The Brain-Boosting Benefits Of Lion’s Mane Mushroom in Australia

lions mane mushroom australia

Buddhist Shaolin monks have been using an ancient mushroom called Lion’s mane to enter deep states of meditation. It’s due to its unique ability to calm and stimulate the mind allowing for greater focus and relaxation. 

Although outside the world of mystic meditators, Lions Mane is a powerful medicinal mushroom for everyday Australians that can provide benefits to enhance your health. 

If your looking for something to help you boost your performance at work, calm your nerves, or maybe protect your brain health, then lions mane may just be the mushroom for you.

In this article, I’ll cover what lions mane is, the benefits supported by scientific research, whether it’s safe, and where you can buy it in Australia. 

In This Article:

  1. What is Lions Mane Mushroom?
  2. What Are The Benefits of Lions Mane Mushroom?
  3. Is Lion’s Mane Safe?
  4. Where To Buy Lion’s Mane Mushroom In Australia?
  5. How to consume Lion’s Mane Mushroom
  6. Conclusion

What is Lions Mane Mushroom?

Lion’s Mane mushroom is a fungus that belongs to the hydroid family and is referred to as a tooth fungus. 

That’s because it has tiny tooth-like projections that stretch out from the fungus, looking like a lion’s mane, hence its name. 

Instead of releasing spores from gills like some mushrooms, these spores are released from the tip of their tooth-like projections. 

lions mane tooth-like projections

It’s also one of the few medicinal mushrooms that are edible and is said to have a seafood taste similar to crab or lobster.

The scientific name of lion’s mane is Hericium Erinaceus, with hericium meaning hedgehog. 

Many other cultures have their own names for it- all of them describing its unique appearance. In China, it’s known as Hou Tou Gu, which means ‘monkey head mushroom’. It’s also known in Japan as Yamabushitake, which means ‘mountain priest mushroom’ because it resembles monk’s robes who live up on the mountain.

Since lion’s mane has a lot of mind boosting abilities, it is known to be a type of nootropic, which are drugs and supplements that can improve cognitive function

There’s been a lot of scientific research on lions mane, and it’s become increasingly popular in Australia for its range of powerful benefits.

Traditionally it was used to treat digestive issues and stomach problems because of its soothing effect on the nervous system, but research has revealed many more benefits that can help people throughout their day. 

What Are The Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom

What makes Lions Mane unique from other medicinal mushrooms is its ability to regenerate brain cells. It’s able to do this because of 2 special compounds called hericenones and erinacines.

neurons connecting with eachother

These 2 powerful compounds have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier which most compounds can’t do. Once inside the brain it stimulates what’s known as nerve growth factor (NGF), the chemical that produces new nerve cells and maintains their health

It’s this nerve growth factor that’s involved in our brain’s growth and learning where new neurons are formed.

NGF is particularly important for older individuals because as we age we naturally stop producing as much NGF, which ultimately leads to an array of neurological illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimers.

There are many different benefits that lions mane stimulating effects can have, but some of the best are boosting cognitive function, reducing anxiety or depression, protecting the brain, fighting inflammation, and supporting gut health.

Boosting Cognitive Function

This is Lions Mane’s major claim to fame.

Like I said previously, Shaolin Monks were known to take this mushroom to go into deeper states of meditation. This is because it’s been known to have a mind stimulating effect on some people where it can make it easier to concentrate.

concentrating at work

In a randomised clinical trial, a group of people were given lion’s mane for 12 weeks, and the results showed that the treatment group experienced significant improvements in cognitive function. It was theorised that the various chemical compounds, including hericenones were having a multitude of effects on the brain’s neural networking, which allowed better cognition. 

There’s limited clinical research on the topic, although there’s a lot of research in mice studies further supporting these claims.

One study took a group of male mice and gave them lions mane for 2 months. The results showed that the mice improved their neuronal functioning and memory.

Reducing Anxiety or Depression

Anxiety and depression are conditions to affect a large percentage of the population with a range of different causes, and anti-depressants can have a list of unfavourable side effects.

In some individuals, lion’s mane may help reduce anxiety or depression, likely due to its unique compounds that stimulate NGF- hericenones and erinacines.

meditating to reduce anxiety or depression

A randomised clinical trial took 30 females and gave them lions mane for 4 weeks to see its impact on menopause, depression, and sleep quality. At the end of the study, the results showed significant improvements with the women who took lions mane reporting much less levels of anxiety, irritation, and depression. 

It’s still uncertain why it is lions mane is able to have this effect on reducing depression, although a 2019 paper released in the Internal Journal of Molecular Sciences looked into the existing research to figure out the possible mechanisms. 

They looked at all the available research on lion’s mane reducing depression and concluded the effect was likely due to its ability to enhance neurons in the brain, as well as its anti-inflammatory effects that can cross the blood-brain barrier.

“The pre-clinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that H. erinaceus significantly ameliorates depressive disorder through monoaminergic modulation, neurogenic/neurotrophic, and anti-inflammatory pathways, indicating the potential role of H. erinaceus as complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of depression.”

Protecting the Brain

An important aspect of brain function isn’t just to enhance its abilities but also to maintain existing neurons’ health. 

Neurodegenerative diseases that cause the brain to deteriorate are gaining higher rates in society. These diseases are often associated with alterations to nerve growth factor (NGF) and inflammation. 

Since Lions Mane has a unique ability to produce nerve growth factor (NGF) and reduce inflammation in the brain, it has the potential to reverse or manage these neurodegenerative diseases.

protecting the brain

A clinical study looked into this matter and took 30 subjects in their 50s-80s with cognitive impairments, splitting them into 2 groups. The treatment group received 250mg of the powder 3 times a day, and after 16 weeks, those taking the treatment showed significant improvements in their cognitive function. 

Other research has also shown how much more interconnected neurons in the brain become when lions mane is introduced. The neurons extend much longer and are healthier, which protects them from declining into neurodegenerative diseases. 

study images showing interconnecting neurons from lions mane mushroom

Fighting Inflammation

Inflammation is a biological response present in every single one of us. It can be a normal response to injury and infection. However in large amounts, it can lead to many chronic diseases.

A building body of evidence suggests that inflammation may in fact be the cause of several chronic diseases, especially since there appear to be high levels of it found in all illnesses.

Lion’s mane has a potent anti-inflammatory effect that allows it to decrease the chances of chronic illness. It’s also theorised that because its compounds hericenones and erinacines can enter the blood-brain barrier, it can reduce brain inflammation that causes cognitive impairments. 

Supporting Gut Health

There are many benefits lion mane has demonstrated for our brains, but it can also benefit what’s referred to as our second brain- the gut.

Our guts have what’s called a gut-brain axis because the two of them are in constant communication with each other. This link is so powerful that research is beginning to show that it may influence mental illnesses and that treating gut issues can reduce the symptoms of these illnesses. 

Studies have shown that one of lion’s mane’s benefits to the gut is its ability to reduce the size of ulcers in the stomach. These ulcers are often caused by their an overgrowth of H. pylori (a pathogen), or damage to the mucous layer of the stomach- which can sometimes happen from some prescription medication like NSAIDs.

Other studies have also shown that the consumption of lion’s mane could potentially regulate all the bacteria and microbes, which ultimately has an immune-boosting effect.

bacteria in the gut

Is lions mane safe?

Lion’s mane is regarded generally as safe. While there aren’t many clinical studies looking specifically into its safety, there hasn’t been a single adverse reaction in rat studies, even at high dosages.

Although if you’re taking medication, pregnant, or have a history of allergies to mushrooms, it would be best to consult with your doctor first before purchasing the product.

Where to buy Lion’s Mane Mushroom In Australia

There are some things to look out for when buying lion’s mane mushroom in Australia. 

For starters, mushrooms can accumulate heavy metals and toxins when grown in high pollution and dirty water environments. It’s important to get your product from a company that grows the mushrooms in pristine conditions with good water.

You also want to get lion’s mane organic to avoid any pesticides or harmful chemicals which may interfere with its medicinal properties. However, make sure the company is certified organic because that’s the only way to be sure that it’s actually grown under the tight regulations required for organic growing. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says that “Organic products intended for the Australian market are not required to be certified to be labelled ‘organic’.”

At Forest Superfoods, our Lion’s mane mushroom is grown right here in Australia and in pristinely clean environments to make it certified organic.

lions mane mushroom australia

We also freeze-dry our mushrooms to ensure the most nutrient-dense product possible, so you get the maximum benefit from this medicinal mushroom. This method is almost nutritionally equivalent to consuming the mushrooms fresh from the forest. 

Other companies spray dry their product as it’s cheaper, but since we prioritise giving our customers a high-quality product, we don’t mind spending the additional expense. 

The final benefit is that our mushrooms come with the mycelium included. Most other companies will strictly use the fruiting body, but this leaves out the unique benefits found exclusively in the mycelium. 

Mycelium has unique medicinal properties such as strong anti-viral agents, can aid digestion, and promote beneficial bacteria. 

The world-renowned mycologist Paul Stamets recommends growing mushrooms with mycelium and says, “In my scientific opinion, mushroom products not incorporating mycelium are at a decided disadvantage, given the results of recent research”. 

How to consume Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s mane can come in the form of extracts or powders. Here at Forest Superfoods, we like to make our products as close to nature as possible, and so our lion’s mane comes in a grounded up powder so it’s as holistic as possible.

You can mix the powder in hot water to make a delicious tea infused with all of the mushroom’s medicinal benefits. 

It can also be included in healthy smoothy recipes to give your smoothies an extra kick of medicinal goodness. 

A new feature we have here at Forest Superfoods is mixing the mushroom in coffee to give an amazing start to the day. The energetic boost of the coffee combined with the mind-stimulating calmness of lion’s mane has a uniquely stimulating effect, allowing a start to your morning that’s on a whole other level

We also include 4 times more lion’s mane mushroom than any other brand, so you can be certain you’re getting your money’s worth on mushroom coffee in Australia that isn’t just an overpriced coffee bean. Click here to try it today.

lions mane mushroom coffee in australia

Conclusion

Who would have guessed that a mushroom growing off of trees could be so beneficial to the brain.

It’s no wonder why some people call it nutrients for neurons, given its literally able to maintain the health of our brain’s neuronal networks.

Whether you’re looking for a boost in brainpower that lets you focus more during your day, want to treat problems with mood, or simply want to maintain your precious brain’s health, then lion’s mane may just be what you’re looking for.

Click here to try our lion’s mane mushroom in Australia, and see what this brain boosting mushroom can do for you.

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