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Mushrooms

cyos   11 Aug 2019

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Benefits

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What is it?

Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) is a mushroom that has both culinary and medicinal purposes. It has been used in Chinese Medicine for centuries for its many health benefits. The name comes from the mushrooms appearance, it has a large white shaggy top that resembles a Lion’s Mane. It can be eaten raw, cooked, dried or steeped as a tea or you can purchase it as a supplement.

Many describe the taste and texture of Lion’s Mane to be that of crab or lobster, it has a sweet savoury flavour with a meaty, stringy texture. Lion’s Mane has many health benefits although it is mainly recognised for its cognitive healthy benefits, it’s also great for promoting energy levels, reducing anxiety and depression and reducing inflammation.

Cognitive Health

Taking Lion’s Mane can help support memory, focus and concentration. Lion’s Mane has been noted to increase nerve growth factor (NGF) when taken orally, which means it can help your brain process and transmit information.
A human study showed significant improvement on a rating scale of dementia in persons suffering from general cognitive decline.

Promotes increased energy levels

Lion’s Mane has proven popular as an additive to coffee, with coffee drinkers finding positive health benefits from adding the mushroom. The mushroom can help you sleep more effectively and can also improve energy levels while awake. Research has shown it can have a positive effect on circadian rhythms, re-aligning sleep patterns and improving sleep in some people.

Helps Relieve symptoms of Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depressive symptoms have been reduced in humans fed Lion’s Mane over the course of 4 weeks. The study also found a significant difference between groups on the measurements of reduced irritability and concentration with the group taking Lion’s Mane.

Boosts immune system

Studies have shown that Lion’s Mane can boost immunity by increasing the activity of the intestinal immune system, which protects the body from pathogens. It increases the ability of the body to resist infection by enhancing the uptake of bacteria by white blood cells. The Lion’s Mane mushroom increases the number of macrophage cells (cells that are responsible for detecting, engulfing and destroying pathogens and apoptotic cells) which then reduces the risk of developing infectious diseases.

Reduces Inflammation

Research shows that Lion’s Mane contains powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that may reduce chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Many modern illnesses including heart disease, cancer and auto-immune disorders are said to be linked with chronic inflammation. One study examined the antioxidant abilities of 14 different mushrooms and found that Lion’s Mane was the fourth highest in antioxidant activity. Lion’s Mane is a great source of antioxidants, it can also be useful in reducing inflammatory bowel disease, liver damage and stroke.

Summary

Lion’s Mane Mushroom has a number of health effects including its strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune boosting abilities as well as potentially protecting against dementia, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and helping repair nerve damage. Lion’s Mane is available in both powder and capsule form.

References

CYOS blog content is for informational and educational purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Always consult with your doctor or medical professional before using any dietary supplements or if you suspect you have any medical concerns or issues.

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