While lion’s mane mushrooms won’t cure obsessive-compulsive disorder on their own, they can certainly help reduce anxiety and depression that people with OCD often experience.
Their ability to improve overall brain health and promote nerve cell growth is promising for those with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Let’s take a deep dive into how lion’s mane can alleviate symptoms of OCD.
What are the benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms?
What are the negative effects of lion’s mane?
How can lion’s mane alleviate symptoms of OCD?
Does lion’s mane improve cognitive function?
How does lion’s mane help anxiety?
How can you take lion’s mane for OCD?
What is the ideal lion’s mane dose for OCD?
How much lion’s mane is in Forij granola?
What Is the Lion’s Mane Mushroom?
The lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is an adaptogenic mushroom that can be found in Europe, North America, and northern Asia. It has been used in alternative medicine for a long time and is still considered one of the healthiest mushrooms due to its beneficial effects on mental and physical health.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Benefits
Research on the medicinal benefits of lion’s mane indicates the mushroom has the potential to promote neurogenesis, repair nerve damage, and aid in the overall health of brain cells. Lion’s mane appears to reduce pain and inflammation related to arthritis, alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, and neuropathic pain, as well as improve cognitive functions.
Some lion’s mane benefits include:
- improves brain functions and overall brain health
- reduces anxiety and depression
- protects against mild cognitive impairments and Alzheimer’s disease
- reduces inflammation and nerve pains
- encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells
- improves gut health
- alleviates sleep disorders and improves sleep quality
- lowers blood sugar levels
- boosts the immune system
- reduces symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis
Lion’s Mane Side Effects
Even though there have been no rigorous clinical studies on the negative effects of Hericium erinaceus, lion's mane mushrooms have been used safely for hundreds of years. At high doses, there is a small chance of side effects like an upset stomach or diarrhea. These problems can be lessened by starting with a lower dose or by taking lion's mane with food.
Lion’s Mane and OCD
Lion’s mane should not be the front-line treatment for OCD, as this mental health condition benefits greatly from psychotherapy and, in some cases, medication. But lion's mane mushrooms could help relieve some of the symptoms of OCD, like anxiety, depression, and stress, and they can also improve the way the brain works as a whole.
Lion’s Mane and Cognitive Functioning
Clinical studies suggest that Hericium erinaceus may improve memory, focus, and many other brain functions. By improving cognitive functions, lion’s mane could aid in overall wellbeing of people with OCD, especially if they’re experiencing symptoms such as brain fog and inability to focus on the task at hand.
Does Lion’s Mane Cross the Blood-Brain Barrier?
Lion's mane compounds can cross the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is very important because it keeps harmful substances from getting into the brain through the blood. It not only protects your brain from toxins, but it also keeps many beneficial substances out.
Hericenones and erinacines, which are bioactive compounds found in the fruiting bodies of many functional mushrooms, including lion's mane, can easily cross the blood-brain barrier.
These helpful compounds stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) proteins, which can help in many ways, such as protecting the brain from damage, regrowing nerves (neurogenesis), and insulating nerves.
What Does Lion’s Mane Do to the Brain?
Lion’s mane provides a ton of brain benefits and is considered one of the best mushrooms for the brain. Thanks to the lion's mane’s ability to promote hippocampal neurogenesis, this mushroom appears to improve focus and memory, as well as alleviate symptoms of mental health conditions and neurodegenerative diseases.
A cell study found that ethanol extracts of lion's mane help the body make more nerve growth factors and brain-derived neurotrophic factors. These factors are integral for new brain cell formation and the repair of damaged nerve cells. The results of this study confirmed that Hericium erinaceus promoted neurite outgrowth by increasing NGF levels through NGF synthesis.
Lion’s Mane and Anxiety
One of lion’s mane’s most widely-discussed benefits is its ability to relieve symptoms of anxiety disorders, and the anxiolytic effects of lion’s mane have been researched in both animals and humans. As anxiety is one of the main symptoms of OCD, this functional mushroom could aid in reducing anxiety associated with this mental health condition.
The effects of lion's mane dietary supplements on anxiety levels in menopausal women were investigated in a recent Japanese study. The women were tested for irritability and anxiety levels before taking a lion's mane extract for four weeks.
When tested again on these metrics, the women who took the lion's mane mushroom supplement scored significantly lower than their control group counterparts, indicating that they had fewer symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Lion’s Mane and Depression
While it won’t cure major depression symptoms on its own, lion’s mane does provide an antidepressant effect that could be beneficial for people with OCD-related depression symptoms.
An animal study published in Taiwan looked at the effects of Hericium erinaceus enriched with erinacine on dopamine and serotonin production in stressed-out mice. According to the study, lion's mane "could be an appealing agent for the treatment for depressive disorders" and provides antidepressant-like effects, at least in animals.
Do You Want to Take Lion’s Mane for OCD?
If you want to start taking lion’s mane for OCD, why not do so in the form of a delicious breakfast? That’s exactly what you’ll get with our functional mushroom granola.
Our granola contains a premium lion’s mane extract you won’t be able to taste in your breakfast. Instead, you’ll experience the amazing flavors our carefully-selected, vegan, gluten-free, and GMO-free ingredients can offer.
What more could you ask for in a bowl of cereal to start your day with?
How Much Lion’s Mane Should You Take for OCD?
When taking lion’s mane for OCD, it’s best to start slow and work your way up. Taking 250-500 mg per day is the best place to start. The optimal lion’s mane dosage differs from person to person, so it’s important to listen to your body and increase the dosage as you see fit.
How Much Lion’s Mane Is in Forij Granola?
Forij granola uses high-quality lion's mane extracts 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 provides 250 mg of hyperconcentrated lion's mane mushroom 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 lion’s mane mushroom powder, all in one bowl of granola.
FAQ on Lion’s Mane and OCD
Is lion’s mane good for brain fog?
Yes, both anecdotal stories and scientific studies seem to show that lion's mane can help with brain fog. After only a few weeks of regular use, lion's mane supplements have been said to help clear up brain fog caused by migraines, insomnia, and Lyme's disease.
Can you take lion’s mane indefinitely?
Yes, you can take lion’s mane indefinitely. Generally, if you want to feel the effects of this mushroom, you should take it consistently for at least a month or two. Continuing to take lion’s mane for a long time will make its long-term benefits more prominent.
Does lion’s mane affect serotonin?
The lion's mane mushroom may be able to stabilize the levels of several neurotransmitters, including serotonin. As a result, while this adaptogenic mushroom will not increase serotonin levels in people who already have enough, it may do so in people with low serotonin levels.
How does lion’s mane make you feel?
Taking lion's mane may make you feel more energized and focused, as well as calm you down if you're easily agitated. Though the underlying mechanisms of its benefits for mental health are still under-researched, lion’s mane seems to aid in the treatment of mood disorders, and anecdotal evidence suggests that it could even aid in personality disorder management.
Is lion’s mane a stimulant?
Yes, lion's mane could be considered a mild stimulant, because it provides a natural boost in energy and focus. However, unlike caffeine, lion's mane does not spike cortisol levels, nor does it cause an energy crash.
Does lion’s mane help with constipation?
Yes, lion’s mane can help with constipation. This mushroom is full of fiber, which is integral for regular bowel movements. Additionally, some studies suggest that lion’s mane can aid in digestive health and alleviate digestive issues.
What is the ideal lion’s mane anxiety dosage?
If you’re taking lion’s mane for anxiety, start with 250-750 mg of lion’s mane extract per day. Over time, you can increase the dosage to 1000 mg, and even 2000 mg per day. However, it’s important to start small and work your way up, especially if you’ve never taken adaptogenic mushrooms before, to avoid digestive issues.
What medication does lion’s mane interfere with?
Some medicines, like those for diabetes and blood clots, can interact with lion's mane. Hericium erinaceus drug interactions are a result of the lion’s mane mushrooms’ benefits on blood sugar and its blood-thinning properties. So, if you take blood-thinning medicine or medicine for diabetes, you should talk to healthcare professionals before taking lion's mane dietary supplementation.
When should you not take lion’s mane?
Supplements made from lion’s mane are generally safe for most people. But lion's mane may be contraindicated for you if you are allergic to or sensitive to mushrooms, or if you have had allergies to mushrooms in the past. Stop using lion's mane and see a doctor if you have any signs of an allergic reaction, like a rash or trouble breathing.
- Mori, K. (2008). Nerve Growth Factor-Inducing Activity of Hericium erinaceus in 1321N1 Human Astrocytoma Cells. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 31(9), 1727–1732. https://doi.org/10.1248/bpb.31.1727
- Nagano, M. (2010, September 8). Reduction of Depression and Anxiety by 4 Weeks Hericium Erinaceus Intake. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/biomedres/31/4/31_4_231/_article/-char/ja/
- Chiu, C. H. (2018, January 24). Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Produces Antidepressant-Like Effects through Modulating BDNF/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β Signaling in Mice. MDPI. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/19/2/341
Forij FDA Disclaimer
This article has not been reviewed by healthcare professionals and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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