Should you be taking lion’s mane mushrooms to alleviate symptoms of arthritis? According to research, the answer is yes! This mushroom appears to reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Let’s jump into the details and benefits.
What Is Lion’s Mane?
The lion's mane mushroom (Yamabushitake, Hericium erinaceus), which is native to North America, Europe, and Asia, is an adaptogenic mushroom that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Because of the benefits it provides for physical and mental health, this fungus is one of the healthiest mushrooms you can consume.
Lion’s Mane Benefits
Research on the potential health benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms indicates this fungus has the potential to promote nerve regeneration through the production of nerve growth factor proteins, and hence repair brain cells. It appears to lower blood sugar levels, lessen oxidative stress, and improve brain function and neuronal health.
Some of the potential benefits of lion’s mane include:
- reduces symptoms of mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety
- provides antiinflammatory effects
- improves overall brain health and cognitive functions, including learning and memory
- has a protective effect on the nervous system, repairs nerve cells, and improves recovery after brain injury
- improves heart health, reduces the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and blood clots
- promotes neurite outgrowth
- aids in weight loss and weight management
- prevents memory loss and protects against mild cognitive impairments
- lowers blood sugars
- encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells, and has the potential to fight cancer
- improves digestive health and prevents stomach ulcers and inflammatory bowel diseases
- boosts the immune system and improves immune function
- has neuroprotective properties and reduces nerve damage in neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease
Lion’s Mane Contraindications
Centuries of use and anecdotal evidence suggest that lion’s mane is completely safe to consume; there is no research suggesting that lion’s mane is unsafe. However, there are some contraindications to taking Hericium erinaceus.
Lion's mane extracts can cause allergic reactions or asthma attacks in rare cases, and they may interact with certain medications. As a result, lion's mane may be contraindicated for people who are allergic to fungi, mold, or yeast, have severe asthma, or are taking medication that interacts with Hericium erinaceus.
Lion’s Mane and Arthritis
Driven by promising results of phytotherapy research into the treatment of arthritis, many people are turning to herbs and fungi to relieve their symptoms. Lion's mane seems to help all kinds of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis, by reducing pain and swelling.
Lion’s Mane Studies on Arthritis
An animal study conducted in 2022 looked at the effects of lion's mane on osteoporosis in Sprague-Dawley rats. According to the findings of this study, lion's mane can significantly reduce arthritis pain.
Also, this mushroom seems to inhibit the production of proinflammatory cytokines that promote arthritis. Though more human research on the effects of lion's mane on arthritis is needed, it is safe to say that this mushroom can help those suffering from arthritis.
Does Lion’s Mane Help with Inflammation?
Chronic inflammation is a symptom of arthritis. Lion’s mane reduces inflammation and oxidation in the body, and research suggests that its anti-inflammatory properties may be particularly beneficial for those with chronic inflammation.
A recent study on the anti-inflammatory effects of Hericium erinaceus, for example, found that lion's mane extracts exhibited anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting TLR4-JNK signaling.
According to a 2019 study, the TLR4-JNK pathway promotes inflammation. Lion's mane appears to reduce inflammation levels in adipose tissue, which is associated with obesity and is generally prone to chronic inflammation.
Does Lion’s Mane Help with Pain?
According to animal studies published by the Journal of Ethnopharmacology and the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, lion's mane mushrooms may be useful in treating neuropathic pain. For example, a 2019 animal study looked at Hericium erinaceus's effects on cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy.
Cisplatin is a highly effective anticancer drug that is commonly used to treat solid tumors. People who take it in high doses, on the other hand, frequently experience neuropathic pain. This severely limits the dosage that cancer patients can receive, as well as the drug's efficacy.
In this study, half of the animals received both cisplatin and a lion's mane hot aqueous extract, while the other half received only cisplatin. Analysis of changes in body weight, electromyographic (EMG) measurements, and immunohistochemistry techniques show that Hericium erinaceus helped treat peripheral neuropathy in a mouse model.
The neuropathy-relieving activity of lion's mane warrants further research, particularly on human subjects. Meanwhile, if you suffer from neuropathic pain caused by arthritis, it can't hurt to include this mushroom in your diet as an alternative medicine.
Try the Best Lion’s Mane Supplement for Arthritis
If you’re interested in taking lion’s mane for arthritis, you’re in the right place. We provide a delicious functional mushroom granola that contains high-quality lion's mane extract.
The granola is gluten-free, vegan, and nutrient-dense. What more could you want in a morning bowl of cereal?
What Is the Ideal Lion’s Mane Dosage for Arthritis?
To reduce neuropathic pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, it's best to take about 500–1000 mg of Hericium erinaceus 1-3 times a day. The optimal lion’s mane dosage may vary slightly from person to person, so you should experiment until you find the most effective dosage for you. Lion's mane does not seem to interact with conventional arthritis therapies, so it's safe to reap this effect of Hericium erinaceus, even if you're using prescription medications.
How Much Lion’s Mane Is in Forij Superfood 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 the indigestible chitin cell walls of the mushroom to get much more of these compounds out than ordinary processes do.
One serving of our granola has 250 mg of hyperconcentrated lion's mane extract, which is eight times more concentrated than regular lion's mane supplements. Therefore, you get as much potency as you would if you were taking a 2000-mg dose of lion’s mane powder, all in one bowl of granola.
FAQ on Lion’s Mane for Arthritis
Can lion’s mane cause inflammation?
No, lion’s mane does not cause inflammation. This mushroom is one of the best mushrooms for inflammation, as it eases chronic inflammatory processes in the body.
Can I take lion’s mane everyday?
Taking lion's mane mushrooms every day is not only completely safe but also extremely beneficial. The long-term benefits—such as lion’s mane’s ability to alleviate symptoms of OCD and prevent diabetes—become more prominent the longer you use this mushroom.
Can lion’s mane cause nerve damage?
No, the lion's mane does not cause nerve damage. On the contrary, a major benefit of lion’s mane appears to be helping prevent nerve damage. Neuropathic pain, which is a common symptom of nerve damage, is also relieved by lion's mane.
Lion’s mane may also reduce nerve damage caused by dementia. A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial looked at the effects of lion's mane on mild cognitive impairment.
The ages of the participants ranged from 50 to 80. For 16 weeks, half of the participants in the Japanese study were given lion's mane supplements, while the other half received a placebo.
Participants who took the mushroom supplement performed better in terms of cognitive functioning. These significant increases imply that lion's mane supplements have the potential to protect neurons and improve brain function.
Does lion’s mane affect hormones?
Studies show that lion's mane mushrooms may be able to affect hormone production by making nerve cells grow, especially in the hypothalamus of the central nervous system. Hericium erinaceus, a well-known nootropic, appears to stimulate neurogenesis.
Compounds found in the lion's mane fruiting body promote the production of brain-derived nerve growth factors. BDNF, in turn, regulates hypothalamic hormone production (growth hormone, vasopressin, adrenocorticotropic hormones, and more).
These medicinal mushrooms may regulate hormone production by stimulating BDNF. This calls for more research into the effects of Hericium erinaceus on hormones, particularly in humans.
How do lion’s mane mushrooms make you feel?
Lion’s mane is known for reducing anxiety and depressive disorders, so you can expect your mood to improve if you take the fungus regularly. You’ll also likely get many more amazing benefits, such as feeling more clear-headed and focused, due to the beneficial effect of Hericium erinaceus on cognitive functions.
Does lion’s mane thin your blood?
No, lion’s mane does not thin your blood, but it may interact with medication that does (antiplatelet drugs). Certain health conditions that cause issues with blood clotting, such as hemophilia, may also be affected by lion’s mane. Therefore, it’s best to talk to a healthcare professional about the potential effects of the mushroom supplement before taking a lion’s mane dietary supplement if you are on antiplatelets or have hemophilia.
What are the lion’s mane spiritual benefits?
Available research and centuries of use in alternative health and wellness suggest that lion’s mane mushrooms can have spiritual benefits. Lion's mane has spiritual effects that can be seen in its ability to improve focus and memory, calm anxiety, and improve mental health as a whole. Shaolin monks in ancient China used lion's mane on a daily basis to improve their concentration. They believed it boosted their "Qi," a mystical, energizing life force.
Does lion’s mane interact with medications?
Since this mushroom prevents blood clotting, lion’s mane could interact with medications that have the same effect (such as aspirin, heparin, and warfarin) and slow down coagulation and wound healing. The beneficial effect of lion's mane on blood sugar levels may cause this mushroom to interact with diabetes medications. If you are taking anticoagulants or are diabetic, it is best to consult a healthcare professional before beginning to take lion's mane.
Can I take lion’s mane with the reishi mushroom?
Yes, you can combine lion's mane with any medicinal mushroom, including reishi. When it comes to medicinal mushrooms, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, so combining lion's mane with other adaptogenic fungi will likely yield a higher therapeutic potential.
- CVA, K. (2017). Phytotherapy in the Treatment of Arthritis: a Review. Journal of Orthopedics & Bone Disorders, 1(7). https://doi.org/10.23880/jobd-16000139
- Yang, S. Y. (2022, June 23). Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Ameliorates In Vivo Progression of Osteoarthritis. MDPI. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/14/13/2605
- Mori, K. (2015). The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) in a Coculture System of 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and RAW264 Macrophages.International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms,17(7), 609–618. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v17.i7.10
- Lee, W. (2019). TLR4 promotes liver inflammation by activating the JNK pathway - PubMed. PubMed. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31539158/
- Üstün, A. (2019). Healing effect of Hericium erinaceus in experimental peripheral neuropathy model. EBSCOhost | 137698148 | Healing Effect of Hericium Erinaceus in Experimental Peripheral Neuropathy Model. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://web.s.ebscohost.com/abstract?direct=true&profile=ehost&scope=site&authtype=crawler&jrnl=13078798&AN=137698148&h=gtdI8Ql50P8cXjVECtD%2f2e32f7wotlBbi1rOyMs1GDUSZcB9MyvowlpmVSx9J3PA8sQ3hJATSpTFVdJW4QrPcg%3d%3d&crl=c&resultNs=AdminWebAuth&resultLocal=ErrCrlNotAuth&crlhashurl=login.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26profile%3dehost%26scope%3dsite%26authtype%3dcrawler%26jrnl%3d13078798%26AN%3d137698148
- Mori, K., Inatomi, S., Ouchi, K., Azumi, Y., & Tuchida, T. (2009, March). Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytotherapy Research, 23(3), 367–372. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.2634
- Lai, P. L. (2013). Neurotrophic Properties of the Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 15(6), 539–554. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushr.v15.i6.30
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This article was written strictly for informational purposes and is not intended to provide medical advice or diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by healthcare professionals or the FDA advisory board, and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment information.