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Lions mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus)

March 04, 2020

Lions mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus)

Lions mane mushrooms are large white fluffy mushrooms that partially resemble a lions mane as they grow. They are used In cooking and also as a medicine in countries such as China India and Japan.
Lions mane can be eaten raw, cooked, or steeped in a tea. The extract is a popular health supplement that has shown to benefit the gut, brain and heart.
The brain
Studies have shown lions mane contains two active compounds that can stimulate the growth of new brain cells: hericenones & erinacines.
Lions mane extract has shown to reduce symptoms of memory loss in mice as well as prevent neuronal damage caused by amyloid-beta plaques which build up in the brain during Alzheimer’s disease.
A study in older adults with cognitive impairment found that consuming lions mane daily for four months significantly improved mental functioning but the benefits disappeared when supplementation stopped.
A new study in mice found that lions mane has anti-inflammatory affects that can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression while another study in menopausal women found that supplementing with lions mane for one month reduced feelings of irritation and anxiety.
The gut
Lions mane extract may help protect the development of stomach ulcers by inhibiting the growth of H. pylori bacteria and protecting the stomach lining from damage.
Another animal study has shown lions mane was more affective at preventing alcohol induced stomach ulcers then traditional drugs without the negative side-effects.
Lions mane extract also helps reduce inflammation  and prevent tissue damage in the intestine which help to treat inflammatory bowel disease. One study showed that lions mane extract significantly reduced symptoms of IBS and improved the quality of life after three weeks.
More animal research shows that lions mane can boost immunity by increasing the activity of the immune system which protects the body from pathogens that enter the gut through the mouth or nose.
The heart
Research shows that lions mane extract help to reduce the risk of heart disease. Studies in mice and rats found that lions mane extract improves fat  metabolism and lowers triglyceride levels.
One study in rats fed a high-fat diet and given daily lions mane extract found a 27% triglyceride reduction and 42% less weight gain after 28 days.
Since obesity and high triglycerides are both risk factors for heart disease, this is one way that lions mane mushroom contribute to heart health.
Lions mane contain a compound called hericenoneB which decrease blood clotting and lower the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Lions mane mushroom appear to benefit the heart guts and brain in multiple ways but more human studies are needed.
lion's mane products:
Active Constituents of Lion's Mane

Beta (1>3),(1>6)-glucans Hericenones; cyathanes

Parts Used

Fruiting bodies

Additional Resources

1. Friedman M. Chemistry, nutrition, and health-promoting properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) mushroom fruiting bodies and mycelia and their bioactive compounds. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 3015, 63(32), 7108-7123. 2. He X, Wang X, Fang J, et al. Structures, biological activities, and industrial applications of the polysaccharides from Hericium erinaceus (Lion's Mane) mushroom: A review. Int J Biol Macromol. 2017 Apr;97:228-237. 3. Mori K, Inatomi S, Ouchi K, Azumi Y, & Tuchida T. Phytother Res. 2009 Mar;23(3):367-72. 4. Nagano M, Shimizu K, Kondo R, et al. Biomed Res. 2010 Aug;31(4):231-7.

Important Precautions

Not for use during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner

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