(Don't) Fear the Lion's Mane: This Mushroom is Awesomely Beneficial
The Lion's Mane Mushroom (Yamabushitake) is packed with benefits, most of the benefits we will not cover in this article.
Moving on from one of the leading supplements that aids in focus and concentration, gingko biloba, we turn our sights towards a lesser known supplement from the form of a fungi commonly called Lion's Mane Mushroom (also called the "bearded tooth fungus," "hedgehog mushroom," or its scientific name: hericium erinaceus. This exotic fungus has been used for hundreds if not more than thousand years predominantly by the Chinese and Japanese peoples as both an edible and used as a variety of tea. This unique looking creature has an arsenal of benefits as proved by research, but we'll read below what research has come to daylight on this seemingly magnificent specimen below.
Benefits of Lion's Mane Mushroom
- One of the first benefits that should be dully noted given that the purpose of this series of posts is about supplements that improve focus and concentration is the impact of Lion's Mane Mushroom on NGF, or "nerve growth factor." NGF affects the growth, regulation, consistency and production of nerve cells (also called neurons). This measurement has both a direct and indirect affect on one's conscious and subconscious ability to focus and concentrate byway of healthy brain function. Not only so, but one's level of NGF will directly impact diseases like dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and virtually ever other brain disorder or disease. Seemingly related, supplements which carry Lion's Mane Mushroom and related supplements will (as research relays) also affect one's ability to repair myelin, thus positively preventing or regulating diseases like multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia. One study in 2009 involving elderly Japanese men and women showed significant results in cognitive function when compared against a placebo.
- The mushroom was further found to have positive results with regards to cancer treatment by slowing the spreading or side-effects of cancer.
- Given Lion's Mane Mushroom's effects on the brain, Lion's Mane Mushroom can directly impact or counter symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Yamabushitake was found to maintain the mucus lining within the stomach and provide several other gastroprotective benefits including protection of ulcers and other ingestion related issues.
- Lion's Mane also functions as a powerful antioxidant, with other traits that makes it a powerful combatant against several other mainstream diseases and conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, gastric ulcers, digestion issues, and much more.
How to Gauge Results
We often caution one about being overly judgmental when one begins taking supplements. Our generation today wants immediate results; such is the digital age. You cant even go a movie without your spouse getting upset with you if you don't answer the phone. Know that noticeable results can take weeks, furthermore we highly recommend that you have an exercise plan, be cautious about diet, as well as do things that enable your general happiness (our guide to these key three critical points, coming soon to an email near you).
When understanding whether a product is having a direct influence on one's concentration and focus (aside from exercise and other supplements which can highly influence performance), one should set parameters and conduct an internal test. How many times did I lose track in the last hour? How much time was I actually productive in the last hour (no point in being dishonest)? What other potential factors can influence my productivity? Setting parameters and identifying variables in advance will set you one step closer towards a more accurate awareness of results and how to manipulate them.
In addition, be cautious when it comes to dosage; dosage will vary greatly between people for factors beyond just weight and gender, our policy at Refokus is that you should begin with a dosage slightly lower than recommended and slowly add to one's dosage if needed. Be aware that there are also products which will prevent absorption of certain materials into the body (for example, calcium is known to inhibit absorption of protein); thus eating a light snack with a glass of water is recommended when taking supplements.
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Lion's Mane Mushroom Side Effects and Precautions
- Based on studies to mice in research, and overwhelmingly for almost all people, there are really no known side effects to consumption of Lion's Mane Mushroom within proportional reason. Even when consumed as a food as opposed to intake as a supplement, significant consumption did not show negative effects except that some experienced uncomfortable itchiness, likely due to nerve factor changes or heightened sensitivities of certain people.
Hericium Erinaceus Final Thoughts
The impacts of Lion's Mane Mushroom are a bit different than other supplements, especially in their relation to the human body. We generally like to think in terms of (think back to algebra class) if X then Y; something like a direct cause and effect relationship. When it comes to supplement strategies it's important to think outside the box a bit, because the body isn't always quite so linear functioning. It's miraculous to think just how many moving parts there are to a body and how many cells and systems are working together simultaneously. It's similar to the functionality of a car; yes, the end goal is that the vehicle takes you from point A to point B, but that's only if the electrical system is functional, that's also if the vehicle is properly treated with oil, that the spark plugs are intact, and the clutch isn't too grounded down... your body is no different.
The benefits of Lion's Mane Mushroom is to influence one of the more hidden factors of "Z" (thus our equation becomes, if X then Y, but only after Z). Lion's Mane Mushroom is like the "Z" factor which often times becoming more critical than than the surface level "X" factor (or the initial cause/boost that we think is going to improve performance). Lion's Mane Mushroom helps with cognitive and neuro-transmission of the brain, and related functions. It will ultimately help with things like depression, cancer/tumor prevention, blockage of arteries, multiple sclerosis prevention, and much, much more. We purposely did not go into the whole list of benefits because they are found to be many and researchers continue to evaluate this mushroom to validate treatment for various ills and complications.
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NOTE: The content and insights Refokus shares is not a replacement for a professional medical consultation and advice, while we are often advised by research professionals and studies, you should always consult a medical professional to understand what's best for you.
Let's be real and direct for just a second (no playing games) - in my opinion, the benefits of Lion's Mane Mushroom are almost second to none. This fungus is packed with protein and would make a great dietary source, but even if you take it as a supplement, the list of RESEARCHED benefits put it in a class almost of it's own. I usually don't advocate to such a degree for certain supplement but I don't think it's a coincidence that Japanese people tend to live longer. Mushrooms/fungi in general have a lot to offer in terms of overall health (protein, killing free-radicals in the body, difficult to obtain nutrients, etc...) but in this case, the cognitive benefits and the nerve repair attributes are likely to be rarely found elsewhere. This one is a win.
- Impressive Cognitive Enhancement
- Tons of benefits in terms of cancer/tumor prevention.
- Mylene repair or loss prevention.
- Cleaning plaque from arteries
- Rich in antioxidants
- Helps with high cholesterol
- Impacts and aids with Diabetes
- Much more...
- None really known...
- but there are some people that may have a light allergy or sensitivity which would result in an itch. One should take an antihistamine / other anti-allergy in the event of this scenario.