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What Is Lion's Mane?
By Jayton Miller
Have you ever heard the old saying “better not damage your brain cells because they wont come back?” Well, this isn’t exactly the case. The human body is an extremely complex system that can heal from almost anything when given the right environment, nutrition, and supplemental support. One such supplement that is starting to gain traction for its regenerative properties on the nervous system is Lion’s Mane.
What Is Lion's Mane?:
Lion's mane (also known as yamabushitake, the monkey head mushroom, or its scientific name Hericium erinaceus) is a medicinal mushroom that was first discovered in some of the mountainous regions of Asia. In ancient Chinese medicine it was used for general well-being and overall health, and some say that it was even used by buddhist monks to enhance brain power and allow for better meditation. Lion’s mane is now cultivated as a supplement due to its many benefits for the brain and nervous system.
The Benefits Of Lion's Mane:
Lion's Mane’s main benefits are derived from its ability to increase Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). These two chemicals when produced in the body can help heal the nervous system, and possibly lead to better functioning of the brain among other benefits.
May be able to help support healthy immune system function
The digestive system is one of our first lines of defenses when it comes to fighting off foreign invaders from getting in our body. Lion's mane has been shown to increase intestinal immune function in animals helping to fortify this line of defense. One study even showed that rats who were injected with salmonella were more likely to recover and live longer when treated with a lion's mane extract.
May Help Decrease Time To Recovery For Nervous System Injuries
Most likely due to its ability to enhance NGF and BDNF, lion's mane can effectively lower the amount of time it takes to recover and heal from nervous system injuries. One study showed that mice with nervous system injuries who were treated with lion's mane were able to reduce recovery time by 23-41%. That is a huge amount of time taken off in the total time to heal!
May Increase Cognition
One of the main things that lion's mane is known and used for in the alternative health world is its ability to help increase focus, attention, and memory.
Touted as a powerful natural nootropic lion's mane has been shown to help lower anxiety in many individuals which can lead to enhanced cognitive abilities in itself. It has also been shown in a double blind placebo controlled clinical trial (the “gold standard” in scientific research) that in older adults who have supplemented with lion's mane, they had significantly reduced rates of cognitive decline.
This study even showed that there was an increase in recognition memory (that usually goes down with aging) and neurogenesis in the cerebellum in mice when treated with lion's mane (probably due to it increasing BDNF and NGF).
Note - Although lion's mane has some powerful benefits there are some sources that claim that lion's mane can inhibit the 5-alpha reductase enzyme (the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT). So if you are a man looking to optimize your DHT levels, then I recommend using some other beneficial nootropic compounds that also have a pro-androgenic benefit such ashwagandha or phosphatidylserine.
Read More: The Cellular Stress Connection
How To Supplement With Lion's Mane:
Lion's mane can be eaten, and is a great source of protein. If you do decide to eat lion’s mane make sure that you cook it though as would any mushroom. I have personally eaten a fair amount of lion’s mane before and find it as a good adjunct to many different dishes because of its interesting texture. If you are looking for a supplement it is recommended to use 1-3 grams daily at a 96% purity. This can be either powder or liquid.
If you want to set up your body to heal itself supplements are like the icing on top of the cake. The key to improving your health comes down to improving your internal environment, your body, by maximizing the energy production of your cells. This is done by taking ownership of your diet and lifestyle, which we have deemed, The Thermo Diet. If you're ready to reclaim your health, click here to join the Thermo Diet today!
I hope this article has given you an insight into the benefits of lion's mane, and how it can help support healthy immunity, nervous system recovery, and cognitive function. Lion's mane is a powerful medicinal mushroom that may be able to help improve your health in many ways. If you are looking for more information about other natural remedies like lions mane make sure to check out the other articles we have here on the UMZU blog such as “How To Increase Brain Function Naturally.”