Lion's Mane Mushroom
- Chinese Name Hou Tou Gu 猴头菇
- Latin Name Hericium
- Other Names Yamabushitake, Hedgehog Mushroom, Bearded Tooth Mushroom, Monkey Head Mushroom
- Used Part Fruit Bodies
- Specification Full Spectrum Water Extract Powder
The Lion's Mane mushroom has long been treasured in Japan and China, both as a culinary delicacy and as an important medicinal mushroom. As have studied the Lion's Mane mushroom and have confirmed many diverse and important biological activities.
Recent research indicates that the hot water/alcohol extract of Lion's Mane stimulates the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and promotes the process of myelination.
Hot Water Extracted: Dr. Mark Stengler N.D., in his recent book, The Health Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms, made the observation that all of the independent scientific studies on medicinal mushrooms are based on the use of hot water extracts. All of the references from Traditional Chinese Medicine also recommend hot water extraction when preparing medicinal mushrooms. There are two main factors involved:
Bioavailability - The immune-supporting polysaccharides common to all medicinal mushrooms and mushroom mycelium are found inside of the cell walls. However, the cell walls are made from an indigestible fiber called "chitin", the same material a lobster shell is made of. Hot water extraction is the only clinically validated method for breaking these polysaccharides out of the indigestible cell walls. Even soft mushrooms like shiitake are prepared as a hot water extract or a tea when used medicinally.
Concentration - The immune supporting polysaccharides found in the cell walls of mushrooms and mushroom mycelium comprise only 0.5-2% of the total mass by dry weight (depending on the mushroom), not enough to have even if they were bioavailable. Most hot water mushroom/mycelium extracts are at least a 20:1 concentration. Hot water extraction dissolves the indigestible fiber (chitin), allowing the fiber to be removed from the extract when the water is removed. This process concentrates the polysaccharides to the effective levels identified in the published research.
Hot water extracts (dehydrated) are 50-80 times more potent than tinctures (cold water extracts) or mycelium biomass.
30% beta glucan (polysaccharide)
Lion's mane mushrooms are increasingly studied for their neuroprotective effects. Two novel classes of Nerve Growth Factors (NGFs) -- molecules stimulating the differentiation and of neurons -- have been discovered in this mushroom so far. These derivatives are " and "." The levels of these compounds can vary substantially between strains, based on the measurements our team has conducted.
About a dozen studies have been published on the properties of lion's mane mushrooms since when Dr. Kawagishi first identified NGFs in Japanese samples. Since his original discovery, in and in vivo tests have confirmed that and stimulate nerve regeneration. In 2009, researchers at the Hokuto Corporation and the Isogo Central and Neurosurgical Hospital published a small clinical study. Giving lion's mane to 30 Japanese patients with mild cognitive impairment resulted in significant benefits for as long as they consumed the mushrooms:
subjects of the Yamabushitake group took four 250 mg tablets containing
96 percent of Yamabushitake dry powder three times a day for 16 weeks.
After termination of the intake, the subjects were observed for the next
four weeks. At weeks eight, 12 and 16 of the trial, the Yamabushitake
group showed significantly increased scores on the cognitive function
scale compared with the placebo group. The Yamabushitake group's scores
increased with the duration of intake, but at week four after the
termination of the 16 weeks intake, the scores decreased significantly."
Recently, mice were injected with neurotoxic peptides in an experiment to assess the effects of lion's mane on the type of amyloid plaque formation seen in Alzheimer's patients. The mice were then challenged in a standard "Y" maze, designed for testing memory. Mice fed a normal diet were compared to those supplemented with lion's mane mushrooms. As the peptide-induced plaque developed, the mice lost the ability to memorize the maze. When these memory-impaired mice were fed a diet containing 5 percent dried lion's mane mushrooms for 23 days, the mice performed significantly better in the test. Interestingly, the mice regained another cognitive capacity, something comparable to curiosity, as measured by greater time spent exploring novel objects compared to familiar ones.
The reduction of plaques in the brains of mushroom-fed mice vs. the mice not fed any mushrooms was remarkable. The formation of amyloid plaques is what many researchers believe is a primary morphological biomarker associated with Alzheimer's. Plaques linked to beta amyloid peptide inflame brain tissue, interfere with healthy neuron and are indicated in nerve degeneration.
The medical community is bracing for an increase of patients with Alzheimer's and senile dementia as the baby boomer population ages. Mortality trends related to Alzheimer's are outpacing death rates of many other diseases. This makes preventive and curative treatments of age-related cognitive diseases hot subjects of research. In the past 10 years, deaths from Alzheimer's disease have surged roughly 66 percent, while deaths from other primary diseases have generally declined.
The influence of lion's mane influence on neurological functions may also have other added benefits -- making you feel good. In another small clinical study (n=30), post-menopausal women who consumed lion's mane baked into cookies vs. those without showed less anxiety and depression yet improved in their ability to concentrate (Nagano et al., 2010).
Ingredients: Certified USDA Organic High Potency Lion's Mane Mushroom 20:1 Extract*
Other Ingredients: None
Container Size: 1.8oz. | 50 grams
Serving Size: 1/4 - 1 teaspoon
Directions: Add 1/4 – 1 teaspoon (more or less depending on your taste and experience level) to 8 oz of hot water. Mix and enjoy. This powder can also be added to smoothies, juices, and protein shakes. Lastly, you can just eat the powder right from the bag as it is a pure extract and ready to consume as is.
* This powder is a concentrated extract, this means that the active constituents are extracted from the herb and then concentrated to a 20:1 ratio. The ratio means that 20 pounds of herb concentrated down into one pound of extract!
The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your health practitioner. If you believe you are experiencing a medical or health problem please seek the assistance of a qualified health professional.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.