Scientists agree that lion’s mane mushrooms have mind-affecting benefits and will boost cognitive function and help to enhance memory. With centuries of use in traditional Chinese medicine, it is considered to be the worlds ‘smart mushroom’ with proven benefit to cognitive function and nerve regeneration.
A US News report from April of this year:
Lion’s mane “has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help with stress and work as an antidepressant,” says Dr. Alex Dimitriu, a double board-certified psychiatrist and the founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine in Menlo Park, California.
There is research to support Dimitriu’s analysis. For example, a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences concluded lion’s mane supplementation normalized changes in behavior, such as loss of appetite, nervous behaviors, and procrastination, frequently triggered by high stress.
According to the study, “this offers new pathways into depression treatment, and lion’s mane may constitute a strong alternative therapy for depression.”
“With lion’s mane, and most other medicinal mushrooms, we see it passing the blood brain barrier,” Brown says. Many supplements aren’t able to pass this barrier, making it part of the reason lion’s mane may hold such potential for improving brain function. And it’s in the brain itself, claim proponents of lion’s mane, where the cognitive effects can be seen. Without lion’s mane ability to pass this barrier, it may not have such a powerful impact.
Dimitriu agrees, noting “most interestingly, it has been proposed that (lion’s mane) may increase neurogenesis in the hippocampus,” the part of your brain responsible for learning and memory. Neurogenesis is your brain’s way of forming new connections – such as thoughts, ideas and memories. “Lion’s mane mushroom powder is believed to improve this process of neurogenesis,” Dimitriu adds.
The article goes on to discuss the clinical trials that are happening today with Parkinsons and Alzheimer patients. What is interesting is that it is not about treatment. It’s about prevention. It’s about having these mushrooms in your diet on a regular basis to prevent those kinds of illnesses. Science is finally studying prevention.
With a mental health crisis happening all around, anything natural and healthy that can be put in the diet safely, non-addictively, that promotes the good health that helps us feel resilient, that contributes to rewiring the brain so we aren’t in panic mode all the time, these fungi must be taken seriously. The sisters believe in the curative powers of the mushrooms and find them all to be magical in each their own way.
Lion’s mane is one of the ingredients of the Sisters’ Super 17 mushroom coffee and the sisters also sell spore kits, if you are interested in growing your own mushrooms.