When should you start noticing the benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms?
It’s different for every person’s individual biochemistry, and also depends on the dosage you’re taking.
Still, there is a general timeframe you can expect to notice improvements in your memory, mood, and overall health.
Let’s dive into it. And, if you want to learn more, read our lion's mane guide to understand this mushroom in more detail.
What are Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?
Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, and is still adored for its many potential health benefits. These adaptogenic mushrooms grow on dead tree debris and are native to Europe, Asia, and North America.
Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane
Research on the lion’s mane mushroom benefits indicates this fungus has the potential to promote nerve cell growth through the production of nerve growth factors (NGF) and repair brain cells. Lion's mane alleviates symptoms of arthritis, reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, lowers blood sugars, and improves brain function and cognitive health.
Some of the potential beneficial effects of lion’s mane include:
- reduces mild symptoms of anxiety and depression
- provides anti-inflammatory effects
- improves cognitive functioning by stimulating nerve growth factor proteins
- has a protective effect against nerve cells and improves brain health
- 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
- provides a pre-workout boost (lion's mane is one of the best mushrooms for bodybuilders)
- reduces the risk of sleep disorders
- promotes Vagus nerve functions
- prevents memory loss and protects against mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease
- lowers blood sugar levels, which makes lion's mane quite beneficial to those with diabetes
- encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells, and has the potential to fight cancer
- improves digestive tract health and protects against bowel disease and stomach ulcers
- promotes hair growth and healthy hair maintenance
- boosts immunity and improves immune function
- has neuroprotective properties and reduces nerve damage in neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease
Bioactive Compounds Found in Lion’s Mane
Hericium erinaceus contains a plethora of bioactive compounds, such as:
- digestive enzymes
- prebiotic fibers
- hericenones and erinacines
While many of these compounds are only beginning to be understood by science, some are known to have profound effects. For example, hericenones, found in lion’s mane fruiting bodies, and erinacines, present in the mycelium of the fungus, have incredible neurotrophic potential.
How Long Does it Take for Lion’s Mane to Kick In?
Lion's mane has short-term and long-term effects, and the speed at which you'll notice its effects will vary depending on what you take it for.
Short-term Effects of Lion's Mane
Depending on your biochemistry, you may feel energizing or anxiolytic effects of lion’s mane after just a couple of days.
Many users report decreased anxiety and increased mental clarity after 2-5 days of use. Depending, of course, on the dosage.
You may even notice reduced inflammation after a couple weeks of usage—though you'll want to commit for the longer term to truly tackle inflammatory issues in the body.
Long-term Effects of Lion's Mane
To reap the longer-term benefits of the lion's mane mushroom, such as the many brain benefits Hericium erinaceus offers, prepare to take it consistently for many months.
In a study published in 2020, people with mild Alzheimer's disease who took three 350 milligrams (mg) capsules of lion's mane daily for 49 weeks saw significant improvements in brain health.
You certainly aren't going to fight cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and Parkinson's or get the migraine-relieving properties of lion'smane by taking them for 2 days and then quitting!
How Does Lion’s Mane Make You Feel?
A lion’s mane mushroom supplement can reduce anxiety and make you feel calmer. Therefore, if you’re prone to feeling anxious or are feeling stressed, taking lion’s mane herbal supplements could alleviate these symptoms.
These functional mushrooms also provide a slew of mental and spiritual benefits. With regular use, lion’s mane may be able to improve cognition, clarity, and focus. Lion’s mane mushroom supplementation could help you focus on your work and alleviate brain fog.
Does Lion’s Mane Give You Energy?
Yes, lion’s mane can give you an energy boost. This mushroom does not contain caffeine, so it won’t give you as much energy as coffee or tea do, but it can act as a natural energy booster. Plus, since it has no caffeine, there is no risk of taking lion's mane with caffeine and there's no risk of it causing jitters or a midday energy crash. Due to the energy boost this mushroom can provide, many athletes use lion's mane to reach their full potential.
Does Lion’s Mane Make You Sleepy?
Lion’s mane does not make you feel tired or sleepy, per se. However, studies suggest that lion's mane could alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety that influence your ability to fall asleep. Therefore, if you’re experiencing mental health-related sleep disorders,taking lion’s mane mushrooms may help you sleep better.
What is the Best Time to Take Lion’s Mane?
The best time of day to take lion’s mane is in the morning or early afternoon. By taking it early in the day, you canreap the memory-boosting properties of lion’s mane throughout the day. We don’t suggest taking lion’s mane before bed, as its stimulating properties may make you feel restless and unable to fall asleep.
Interested in Trying Lion’s Mane?
If you want to purchase lion's mane supplements,Forij Superfood Granola is an excellent option. You won't have to think about whether you've taken your supplement for the day, as you'll get your daily dose of lion's mane with your breakfast.
Taking Lion’s Mane FAQ
How much lion's mane is in Forij granola?
Forij granola uses a high-quality lion's mane mushroom extract made from whole lion's mane medicinal mushrooms. Our dual extraction method extracts both water-soluble beta-glucans as well as alcohol-soluble triterpenes extracted from the medicinal mushroom. 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 extract, which is eight times more concentrated than regular lion’s mane mushroom supplements. Therefore, you get as much potency as you would if you were taking 2000 mg of lion’s mane mushroom powders, all in one bowl of granola.
Can I take lion's mane on an empty stomach?
Yes,you can take lion’s mane on an empty stomach. However, if you are prone to stomach issues, we suggest takinglion’s mane after (or with) a meal to avoid diarrhea and bowel sensitivity
Does lion's mane get you high?
No, lion’s mane does not get you high. This mushroom does not contain psychoactive compounds, and it won’t alter your perception. Therefore, lion’s mane is completely safe to eat, as the only effects it can provide are its nootropic benefits.
Does lion's mane help with brain fog?
Yes, evidence based research show that lion’s mane does, in fact, help alleviate brain fog. For example, a 2018 animal study examined the effects of the lion’s mane mushroom extract on symptoms of depression, including brain fog.
According to the results, these medicinal mushrooms alleviated symptoms of depression, including brain fog, by promoting nerve cell growth and brain regeneration in adult mice. Due to their beneficial effects on the brain, many people with OCD use lion's mane to manage their symptoms.
Can I take lion’s mane with the reishi mushroom?
Yes, you can take lion’s mane with any medicinal mushroom, including turkey tail, reishi, the maitake mushroom, and shiitake mushrooms. When it comes to medicinal mushrooms, the whole is better than the sum of its parts, so you’ll likely reap more benefits of lion’s mane if you take it with other adaptogenic fungi.
Is lion's mane safe for kids?
Yes, lion's mane is safe for kids. Hericium erinaceus can provide a slew of benefits for children, as it alleviates symptoms of ADHD, sleep issues, and anxiety, and promotes overall brain health.
Does lion's mane work?
Yes, research seems to prove that lion's mane does work. One of the many benefits of this mushroom is lion's mane's ability to alleviate digestive issues. This mushroom is also known to reduce symptoms of mental health conditions such as anxiety, OCD, and depression, as well as prevent diabetes and cancer.
Can I take lion's mane while breastfeeding?
Centuries of use and anecdotal evidence suggest that taking lion's mane while breastfeeding is safe. However, due to the lack of scientific research on the topic, many breastfeeding moms choose not to take any adaptogens, including lion's mane, while breastfeeding.
Is lion's mane good for psoriatic arthritis?
Yes, lion's mane mushroom contains compounds that promote anti-inflammatory properties and alleviate pain, which is incredibly beneficial for those with psoriatic arthritis.
Research suggests that lion's mane mushrooms may aid in chronic pain reduction, a common symptom of psoriatic arthritis. To learn more about how lion's mane and other fungi can reduce pain, take a look at our article on the best mushrooms for chronic pain.
Should I take fresh lion's mane mushrooms if I'm allergic to other mushrooms?
While you should not completely avoid lion's mane if you're allergic to other mushrooms, you should take them with caution. If you notice any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as skin rashes or difficulty breathing, stop taking lion's mane and contact a healthcare professional immediately.
To learn more about lion's mane allergies, take a look at our article on Hericium erinaceus contraindications.
- Bing-Ji Ma (2010) Hericenones and erinacines: stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF) biosynthesis in Hericium erinaceus, Mycology, 1:2, 92-98, https://doi.org/10.1080/21501201003735556
- Li, I. C. (2020). Prevention of Early Alzheimer’s Disease by Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Pilot Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2020.00155
- Ryu, S. (2018). Hericium erinaceus Extract Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Brain. Journal of Medicinal Food, 21(2), 174–180. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2017.4006
- Liu, P. S. (2017). Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), Modulates Purinoceptor-Coupled Calcium Signaling and Murine Nociceptive Behavior. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 19(6), 499–507. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v19.i6.20
This article was written strictly for informational purposes. This website is not intended to inform about professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any kind. The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For more information on the safety and efficacy of lion's mane, consult with a healthcare provider.