Nootropic Properties of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Looking for a natural nootropic that can help improve memory, focus and overall brain function? Consider lion’s mane mushrooms, a unique and powerful type of mushroom with a wide range of potential benefits.

Read on to learn about the science behind this powerful nootropic and its potential cognitive benefits. And, if you want to know about other benefits of lion’s mane, read our detailed guide to lion’s mane mushrooms.

What are nootropics?

What are the nootropic benefits of lion’s mane?

Does lion’s mane have brain benefits?

What are the memory enhancing properties of lion’s mane?

Can lion’s mane reduce brain fog?

Does the lion’s mane give you energy?

How do you get lion’s mane mushrooms?

What is the ideal lion’s mane dosage for nootropic properties?

How much lion’s mane is in AdaptogenShroomsgranola?

What is a lion’s mane?

Lion’s mane mushrooms are adaptogenic mushrooms that were used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat various ailments and are still a popular nootropic and adaptogen. It is often considered one of the the healthiest mushrooms in the worldlion’s mane offers abundant benefits for both mental and physical health.

To read more about how this mushroom and other adaptogens work, read on our guide to adaptogenic mushrooms.

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics are a class of supplements and substances that appear to enhance cognition, memory and focus. Many nootropics are synthetic drugs, but there are also many natural substances that are considered nootropics, such as herbs, mushrooms, and other plant compounds.

According to research, nootropic drugs can enhance cognitive performance and even prevent cognitive decline. A recent study states that “nootropics may be an effective alternative to enhance and enhance cognitive performance in patients with a range of pathologies.”

Types of Nootropics

Many people are turning to natural nootropics as a way to boost their brain power without relying on synthetic drugs or chemicals. Some of the most common types of nootropics are:

    • Lion’s mane mushrooms
    • Cordyceps mushrooms
    • Reishi mushrooms
    • Maitake mushrooms
    • Turkey tail mushrooms
    • Bacopa monnieri
    • Ashwagandha
    • Ginkgo biloba
    • Panax ginseng
    • Rhodiola rosea

Can I take multiple nootropics at the same time?

Yes, you can take multiple nootropics at once. People who use nootropic nutritional supplements often combine several types in what are known as nootropic stacks.

Nootropic stacks are combinations of different nootropic active ingredients taken together to enhance their individual effects. They can be tailored to meet the user’s individual needs and goals and can include both synthetic and natural substances.

It is important to be careful when building nootropic stacks, as combining certain substances can have unwanted side effects. Consult a healthcare professional before using any nootropic stack.

Lion’s Mane Nootropic Benefits

The nootropic health benefits of lion’s mane have been a popular research topic in recent years, and studies show that this mushroom appears to improve cognition, memory, mood, and focus. The lion’s mane mushroom contains a wide range of naturally occurring active compounds, including erichenones and erinacins, which are known for their brain health benefits.

What does lion’s mane do to the brain?

The brain benefits of lion’s mane are undeniable. This mushroom appears to promote neurite outgrowth through its effects on the production of nerve growth factors, as well as aiding in nerve repair.

Multiple bioactive compounds found in lion’s mane “readily cross the blood-brain barrier and have been found to have neurotrophic and… neuroprotective effects,” according to a recent study on the neurotrophic properties of lion’s mane mushroom.

We go in depth on this topic our article on the brain benefits of lion’s mane. Read it.

Lion’s mane and nerve development

According to a recent study, compounds found in the fruiting body of lion’s mane can help brain cells grow by promoting the synthesis of nerve growth factor (NGF). The researchers in this study found that “ericenones and erinacins isolated from the medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus can induce NGF synthesis in nerve cells.”

Another study, published in 2023 by the Brain Institute of the University of Queensland, found that lion’s mane had a significant impact on nerve cell development and appeared to improve memory formation by enhancing brain cell growth.

To learn more about the effects of lion’s mane on nerve development, read on our lion’s mane and neurogenesis guide.

Lion’s Mane and Nerve Repair

In addition to helping your brain form new brain cells, lion’s mane also appears to repair nerve cells. Hericium erinaceus was studied in 2011 for its effect on the repair of nerve injuries.

The study was done in Sprague-Dawley rats with peroneal nerve crush injuries. The researchers concluded that “daily oral administration of aqueous extract of fresh H. erinaceus fruits could promote the regeneration of injured rat peroneal nerve in the early stage of recovery.”

Hericium erinaceus

Can Lion’s Mane Improve Memory?

When it comes to using lion’s mane for memory and improved cognitive performance, some studies suggest encouraging benefits. This mushroom is often referred to as the “smart mushroom” because of its memory-enhancing benefits.

For example, a 2017 animal study investigated the effect of the mushroom on brain health and memory. According to the results, the lion’s mane supplement dramatically improved recognition memory, nerve development and neurotransmission in healthy mice.

Human studies on the subject are still scarce, but a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study of Japanese adults found that, when taken consistently, lion’s mane improved memory and cognitive function.

…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.

Hericium erinaceus also appears to alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease such as memory loss and brain fog. A study published in 2022 found that lion’s mane “has therapeutic potential and may facilitate memory enhancement in Alzheimer’s disease patients.”

To learn more about using lion’s mane to boost memory, read on our article on the memory boosting properties of Hericium erinaceus.

Does Lion’s Mane Reduce Brain Fog?

There appears to be both anecdotal and scientific evidence that lion’s mane supplements can help with brain fog, whether it’s caused by stress, mental health concerns, chronic illness, or lack of sleep.

An animal study, published in 2018, looked at the effects of lion’s mane extracts on symptoms of anxiety and depression, including brain fog. Hericium erinaceus appears to relieve brain fog and improve mental clarity, once again encouraging the growth and regeneration of brain cells.

Does the lion’s mane give you energy?

The lion’s mane can give you a surge of vitality and energy. This mushroom doesn’t contain caffeine, so it won’t give you as much energy as coffee or tea, but it can serve as a natural energy booster.

Plus, because it doesn’t contain caffeine, you don’t run the risk of feeling jittery or a midday energy crash when you take lion’s mane mushrooms. Many athletes use lion’s mane to maximize their performance due to the energy boost it provides.

Want to reap the nootropic benefits of Lion’s Mane?

If you’re interested in taking lion’s mane for its nootropic potential, why not make it part of your morning routine? Reaping all the benefits lion’s mane has to offer could be as simple as having your morning bowl of cereal with us medicinal mushroom granola.

The granola is vegan, gluten-free and contains high-quality lion’s mane extract. You can choose from three delicious flavors: Vanilla Almond, Sunflower Cocoa and Cinnamon. Or, get a pack with all three flavors if you want to start your morning with some variety.

 AdaptogenShroomssuperfood granola

How Much Lion’s Mane Should You Take for Nootropic Benefits?

The best dose of lion’s mane mushrooms it will vary from person to person. If you are taking lion’s mane for its nootropic benefits, it is best to start with a low dose (500-1000 mg) and continue until you feel the effects.

How much lion’s mane is in AdaptogenShroomsGranola?

AdaptogenShroomsgranola uses high quality lion’s mane extracts from whole medicinal mushrooms. Our dual extract contains both water-soluble beta-glucans and alcohol-soluble triterpenes. Our decoction process breaks down the fruiting bodies and indigestible chitin cell walls of the mushroom to remove far more of these compounds than conventional processes.

One serving of granola provides us with 250 mg of ultra-concentrated lion’s mane mushroom extract, which is eight times more concentrated than regular lion’s mane supplements. So you have as much power in lion’s mane as I would get in a 2000mg lion’s mane mushroom supplement, all in a bowl of granola.

Frequently asked questions about the nootropic benefits of lion’s mane

Is lion’s mane the best nootropic?

It’s hard to determine the “best” nootropic, but lion’s mane is definitely considered one of the top natural nootropics available today. As a type of mushroom, lion’s mane has gained popularity in the nootropic community for its potential cognitive benefits, including improving memory and focus, as well as its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.

While more research is needed to fully understand the potential medicinal benefits of lion’s mane, its long history of use in traditional medicine and growing popularity suggest that it is a natural nootropic worth considering.

What if you take the lion’s mane everyday?

If you take Hericium erinaceus every day, you will get more benefits from lion’s mane than if you took this adaptogenic mushroom occasionally. Taking lion’s mane every day is completely safe and even recommended, especially if you are just starting out.

Does Lion’s Mane Increase Dopamine?

Lion’s mane doesn’t exactly boost dopamine, but it does help regulate dopamine levels. A 2018 animal study investigated the underlying mechanisms of lion’s mane’s antidepressant effects in mice. The findings of this study suggest that when the mice were stressed, their dopamine levels dropped.

Dopamine levels normalized after eating the lion’s mane, despite changes in stress levels. This suggests that lion’s mane may be responsible for increasing dopamine levels, although further human research is needed to fully understand the benefit of this lion’s mane.

How does a lion’s mane make you feel?

Lion’s mane appears to relieve mild symptoms of anxiety and depression and will likely make you feel more relaxed if you struggle with these mental health conditions. Reading our article on taking lion’s mane for anxiety to learn more about the anxiolytic properties of this mushroom. And, if you want to know more about the benefits of Hericium erinaceus in depression, check it out our guide to the benefits of lion’s mane for depression.

Does lion’s mane really work?

Yes, the research seems to show that the lion’s mane does indeed work. One of the many benefits of this fungus is the The ability of lion’s mane to relieve digestive system problems. Medicinal lion’s mane mushrooms have also been shown to relieve mental health symptoms such as OCD, depression and anxiety, as well as improve immune health.

Does the lion’s mane make you drowsy?

Lion’s mane does not make you drowsy, but it can relieve some sleep problems. Research shows that lion’s mane can help you sleep better if you suffer from depression or anxiety. To learn more about this benefit, read our article on lion’s mane and sleep.

Does Lion’s Mane Mushroom Boost Testosterone?

Yes, Lion’s mane mushroom powder appears to increase testosterone levels, especially in people who have naturally lower testosterone levels. Many adaptogenic mushrooms have the ability to increase testosterone levels in the body, which could lead to increased muscle growth and higher energy levels. To learn more about the effects of lion’s mane on testosterone, read on our article on the benefits of Hericium erinaceus on DHT production.

Which is better – ashwagandha or lion’s mane?

Ashwagandha and lion’s mane are both amazing nootropics with many benefits for physical and mental well-being. They are both known for their ability to reduce anxiety, stress and depression. However, when it comes to supporting cognitive function and improving memory, research shows that lion’s mane is the most effective option.

How Effective Is Lion’s Mane Supplement?

According to research, lion’s mane supplementation can be quite effective if taken regularly and in an appropriate dosage. Lion’s mane has been shown to have potential benefits for overall health, with some studies suggesting that it may have anti-inflammatory effects and help reduce oxidative stress in the body, as well as providing a number of mental health benefits.

What is the best lion’s mane supplement?

Determining the best lion’s mane supplement depends on your individual preferences and needs. However, there are a variety of lion’s mane mushroom products available, including powder, extract, capsules and tinctures and eating fresh or cooked real mushrooms.

Lion’s mane mushroom capsules are a popular choice for those looking to supplement with this powerful natural nootropic. Another unique and delicious way to supplement lion’s mane is through lion’s mane mushroom granola, such as AdaptogenShroomsGranola, which offers a convenient and delicious way to reap the benefits of this mushroom.

Resources

  1. Colucci, L. (2012). Efficacy of nootropic drugs with cholinergic activity in the treatment of cognitive deficit: a review. Journal of Experimental Pharmacology, 163. https://doi.org/10.2147/jep.s35326
  2. Spelman, K. (2017). Neurological activity of lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus). Journal of Restorative Medicine, 6(1), 19–26. https://doi.org/10.14200/jrm.2017.6.0108
  3. Lai, PL (2013). Neurotrophic Properties of the Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 15(6), 539–554. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushr.v15.i6.30
  4. 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. https://doi.org/10.1111/jnc.15767
  5. Wong, KH (2011). Peripheral nerve regeneration after rat peroneal nerve crush injury by aqueous extract of medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bul.: Fr) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae). Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/neq062
  6. Brandalise, F. (2017). Hericium erinaceus Dietary Supplement Enhances Hippocampal Mossy-CA3 Fiber Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2017, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3864340
  7. Saitsu, Y. (2019). Improvement of cognitive functions by oral intake of Hericium erinaceus. Biomedical Research, 40(4), 125–131. https://doi.org/10.2220/biomedres.40.125
  8. Yanshree (2022). The monkey’s head mushroom and memory enhancement in Alzheimer’s disease. Cells, 11(15), 2284. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells11152284
  9. 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. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2017.4006
  10. Chiu, CH (2018). Hericium erinaceus mycelium enriched with erinasin A produces antidepressant effects through modulating BDNF/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β signaling in mice. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(2), 341. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020341

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