( Hericium erinaceus)
USE LION’S MANE TO: Improve memory Boost concentration Protect your nervous system
Lion’s mane earned its playful moniker because of its unique appearance. Unlike the typical shape of most mushroom fruiting bodies ( a smooth cap and stem), lion’s mane looks like a cluster of cascading white strands. This waterfall-like “mane” has inspired all kinds of other fun nicknames for the mushroom, including “pom- pom mushroom,” “bearded tooth,” and “monkey head.”
History suggests that lion’s mane was used in traditional Chinese medicine specifi cally for treating stomach and digestive problems, including cancers. It was also used as a general restorative due to its anti- infl ammatory, antibacterial, and immuno-modulating properties. But lion’s mane’s eff ects on the brain truly distinguish it from other medicinal mushrooms and make it an utterly fascinating subject.
Lion’s mane has the ability to repair and regenerate neurons, resulting in improved cognitive function, and the mushroom has been known to mitigate and even reverse the eff ects of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia, among others.
So how does this happen? Your body contains nerve growth factors ( NGF), proteins that protect existing neurons and stimulate new neuron growth. These proteins play a crucial role in maintaining the viability of the neurons required for the nervous system to function properly. Amazingly, lion’s mane stimulates the synthesis of NGF. It not only has the potential to help those suffering from neurological disorders, but through NGF stimulation, it can potentially reverse the cognitive deterioration that creeps up on many of us as we age. And unlike most pharmaceutical medicines that are used for cognitive function, lion’s mane has no known side effects. Editor’s Product Pick: Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Mix Think with Lion’s Mane & Chaga