January 05, 2021 4 min read
Lion’s mane has been used in Eastern, specifically Chinese, medicine for hundreds of years. Packed with health benefiting compounds and chemicals - ‘hericium erinaceus’ (the scientific name) is used as a powerful antioxidant and nervous system repair worker. The large, white, shaggy, long-haired mushroom (which somewhat resembles a lion’s mane) also has a stimulating nerve growth factor (NGF) on the brain. Meaning this medicinal powerhouse plant medicine can be used to support growth and survival of new neurons.
Lion’s mane also supports a healthy, functioning immune system and stimulates digestion. Though it is known to be especially proactive with neuronal health benefits. These benefits are also connected to supporting overall brain health, cognitive functioning, and can help to regulate mood and stress levels.
Though human clinical studies are still largely being trialed and investigated, animal and anecdotal studies have shown promising results for lion’s mane mushrooms to be used to treat more serious illnesses such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, anxiety, depression and high cholesterol, inflammatory-related issues.
The studies which have been conducted however, have shown it is possible lion’s mane can help aid cognitive impairment. One study in particular demonstrated the mushroom working against the placebo effect, showing a significant improvement in cognitive tests given to 30 adults suffering from cognitive deficits over a 16 week period.
Whilst chaga is best for immunity health, and reishi the go-to for calming and anxiety relief, lion’s mane is the most popular medicinal mushroom for focus and preventing memory loss.
So, you’re intrigued, perhaps you’ve even sampled and purchased the products available to you, and now you’re wondering ‘how much lion’s mane should I take?’ This article will dive a little deeper into dosages and best practices for consuming the mushroom as a supplement.
When considering, ‘how much lion’s mane should I take’, it’s important to know your personal dosage will depend largely on your age, health, size, sensitivity and also - your reasons for wanting to try lion’s mane in the first place. The more severe the issue you are trying to treat, the more lion’s mane you may need for it to make a noticeable difference.
To give you a rough idea, for general improved immunity and cognitive functioning, a typical lion’s mane dosage is roughly 1000mg per day. Much like other supplements, always consumed alongside a good meal. This also helps to eradicate any feelings of potential nausea. Lion’s mane can be taken up to three times per day, though it is not recommended to exceed this limit. Daily dosages of 250mg to 750mg have also been shown to be effective. We recommend mixing one scoop of lion’s mane powdered mix into your tea or coffee, once a day for a two week period. Be aware of how you feel after two weeks, and you can always increase your dosage to one-two scoops per day.
Due to the connection between lion’s mane and improved cognitive functioning, it is best to think of your lion’s mane supplement as an energy boost in productivity - similar to the reasons why you might enjoy your morning cup of coffee. It helps you feel energised, more alert and focussed. We suggest mixing your powder or elixir anytime from morning until early afternoon for best results.
We also recommend taking lion’s mane on a consistent basis. Much like using any other herbal supplement, or other medicinal mushroom mix, the health benefiting effects will take a little bit of time to build up in your system. In most cases, medicinal mushrooms will take around two weeks before you may start noticing a difference.
If you’re thinking about, ‘how much lion’s mane should I take’, It’s just as important to consider the length of time you want to commit to taking it for. You could even keep a journal to see how it is making a difference, and become more aware of the subtle changes you might notice.
Although lion’s mane is generally well tolerated, with very few side effects noted, it is advised to avoid it if you are pregnant, due to lack of studies in this area. If you suffer from allergies, asthma or you are at least two weeks away from surgery, it may also be best to consult your doctor first, before consuming any lion’s mane products.In Chinese medicine, the mushrooms can be consumed and enjoyed raw, cooked, dried or soaked in water - usually to be consumed as a tea. We recommend adding one scoop of powdered Lion’s Mane Mix into your favourite mug and mixing with hot water, before adding in your morning tea or coffee. It is also possible to add this mix into a breakfast smoothie or lunchtime soup, if you wanted to create some variation. The same concept can be applied with a Lion’s Mane Elixir Stick, which are designed to be a little more ‘on the go’ - great for travelling, or busy mornings.
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