The Lion's Mane Mushroom is a type of edible fungus that has been gaining popularity in today’s mainstream society for its medicinal purposes.
While it may not be a household common name, these mushrooms have been used for centuries, especially in ancient Chinese medicine.
There are several touted benefits of the Lion's mane mushroom ranging from its anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties to its ability to help with insomnia, digestion, and much more.
In fact, Lion’s Mane is purported to benefit the five most important internal organs (liver, lung, spleen, heart, and kidney). However, Lion’s Mane mushroom has even more health benefits to offer.
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Improved cognitive function
Perhaps one of the most exciting results of recent studies has shown that consuming Lion's Mane mushrooms significantly improves short-term and visual recognition memory.
Another study’s results revealed that its subjects had great improvements on the dementia scale while another showed fewer plaques in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus in mice with Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s also been said that Lion's Mane increases the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) levels in the brain which encourages the growth of brain neurons essential for transmitting information throughout the body and synchronizing various body functions (source).
Improved neurological conditions
Several other studies show positive results for nerve damage when taking Lion's Mane mushroom. Not only can it help prevent stress-related nerve death and help improve brain injuries but can also work on repairing damaged nerves thanks to the polysaccharides found in the Lion's Mane aqueous extract.
This is promising for people with diabetes who suffer from neuropathy, those who have had accidents, and the elderly.
Taking Lion’s Mane could also be beneficial to those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. An animal study showed improvement in oxidative stress levels and dopaminergic lesions in the subjects who had taken it for twenty-five days.
Relief from anxiety and depression
One relatively new area of research on Lion's Mane mushrooms is their effect on anxiety and depression. While more extensive studies need to be done on this, the preliminary results are very promising showing that lion's mane can ease depression through monoaminergic modulation, neurogenic, and anti-inflammatory pathways.
Whether Lion's Mane mushrooms could potentially replace traditional depression medications or simply be given in addition to prescription medicine still remains to be seen.
Lion's Mane mushrooms are the superfood of the fungus world that provides not only an overall boost to your physical health but to your mental health as well.
Lion's Mane Mushroom in Your Diet
The great news is that this food can be eaten in its natural form or ground down into powdered form and taken daily as an oral supplement. It can even be stacked (or combined) with other mushrooms such as reishi and chaga to boost its health benefits.
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