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Lion’s Mane Mushrooms – What Are They?

Lion’s mane mushrooms – what are they?

Lion’s mane mushrooms, technically called Hericium erinaceus, have been used medicinally in China for centuries. Studies claim that Lion’s mane can enhance neurological function, and it has been looked into as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Key takeaways: 

1. Lion’s mane mushrooms are associated with decreased levels of anxiety and depression, thanks to two active compounds hericenones and erinacines.

2. They may also prompt neural regeneration, which can ultimately improve memory and cognition.

3. Finally, they have shown anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties.


What is Lion’s Mane? 

Lion’s Mane mushrooms contain active compounds called hericenones and erinacines, which can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and are known to stimulate nerve growth factor. Additionally, Lion’s Mane is known to have antioxidants and polysaccharides that may be linked to longevity and disease prevention.


Health Benefits of Hericium erinaceus 

Studies have concluded that hericenones and erinacines are beneficial to neurological health and are associated with decreased levels of anxiety and depression. Since diseases that affect memory are often caused by neuronal degradation, Lion’s Mane has the potential to treat these cognitive issues by prompting neural regeneration. The polysaccharides in the mushrooms are bioactive and seem to have anti-tumor effects. Moreover, polysaccharides are bioactive and work to maintain homeostasis; therefore, they have shown signs of being anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and work to eliminate free radicals in the body.


Works Cited 

Friedman, Mendel. “Chemistry, nutrition, and health-promoting properties of Hericium erinaceus (lion’s mane) mushroom fruiting bodies and mycelia and their bioactive compounds.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 63.32 (2015): 7108-7123.

Mau, Jeng-Leun, Hsiu-Ching Lin, and Si-Fu Song. “Antioxidant properties of several specialty mushrooms.” Food Research International 35.6 (2002): 519-526.

Mizuno, Takashi. “Bioactive substances in Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers.(Yamabushitake), and its medicinal utilization.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 1.2 (1999).

Money, Nicholas P. “Are mushrooms medicinal?.” Fungal biology 120.4 (2016): 449-453.

Nagano, Mayumi, et al. “Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake.” Biomedical Research31.4 (2010): 231-237.

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