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< class="article__title title chaga-and-lion-s-mane-8-things-you-should-know"> Chaga And Lion’s Mane: 8 Things You Should Know!>
Chaga And Lion’s Mane: 8 Things You Should Know!
May 08, 22
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Author: Sony Sherpa

Chaga And Lion’s Mane: 8 Things You Should Know!

  • by Sony Sherpa
  • |
  • 10 min read

Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) and Lion's mane mushroom (Hericium Erinaceus) are two of the most popular medicinal mushrooms. These are edible mushrooms, naturally available, and provide an array of health-supporting benefits and numerous nutrition benefits.

Many people opt for either of the two mushrooms, while some may even consider combining them. Then what can you expect when you combine the two powerhouse mushrooms?

Lion's mane is one of the best mushrooms for brain health—it improves memory, fights dementia, prevents Alzheimer's disease, and fights Parkinson's disease. Now, the big question is, will you get similar benefits when you take Chaga? Will you get everything offered by Lion's mane in Chaga mushroom?  

This article will take a closer look at Chaga vs. Lions mane. Keep reading to find out what separates the two functional mushrooms and what features make them a part of the same family.

What Is Chaga Mushroom?

Chaga is a large black fungus with an inner soft orange core. Often classified among popular medicinal mushrooms, the mushroom grows on Birch trees in the cold climate forests of the Northern hemisphere. Despite growing in colder regions, the mushroom is nicknamed the "king of medicinal mushrooms" and offers many medicinal properties. 

Research studies have proven that Chaga improves cancer symptoms and supports the human immune system. Animal studies, for example, have shown that in addition to having anti-inflammatory benefits, the mushroom also eliminates bad cholesterol, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Compounds found in Chaga help older adults maintain their physical and mental health through old age. Research information shows that Chaga improves hair health

You have plenty of options if you are looking for an ideal way to take advantage of Chaga's immune system and mental clarity benefits. It is available in the form of supplements, powders, and teas

These mushroom supplements carry a high concentration of all the bioactive ingredients needed to improve your mental functioning and immune responses, reduce your risk of stomach ulcers, reduce stress, provide mood support, and generate new brain cells. 

What Are The Lion's Mane Mushrooms?

The mane mushroom is an edible medicinal mushroom that resembles the mane of a lion as they grow. Also known as hou tou gu or yamabushitake, these mushrooms are native to Asia, Europe, and North America. 

When it comes to growth, the mane mushroom is commonly found on almost all hardwood trees, including Oak, walnut, beech, maple, and sycamore trees. 

One of the best medicinal mushrooms, Lion's mane helps the body in more than one way. Using Lion's mane pre-workout eliminates fatigue and allows you to enjoy a good workout. Lion's mane is also used for Parkinson's disease, boosting the immune system, fighting brain health issues, and much more. 

You can eat the fruiting bodies of the mushroom or use the extracts as a daily supplement. You can use numerous Lion's mane mushroom recipes when using the fruiting body. 

When using Lion's mane extract, it is recommended that you get the mushroom products from a reputable seller. Some low-quality products may lack the proper nutrients your body needs for natural health. 

Read more: Learn what to look for when buying Lion's mane extract. 

Lion's Mane And Chaga: Similarities?

Now that you understand Chaga's ability and the mane mushroom's ability, you may wonder whether to use one option or the two options. While the quality of the mushroom in your garden will determine the benefits you get from each product, the two mushrooms carry the similarities outlined below: 

Nutritional And Immune System Support

Both the mane mushrooms and Chaga are packed with nutritional and bioactive compounds. The mushrooms are high in vitamins and antioxidants, which fight DNA damage, balance free radicals, prevent oxidant injury, and inhibit cancerous growth.

Taking advantage of Chaga and Lion's mane may help treat cancer. The two mushrooms support immune health, protecting the body from the side effects of conventional cancer treatment methods. Chaga and Lion's mane also fight tumors, preventing their growth and inducing the death of cancer cells.

Read More: Learn how Lion's mane aids cancer treatment.   

Lion's mane and Chaga offer treatment for lifestyle diseases. For example, people have used Chaga for diabetes in the past and have enjoyed an improved lifestyle. Also, Chaga lowers cholesterol levels aiding the treatment of high blood pressure. 

Usage Of The Two Medicinal Mushrooms

Chaga and Lion's mane are edible and can be consumed in their raw, natural form—this will provide the same mental benefits as when used in the form of supplements. 

Chaga and lions mane mushroom species can be used in various forms, making the two some of the most popular medicinal mushrooms. Before using both mushrooms, however, scientific evidence suggests seeking individual medical advice. Although these mushrooms have been used in Asian cultures for thousands of years, they are powerful mushrooms whose dosage needs to be considered. 

Read More: See the ideal Lion's mane dosage

Currently, supplements of both mushrooms are available in the form of powders, capsules, and tinctures, which can be added to food and beverages or taken alone. They can also be steeped in teas to enjoy anti-inflammatory effects and other benefits. 

Health-Promoting Benefits

Chaga and Lion's mane mushrooms have these health benefits:

  • Combats inflammation (1)
  • Makes our immune system (2) stronger
  • Improves heart health (3) and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Lowers blood sugar levels (4)
  • Helps maintain a healthy digestive tract (5)  
  • Anti-bacterial (6) properties 
  • Has anti-tumor (7) activity
  • Have anti-inflammatory properties 
  • Boosts overall physical health 
  • Reduce stress

So, is Chaga the same as the mane mushroom? Certainly not. Both mushrooms are exceptional in their ways. 

Lions Mane Vs Chaga: Differences?

The Lion's mane mushroom is a nootropic fungus that supports brain health and nervous health while Chaga is an adaptogen mushroom. Let's take a closer look at the unique features of the two mushrooms.  

Physical Appearance

Lions mane is a shaggy-looking mushroom with white spines resembling the mane of a lion. Chaga, on the other hand, is a black charcoal-like fungus.

Natural Habitat

Chaga is native to the cold climate of the northern hemisphere, particularly in Finland, Siberia, Russia, and North America. It grows on Alder, Birch, Cherry, and Maple tree, amongst others.

Lions mane is native to North America, Europe, and Asia (mainly Japan and China). It prefers dead hardwoods such as Oak, Beech, and Sycamore.

Taste

Lion's mane has a sea-food-like taste, akin to lobsters and crab. Chaga does not typically taste like other mushrooms. They have a slightly earthy flavor with a subtle hint of bitterness.

Bioactive Compounds

The main bioactive compounds in Lions mane mushroom (8) are hericenones and erinacines. Chaga mushroom (9) contains beta-glucans, betulin, betulinic acid, inotodiol, lanosterol, and trametonolic acid.

Superpower Benefits

Apart from the many benefits already listed here, The mane mushrooms and Chaga mushrooms have one superpower benefit that sets them apart from each other.

Lion's mane mushroom, also known as a Brain tonic or Nature's brain juice, has excellent brain support (10)Lion's mane boosts memory and supports cognitive function, improving focus and productivity. It stimulates the production of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), which enhances the growth and repair of neurons.

Chaga mushrooms belong to the adaptogen family of mushrooms. Some of the Chaga mushrooms' benefits include helping the body respond to stress (11) and maintaining homeostasis. The functional mushrooms increase the tolerance to mental exhaustion and boost resilience.

Can You Mix Chaga And The Mane Mushroom?

While taking one mushroom at a time is perfectly OK,combining Chaga and the mane mushrooms will give you the best of both worlds!

The adaptogenic benefits of Chaga combine with the nootropic benefits of Lions mane mushroom. Taking both functional mushrooms together increases well-being, focus, and energy. The combination of Chaga and Lions mane will holistically support your mental and physical well-being.

You can incorporate these powerful functional mushrooms in a variety of manners. To start your day, mix Chaga and Lion's mushroom powder with your morning cup of coffee. 

If you want to unwind after a long and tiring day, mix a spoonful of each mushroom powder into a cup of hot water. This will help you destress, relax and promote a night of restful sleep. 

Alternatively, you can start the day with Lion's mane organic mushroom powder and end it with Chaga! Irrespective of how you decide to take advantage of the functional mushrooms, you should end up getting maximum benefits from the two mushrooms. 

Final Thoughts

Is Chaga or Lion's mane better? It's a question on many people's minds. 

Both Chaga and Lions mane are functional superfood mushrooms with unique properties. While Lion's mane, dubbed the smart mushroom, has garnered global attention due to its brain-boosting abilities, Chaga is a stress-relieving mushroom. 

Both fungi have incredible health benefits, making them equally preferred in the medicinal mushroom world. And if you want the best of both the mushrooms, combine Chaga and Lions mane!

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References

  1. Evaluation of Selected Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms for Antioxidant and ACE Inhibitory Activities, (1)https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/464238/ 
  2. Medicinal mushrooms as a source of antitumor and immunomodulating polysaccharides, (2)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00253-002-1076-7 
  3. Inhibitory Effect onIn Vitro LDL Oxidation and HMG Co-A Reductase Activity of the Liquid-Liquid Partitioned Fractions ofHericium erinaceus (Bull.) Persoon (Lion’s Mane Mushroom), (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24959591/ 
  4. Antihyperglycemic and antilipidperoxidative effects of dry matter of culture broth ofInonotus obliquus in submerged culture on normal and alloxan diabetes mice, (4)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18434051/  
  5. Antioxidant and hepatoprotective potential of endo-polysaccharides fromHericium erinaceus grown on tofu whey, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22982810/ 
  6. Antibacterial Activity of Wild Mushroom Extracts on Bacterial Wilt PathogenRalstonia solanacearum, (6)https://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/10.1094/PDIS-08-14-0812-RE
  7. Hericium erinaceus: an edible mushroom with medicinal values (7)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23735479/ 
  8. Chemistry, Nutrition, and Health-Promoting Properties ofHericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) Mushroom Fruiting Bodies and Mycelia and Their Bioactive Compounds, (8)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26244378/ 
  9. Phytochemical characteristics and hypoglycaemic activity of fraction from mushroomInonotus obliquus, (9)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20355042/
  10. Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild Type Mice (10) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5237458/  
  11. Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity, (11)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991026/
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