Lion's Mane, Nature's Magic Elixir
Why would you ever want to consume a mushroom that looks like a weird hairy mass?
Lion’s mane is packed full of amazing benefits due to the various compounds present in the fruiting body and mycelium. Lion's Mane has been used for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine. With all the benefits it is no wonder this mushroom is praised throughout the world.
It is offered in powdered form and with such a small serving size (usually a 1/4 tsp) you can add it to smoothies and not even notice its presence.
Let’s unpack a few of the key ingredients inside Lion’s Mane that give it the benefits consumers and scientists rave about.
A sugar molecule which helps provide structure to the cell specifically
A subtype of polysaccharides present in mushrooms, known to help boost the immune system and aid in reducing stress within the body.
HERICENONES + ERINACINES
Compounds present in Lion’s Mane that are known to increase Nerve Growth Factor.
NERVE GROWTH FACTOR (NGF)
"...responsible for the growth, survival, and developmental plasticity of neuronal populations in the vertebrate peripheral and central nervous system” according to the Handbook of Cell Signaling, 2009.
In simple terms, Hericenones and Erinacines present in Lion's Mane help grow and maintain neurons present in the central nervous system and sensory nervous system.
IMPROVED BRAIN FUNCTION
As stated previously, Lion's Mane contains constitutes which increase the development of nerve growth factor (NGF) in the body.
Increased NGF has been linked to the slowing of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Increasing the growth of new neurons, which slows down with age, you are improving your overall brain function!
Beta-Glucan increases macrophages in the body. Macrophages are specialized cells involved in the detection, phagocytosis, and destruction of bacteria and other harmful organisms.
Lion's Mane also contains many micronutrients that support the body's natural immunity.
The impact on overall gut health also is worth mentioning as it plays a vital role in overall health. Happy gut microbiome means a happier healthier you.
REVERSE CANCER OR SLOW PROGRESSION
Beta-Glucan has been shown to activate T-cells and macrophages (natural killer cells within the body) both of which slow and can potentially reverse cancer.
ANTIOXIDANT AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
Because of the extremely high content of antioxidants present in Lion’s Mane, it helps reduce oxidative stress and inflammation within the body.
If all these benefits amaze you, you are not alone. Used primarily in traditional Chinese medicine, Lion’s mane is now growing in popularity. Up-and-coming companies are looking to increase the populations understanding of mushrooms. In addition to Lion’s Mane, there are many other mushrooms which also tremendously help the body function at a higher level.
WHERE TO BUY
Want to add Lion’s Mane to your diet in a simple and delicious way, I recently happened upon Four Sigmatic elixirs. My personal favorite is the Reishi Mushroom Elixir, I could drink it every night.
If you do not want anything other than Lion’s Mane you can also purchase powdered Lion’s Mane from Terrasoul, you get 78 servings for the same price as the 20 packets from Four Sigmatic. So it really depends if you are willing to make your own smoothies, or if you want the ease of a delicious beverage that you can just pour into hot water.