Courtesy of Advanced MycoTech™
Lion’s mane mushroom (hericium erinaceus), aka bearded tooth mushroom, Satyr’s beard, bearded hedgehog mushroom, pom pom mushroom, bearded tooth fungus or yamabushitake is a parasitic fungus that can be found growing on hardwood trees in Europe, North America and Asia. It is revered by many to be one of the choicest edibles with a flavor and texture resembling that of crab or lobster when cooked properly, making it a great choice for vegetarians or vegans that are looking for a seafood alternative.
How is lion’s mane normally used?
As stated above, lion’s mane is a choice gourmet edible mushroom and is a delicacy of mushroom connoisseurs. It would make a fantastic meal if you can get your hands on a fresh source. It’s also known to contain many medicinal qualities and health benefits. More so lately, it is becoming a popular health and nutritional supplement, often found in powered or capsule form.
So, what are the health benefits of lion’s mane mushroom?
1. Induces Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)
Nerve growth factor is a protein that promotes development of the sensory and sympathetic nervous systems and is required for maintenance of sympathetic neurons.
Lion’s mane is shown to induce NGF, which can lead to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
2. May Protect Your Brain and Slow Dementia
It’s no secret that as people age, we tend to become more forgetful. That’s typically because the aging brain loses its ability to grow and form new connections.
In a double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study performed on 30 Japanese men and women, age 50 to 80 years old with mild cognitive impairment, lion’s mane was given to test its ability to improve function. Half the group received 250 mg tablets of 96% dry lion’s mane powder three times a day for 16 weeks and the other half of the group received a placebo. Cognitive function continued to improve for the group receiving lion’s mane throughout the duration of trial, and up to 4 weeks after termination of intake.
3. Reduce Chronic Inflammation
Science is showing chronic inflammation to be the main cause of most illnesses. These can include cancer, heart disease and autoimmune disorders, to name a few.
Lion’s mane mushrooms contain oligosaccharides, a type of carbohydrate, that are shown to exhibit immune-stimulating antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which could help minimize or reduce the impact of these diseases.
4. Alleviate Depression and Anxiety Symptoms
Speaking of inflammation, many cases of depression and anxiety are thought to be, in part, a result of chronic inflammation.
While the science is promising in the animal studies, more research still needs to be done on humans.
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