suffer from mental health issues, with anxiety and depression being the most common. These disorders can worsen symptoms of ADHD, lead to issues with eating, and sleeping, and influence your overall well-being.
Lion’s mane shows great potential when it comes to alleviating mild symptoms of depression. Additionally, Hericium erinaceus has anxiolytic potential and could be beneficial to those suffering from anxiety.
For example, a 2018 animal study has shown that lion’s mane supplements may be able to alleviate symptoms of these mental health disorders. These medicinal mushrooms reduced symptoms of depression and significantly improved overall mood in stressed-out mice.
Lion’s Mane and ADHD Medication
Although there is no research on the effects of using lion's mane supplements along with ADHD medication, anecdotal evidence suggests it is safe to take Hericium erinaceus with Adderall.
Still, if you want to err on the side of caution, start with a low dose of lion’s mane and stop taking lion’s mane if you happen to notice any side effects.
What We Can Conclusively Say About Lion’s Mane and ADHD?
Here’s what we know to date about Hericium erinaceus and ADHD:
- Anecdotal evidence suggests that lion’s mane could alleviate symptoms of ADHD.
- Lion’s mane mushrooms may improve focus and alleviate brain fog common in people with ADHD.
- Double-blind, placebo-controlled trials show great potential when it comes to the beneficial effects of lion’s mane on cognitive health.
- Animal studies suggest that lion’s mane may alleviate mild symptoms of depression and anxiety, mental health issues common in people with ADHD.
- Anecdotal evidence suggests that lion’s mane does not interact with traditional ADHD medication.
- More human studies are needed to uncover the underlying mechanisms of lion’s mane and its effects on ADHD.
- Given that there are no downsides to taking lion’s mane, its low cost, and high availability, it may make sense to include this fungus into one’s diet as a way to alleviate symptoms of ADHD.
Are You Interested in Taking Lion’s Mane for ADHD?
If you’re interested in taking lion’s mane mushrooms for ADHD, we suggest taking them in the morning so you can reap their benefits throughout the day. And, what better way to do so than a bowl of delicious cereal?
Forij Superfood Granola is a vegan, gluten-free granola that contains a hyperconcentrated lion’s mane mushroom powder, as well as chaga and cordyceps mushrooms.
You can choose from three unique flavors: sunflower seed cacao, cinnamon, and vanilla almond. Alternatively, get a bundle with all three flavors if you like to start your mornings with some variety.
Lion’s Mane and ADHD FAQ
How long does it take for lion's mane to work?
You can expect to notice some effects of lion’s mane after two weeks of consistent use. However, to reap the long-term benefits of lion’s mane, such as its anti-inflammatory properties, you should take the mushroom consistently for many months.
What are lion's mane side effects?
Lion’s mane mushrooms are completely safe to consume. There is always a remote possibility of adverse effects such as an upset stomach and diarrhea at high dosages, especially if you’re not used to taking adaptogenic mushrooms. In order to avoid these side effects, start with a lower dose of the mushroom and work your way up.
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. As lion’s mane does not contain psilocybin or other psychoactive compounds, there is no risk of you getting high from consuming the fungus.
This article was written strictly for educational purposes and is not intended to inform about medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any kind. The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).