Do lion’s mane mushrooms have memory enhancing properties?

There is a lot of buzz about the memory-enhancing potential of lion’s mane mushrooms. We took a closer look at what science says about the effects of Hericium erinaceus on memory.

Is lion’s mane good for your brain?

Does lion’s mane help with brain fog?

Does lion’s mane improve memory?

What are the negative effects of lion’s mane?

How can you get the lion’s mane for memory?

What is Lion’s Mane?

Hericium erinaceus, lion’s mane mushroom, Santa’s beard, smart mushroom: this shaggy fungus has many names. Lion’s mane grows on dead trees in late summer and early fall in Europe, Asia and North America. This mushroom has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and is considered one of the the healthiest mushrooms in the world.

Health benefits of lion’s mane

“THE. erinaceus had significant anxiolytic effects and increased locomotor activity.” (Rodriguez, et al.)

Lion’s mane appears to have many benefits, including reducing stress, slowing dementia, increasing nerve growth factors, and repairing nerve cells. It appears to relieve neuropathic pain, fight certain types of cancer, and improve mental clarity and cognitive health.

Some of the potential benefits of lion’s mane include:

  • reduces symptoms of anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder
  • reduces inflammation and oxidative stress
  • relieves nerve pains
  • improves cognitive functions and overall brain health
  • protects against mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease
  • lowers blood sugar levels
  • encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells
  • improves immune function
  • reduces nerve damage in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis (MS)

To learn more about these and many other benefits of Hericium erinaceus, check out our article on the health benefits of lion’s mane.

Bioactive compounds found in lion’s mane

Hericium erinaceus contains an abundance of bioactive compounds, including:

  • polysaccharides
  • polypeptides
  • beta-glucans
  • prebiotic fibers
  • digestive enzymes
  • Hericenones
  • hedgehogs

The lion’s mane and memory

Lion’s mane mushroom appears to aid memory, focus, and overall cognition. Although human research on the subject of lion’s mane and memory is still scarce, the available studies and the newest brain research seem to confirm that this type of mushroom can significantly improve memory.

For example, a 2023 study by Frederic Meunier and Dr. Ramon Martinez-Marmol at the University of Queensland Brain Institute, found that compounds in lion’s mane played a role in enhancing memory and preventing cognitive decline. These researchers found that lion’s mane mushrooms boosted memory by enhancing nerve growth.

According to this study, the active compounds in the lion’s mane mushroom improved the growth of neurons in the central and peripheral nervous system and enhanced neurotrophic activity in the brain, which resulted in improved memory formation.

Research into disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia shows that this mushroom can enhance memory and can even restore cognitive function.


Reading our article on lion’s mane and Alzheimer’s disease to get the latest information on the topic.

Does lion’s mane support brain health?

The protective effect of Hericium erinaceus on the brain is widely documented, especially in animal studies. Lion’s mane mushrooms have been shown to reduce memory loss in mice and prevent neuronal damage caused by amyloid plaques, which build up in the brain during Alzheimer’s disease.

Neurogenic properties of lion’s mane

The active compounds found in lion’s mane mushrooms, mainly ericeones and erinacins, appear to promote neurogenesis in the brain. These compounds, commonly found in the fruiting bodies of the lion’s mane mushroom, boost nerve growth factor (NGF) proteins, which in turn help regenerate nerves and even form new neurons.

Lion's den and memory

One study explains that “ericenones and erinacins are low molecular weight compounds that readily cross the blood-brain barrier” and concluded that these compounds “exhibit the activity of promoting NGF synthesis.”

To learn more, read our article on the neurogenic potential of lion’s mane mushrooms.

Neurogenesis and Memory

An animal study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food looked at it effects of lion’s mane on depression and anxiety and concluded that these medicinal mushrooms help reduce mental health problems by promoting neurogenesis within the hippocampus.

Hippocampal neurogenesis, in turn, improves memory. The hippocampus plays an important role in learning and memory, and research shows that the formation of new nerves in this area of ​​the brain can have huge benefits for cognitive function, including memory formation and retention.

A 2022 study on the effects of lion’s mane on Alzheimer’s disease found that “Hericium erinaceus has therapeutic potential and may facilitate memory enhancement.”

Can Lion’s Mane Improve Memory and Cognition?

Both animal and human studies on the effects of lion’s mane mushroom on cognitive function seem to suggest that it may be quite beneficial for memory.

Lion’s mane and learning and memory deficits in mice

A Japanese study examined the effects of Hericium erinaceus mycelium on learning and memory deficits induced by amyloid β2535 peptide in mice. Mice were fed a diet containing lion’s mane for 23 days.

This study “revealed that H. erinaceus prevented the impairments of spatial short-term and visual recognition memory induced by amyloid β(25-35) peptide,” which “indicates that H. erinaceus may be useful in preventing cognitive dysfunction”.

The lion’s mane and spatial memory in wild-type mice

A study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms reached a similar conclusion. In this study, researchers tested spatial memory in wild-type mice that were given a lion’s mane dietary supplement.

The mice were given tasks, such as the novel object recognition test and the Y-maze test, before getting the lion’s mane.

After taking Hericium erinaceus for 2 months, the mice performed significantly better on these tasks, likely due to hippocampal neurogenesis that occurred as a result of using lion’s mane. This study concluded that “oral supplementation with H. erinaceus produces specific and selective improvements in recognition memory.”

Lion’s Mane Memory Study in Humans

A Japanese double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that lion’s mane supplementation improved memory and cognitive function when taken consistently.

“…oral H. erinaceus significantly improved cognitive functions and prevented…deterioration. We hypothesize that various chemical compounds, including erisenones, in the mushroom have multiple effects on the neural networks of the brain and improve cognitive functions.”

Does lion’s mane help with brain fog?

Whether it’s caused by stress, mental health issues, chronic illness, or lack of sleep, there seems to be both anecdotal and scientific evidence that lion’s mane supplements can be helpful for brain fog.

A 2018 animal study looked at it effects of lion’s mane extracts on anxiety and symptoms of depression, including brain fog. The results suggested that Hericium erinaceus seemed to reduce these symptoms – again, by promoting the growth and regeneration of brain cells.

What we know so far about the lion’s mane and memory

Here’s what we know so far about Hericium erinaceus and memory:

  1. Animal studies show that lion’s mane extract may be able to reverse memory loss in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Lion’s mane appears to promote neurogenesis in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that plays a role in learning and memory.
  3. An animal study shows that Hericium erinaceus can also reduce symptoms of brain fog, which could, in turn, improve memory and learning abilities.
  4. Lion’s mane appears to improve memory and learning ability, as well as reduce cognitive decline in mice.
  5. A Japanese study shows that lion’s mane also improves cognitive function, including memory, in humans.
  6. The newest medical news on the subject suggests that lion’s mane mushrooms may actually improve memory by promoting NGF synthesis.
  7. More human studies are needed to reveal the underlying mechanisms of lion’s mane and its effects on memory.
  8. Since there are no downsides to taking lion’s mane, its low cost and high availability, it may make sense to include this fungus in your diet as a way to improve your memory and other cognitive functions.

Lion’s mane mushroom side effects

There are no known serious ones side effects from lion’s mane. However, there is always a small chance of side effects such as diarrhea and stomach upset. To avoid these side effects, try taking lion’s mane with a meal and start with a lower dose.

Addiction to the lion’s mane

Lion’s Mane is not addictive, even in high doses. Since this mushroom is non-psychoactive and does not cause a high, there is no risk of addiction when it comes to lion’s mane. Additionally, there are no withdrawal symptoms once you stop taking lion’s mane.

Does lion’s mane interact with medications?

There are no drug interaction studies of lion’s mane. However, due to the antihyperglycemic and antiplatelet effects of this fungus, you should use it with caution if you are taking antidiabetics or medications that slow blood clotting.

To learn more about this topic, read on our article on potential drug interactions with lion’s mane.

Interested in getting Lion’s Mane for memory?

If you’re interested in taking lion’s mane as a souvenir, why not include this useful mushroom in your morning routine? Doing this and reaping all the benefits lion’s mane has to offer could be as simple as your morning bowl of cereal.

 AdaptogenShroomsSuperfood Granola

Us medicinal mushroom granola is a gluten-free vegan granola containing a super-concentrated lion’s mane mushroom extract. This means you get 10-15 times the nutrients that a regular mushroom powder provides without the mushroom taste.

You can choose from three delicious flavors: Vanilla Almond, Sunflower Cocoa and Cinnamon. Alternatively, get a pack with all three flavors if you want to start your morning with a little variety.

What is the optimal dosage of lion’s mane for memory?

The best doses of lion’s mane they differ from person to person. It is best to start with a daily dose of 750-1000mg and increase gradually to reap the lion’s mane focus and memory enhancing benefits.

How much lion’s mane is in AdaptogenShroomsGranola?

AdaptogenShroomsgranola uses a high-quality lion’s mane mushroom extract from whole medicinal mushrooms. Our double extraction method extracts both water-soluble beta-glucans and alcohol-soluble triterpenes. Our brewing process breaks down the indigestible chitin cell walls of the mushroom to extract far more of these compounds than conventional processes.

One serving of our granola provides 250 mg of ultra-concentrated lion’s mane extract, which is eight times more concentrated than regular lion’s mane mushroom supplements. So you’re getting as much potency as you would a 2000mg lion’s mane mushroom powder, all in a granola bowl.

Frequently asked questions about the lion’s mane and memory

Does lion’s mane increase testosterone?

Yes, lion’s mane appears to increase testosterone, especially in people who have naturally lower testosterone levels. Many medicinal mushrooms have the potential to improve testosterone levels in the body, which could lead to muscle growth and an increase in overall energy. To learn more about this topic, read on our article on the effects of lion’s mane on DHT.

Does lion’s mane affect sleep?

Due to its anti-anxiety properties, lion’s mane can have a relaxing effect on the brain, making it easier for you to fall asleep. However, if you want to take lion’s mane for bed, be sure to do so earlier in the day, as lion’s mane can have stimulating effects and may interfere with your sleep if taken late at night. If you want to know more about taking this fungus for sleep problems, read on Our blog post on the benefits of lion’s mane for sleep.

How does a lion’s mane make you feel?

A lion’s mane mushroom supplement can make you feel more energetic and focused due to the stimulating effects of the mushroom. With regular use, you may also experience improved mood, less stress, and fewer sleep problems.

How long does it take for lion’s mane to work?

The lion’s mane mushroom benefits memory, has tremendous antioxidant activity, and may be able to reduce cognitive impairment. However, you cannot expect these changes to come overnight. On average, it should take lion’s mane capsules and supplements for at least two weeks before you can expect to notice any effects.

Does the lion’s mane help focus?

Yes, studies have shown that lion’s mane can improve your ability to focus. This medicinal mushroom relieves the symptoms of brain fog, which reduces your ability to concentrate on the task at hand.

These findings are also supported by anecdotal evidence. Many people swear by a lion’s mane supplement to improve focus and memory and use Hericium erinaceus to increase productivity.

Can Lion’s Mane Help Dementia?

Yes, lion’s mane can protect against dementia and help slow the progression of dementia. This mushroom contains compounds that stimulate the growth of brain cells. In addition, research shows that lion’s mane can prevent nerve damage associated with dementia and even repair damaged nerves. To learn more about this topic, read our in-depth review of lion’s mane and dementia research.

What are the spiritual benefits of lion’s mane?

The The lion’s mane mushroom appears to have spiritual benefits. This essential traditional medicine can help with focus and memory, as well as stress relief and overall mental health. Shaolin monks in ancient China used lion’s mane to improve their concentration on a daily basis. It was believed to strengthen ‘Chi’, a mystical, energizing life force.

Which lion’s mane mushroom recipe should I try?

If you want to experiment with lion’s mane recipes, you can choose from a variety of pasta, risotto and seafood repasts. A simple, yet delicious, pasta with lion’s mane is a great place to start, and crab cakes with lion’s mane it’s a must-try for more adventurous cooks.

Is it good to take lion’s mane daily?

Daily consumption of lion’s mane mushrooms is not only completely safe, but also extremely beneficial. Long-term benefits of lion’s mane, such as its ability to prevent diabetes and relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, become more apparent the more you use this mushroom.

How do I take lion’s mane powder if I don’t like the taste?

If you don’t like the taste of lion’s mane powder, you can try to cover it up by putting the powder in your morning smoothie. Alternatively, opt for a tastier way to consume lion’s mane, like our functional mushroom granola.

Can I get a lion’s mane with a turkey tail?

Yes, you can get lion’s mane with many different types of mushrooms, including turkey tail, maitake, and reishi mushroom. When it comes to medicinal mushrooms, the whole is better than the sum of its parts, so you’ll likely get more benefits from lion’s mane if you take it with any other adaptogenic fungus, even high-quality herbal supplements.

Does lion’s mane have a placebo effect on brain functions?

No, the clinically researched effects of lion’s mane are not due to the placebo effect. Randomized, double-blind studies done on lion’s mane (where one group of people gets a lion’s mane supplement, another group gets a placebo, and the participants don’t know which group they belong to) show that lion’s mane has a significant impact on where they get the mushroom, compared to negligible effects in those taking the placebo.


  1. Martínez‐Mármol, R. (2023). Hericerin derivatives activate a pan-neurotrophic pathway in central hippocampal neurons that converges on ERK1/2 signaling that enhances spatial memory. Journal of Neurochemistry.
  2. Ma, BJ (2010). Ericenones and erinasins: stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF) biosynthesis in Hericium erinaceus. Mycology, 1(2), 92–98.
  3. Ryu, S. (2018). Hericium erinaceus extract reduces anxiety and depressive-like behaviors by promoting hippocampal neurogenesis in the adult mouse brain. Journal of Medicinal Food, 21(2), 174–180.
  4. Becker, S. (2006). A model of hippocampal neurogenesis in memory and mood disorders. A model of hippocampal neurogenesis in memory and mood disorders – ScienceDirect. Retrieved January 26, 2023, from
  5. Yanshree (2022). The monkey’s head mushroom and memory enhancement in Alzheimer’s disease. Cells, 11(15), 2284.
  6. Ryu, S. (2018). Hericium erinaceus extract reduces anxiety and depressive-like behaviors by promoting hippocampal neurogenesis in the adult mouse brain. Journal of Medicinal Food, 21(2), 174–180.
  7. Mori, K. (2011, March 4). Effects of Hericium erinaceus on learning and memory deficits induced by amyloid &beta (25-35) peptides in mice. Effects of Hericium Erinaceus on learning and memory deficits induced by amyloid and beta (25-35) peptides in mice. Retrieved January 26, 2023, from
  8. Rossi, P. (2018). Dietary Supplementation of Medicinal Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes) and Spatial Memory in Wild-Type Mice. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 20(5), 485–494.
  9. Saitsu, Y. (2019). Improvement of cognitive functions by oral intake of Hericium erinaceus. Biomedical Research, 40(4), 125–131.
  10. Rodriguez, MN, & Lippi, SLP (2022, July 15). Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) exerts anxiolytic effects in the rTg4510 Tau mouse model. Behavioral Sciences, 12(7), 235
  11. Kevin Spelman, PhD, MCPPa Elizabeth Sutherland, NDb Aravind Bagade, MDc. (2017). Neurological activity of lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus).

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