Hericium erinaceus is an incredibly healthy mushroom that can promote physical and mental well-being. But, is lion’s mane safe for kids?
The answer seems to be a resounding yes!
Here are some of the benefits your child can reap from lion’s mane mushrooms.
What Are Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?
Native to North America, northern Europe, and northern Asia, the lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is an adaptogenic mushroom that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. This fungus is one of the healthiest mushrooms you can consume thanks to the benefits it provides for physical and mental health.
Lion’s Mane Benefits
Research on lion’s mane mushroom benefits indicates this fungus has the potential to promote nerve cell growth through the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) proteins. It reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, lowers blood sugars, and improves focus, memory, and overall cognitive health.
Lion’s mane’s benefits include:
- reduces mild symptoms of anxiety and depression
- provides antioxidant activities
- stimulates nerve growth factor proteins, which leads to improved cognitive health
- has a protective effect against nerve cells and improves brain health
- reduces the risk of heart disease and blood clots
- reduces the risk of sleep disorders
- it can lower blood sugar levels, which is quite beneficial to those with diabetes
- fights cancer and encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells
- improves digestive health and protects against irritable bowel disease and stomach ulcers
- boosts immunity and improves immune function
- has neuroprotective properties and reduces nerve damage in neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease
Lion’s Mane Side Effects
Although no human studies have examined the side effects of lion's mane mushrooms yet, centuries of use and anecdotal evidence suggest that this mushroom is completely safe to consume.
However, you may experience an adverse effect in the form of digestive issues if you consume too much lion’s mane at once. Therefore, it's best to start slow and talk to a healthcare professional if you notice any digestive discomfort.
Is Lion’s Mane Good for Children?
Yes, lion’s mane can help calm the bodies and minds of young children. Giving lion’s mane to children appears to improve their attention spans, as well as reduce their anxiety levels and promote restful sleep.
Lion’s Mane for Autism and ADHD
Lion’s mane can aid in brain function improvement in disorders such as ADHD and autism.
Though there is not a lot of human research on the effects of lion’s mane on autism and ADHD, anecdotal evidence suggests that lion’s mane can be a natural way to improve cognitive dysfunctions related to these two conditions. Thanks to the benefits Hericium erinaceus provides for ADHD patients, many parents use lion’s mane as a natural alternative to Adderall.
If you want to learn about the benefits of this mushroom for autism spectrum disorder, check out our article on the benefits of lion's mane for autism.
Lion’s Mane for Anxiety
Lion’s mane has relaxing properties and appears to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Human studies suggest that Hericium erinaceus reduces stress and alleviates many symptoms related to anxiety, including sleep issues caused by anxiety. Therefore, if your child has anxiety, the lion’s mane mushroom can be a terrific natural alternative to anti-anxiety medications.
Lion’s Mane for Speech Delay
Speech delay is a common cognitive dysfunction among children, and lion’s mane may be able to speed up this process. Hericium erinaceus aids in cognitive function improvement through its ability to promote the production of nerve growth proteins. Therefore, whether your kid’s having issues speaking clearly, paying attention, or memorizing, they will certainly benefit from taking lion’s mane mushrooms.
Lion’s Mane for Sleep
Lion’s mane will not make you sleepy, but the anxiolytic effect of Hericium erinaceus could help you fall asleep easier. This is incredibly beneficial if you’re looking for a natural way to help your kid get a restful night of sleep.
For example, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of lion’s mane cultured mycelium on depression and anxiety in Japanese menopausal women shows that this adaptogenic mushroom could reduce symptoms of these mental health conditions.
Thus, if a mental health condition is affecting your child’s ability to sleep, taking lion’s mane could help them fall asleep and alleviate insomnia.
Are You Interested in Lion’s Mane for Kids?
If you are interested in giving your kid lion’s mane mushrooms, there are plenty of ways to go about it.
Whether you opt for lion’s mane powder, a food fortified with lion’s mane, a lion’s mane mushroom capsule, or a specially designed lion’s mane supplement for kids, it’s important to give your children an organic lion’s mane mushroom supplement.
And, if your kids are picky eaters, you’re in luck! Our functional mushroom granola is a daily source of organic lion’s mane mushroom extract. Made from organic lion’s mane and highest-quality natural ingredients, Forij granola is vegan, gluten-free, and delicious (yes, even for the pickiest of toddlers).
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 and the fruiting body 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 a 2000 mg lion’s mane mushroom powder, all in one bowl of granola.
Lion’s Mane Dosage for Kids
The ideal lion’s mane dosage differs from kid to kid. If your child is new to adaptogenic mushrooms, start with around 500 mg of lion’s mane per day and work your way up to 1000 mg or more over time.
FAQ on Lion’s Mane for Kids
When should you not take lion’s mane?
Hericium erinaceus is incredibly healthy and safe to consume for most people. However, in rare cases, lion’s mane extracts can cause an allergic reaction or an asthma attack. That’s why lion’s mane may be contraindicated for people with allergies to fungi, mold, or yeast, and those with severe asthma.
Additionally, lion’s mane may interact with medications for some health conditions, such anticoagulants, as an aqueous extract of the medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus was shown to slow down platelet aggregation, which increases the risk of bleeding in people on anticoagulants.
People who suffer from a bleeding disorder or are on medication that slows blood clotting should consult with a healthcare professional before taking lion’s mane supplements, in order to make sure they're taking this organic mushroom safely and effectively.
If you want to learn more about how lion's mane interacts with certain medications, check out our lion's mane drug interactions guide.
What does lion’s mane do to the brain?
Lion’s mane is one of the best mushrooms for brain health. According to research, lion’s mane mushroom extracts can aid in neuron health maintenance, prevent numerous neurodegenerative disorders, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and even slow down memory loss related to Alzheimer’s disease.
Does lion’s mane make you gain weight?
No, lion’s mane mushrooms don’t cause weight gain. These adaptogenic fungi are low in calories and high in protein and water content, so they’ll keep you satiated. Plus, research suggests that lion’s mane may even help you lose weight.
According to a recent animal study, lion’s mane extract may even aid in weight loss. The mice that were given the lion’s mane mushroom extract had a significantly lower body weight and fewer digestive issues after taking Hericium erinaceus for seven days.
Does lion’s mane affect hormones?
Lion’s mane mushrooms have the potential to affect the production of hormones by promoting the growth of nerve cells, particularly in the hypothalamus. Hericium erinaceus appears to stimulate neurogenesis and the production of nerve growth factors.
By stimulating NGF proteins, these adaptogenic mushrooms may regulate the production of certain hormones. This warrants further research on the effects of Hericium erinaceus on hormones, especially in humans.
Can I take lion’s mane everyday?
It’s not only completely safe but highly beneficial to take lion’s mane every day. Long-term benefits of lion’s mane—such as the ability of Hericium erinaceus to prevent diabetes and alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease—become more pronounced the longer you use this mushroom.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to take lion’s mane mushrooms. Choose from lion’s mane supplements, foods fortified with lion’s mane extracts, or simply cook and eat the mushroom.
Can lion’s mane affect mood?
Lion’s mane offers an abundance of spiritual benefits that can improve your mood. You can expect to feel more alert, awake, and focused after taking lion’s mane mushrooms. With regular use, you may even start to see an improvement in your overall mood, especially if you experience milder symptoms of anxiety or depression.
Can I take lion’s mane with other medicinal mushrooms?
Yes, you can take lion’s mane with any other type of mushroom or natural supplement, including turkey tail, cordyceps, and reishi mushrooms. The whole is always greater than the sum of its parts when it comes to adaptogens. Therefore, the benefits of a medicinal mushroom can only be improved upon if you take it with lion’s mane, and vice versa.
Does the World Health Organization recommend lion's mane for kids?
Since lion's mane is not a drug, but a health supplement, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not promote, nor discourage from, its use in children. However, plenty of evidence based research shows that the use of lion's mane medicinal mushrooms in children is safe and effective.
This article was written strictly for informational purposes and 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 a healthcare professional.