Lion’s Mane Mushroom: Memory Enhancer

Lion’s mane is a mushroom that people have been using for centuries for a variety of health purposes. Research shows that the Lion's Mane Mushroom mushrooms has the ability to improve memory as well as various other cognitive benefits. Due to the rise in Demand, Lion's Mane has become available in various forms, making it more convenient to use, such as powder and in capsules. Before adding Lion's Mane Mushroom to your routine, it is important to understand the benefits of lion's mane as well as determine if it is the best option for the benefit you are looking for.


The Benefits Lion's Mane has on Memory


What is the Lion's Mane Mushroom?

Lion's Mane is a type of fungus that grows in Europe, North America and Asia.  Lion's Mane Mushroom is commonly used for gourmet cooking, but it is also very well known for its medicinal properties due to the various compounds that it contains. 

These mushrooms can be cultivated or found in the wild. When harvesting Lion's Mane Mushroom, it will be transferred to multiple petri dishes to ensure that the strain is as pure as possible. This helps to ensure that the end product, no matter the form, it as clean and pure as possible to deliver the most nutrients possible.

The benefits, which have been reported in several studies, have ;led to a steady increase in demand of this mushroom. With demand having increased, the mushroom has become endangered in some parts of the world and a "red list" has been established to indicate countries where the mushroom is in fact endangered, Thus, when purchasing Lion's Mane, always ensure that you purchase in a sustainable way - hence not from a red listed country. Find out which countries are Red Listed here

How Does Lion’s Mane Improve Memory?

The ability to improve memory is one of the primary benefits of the Lion's Mane Mushroom. Research has shown that Lion's Mane Mushroom can do a lot more than only improving memory, and has other significant cognitive abilities.

We will explore some of these benefits in this article. 

Hericium Erinaceus Compounds

Lion's Mane Mushroom contains a variety of compounds, of which many contain neurotrophic properties to improve memory and boost cognitive function. Neurotrophic factors play a critical role in encouraging the differentiation and growth of neurons. There are two primary compounds in the Lion's Mane Mushroom that have been shown to improve memory and boost cognitive function, including erinacines and hericenones, according to a studyBecause of its anti-inflammatory properties and promotion of nerve growth factor Hericium Erinaceus has shown great promise for the treatment Motor Dysfunction Diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. 

Although Hericium Erinaceus are the compounds mostly referred to and discussed in relation to cognitive enhancement and improvement, the mushroom is in fact abundant in further bioactive compounds including β-glucan polysaccharides; isoindolinones; sterols; and myconutrients, which all potentially have neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties. 

Nerve Growth Factor

The Nerve growth factor refers to a neuropeptide and neurotrophic factor that assists in the maintenance, survival and growth of mature neurons and the  development of new neurons.

These effects are especially tied to the benefits for plasticity, which is essentially brain cell organization. Research shows that as you get older, there is a decline in nerve growth factor and hence cognitive alterations.

Alterations in NGF levels have been linked to neurodegenerative disorders and psychiatric disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, depression and substance abuse. 

Preventing Cognitive Dysfunction

Research shows that the Lion's Mane Mushroom may not only improve memory, but can also help to treat or prevent dementia. A study performed on mice explored this mushroom’s impact on memory and learning deficits associated with the amyloid peptide. Over the course of 23 days, the mice received a dose of the Lion's Mane Mushroom on specific days. Using a novel-object recognition test and a maze test, the researchers determined that impairments of spatial short-term and visual recognition memory was prevented. 

A further study analyzed mature adults with have pre-existing mild levels of cognitive impairment. Those given Lion's Mane, received it in a powdered form at a dose of three grams per day, over the course of four months. While consuming the Lion's Mane Mushroom powder, they experienced considerable improved mental functioning. 

Treatment of Motor Dysfunction Diseases

Studies have shown the possibility of the Lion's Mane Mushroom being able improve memory and reduce memory loss symptoms. In a study, performed on mice, results showed prevention the damage that occurs as a result of amyloid-beta plaques. These plaques are present and accumulate when someone has Alzheimer’s disease.

As discussed above, the ability of the Lion's Mane Mushroom to assist in the prevention and treatment of Motor Dysfunction Diseases, is also greatly linked to its ability to boost the NGF and as a result the effects pertaining to the maintenance, survival and growth of mature neurons and the development of new neurons.

Healing from Nerve Injuries

Nerve injuries that affect the brain, can have a significant impact on memory and hence memory loss. Studies have shown the ability of Lion's Mane being able to speed recovery from nervous system injuries by stimulating the growth and repair of nerve cells, hence linked to its ability of stimulating the NGF.

One study analyzed the impacts of Lion's Mane on rats with nervous system injuries. the study concluded that among the rats who received the Lion's Mane Mushroom, they experienced a reduction in their recovery time ranging from 23 %  to 41 %.

What is the Recommended Dosage?

The general recommended dose for Lion's Mane Mushroom is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each day. 

However, some studies have also increased this dosage to about 2.3 grams daily for rats. No adverse effects were experienced and thus even at a higher dosage, Lion's Mane studies have demonstrated being safe. 

How to Use Lion’s Mane to Improve Memory

There are several ways to use Lion's Mane Mushroom. One of the most used ways, is to add Lion's Mane Powder to coffee, due to its fine consistency and being able to dissolve easily. Lion’s Mane Mushroom Powder can however also easily be incorporated into smoothie bowls, smoothies and sprinkled over daily  foods.

If you are looking to incorporate Lion's Mane into your daily routine, a coffee or latte, may be the best way. See this recipe for directions. 

In conclusion, research has shown that the Lion's Mane Mushroom can help to improve memory, mainly as a result of boosting the NGF. We have seen that the compounds Hericium Erinaceus is where the magic lies and is one of the main reasons that this mushroom is so special.

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