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A Guide To Lion's Mane (Hericium Erinaceus)

A Guide To Lion's Mane (Hericium Erinaceus) - Harmonic Arts

Giuliana Alfano |

By Yarrow Willard Cl. H

Yarrow Willard is a Master Herbalist, and a co-visionary of Harmonic Arts. Yarrow enjoys sharing health-empowering teachings on advanced nutrition, and cultivating a deeper connection with the natural world. He strives to continually update his knowledge in the growing-edge science of natural wellness.

Follow Yarrow on Instagram @herbal_jedi

 

In recent years Lion’s Mane has become one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms, specifically for its nerve regeneration and nootropic qualities. Traditionally, it was eaten to reduce inflammation in the digestive system, and cool gastrointestinal ulcers.

Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your health care practitioner before adding any new herbs to your wellness routine.

 

Nerve Growth Factor

Lion's Mane is sometimes referred to as “Nature’s Nutrition for the Neurons”, and is widely known for its ability to significantly stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF).¹ It makes sense that it was traditionally used to calm an inflamed digestive tract, as there are many nerves in this part of the body. 

NGF plays an essential role in maintaining neurological health, homeostasis, and modulating the immune system. Deficiency of NGF has been linked to dementia and early stages of Alzheimer’s. NGF is considered a potent antioxidant, and its deficiency has been linked to cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndromes, such as type 2 diabetes. Healthy levels of NGF not only support the nervous system, they significantly accelerate wound healing, reduce ulcerations, and lower asthma-related airway constriction.

 

Medicinal Compounds

Due to Lions Mane's relatively new status as a top medicinal mushroom, there is still much clinical research to be done to support its growing fame as a neurological medicine. Current pharmacological  interest and focus has been on two families of compounds: Erinacines and Hericenones. 

Erinacines are diterpenes isolated from the mycelium, shown to increase nerve growth factor mRNA expression, and they are also opioid receptor agonists (potentially beneficial for opioid addiction). Hericenones are aromatic meroterpenoids found in the fruiting body that inhibit inflammatory transcription factors.²

Both of these groups of compounds are small enough to pass through the blood-brain barrier and show promising evidence of increasing myelination and regeneration of nerve cells.

 

Neurodegenerative Disease

There have been a number of studies done now using Lion's Mane for neurodegenerative diseases such as MS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Results vary, but mostly show strong evidence that supports improved myelination of nerve fibers, as well as suppression of the immune-mediated inflammatory process responsible for chronic brain destruction.³

Beyond this, there is much evidence to support Lion's Mane having a regenerative effect on a variety of other forms of nerve damage including sensory neurons.

 

Mental Wellness

Lion's Mane has always been regarded in TCM as a happy mushroom, and both clinical and anecdotal evidence suggests that it has significant anxiety and depression reducing effect. This could be due to the opioid receptor agonistic effects of the Erinacines. Many menopausal women that consume this mushroom have also reported it to be helpful with sleep disturbances, anxiety, and hot flashes.

 

How to Add Lion's Mane to Your Routine

Depending on lifestyle and personal preferences, you may choose to take your Lion's Mane in the form of a powder, capsule, or tincture. 

Lion's Mane Mushroom Powder 

Our water-soluble Mushroom Powders make it easy to add a potent dose of functional compounds to your morning coffee, smoothie, or other recipes. Made from 100% fruiting body mushrooms, our powders feature high extraction ratios to provide you with a concentration of bioavailable benefits.  

Lion's Mane Mushroom Capsules  

Our Mushroom Capsules offer a convenient twist on our best-selling Mushroom Powders. Our vegan and gluten-free Capsules are easy to add to your current supplement routine or take them with you on the go. Stick to your wellness routine, no matter what life throws at you with this form of mushroom support.  

Lion's Mane Mushroom Tincture 

Tinctures are a quick and effective way to add bioavailable mushroom extracts to your daily routine. They can be taken on their own or added to drinks and other recipes. Made with 100% fruiting body, our Mushroom Tinctures are formulated by Clinical Herbalists and handmade on Vancouver Island. 

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    Give your brain a boost with our Lion's Mane Mushroom Powder. In Chinese folklore, Lion’s Mane mushrooms promote “nerves of steel and the memory of a lion.” 

    Need support with focus and productivity? Give your brain a boost with our Lion's Mane Mushroom Capsules. In Chinese folklore, Lion’s Mane mushrooms promote “nerves of steel and the memory of a lion.”

    Give your brain a boost with our Lion's Mane Mushroom Tincture. In Chinese folklore, Lion’s Mane mushrooms promote “nerves of steel and the memory of a lion.”

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    References

    1. Lai, Puei-Lene, Murali Naidu, Vikineswary Sabaratnam, Kah-Hui Wong, Rosie Pamela David, Umah Rani Kuppusamy, Noorlidah Abdullah, and Sri Nurestri Malek. “Neurotrophic Properties of the Lion's Mane Medicinal MUSHROOM, Hericium Erinaceus (Higher BASIDIOMYCETES) from Malaysia.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 15, no. 6 (2013): 539–54. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushr.v15.i6.30.

    2. Ma, Bing-Ji, Jin-Wen Shen, Hai-You Yu, Yuan Ruan, Ting-Ting Wu, and Xu Zhao. “Hericenones and Erinacines: STIMULATORS of Nerve Growth Factor (Ngf) Biosynthesis Inhericium Erinaceus.” Mycology 1, no. 2 (2010): 92–98. https://doi.org/10.1080/21501201003735556.

    3. Wong, Kah-Hui, Murali Naidu, Rosie Pamela David, Robiah Bakar, and Vikineswary Sabaratnam. “Neuroregenerative Potential of Lion's MANE MUSHROOM, Hericium Erinaceus (Bull.: FR.) Pers. (Higher Basidiomycetes), in the Treatment of Peripheral Nerve INJURY (REVIEW).” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 14, no. 5 (2012): 427–46. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushr.v14.i5.10.

    4. Nagano, Mayumi, Kuniyoshi Shimizu, Ryuichiro Kondo, Chickako Hayashi, Daigo Sato, Katsuyuki Kitagawa, and Koichiro Ohnuki. “Reduction of Depression and Anxiety by 4 Weeks Hericium Erinaceus Intake.” Biomedical Research 31, no. 4 (2010): 231–37. https://doi.org/10.2220/biomedres.31.231.