Have you ever heard of the now-famous Lion’s Mane Mushroom? Also known as the monkey head mushroom, satyr’s beard, or by its scientific name hericium erinaceus, this fungi has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years due to its healing properties.
As you can guess, the mushroom got its name because it resembles a lion’s mane. As a result, it can easily be recognized by its long “spines”. It has traditionally been used in China, both for its culinary and medicinal properties. However, the hedgehog mushroom is now well known worldwide, both in its raw form, but also as a supplement.
As a result, we wanted to take a closer look into the benefits lion’s mane offers, and what you can do to reap those benefits as soon as possible.
8 Benefits You Can Get From Lion's Mane
1. It reduces the risk of heart disease.
Many things lead to an increased risk of heart disease, including obesity, a high level of triglycerides, and high cholesterol. Studies have proven that the lion’s mane mushroom can impact some of these and, in turn, reduce your risk of heart disease.
Namely, a 2013 study concluded that the mushroom lowers the levels of triglycerides in the blood, while simultaneously improving metabolism in rats and mice. As these are considered risk factors for heart-related illnesses, the conclusion is that the fungus benefits your cardiovascular wellbeing.
On top of that, a different study found that hericium erinaceus contains something called Hericenone B, which also lowers the risk of heart problems, and even strokes.
2. It boosts the immune system.
A strong immune system is vital for an overall healthy body. Your immune system works by defending your body against antigens, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and various other pathogens. If you have a weak immune system, you are more susceptible to numerous diseases, all of which take a toll on your body.
Naturally, boosting your immune system does wonders for your health. A 2017 study found that the hedgehog mushroom boosts the activity of the intestinal immune system in animals. The intestinal immune system is especially important because it defends against antigens that enter your body via your nose or mouth. Consequently, the results of the study are pretty promising, as they prove the benefits of the lion’s mane mushroom on the body’s immune system as a whole.
3. It may help fight cancer.
In simple terms, cancer as we know it happens when our DNA causes cells to divide and replicate uncontrollably. Researchers who studied the effect of the lion’s mane mushroom found that its extract causes the suppression of tumor initiation, promotion, and metastasis..
Not only that, but another study found that this fungus’s extract also slows down the spread of cancerous cells in the body. Although further research is needed, the promising results prove the potential benefits of this wondrous mushroom.
4. It helps in relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression.
If you’re suffering from mild depression or anxiety, try turning to lion’s mane mushroom for help! Studies have proven that consuming the fungus or its extract positively affects feelings of irritation and nervousness.
5. It increases brain function.
A 2008 study proved that taking lion’s mane extract offered significant improvement in people with mild cognitive impairment. The study was done over a period of 16 weeks, with one group being given the extract, while the other was given a placebo. The test group showed promising results, and as a result, proved that the mushroom increases brain function.
A different study that experimented on mice came to the conclusion that lion’s mane supplements benefited the mice’s recognition and memory. Although we’re hoping for more concrete evidence in human-based research, there’s no doubt that the hedgehog mushroom can be beneficial to your cognitive abilities.
6. It helps to fight inflammation.
Another interesting property of the lion’s mane mushroom is its ability to fight inflammation. A 2015 study found that lion's mane is full of anti-inflammatory and anti oxidizing properties. A different study found that it also helps combat obesity by reducing the amount of inflammation generated by fat tissue.
Chronic inflammation is the cause of many modern-day illnesses, even cancer, and heart issues. As a result, consuming this powerful fungus may prove to be beneficial even beyond inflammation.
7. It protects against dementia and Alzheimer’s.
As previously mentioned, lion’s mane mushroom has some properties that may boost brain function. But did you know it also protects against diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s? Let’s see how that works!
Generally speaking, the brain loses its ability to form new connections as you age. This is mostly the reason why people’s cognitive function worsens on a cognitive level once they reach a certain age. However, a 2013 study proved that the lion’s mane contains compounds that may aid in the growth of brain cells. As a result, it also shows promising results in preventing the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
8. It helps manage diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your body isn’t capable of producing enough insulin, resulting in high levels of sugar in your blood. A 2013 study found that rats with diabetes have an overall lower level of blood sugar if treated with lion’s mane extract. As a result, the fungus can help manage symptoms of diabetes in those affected by the disease.
To sum up, there are numerous studies that prove the potential health benefits of lion's mane mushroom. However, most research was done on rodents and in experimental human cells. More research is needed for us to fully understand the benefits this mushroom has.
On the other hand, the mushroom has no side effects, as it's not poisonous. As a result, it doesn't hurt to try and add to your diet! With proven benefits of anti-inflammation, boosting brain function and even weight loss, this fungus truly is remarkable.
Let us know what you think about the now famous lion’s mane mushroom!