Lion’s Mane is famous for its great variety of positive effects on your body. Most importantly, the power to improve your cognitive function.
Read below a selection of the scientifically proven effects of the monkey head mushroom.
It seems that edible Lion’s Mane reduces anxiety. Your concentration, irritation, and anxiousness can be reduced by using the mushroom over the course of at least four weeks.2
How did the researchers do to figure this out?
They divided a group of 30 women into two groups. After that, they asked them to fill out a variety of questionnaires. These all aimed to figure out what the severity of their depression was and to quantify indefinite complaints like “anxious” and “irritation”.
Then, they gave half of the women cookies with Lion’s Mane powder 4 times a day for four weeks. When they asked participants to fill out the questionnaires again at the end, the ones that ate the cookies with Lion’s Mane powder scored significantly better.
Now, isn’t that interesting?
Let’s continue quickly with what researchers found on cognitive improvements.
Improve Cognitive Function
In Japan, researchers found that you can improve cognitive function with Lion’s Mane.3 They gave tablets that contained the dried and powdered form of the mushroom.
Again, they divided the group into two. One part of the elderly Japanese participants received the medicine and the other part a placebo.
Before and after the treatment the research subjects filled out a questionnaire to define their level of cognitive impairment.
After 8, 12 and 16 weeks into the trial, the results showed that the group that took Lion’s Mane was performing significantly better.
In a mouse study, Chinese researchers used amycenone, extracted from Lion’s Mane, to fight several inflammatory factors.
When they gave amycenone to the mice they saw that interleukin-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine improved. While tumor necrosis factor-alpha reduced.4
This indicates that Lion’s Mane can improve mood and fight inflammation.
Antioxidants have the capacity to reduce inflammation and reduce natural degenerative processes that come with aging in the human body.
When it comes to Lion’s Mane specifically, it seems that chemicals called polysaccharides provide the strongest anti-oxidants. When researchers used this compound in rats after giving them poison, they saw that the anti-oxidants protected the liver of the animals.5
And that’s not all the anti-oxidants seem to do. It seems that they can also improve your blood supply.
Improve Blood Supply
As things go, in another study on mice researchers reduced blood flow to their organs on purpose.
The reason they set out to do this research, is because ischemia is a common side effect of heart surgery. Ischemia is a lack of blood supply to the organs. This then alters or even damages cell function.
Thus, if there’s a way to reduce the chance of it, heart surgeries can be done with less chance of complications. As a result, you’ll recover quicker.
Now back to the research.
Besides the blood flow restriction, they gave the mice Lion’s Mane before the surgery.
After, they found that oxidative damage to the kidneys was less in the mice that received the mushroom extract before the treatment.6
Heart disease is what kills humans most world-wide. Sounds a bit depressing right?
Still, you can easily reduce the chances of running into trouble with your heart. A healthy diet and exercise are two key strategies you can use.
But there’s another option.
The mushroom can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood.
It seems that when rats are given an extract from the mushroom that it reduces the bad cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), with 45,4% and triglyceride levels with 34.3%. While it can improve the good cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), with 31.1%.7
These results were in comparison to a group of animals that received an equal diet but without the mushroom extract.
Stimulates Immune System
Do you remember the polysaccharides from before? These so-called anti-oxidants.
The ones in Lion’s Mane seem to improve immune function as well.
When researchers gave these anti-oxidants to mice that were suffering from lung tumors, they saw that it affected them positively. It seems that the mushroom improves special immune cells called “T cells” and “macrophages”. These cells help the body protect, attack and clean out unwanted invaders.