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Lions Mane Mushroom

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Lions mane | Biohacking your brain
15 October 2023 | James Kearslake
Table of Contents
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What is lions mane mushroom?

A fungi with the ability to regenerate brain cells, improve cognitive function, memory, and emotional regulation, lions mane is fast becoming the go to supplement for high performers, business people, and wellness experts. 

Its bioactive ingredients have been shown to directly improve and aid regeneration of our neural pathways, improving the speed at which the neurons in our brain fire and communicate.

Improving cognitive performance, focus, and mental clarity, and having the ability to reduce anxiety and depression, it naturally maintains a stable central and peripheral nervous systems.

Long used in natural medicine in East Asia, Western scientists are now determining lions mane’s beneficial properties for the mind and body.  

Lions mane is widely becoming a main supplement for those I work with, and it is our aim to raise awareness of its benefits with a wider population. It’s a natural remedy improving our mental health and cognitive performance, without the usual side effects that come with prescribed pharmaceutical products, and needs to be more widely recognised for its ability to transform our mental make up.

The benefits of lions mane mushroom

Lions mane will benefit people in different ways, but overall benefits include:

  1. Cognitive performance – with its ability to maintain and regenerate healthy neural pathways, lions mane has a significant improvement in mental clarity and performance.
  2. Mood regulation including reduced anxiety and depression – its benefits for our wider nervous system can also help regulate mood, reducing anxiety, depression, and the negative effects or other mental health conditions.
  3. Nervous system support – lions mane’s bioactive compounds erinacines and hericenones directly benefit varying processes within our neural pathways, having a broad benefit on our central and peripheral nervous systems. A healthy nervous system is critical to maintaining autonomic functions, motor function, emotional regulation, and cognitive performance.
  4. Immune system support – with its specific polysaccharides, its ability to activate immune cells has a direct benefit to the immune system.
  5. Anti-inflammatory benefits – lions mane also has anti inflammatory properties which support a healthy body and mood regulation.
  6. May reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s or dementia – with its ability to maintain and regenerate healthy brain cells, lions mane may, if taken long-term, reduce the risk of cognitive decline and resulting conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

The bioactive ingredients of lions mane mushroom

1. Hericenones and erinacines

Hericenones and erinacines are compounds found in lions mane that stimulate the production of nerve growth factor, a protein essential for the growth, regeneration, and survival of nerve cells.

It is this process which activates the production of new cells within the brain, improving our neural pathways, cognitive performance, and creating an enhanced sense of cognitive clarity for those who consume the product.

Also contributing to myelination, the production of the myelin sheath that protects axons within the neural pathways, the fungi is critical to maintaining a healthy central and peripheral nervous system.

Maintaining a healthy nervous system and neural pathways improves the speed at which neurons fire and communicate, directly improving focus, mental clarity and cognitive performance. Those who consume the product also report improved memory, problem solving skills, and a marked increase in productivity in the workplace and at home.

For me, lions mane benefits my mental clarity. Often experiencing brain fog as a symptom of an overactive mind, lions mane has given me the greatest sense of mental clarity I’ve experienced for many years. My productivity increased exponentially within days of first taking the product.

2. Polysaccharides

Lions mane is also rich in polysaccharides, which helps stabilise the immune system. By stimulating the immune cells macrophages and natural killer cells, the compounds strengthen the body’s defence mechanisms, making it more resilient against infections and illnesses.

Potential risks and side effects:

Lions mane is generally considered safe for most people. However, there are some considerations and potential risks to be aware of:

  1. Allergic reactions – similar to all fungi, some individuals may be allergic to lion mane. Allergic reactions can vary in severity and may include itching, a rash, nausea or diarrhoea, or difficulty breathing. If you have a known mushroom allergy or experience any allergic symptoms, you should avoid lions mane.
  2. Gastrointestinal issues – in rare cases, consumption of lions mane may cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort, such as stomach upset, diarrhoea, or gas. These effects are generally mild and temporary, but it’s important to start with a small dose when trying lions mane to see how your body reacts.
  3. Interaction with medications – lions mane may interact with certain medications, particularly those that affect blood clotting or the immune system. If you are taking medication, especially anticoagulants or immunosuppressants, consult with a healthcare professional before adding lions mane to your diet.
  4. Wild vs. cultivated mushrooms – if you forage for wild lions mane mushrooms, there is a risk of misidentification. Mistaking a toxic mushroom for lions mane can lead to poisoning. It’s always safer to purchase lions mane mushrooms from reputable sources or cultivate them at home.
  5. Quality and contamination – when buying lions mane supplements or products, ensure they are sourced from trustworthy manufacturers who adhere to quality and safety standards. There have been instances of contaminated or adulterated mushroom products on the market.
  6. Individual tolerance – like with any dietary supplement, individual tolerance can vary. Some people may experience more pronounced benefits, while others may not notice any significant effects. It’s important to monitor how your body responds to lions mane and adjust your intake accordingly.

In general, lions mane is considered safe for most people when consumed in line with recommend dosage. However, it’s important to consultant with a healthcare professional when taking any new supplement, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or there is a risk of potential interaction with medications.

How to consume lions mane for maximum uptake

Lions mane needs to be cooked or dried to reap the benefits of its bioactive compounds. It can be taken as a tablet, powder form for mixing in smoothies, or a tincture for stirring in tea and juices.

Look for products that contact high levels of hericenones and erinacines with no minimal adding bulking agents.

We recommend everyone commit to a four week trial of lions mane, taken daily, to experience the beneficial properties of lions mane for the body and brain. 

If you can, maintain a log each morning of how to feel mentally. You should experience a greater level of mental clarity in the mornings, and find your productivity has improved during the day.

It is important to monitor how your body reacts to lions mane throughout, and if you experience any adverse physical side effects consuming the product immediately.

Where to purchase lions mane in the UK

We have found New Leaf’s lion mane works great for many, and because it’s an Amazon recommend product it’s financially accessible for the masses.

While there are higher quality products on the market like DIRTEA, we only recommend purchasing these if you have a higher disposable income. The long-term benefits of lions mane mean that we would rather people consume a mid-range product over the long-term, than an elite product which quickly gets canned when cashflow is tight.

Don’t be afraid to try various doses of the supplement, and if you want to manage your own dose outside of New Leaf’s tablet range, we recommend Sol-Nutrition’s Lions Mane Powder.

Who is James Kearslake?

Having been biohacking my mind and body long before it became fashionable, I’ve always lived by the benefits of nature’s resources to improve cognitive and physiological performance. Using my years of experience, products, and wellness practices, I’m now helping others elevate their cognitive performance to help build the life they want. I save you the time I’ve spent learning, so you can focus your time on building.

Proudly AI Supported

I proudly use AI to support development of my articles. As a heavily dyslexic person, writing can be a time consuming process with words often jumbled up and sentences the wrong way round. AI has become my crutch; allowing me to share the immense interest in my mind, while making content creation quicker and more accurate. AI is my benefit.

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