The lion’s mane mushroom was praised in traditional medicine for its ability to reduce the risk of various illnesses and aid in overall physical and spiritual health.
We took a closer look at the science behind the spiritual benefits of lion's mane, and the results may surprise you.
What is Lion’s Mane?
Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) is a type of adaptogenic mushroom that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat anything from digestive issues to certain forms of cancer, as well as improve overall physical and spiritual well-being.
Lion’s mane is said to be particularly nutritive for the liver, spleen, lungs, kidneys, and heart. It's hard to deny the evidence-based neurological and psychological benefits this mushroom can provide as well.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Benefits
Research on the health benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms indicates this fungus has the potential to promote the production of nerve growth factors and repair brain cells. It appears to ease the symptoms of dementia, lessen oxidative stress, as well as improve overall mental clarity and cognitive health.
Some of the potential benefits of lion’s mane include:
- reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression
- reduces inflammation and nerve pain
- improves cognitive function
- has a protective effect on the brain and improves overall brain health
- reduces the risk of heart disease
- aids in weight loss and weight maintenance
- protects against mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease
- lowers blood sugar levels
- encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells
- improves digestive health
- boosts the immune system and improves immune functioning
- has neuroprotective properties and reduces brain damage in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis
Lion’s Mane Bioactive Compounds
Lion’s mane contains a plethora of bioactive compounds, such as:
- prebiotic fibers
- digestive enzymes
Ways to Take Lion’s Mane
There are many ways to reap the benefits of lion’s mane. You can cook the mushroom in various recipes or eat it raw. However, most opt for lion’s mane supplements, lion's mane mushroom powder, and fortified foods.
The most popular mushroom products include lion’s mane mushroom capsules and mushroom powders. Alternatively, you can consume fortified food and drink products, such as lion’s mane mushroom coffee, tea, or Forij Superfood Granola.
The Spiritual Benefits of Lion’s Mane
Does lion’s mane 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. Lion's mane's bioactive compounds do indeed seem to improve focus and memory.
Lion’s mane has been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression and assist with lowering anxiety.
Hericium erinaceus can also improve mental clarity and overall mental health, and may improve focus in people with ADHD.
Better clarity, lower anxiety, less depression, and more focus? Those sound like pretty decent spiritual benefits to us!
Neurotrophic Properties of Lion’s Mane
The neurotrophic effect of lion’s mane is one of the most widely researched topics regarding this mushroom species. Although mostly done on animals, studies on the regenerative effects of Hericium erinaceus on nerve cells show significant potential.
For example, an animal study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms examined the neuro-regenerative potential of a Hericium erinaceus higher basidiomycetes extract. Results show that the lion's mane mushroom could promote the regeneration of peripheral nervous system injuries.
Lion’s Mane and Anxiety
Although research on lion’s mane and anxiety is still in its infancy, some animal and human studies seem to suggest that this adaptogenic mushroom contains relaxing properties. Lion’s mane may be able to alleviate one of the most common symptoms of anxiety—sleep issues.
A 2015 clinical trial looked at the effects of Hericium erinaceus on the general well-being and sleep quality of female students during a particularly stressful exam period. After 4 weeks of lion’s mane use, the female students reported feeling much calmer and being able to fall asleep easier and stay asleep for longer.
Lion’s Mane and Depression
Anxiety and depressive disorders often go hand in hand, as irritability and unease tend to be common symptoms of depression. In addition to being helpful for anxiety, lion’s mane seems to alleviate symptoms of depression, as well.
A Japanese study looked at the effects of lion’s mane compounds extracted from the fruiting bodies on common symptoms of depression and anxiety, such as irritability and restlessness. Results show that Hericium erinaceus improved these symptoms of depression after 4 weeks of regular use.
Lion’s Mane for Memory
Studies on lion’s mane and memory show that these medicinal mushrooms may improve learning and memory ability in animals and humans. In addition to improving memory, focus, and clarity, lion’s mane extract may be able to reverse the effects of dementia-related cognitive impairment.
Lion’s Mane for Clarity and Focus
A few studies show promising results when it comes to using lion's mane supplements for clarity, focus, and overall brain health.
For example, a study published in 2017 examined the effects of lion’s mane mushroom extract on memory and neuronal health. The results show that lion's mane significantly increased recognition memory, as well as neurotransmission in healthy mice.
Furthermore, an in vitro study examined the effects of medicinal mushrooms, Hericium erinaceus included, on aging brains. Although it was an in vitro study, the results indicate improvement in cognitive functions from daily lion’s mane mushroom supplement consumption.
Can lion's mane help dementia?
Studies conducted on lion’s mane and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other types of dementia, show promising results.
According to a 2020 animal study on the effects of Hericium erinaceus extract on Alzheimer’s disease in mice, this nootropic mushroom may be able to reverse damage caused by this progressive disease.
Human studies on the effects of lion’s mane on cognitive impairments came to a similar conclusion. For one, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study looked at its effects on mild cognitive impairment in Japanese adults.
Results suggest that the people who were given the mushroom supplement for 16 weeks showed increased scores in cognitive functioning, while those given the placebo showed no signs of improvement.
Interested in Trying Lion’s Mane for Spiritual Benefits?
If you’re interested in trying lion’s mane mushrooms to reduce stress, improve memory, and reap the potential spiritual benefits, you can do so with a delicious bowl of cereal.
Forij Superfood Granola is made of a hyperconcentrated extract of lion’s mane, as well as other highly beneficial medicinal mushrooms—cordyceps and chaga. The extract packs quite a punch, as it contains 10-15 times the nutrients a regular mushroom powder provides.
In addition to organic lion’s mane, cordyceps, and chaga mushroom extracts, our granola has a plethora of carefully-sourced, vegan, and gluten-free ingredients that will make you look forward to your breakfast every morning.
Spiritual Benefits of Lion's Mane FAQ
How much lion's mane is in Forij granola?
Forij granola uses a high-quality lion's mane 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 supplement. Therefore, you get as much lion's mane potency as you would if you were taking a 2000 mg mushroom powder supplement, all in one bowl of granola.
Is lion's mane psychoactive?
No, lion’s mane is not psychoactive and it 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.
What is the best mushroom for mental clarity?
Lion's mane is the undisputed champion among medicinal mushrooms when it comes to mental health benefits. However, reishi and chaga mushrooms show potential as well. Cordyceps mushrooms have energy-boosting properties that can also aid in mental clarity and focus.
What are the effects of the lion's mane mushroom?
Hericium erinaceus is completely safe to consume. Still, there is always a remote possibility of adverse effects of lion's mane 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 have healing properties?
Yes, lion's mane has healing properties for physical, mental, and spiritual health. Although we're just starting to understand the full potential of these fungi, research shows that they are beneficial in preventing and treating many illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, and depression.
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).