Mushrooms are considered as nutritionally functional foods, both to use in your cooking as well as physiologically beneficial medicine.
Medicinal food especially mushrooms plays a huge role in Chinese medicine. They have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. They are considered as a part of their everyday diet.
There are about 10,000 species worldwide. But when it comes to identification, Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) are the easiest one to identify, they have a distinctive structure as compared to the other mushrooms.
They are also known as pom pom mushrooms, monkey head and bearded hedgehog mushroom. They grow on hard woods mostly on old or dead broadleaf trees during summers. They are a mass of drooping spines, which hang like little icicles.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Lion’s Mane Muhsroom was valued as a general restorative medicine due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic and immunomodulating properties.
Its effects on the body, truly distinguish it from other medicinal mushrooms which make it an utterly fascinating subject. Chinese medicine concluded that a mushroom of such tenacity and strength must contain incredible medicinal properties.
Lion’s Mane use in History
There’s a long history of how members of the fungi kingdom have positively affected the human’s health and wellness- especially in traditional Chinese medicine.
Lion’s Mane Muhsrooms have been used as a healing modality throughout the recorded history. It has been recognized throughout the decades due to its curative effect on sickness and many other disease. There are no known side effects to this fungi.
History suggests that this fungi was used in traditional Chinese medicine specifically for treating health and brain problems. Aside from their neuroprotective properties, they have also proven successful antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fatigue and anti-aging properties. It also provides benefit to the kidney, heart and stomach as well.
Lion’s Mane Minerals and Vitamins
Many scientific researches, indicates that mushrooms have excellent benefits for mental and physical health. The medicinal properties of Lion’s Mane have a wide range of health and brain benefits.
This white beauty contains a good source of vital minerals and essential vitamins such as zinc, iron, selenium, potassium and all main amino acids. They contain over 32 different bioactive substances.
This mushroom is abundant in bioactive compounds including:
- β-glucan and β -glucoxylan polysaccharides
This nutrients derived from fungi, which potentially have neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties.
These compounds increase the level of nerve growth factor in brain which helps to improve the health, growth, maintenance, and repair of neurons in brain.
Scientists have also discovered it may have applications in treating Alzheimer’s disease and peripheral nerve tissue damage. They are loaded with anti-oxidants which help strengthen the immune system. Furthermore they contain substance like palmitic acid, D-arabinitol and Threitol which were found responsible for regulating lipid and blood sugar levels.
Lion’s Mane is a natural Immune Modulator
Immune system is the host defense system that protects our body against many diseases. Hericium erinaceus offers incredible amazing immune support. Polysaccharides and beta-glucans found in this mushroom, makes them powerful immunomodulators.
They stimulates and induces the maturation of dendritic cells and other different varieties of white blood cells that fight off infections and destroy pathogens. They helps strengthen the immune system while protecting our organs and overall bodily health.
Hericium erinaceus helps balance the overactive auto-immune responses while naturally triggering needed immune responses.
In fact, hericium erinaceus mushroom is also said to fight off the colon cancer by increasing the activity of certain cells that are involved in the immune response.
It also increases resistance and immunity against bacterial infections- combating many of our largest health problems, from cancer to diabetes and from auto-immune diseases to nervous system attacks.
Lion’s Mane protects Against Neurological and Sleep Disorders
Scientists have discovered that the nervous system, hormonal system and immune system are all interconnected and strongly affect each other.
In medicine theory, hericium erinaceus results are notable for containing the compounds that strongly affect the nervous system. It is especially suitable as a nootropic food for the people suffering with anxiety, sleeplessness, or nervous disorders.
It has remarkable effects on the nervous system that distinguish it from the other medicinal mushrooms. They have excellent ability to repair and regenerate neurons in your body, resulting in improved overall cognitive function.
It has been known to reverse and mitigate the effects of such neurological diseases such as, Alzheimer, Parkinson and dementia. Extracts of this wonderful mushroom have also been recommended for epilepsy and spinal irritations.
Protein and other volatile compounds, in this mushroom play a crucial role in maintaining the viability of the neurons and other brain cells, required for the nervous system to function properly. It can be taken every day in a capsule or a powder form without the risk of adverse consequences.
Several different mechanisms and neurological disorders in the central nervous system can hurt the body’s internal clock, which in addition disrupt the sleep pattern,that is why sleep disorders are very much common in the people suffering from neurological disorders.
According to Chinese medicine, Hericium erinaceus mushroom are considered to be the best mushrooms to reach at night. Its adaptogenic properties work to calm the nervous system and ensures a quality and restful sleep. It not only increases the quality and duration of deep and restful sleep but will also allow you to function at peak levels during waking hours.
Lion’s Mane reduces Arthritis
Arthritis is the most common of the autoimmune type illnesses. Millions of people suffer from arthritis, osteoporosis, deterioration of the musculoskeletal system, and chronic back and joint pain.
Arthritis sufferers spend more than $1 billion annually on drug treatment. Hericium erinaceus can be an effective way to achieve consistent remission in such patients.
It improves blood circulation which could mean much for those suffering from arthritis. They have excellent ability to battle chronic rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis as well.
In diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis it helps clear out the waste deposits that leads to the inflaming the joints. This property of hericium erinaceus allows the body to heal by itself.
Vitamins and minerals found in Hericium erinaceus, can alleviate joint pain and stiffness, and provide arthritis relief. It also restores health to joints that are attacked by arthritis and other bone problems.
Effectiveness with Nerve Regeneration and Respiratory Conditions. It is estimated that over 300 million people suffer with asthma worldwide. As mentioned earlier, hericium erinaceus have an ability to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor.
This production plays an important role in the survival of several nerve cells in the central and peripheral nervous system, it also lowers the early stages of both dementia and Alzheimer disease.
According to the scientists, ‘Nerve Growth Factor’, have excellent affects on airway inflammation and asthma related problems. Studies have shown that low levels of healthy gut bacteria are a prime contributing factor in the development of asthma.
Hericium erinaceus works naturally with your body to boost the immune system and provide you with the healing allergy and asthma relief. It is also well established that many medications use hericium erinaceus to treat asthma.
Lion’s Mane exhibits Anti-carcinogenic Properties
Current research shows, that this functional mushroom have a myriad of healing properties such as inhibiting cancer cell growth and other degenerative diseases. Asian countries such as China and Japan have used hericium erinaceus mushrooms as a folk remedy to help cure cancer.
Beta-glucans are perhaps most vital compounds in their potential to reduce cancerous cells that have invaded the body. Polysaccharides and Beta-glucans present in the hericium erinaceus mushrooms stimulate the immune stem cells in bone marrow and other white blood cells to release anticancer molecules throughout the body. Our body does not produce beta-glucans on its own, so they must be consumed in the foods we eat.
On the other hand researchers also found the extract to be effective at inhibiting tumors and slowing metastasis of existing cancer cells while restoring the immune functions, suppressed due to the cancer.
Hericium erinaceus regulate the immune system, enabling it to better stave off the disease.
Lion’s Mane improves Cardiovascular Health
Hericium erinaceus mushrooms do wonders to mitigate the effects of heart disease.
Lion’s Mane help to improve the blood circulation and heart health. According to many medical studies this mushroom is extremely beneficial to people suffering from high blood pressure and other cardiac problems.
It has also been reported to be effective in the treatment of heart arrhythmias and lung carcinoma.
Furthermore, high blood sugar and high cholesterol levels are considered to be the causative factors of atherosclerosis. Sudies shows that Lion’s Mane lowers both high blood sugar and high cholesterol levels by impeding the absorption of cholesterol in the body.
According to a report in “Heart Disease” by Burton Goldberg, found that hericium erinaceus capsule are an ideal addition to the one’s diet, it has distinctive effects that are ideal for the people suffering from high blood pressure and other heart problems.
Lion’s Mane improves Blood Glucose Levels
Hericium erinaceus has also been reported to have anti-diabetic properties among other therapeutic potentials-the condition normally comes with advancing age.
Many studies show that Lion’s Mane mushrooms stabilize the blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. It works as an adaptogen, meaning it will not only benefit those who are hyperglycemic but can also stabilize blood sugar levels in those who are hypoglycemic.
Many doctors and scientist offered hericium erinaceus mushroom as an alternative treatment for diabetes.
Lion’s Mane eases Skin Problems
Volatile organic compounds present in Hericium erinaceus mushrooms have been known to be highly beneficial to the skin and hair. These compounds show excellent antioxidant and anti-aging properties that makes them ideal candidates for cosmetics products.
Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, of Hericium erinaceus mushrooms helps to treat many skin problems caused by inflammation and excessive free radical activity.
They make an exotic contribution to comprehensive skin care products which are applicable in the treatment of neurodermatitis and sclerodermatitis as well.
Extract of lion’s Mane are even capable of accelerating the skin turnover rate and repairing dermal molecular components that provide structure and elasticity to the skin-they encourage faster skin renewal.
They exhibit excellent anti-aging properties and enhances the enzyme activity and increase the collagen levels in aged skin. Lion’s Mane is also applied topically to the skin for wound healing.
Furthermore, it’s already known that melanin is responsible for the skin pigmentation. It is a key factor in maintaining healthy skin and hair. The more melanin you have, the less sensitive your skin and hair are to sun, free radicals, and toxins in the air.
Addition of this wonderful mushroom can provide you with an ample amount of melanin to make your skin, hair, and nails positively lustrous.
Lion’s Mane promotes Hair Growth
Healthy hair growth needs a good supply of blood to the scalp and hair follicles. It also requires an adequate supply of nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals. Lion’s Mane mushrooms are very nutritive and have some fantastic claims that made it undoubtedly overblown.
Protein content in hericium erinaceus mushroom ensures healthy growth of the hair. Regular consumption of this mushroom supports you with a radiant skin and lusher hair.
In many Asian countries, it is considered as a key factor in maintaining healthy skin and hair. History suggests that it was used in traditional Chinese medicine specifically for treating balding due to premature hair loss.
In fact, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Lion’s Mane eases the stress levels and fight against free radicals which are the main culprits behind the hair loss and balding.
All these actions of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property works in coordination-enabling stronger hair follicles. It stimulates your hair shaft, paving way for a lush and luminous hair growth.
Lion’s Mane Nutritional Profile
Hericium erinaceus has excellent nutritional value, containing 22% protein content, lipids (primarily linoleic acid), carbohydrates 3g/84g, Minerals especially Iron and calcium, and vitamins A, C and B-12.
It also contain an extensive variety of ergosterol, a provitamin (D2) which converts to vitamin D in the presence of sunlight.
A 100g serving of hericium erinaceus provides you with 24 calories.
Benefits of Hericium erinaceus are diverse and may be much broader than we ever thought. As people gain a greater understanding of mushrooms nutritional value, they may still lack the how-to to incorporate them into their daily lives.
There are many ideal forms of hericium erinaceus to incorporate into your daily routine but the two most common forms are the powder and liquid form. These forms ensures a more potent and efficient delivery of nutrients to your body without sacrificing convenience or deliciousness.
It can be purchased in a simple loose powder, capsulated or tablet form. They can be added to the stews, smoothies and soups or even taken straight with water.
This form is considered to be a great way to get the concentrated benefits. It is more potent than the ones that have just been powdered.
This method is a key to obtain the maximum amount of nutrition and health benefits from fungi. Dual extraction is a two-step process: first step is the extraction of alcohol that pulls out the fat-soluble compounds and second one is the hot-water extraction which pulls out the water-soluble compounds from the mushrooms.
Aside from Hericium erinaceus incredible medicinal properties, it’s also truly delicious on its own. It does not need to be extracted or processed into a powder or liquid form before use-you can simply sauté it in butter or oil and enjoy.
Lion’s Mane Dosage
Recommended dose of Hericium erinaceus is 500/1000mg. 1 teaspoon of extract or powder can be incorporated in the diet daily.
John Smith MD