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Lion’s Mane, a non-psychoactive mushroom, also known as “bearded tooth fungus” or “hedgehog mushroom”, has been recognized as a powerful superfood that can enhance brain function and help with a number of other ailments—possibly even reducing incidence of cancer.
Lion’s Mane helps stimulate nerve growth factor production, or NGF, which is a neuropeptide that helps maintain neurons—the cells responsible for helping your brain process and transmit information. Studies have shown that not only is it effective for improving cognitive function for those with mild cognitive impairment; it also helps preserve photographic and short-term memory. The NGF- enhancing action of Lion’s Mane has also been shown to support the autonomic nervous system, the primary system involved in the body’s flight or fight response. Lion’s Mane can reduce feelings of irritability and anxiety, suggesting it may also relieve mild symptoms of depression.
Those who supplement with Lion’s Mane alone have reported that it can also provide a steady boost of energy, without the negative symptoms that can come with stimulants like caffeine. This is because the mushroom is rich in antioxidants that support overall cellular health. Since energy transport takes place between cells, the more antioxidants in your diet, the easier it is for the body to produce energy.
By increasing NGF, the neuropeptide needed to prevent nerve cell damage, Lion’s Mane can also help alleviate symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, etc). It’s even been shown to regenerate damaged cells.
Studies have shown that supplementing with Lion’s Mane can help improve insulin sensitivity, and may help manage type 2 diabetes and other blood sugar imbalances.
The natural antibacterial properties of Lion’s Mane acts as a protectant in the gut, working against digestive conditions such as leaky gut syndrome, while its anti-inflammatory properties can help with IBS, IBD, Crohn’s disease, and colitis. In addition, Lion’s Mane can reduce risk factors for heart disease.