Lion’s mane mushrooms can do wonders for our mental health, but what about our ‘second brain’—the gut? Research shows that lion’s mane can maintain digestive health, and even alleviate symptoms of digestive issues. Let’s take a look at the benefits of lion’s mane for digestion.
What Is Lion’s Mane?
The lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is an adaptogenic mushroom that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, and it’s still known as one of the healthiest mushrooms in alternative medicine. This mushroom species grows in cooler climates and is native to northern parts of Europe and Asia, as well as North America.
Lion’s Mane Benefits
Research on the lion’s mane mushroom benefits indicates the mushroom has the potential to promote neurogenesis and repair nerve cells. Lion’s mane appears to ease the symptoms of cognitive impairments, depression, anxiety, and oxidative stress, as well as improve overall cognitive health.
Some of the potential health benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms include:
- reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression
- improves cognitive functions by stimulating nerve growth factors
- has a protective effect on brain health and mental functions
- reduces the risk of heart disease and blood clots
- promotes the growth of nerve cells and nerve regeneration, which is beneficial for nervous system injuries and neuropathy
- prevents memory loss and protects against dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease
- reduces inflammation and oxidation
- lowers blood sugar levels, which is quite beneficial to those with diabetes
- encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells, and has the potential to fight cancer
- aids in weight loss and weight maintenance
- improves digestive health and protects against inflammatory bowel diseases
- boosts immune function
- has neuroprotective properties and reduces nerve damage in neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease
Lion’s Mane Contraindications
There are no known risks and side effects of lion’s mane. However, there are some contraindications to taking Hericium erinaceus. For one, you should be cautious when taking lion’s mane if you are prone to allergies, especially to other fungi, yeast, or mold. Additionally, lion’s mane may interact with some medications, such as antidiabetics and anticoagulants.
Lion’s Mane and Digestion
Research suggests that lion’s mane can be incredibly beneficial for the digestive tract. This mushroom appears to provide a gastroprotective effect, prevent gastric ulceration, alleviate conditions such as IBS and ulcerative colitis, and promote overall gut health. However, more human studies are needed to examine the exact effects of this mushroom on digestion.
Is Lion’s Mane Good for Gastritis?
Yes, lion’s mane seems to be beneficial for gastritis. A cell study examined the effects of a polysaccharide (EP-1) found in Hericium erinaceus on chronic atrophic gastritis. This polysaccharide significantly inhibited the growth of cells affected by chronic atrophic gastritis and induced cell cycle arrest of these cells.
Can Lion’s Mane Treat Inflammatory Digestive Issues?
Hericium erinaceus appears to be the perfect mushroom to try if you are experiencing inflammatory digestive issues. Lion's mane may help digestive health by fighting inflammation, which could be incredibly beneficial for people with inflammatory digestive issues, such as Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS).
A 2017 study examined the effects of Hericium erinaceus on inflammatory bowel syndrome in rats. After two weeks of use, researchers identified significant improvement both in clinical symptoms and histological results in rats affected by IBS.
Does Lion’s Mane Prevent Ulcers?
One of the most widely-researched lion’s mane’s benefits is its ability to prevent ulcers. Though there are no human studies on this topic yet, available animal research is quite impressive.
An animal study published by the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal examined the effects of lion’s mane on ulcers in rats. Results of this study show that Hericium erinaceus protected gastric mucosa (a layer of mucous membrane in the stomach) and reduced instances of stomach ulcerations in these rats.
A study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms in 2013 confirmed that lion’s mane could reduce instances of ulcers and other gastrointestinal issues caused by Helicobacter pylori, bacteria that can wreak havoc on the digestive system.
Another study came to the same conclusion. Published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, this 2016 study examined bioactive compounds found in lion’s mane fruit bodies and found that they were effective at inhibiting Helicobacter pylori.
Do You Want to Take Lion’s Mane for Digestion?
If you are interested in taking lion’s mane to treat digestive issues or improve overall digestive health, you can’t go wrong with our functional mushroom granola.
Not only is our granola made from the highest quality hyperconcentrated lion’s mane extract, it’s gluten-free, vegan, and easy to digest. Oh, and absolutely delicious (even if you’re not a fan of mushrooms).
Lion’s Mane Dosage for Digestion
You should aim for around 1000 mg of lion’s mane per day if you are taking it for digestive health. However, if you are new to adaptogenic mushrooms, we recommend starting slow and working your way up, especially if you have digestive issues. Start with around 250 mg of lion’s mane per day and increase the dosage once you get used to the effects of this mushroom.
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 mushroom supplement. Therefore, you get as much potency as you would if you were taking 2000 mg of lion’s mane powder, all in one bowl of granola.
FAQ on Lion’s Mane for Digestion
What heals your digestive system?
A healthy diet made of whole foods is the best thing you can do for your digestive system. Of course, including probiotics, enzymes, and supplements (such as mushroom powder or our granola) can do wonders for your digestive system as well, especially when combined with a healthy diet.
What are the 3 digestive superfoods?
The three foods most praised for their digestive health properties are ginger, turmeric, and kombucha. Foods such as apples, flaxseed, and mushrooms also have incredible digestive system benefits.
Can I take lion’s mane everyday?
Yes, you can take lion’s mane every day. It’s not only completely safe but highly beneficial to take lion’s mane mushrooms every day, especially if you just started taking them. Long-term benefits of lion’s mane—such as their ability to prevent diabetes and alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease—become more pronounced the longer you use this mushroom.
How long does it take for lion’s mane to work?
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 supplements. However, to reap the long-term lion’s mane mushroom benefits, you should be taking it consistently for at least a few months.
What does lion’s mane do to hormones?
Lion’s mane appears to stabilize hormones. Many adaptogenic mushrooms, including Hericium erinaceus, can affect hormones by maintaining homeostasis in the body. For example, lion’s mane may aid in the production of testosterone through the beneficial effects it has on the brain.
What are the lion’s mane spiritual benefits?
Lion's mane mushrooms appear to have spiritual benefits. Shaolin monks in ancient China used the lion's mane mushroom in daily practice to improve their concentration. They believed it increased their "Qi," a mystical, energetic life force. Indeed, this mushroom contains compounds that seem to be efficient at improving brain function and significantly reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
What is the ideal lion’s mane dosage for neuropathy?
Lion’s mane seems to alleviate neuropathic pain. To get this lion’s mane benefit, it's best to take about 500-1000 mg of Hericium erinaceus 1-3 times a day. The exact dosage will differ from person to person, so you should experiment until you find the perfectlion’s mane dosage for you.
Can you take lion’s mane, reishi, and maitake mushrooms together?
Yes, you can take lion’s mane with any medicinal mushroom, including the maitake mushroom and reishi mushroom. When it comes to medicinal mushrooms, the whole is better than the sum of its parts, so you’ll likely reap more potential benefits of lion’s mane if you take it with other adaptogenic fungi.
- Wang, M. (2015) A polysaccharide from cultured mycelium of Hericium erinaceus and its anti-chronic atrophic gastritis activity
- Diling, C (2017) Extracts from Hericium erinaceus relieve inflammatory bowel disease by regulating immunity and gut microbiota
- Wong, J-Y (2013) Gastroprotective Effects of Lion's Mane Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.:Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) Extract against Ethanol-Induced Ulcer in Rats
- Shang, X. (2013) In Vitro Anti-Helicobacter pylori Effects of Medicinal Mushroom Extracts, with Special Emphasis on the Lion's Mane Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes)
- Liu, J-H (2016) Anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of bioactive components isolated from Hericium erinaceus
This article was written strictly for informational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The statements contained herein are not evaluated by healthcare professionals or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory board, and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment information.