Lion's mane mushrooms look precisely the way their name would suggest: a lion's mane. Their fruiting body—the part of the mushroom that grows above ground—is covered in light-colored string-like spines that hang off like hair, giving the mushroom its name and unique appearance.
But, the health benefits from the lion's mane mushroom make it truly interesting. Read on to learn more about these benefits and what they can mean for you.
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Known by the scientific name Hericium Erinaceus, lion's mane mushrooms are part of a group called 'tooth fungi'. They grow during the late summer and fall. They are native to northeast Asia but can also be found in Europe and North America.
Used as part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and revered by Buddhist monks, the lion's mane mushroom is believed to be an almost mystical source of nutrition. The Yamabushi are a sect of Buddhist monks that wear a garment called the "suzukake." Fashioned from many long strands of fur, it bears a striking resemblance to the lion's mane mushroom. This garment most likely accounts for why the mushroom is sometimes referred to as the "yamabushitake."
Hericium Erinaceus is part of a group of compounds known as nootropics. Nootropics are substances believed to support cognitive function and enhance memory.
Lion’s mane mushrooms contain a wide range of naturally occurring bioactive compounds that help stimulate the growth of brain cells. In fact, as little as 3 grams of lion's mane per day has been proven to be enough to improve cognitive function in adults, making them a literal brain food.
Not only can lion's mane support cognitive ability, but studies suggest that lion's mane can restore function in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for emotional regulation and memory. Additionally, the lion's mane mushroom can stimulate the synthesis of nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), two compounds that are essential for the growth, repair, and function of neurons. This gives the mushroom the ability to support the generation of new neural pathways in the brain following injury or illness.
The benefits of lion's mane don't stop with the brain, however. Mushrooms, in general, are known for supporting immune system function by regulating gut health. The Hericium Erinaceus is no different, with polysaccharides and digestive enzymes that promote intestinal mucosal immune activity regulation.
Finally, lion's mane mushrooms have potent antioxidant properties, which likely contribute to the neuroprotective benefits of lion's mane on the brain. Antioxidants counteract tissue damage caused by oxidative stress. And, the combination of anti-oxidant properties and digestive enzymes make lion's mane a powerhouse in improving the function of your stomach and digestive system.
Lion's mane mushrooms have been used as a supplement for centuries, and with good reason. Its nootropic and antioxidant profile, provide the exact kind of benefits that Mdrive wants you to take advantage of.
Lion's mane mushrooms are considered culinary and medicinal mushrooms, though they are unlikely to be found in a grocery store due to their short shelf life. You can sauté them, and their flavor has been compared to seafood like crab and lobster. They can also be dried and made into tea. However, the most common use of the lion's mane mushroom is in supplements designed to help support cognitive function.
Lion's mane mushrooms have been used as a supplement for centuries, and with good reason. Its nootropic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties provide the exact kind of benefits that Mdrive wants you to take advantage of.
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