Lion’s mane mushrooms are white, large and have ragged thorns. You can eat them or take them in the form of an extract. According to some research, lion’s mane has a lot of benefits to offer, like for example – reduced inflammation and improved heart and cognitive health.
This mushroom is well known in Asia, but it can be bought in US from some e-commerce stores such as Hybrid Herbs. People usually use it for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Here are the potential benefits and side effects of lion’s mane mushrooms:
- By reducing inflammation and preventing oxidation, this superfood may boost the immune system. Lion’s mane mushroom may particularly enhance the activity of the intestinal immune system, due to a protein it contains. This protein promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which can make the immunity stronger.
- Lion’s mane is very high in antioxidants. They fight inflammation and oxidation in the body. There are many medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune disease, related to inflammation.
- According to some animal studies, lion’s mane mushroom extracts may help fight depression and anxiety. There was research, based on women with menopausal symptoms, poor sleep quality, and other health complaints. After a month, the results showed lower levels of irritation and anxiety in the participants.
- There is animal-based research, suggesting lion’s mane mushrooms might enhance cognitive function. Actually, according to the research, this mushroom may have the potential to treat or prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. More research is needed, though.
- Lion’s mane may improve heart health, due to its cholesterol-lowering effect.
- As we mentioned earlier, lion’s mane mushroom is high on antioxidants. This may play a role in cancer treatment or even prevention. Lion’s mane may have the potential to fight leukemia, liver, colon, and gastric cancer. This is very promising, however, more human research is needed.
- Lion’s mane mushroom extract may decrease blood sugar levels. The key to managing diabetes is controlling blood sugar. So it appears that this fungus may be helpful for people with diabetes.
- By fighting inflammation, Lion’s mane may help digestive health. Actually, it can be very beneficial for people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. And because the shroom boosts the immune system, it may also promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
- There are research showing lion’s mane extract promotes quicker nerve cells growing and repairing.
- Lion’s mane mushrooms extract might be beneficial for skin wounds, too.
Although more human research is needed, it appears to be safe to eat lion’s mane mushrooms (as many people from Asia do it). Studies based on animals showed that even high doses didn’t cause any side effects in the test subjects.
Lion’s mane mushrooms may protect against dementia, help depression and anxiety, boost immunity, decrease blood sugar levels, and reduce inflammation. They also have antioxidant properties. There is a need for more human research, though. But the current studies are showing real promise.