Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus) is a medicinal and culinary mushroom mainly used to promote the health of the brain
This beautiful off-white mushroom consists of a full bunch of fine strands that are reminiscent of a lion's mane.
It has the ability to stimulate cognitive functions such as memory and concentration and supports the growth of NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) of nerve cells / neurons.
Lion's Mane is a so-called Nootropic: a substance that has a positive effect on the brain, stimulates it, protects it and improves cognitive functions.
The name Nootropic comes from Greek and means to bend or transform the mind.
Nootropics are not always natural by the way, other natural Nootropics include Gingko Biloba, Brahmi, Rhodiola and Panax Ginseng, all adaptogens.
Caffeine is also a Nootropic.
It contains a large number of bioactive components ranging from antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and neuroprotective properties.
As an adaptogen, Lion's Mane helps to regulate your nervous and hormone systems.
As a result, he is able to change your body's stress reactions, making you less sensitive to stimuli and developing more resilience to various stressors.
He adapts to your unique situation and needs and can thus help you to balance where you need it most.
Lion's Mane has stimulating properties, but can also be calming, depending on what your body and mind are asking for at that moment.
Studies have shown that Lion's Mane can help relieve anxiety and depression by restoring the hippocampus. This is a part of your brain that plays an important role in the storage of information in your memory, your behavior and learning abilities.
The Hippocampus also has a direct influence on your perception. It determines how you remember things and how you experience life.
If you are consciously transforming old belief systems and are working on your mindset to implement new healthy habits, then an optimally functioning Hippocampus is essential.
Decrease in the tissue of the Hippocampus is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's, depression and schizophrenia.
Studies focused on the connection between Lion's Mane mushroom and Alzheimer's showed promising results, although more research is needed.
Dr. Andrew Weil, a well-known mycologist, mentions a study in which the brains of mice exposed to stress showed a decrease in the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline.
In humans, this correlates with symptoms of depression.
Mice exposed to the same stress but that were given Lion's Mane mushroom beforehand did not show this. The researchers concluded that Lion's Mane could have potential for the treatment of depressive disorders in humans.
Lion's mane adaptogen for the skin
In addition to its powerful effect on your brain health and your mental and emotional wellbeing, Lion's Mane is also very good for your skin.
Antioxidants and polysaccharides give it its anti-aging properties.
It helps reduce oxidative stress and inflammation and stimulates collagen production.
The nerve growth factor (NGF) helps accelerate the healing of wounds and other tissues.
How do you use Lion's mane?
You can add Lion's mane to a variety of foods and drinks, both sweet and savory. For example in a latte, stir-fry, oatmeal, soup, yogurt, baking recipes, smoothies, etc.
Combining it with healthy fats such as coconut products, (plant-based) dairy products, olive oil, nuts or avocado helps with the absorption of the ingredients.
Like with other mushrooms, the healthy ingredients in Lion's mane are protected by so-called chitin cell walls. Heat is needed to optimally release these active ingredients and allow them to be properly absorbed by your body.
Fresh Lion's mane mushroom can be cooked as you would other mushrooms or add it to your dishes in powder form.
You can also make tea or elixir from the powder by heating it in a pan with water.
Afterwards store the liquid in the refrigerator for a few days and add it to your food or drink either warmed up or cold.
In addition, the powder can be added to a warm drink.
Check the quality
Medicinal mushrooms are booming, with more and more products being available; a very positive development, but unfortunately the quality often differs.
This often has to do with whether a product is made from the fruiting body of the mushroom or the mycelium.
Products made from fruiting bodies usually contain about 30-40% of the active substances beta-glucans. Products from mycelium cultivated on grain, on the other hand, usually contain a maximum of 7% beta-glucans. All mushrooms in the High Vibeology blends are made from 100% fruiting body from organic agriculture.
Are you curious what Lion's Mane can do for you?
You can find it in the I am focused blend for mental clarity and concentration and the I am glowing blend for skin and immune system.
Read more about medicinal mushrooms and their effect on body and mind in this article.