Lion’s mane mushroom is a puffy, fuzzy, white species that grows well on sawdust substrate in an agricultural setting. It has both culinary value due to its versatile texture and flavor profile, as well as medicinal uses supported by ample peer-reviewed research. Called Hericium erinaceus by scientists, lion’s mane supports immune function as well as providing neurological benefits. One of the ways it enhances immune response is by fostering healthy gut bacteria and enhancing the intestinal mucus lining that support overall immune function.
Beyond conferring overall better neurological and gastrointestinal health, lion’s mane has healing properties as well. It is credited with healing gastric ulcers and providing relief from acid reflux. It may also serve as a potent anti-inflammatory agent, offering aid for those in chronic pain or contending with chronic inflammation.
Lion’s mane’s is being researched for use in healing and managing neurological disorders that impact the mind and body. It has the potential to impact cognitive and mental health as a result of its anti-inflammatory effects, including potentially impacting memory as well as improving mood and reducing anxiety and depression. Women’s health is also positively impacted by lion’s mane as it is a documented aid for many symptoms of menopause.
PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION
Lion’s mane is typically taken orally as a medicine by tincture, capsule, or powder. It can be consumed fresh, and there are many fantastic recipes for using it in a wide variety of culinary traditions. Be sure to cook your mushrooms at least 20 minutes. Mushrooms are made of chitin, like seashells, and it must be broken down by cooking. You really cannot overcook a mushroom as long as you do not burn it.
Lion’s mane has no reported side effects associated with its use – even in large quantities. Diabetics should consult their doctor before adding large amounts of lion’s mane to their diet as it may have some effect on metabolic disorders involving insulin production and uptake.
As with all supplements, you should consult with a certified functional medicine provider, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking lion’s mane.
Chen, John, Chen, T & Cramton, L. Art of Medicine Press, Inc. City of Industry, CA USA. 2003. 1327 pp ISBN: 0-9740635-0-9 , http://aompress.com/herbology
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