Eastern medicine has long used medicinal mushrooms as an important part of their traditional treatments for a wide spectrum of illnesses and health concerns. In Western medicine, they are used to develop medications such as antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs and treatments for cholesterol.
Lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus), known alternately as hedgehog mushrooms or pomp om mushrooms, are large, shaggy white mushrooms that grow on hardwood in the wild, and are native to North America, Asia and Europe. They are used in Chinese medicine for their benefits in supporting cognitive and neurological health. The fruiting bodies and mycelium of lion’s mane mushrooms contain polysaccharides that are beneficial to the body, brain and heart. These natural superfoods can help to promote cell turnover, aid digestion, strengthen the immune system and fight cancer.
Host Defense offers a variety of delivery methods for lion’s mane, including capsules, liquid extracts and a powder that’s easy to mix into food or beverages. All of their mushrooms are certified organic, Non-GMO, supported by clinical and in-vitro studies, and 100 percent sustainably cultivated at their own farm in Washington State. That makes Host Defense a great choice when it comes to choosing a lion’s mane supplement! Learn more about the health benefits and medicinal qualities of lion’s mane below.
Lion’s mane may be beneficial for Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other memory-related cognitive functions that we tend to lose as we get older. In animal testing, lion’s mane mushrooms were shown to slow down this cognitive impairment by breaking down the buildup of amyloid beta, the substance that forms the brain plaques that cause the neuronal damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Lion’s mane mushrooms stimulate the activity of the intestinal immune system which is the body’s defense against pathogens that get into the body through the mouth and nose. While research is still ongoing, one study on mice found that giving mice a lion’s mane supplement nearly quadrupled the life span of those injected with a lethal dose of salmonella.
Lion’s mane mushrooms have shown results in helping to fight colon cancer, as extracts were shown to reduce the size of cancerous colon tumors in mice. They also have been shown to help prevent its spread to other parts of the body.
Stress and anxiety relief
In a 2010 study, menopausal women who were given lion’s mane mushroom extract reported less irritability and anxiety, and less difficulty concentrating. Additionally, some animal studies have found that lion’s mane extract can also help regenerate brain cells and improve the functioning of the hippocampus, a region of the brain responsible for processing memories and emotional responses.
While research continues, preliminary findings point to lion’s mane mushrooms being an excellent natural source of relief for a variety of common health concerns. Learn more about other types of medicinal mushrooms (like turkey tail mushrooms and reishi mushrooms) and how they might be able to enhance your wellbeing.