Lion's mane (Hericium Erinaceus) and Cordyceps are nature's most potent medicinal fungi. Today they are some of the most sought-after and hugely popular mushrooms, providing numerous health benefits.
If you intend to take the two functional mushrooms together, you may wonder what happens when mixing them. You may ask, "does the combination stack up their benefits?" Do you enjoy antioxidants from each mushroom extract, or do you get the benefit from both at the same time?
In this detailed guide, our primary focus will be on answering these questions. We will help you understand how the two mushrooms can help you.
Lion's Mane Vs. Cordyceps: What Sets Them Apart?
Lion's mane and Cordyceps are two mushrooms that are worlds apart. Not only do they look and taste different, but people also use these mushrooms for different purposes.
Lion's mane does wonders for your brain, increasing the production of the nerve growth factor to boost your cognitive function. On the other hand, Cordyceps boosts exercise performance and the immune system. Combining these two powerful medicinal mushrooms will fire up your brain and body cells.
Read More: See how Lion's mane neurogenesis benefits promote the production of the nerve growth factor.
If you're considering adding these mushrooms to your daily life, let's first understand what's unique to each of these mushrooms. Then we will compare Cordyceps vs. Lion's mane and the benefits of the mushrooms when taken together!
Lion's Mane Mushroom Benefits
One of the most potent medicinal mushrooms, the Lion's mane mushroom is a shaggy-looking white mushroom with a taste comparable to a crab or lobster.
The mushroom, native to the cool climates of the Northern hemisphere, is a powerful nootropic that supports the nervous system and mental health.Lion's mane is typically used by people looking for a mental edge and cognitive benefits.
Read More:See all the best mushrooms for brain health.
The Lion's mane medicinal mushroom extracts have a high concentration of polysaccharides, beta-glucans, antioxidants, and other potent substances that help:
- Recover from nervous system injuries.
- Protect against Alzheimer's disease.
- Enhance memory and learning
- Improve symptoms(1) of dementia, depression, and anxiety.
- Combat inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Protect(2) the liver and intestines
- Boost the immune system.
- Protect against cancer.
- Lower blood pressure
Below, we will examine the main health benefits of Lion's mane:
1. Lion's Mane Treats ADHD
ADHD is a long-term condition that impairs one's capacity for processing information, paying attention, and self-control. It is one of the most widespread neurological illnesses affecting children and adults.
While no specific studies have looked at the direct relationship between ADHD and Lion's mane, most benefits of Hericium Erinaceus help patients dealing with ADHD.
The mushroom increases the production of neurons in the brain. Encouraging the production of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF), Lion's mane has a very positive impact on ADHD. The lack of adequate amounts of NGF and BDNF increases the risk of ADHD and its symptoms.
2. Lion's Mane Treats Depression
Major depressive disorder, usually referred to as depression, is a serious but relatively common mental health condition. Depression symptoms adversely impact your thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
A research study conducted in 2018(3) showed that Lion's mane increases the happy hormone—dopamine—in human beings. The Lion's mane benefits for depression also come from the mushroom's ability to increase the production of healthy neurons and regenerate brain cells.
3. Lion's Mane Treats Anxiety
The benefits of Lion's mane supplement for anxiety result from the mushroom's ability to increase the production of the NGF and BNDF. Moreover, taking Lion's mane before bed promotes better sleep.
A research study published in 2022(4) concluded that non-pharmacological sleep therapies could reduce anxiety and sleep-related thoughts, and these effects may be more potent in anxious patients. The researchers indicated that this has therapeutic ramifications for how we think about using sleep therapies to treat anxiety.
4. Lion's Mane Protects Against—And Fights—Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative brain ailment associated with aging. It results from losing nerve cells in the substantia nigra, a brain region.
Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls bodily movement, decreases due to this. Lion's mane extract has a beneficial impact on both the brain and nervous system—this protects and treats neurodegenerative diseases.
Human studies and animal studies have shown that Lion's mane mushroom products are effective in reversing the harmful effects of Parkinson's disease and improving immune function.
Read More: See Lion's mane benefits for Parkinson's disease.
A research study conducted in 2015(5) determined that in the brain, spinal cord, and retinal cells, Lion's mane mushroom extract at 50 g/mL induced neurite outgrowth at 20.47 percent, 22.47 percent, and 21.70 percent.
Considering that Parkinson's disease results from unbalanced neurotransmitters, this study shows that Lion's mane helps with Parkinson's disease.
5. Lion's Mane Offers Testosterone Benefits
The male hormone, testosterone, is a highly vital hormone for men. Low hormone levels can lead to various health conditions, including depression and anxiety, and can increase the risk of cardiovascular health problems.
While there are no direct research studies investigating the relationship between Lion's mane and testosterone, the benefits offered by Lion's mane directly impact testosterone levels—they increase the hormone.
6. Lion's Mane Helps With Neuropathy
Neuropathy affects more than 20 million Americans and causes nerve damage. This nerve damage can result from various health problems, including diabetes, trauma, and autoimmune diseases.
For people with neuropathy, Lion's mane mushroom supplement can treat the condition. Animal studies have shown that the mycelium and fruiting body of Lion's mane mushroom can help heal and regenerate nerve cells.
Cordyceps Mushroom Benefits
Cordyceps is a parasitic fungus that grows on caterpillar larvae. The mushroom, native to the Himalayan region, increases endurance and energy and works well for athletes. It has a mild mushroom-like taste that ends on a sweet note.
Here are some of the benefits(7) of using cordyceps:
- Inhibits the growth and spread of cancer cells
- Enhances energy through its anti-fatigue properties
- Exerts anti-aging effects
- Lowers blood sugar and lipid levels
- Improves heart health
- Has anti-fungal actions
- Has anti-inflammatory effects
- Modulates the immune system
- Increases the metabolism
- Lowers blood pressure
- Combats oxidant injuries
- Has anti-allergic effects
- Aids the synthesis of neurotransmitters in the brain
Below, we will take a deeper look at some of the benefits of cordyceps:
1. Cordyceps Is Used As A Cancer Treatment
Cordyceps reduces tumor growth rate. Also, the mushroom has powerful anti-inflammatory properties which fight chronic inflammation. Since inflammation is one of the leading precursors to cancer, the ability of the caterpillar fungus to reduce inflammation reduces cancer risk.
Research shows that the mushroom can treat a different cancers, including:
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Skin cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Bladder cancer
The mushroom also fights the side effects of conventional tumor treatment methods, including chemotherapy.
Read More: Learn the cordyceps benefits for cancer.
2. Cordyceps Boosts Libido
Cordyceps is known as an aphrodisiac in traditional Chinese medicine. It offers advantages like an increased orgasm, arousal, and sexual potency.
A research study performed in 2016(8) showed that cordyceps can help fix a wide range of sexual disorders, from problems with orgasms to low sperm count.
Read More: Learn about cordyceps Libido benefits.
3. Cordyceps Fights High Blood Pressure
A research study conducted in 2010(9) showed that cordyceps might effectively treat high blood pressure in adults.
The mushroom can also help prevent heart disease. The beneficial compounds in cordyceps prevent heart disease since it is one of the complications of having high blood pressure for an extended period.
4. Cordyceps Helps With Diabetes
The CDC data(10) shows that 1 in 10 Americans—about 37.3 million Americans—has diabetes. Research shows that these people can benefit from cordyceps. The cordyceps mushroom powder features insulin-like properties that can help lower blood sugar levels.
What Are The Benefits Of Lion's Mane And Cordyceps When Taken Together?
When you take Lion's mane and cordyceps together, it is only natural for their benefits to add up. When you use cordyceps and Lion's mane together, you will get the health and nutritional benefits that are particular to each mushroom in one go.
However, some specific properties are similar to both mushrooms. These effects can be further potentiated by a Lion's mane cordyceps combination.
In the following section, we will examine the shared cordyceps Lion's mane benefits:
1. Lion's Mane And Cordyceps Offer Adaptogen Benefits
Both mushrooms are adaptogens and help our bodies adapt to stress. They reduce the negative effect of physical, chemical, and biological stress and increase the body's resistance to it.
Read More: See how Lion's mane fights depression and stress.
2. Cordyceps And Lion's Mane Support The Immune System
Likewise, both Cordyceps and Lion's mane has the potential to support the body's immune system. Lion's mane reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, as does Cordyceps. When combined, these effects will help you achieve stronger and better-functioning immunity.
3. Lions Mane Cordyceps Offer Cancer Benefits
Similarly, each of these mushrooms can help fight cancer cells. Lion's mane(13) can kill cancer cells and slow their spread.
Read More: See Lion's mane cancer benefits.
In the same way, Cordyceps has also inhibit the growth of many types of human cancer cells. These mushrooms build a fortress against cancer when you combine them.
4. Lion's Mane Cordyceps Can Be Used Pre-Workout
When you use Lion's mane pre-workout, the ingredients in the mushroom provide an energy boost that lasts through the entire workout session. The mushroom also fights fatigue, allowing people to work out for more extended periods.
Cordyceps offers almost similar benefits. Cordyceps provides an energy boost and reduces fatigue.
5. Cordyceps Lion's Mane Offer Protection Against Cardiovascular Diseases
Both Lion's Mane and cordyceps have a positive impact on high blood pressure.
When the two mushrooms' benefits on blood circulation are combined, they reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Read More: See Lion's mane high blood pressure benefits.
6. Lion's Mane Cordyceps Help With Diabetes
Lion's mane and cordyceps can help people with diabetes maintain ideal blood sugar levels. The mushrooms reduce the risk of diabetes complications.
7. Lion's Mane And Cordyceps Prevent Oxidative Damage
Both Lion's mane and cordyceps are antioxidants. These prevent oxidative damage in the human body.
It is worth noting that Oxidative stress can damage cells, proteins, and DNA, causing aging. Therefore, the ability of the two mushrooms to fight oxidation offers anti-aging properties.
Things To Keep In Mind When Taking The Two Medicinal Mushrooms
Research has shown that Lion's mane mushroom and Cordyceps lower blood pressure, sugar, and lipid(14) levels. While these are undoubtedly beneficial, combining the two may potentiate the hypoglycemic and hypotensive effects. You may have deficient blood sugar levels (especially if you have diabetes) and extremely low blood pressure.
Always consult your healthcare provider if you plan to take the mushrooms together or are already taking other medications with similar effects.
How Can I Take Cordyceps With Lion's Mane Mushroom?
Medicinal mushroom supplements like Lion's mane mushroom and Cordyceps are available in easy-to-use powder form. Add a scoop of each superfood fungus into a cup of hot water, teas, or your favorite juice, soups, post-workout smoothies, or recipes. Alternatively, you can use Cordyceps in the morning and Lion's mane in the evening.
You must pay attention to their respective dosages when taking the two mushrooms to avoid side effects.
Lion's mane and Cordyceps are two unique and popular medicinal mushrooms. By combining the two mushrooms, you can benefit from both the brain-health-boosting effects of Lion's mane with the Cordyceps' ability to enhance physical activity.
The mushrooms can also strengthen your immune system, help you adapt to stress, and fight against cancer cells. Combining the mushrooms is easy as they are available in easy-to-use forms.
Have you used Lion's mane or cordyceps before? What benefits did you get? Let us know in the comments.
- Therapeutic Potential of Hericium erinaceus for Depressive Disorder (1)https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/1/163
- Antioxidant and hepatoprotective potential of endo-polysaccharides from Hericium erinaceus grown on tofu whey (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22982810/
- Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Produces Antidepressant-Like Effects through Modulating BDNF/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β Signaling in Mice, (3)https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/19/2/341
- Do non-pharmacological sleep interventions affect anxiety symptoms? A meta-analysis, (4)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34331373/
- Lion's Mane, Hericium erinaceus and Tiger Milk, Lignosus rhinocerotis (Higher Basidiomycetes) Medicinal Mushrooms Stimulate Neurite Outgrowth in Dissociated Cells of Brain, Spinal Cord, and Retina: An In Vitro Study, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26853959/
- Healing effect of Hericium erinaceus in experimental peripheral neuropathy model. (6)https://web.p.ebscohost.com/abstract?direct=true&profile=ehost&scope=site&authtype=crawler&jrnl=13078798&AN=137698148&h=gtdI8Ql50P8cXjVECtD%2f2e32f7wotlBbi1rOyMs1GDUSZcB9MyvowlpmVSx9J3PA8sQ3hJATSpTFVdJW4QrPcg%3d%3d&crl=c&resultNs=AdminWebAuth&resultLocal=ErrCrlNotAuth&crlhashurl=login.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26profile%3dehost%26scope%3dsite%26authtype%3dcrawler%26jrnl%3d13078798%26AN%3d137698148
- Cordycepin for Health and Wellbeing: A Potent Bioactive Metabolite of an Entomopathogenic Medicinal Fungus Cordyceps with Its Nutraceutical and Therapeutic Potential, (7)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7356751/
- Review of Naturopathy of Medical Mushroom, Ophiocordyceps Sinensis, in Sexual Dysfunction (8)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791983/
- Cordyceps sinensis for hypertension in adults, (9)https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD008894/full
- The Facts, Stats, and Impacts of Diabetes, (10)https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/diabetes-facts-stats.html
- Studies on the Antidiabetic Activities of Cordyceps militaris Extract in Diet-Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Sprague-Dawley Rats, (11)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3967809/
- A Contemporary Treatment Approach to Both Diabetes and Depression by Cordyceps sinensis, Rich in Vanadium (12)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2887337/
- Hericium erinaceus: an edible mushroom with medicinal values, (13)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23735479/
- Yamabushitake mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) improved lipid metabolism in mice fed a high-fat diet (14)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20622452/