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< class="article__title title what-we-know-about-lions-mane-and-adderall-for-adhd"> What We Know About Lion's Mane And Adderall For ADHD>
What We Know About Lion's Mane And Adderall For ADHD
Feb 17, 23
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

What We Know About Lion's Mane And Adderall For ADHD

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 15 min read
What We Know About Lion's Mane And Adderall For ADHD

Lion's Mane and Adderall are recognized for their cognitive-enhancing effects but differ significantly in their origins and potential side effects. Lion's Mane is an edible mushroom traditionally used in Asian medicine for its neuroprotective and cognitive benefits. It stimulates nerve growth factor synthesis, potentially improving memory and mental clarity.

On the other hand, Adderall is a prescription medication primarily used to treat ADHD. It contains amphetamine salts, which increase focus, attention, and energy levels. However, it can cause side effects like increased heart rate, insomnia, and dependence, especially in long-term use.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects cognitive function in children and adults. It is characterized by persistent inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with daily life. 

Research suggests that Lion's Mane, a traditional Chinese medicine, enhances brain function by promoting neurogenesis and increasing neurotransmitters in the brain, making it a potential nootropic for ADHD. Adderall, a stimulant medication, effectively treats ADHD symptoms by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine. While there is no conclusive evidence on the combination of Lion's Mane and Adderall, anecdotal evidence suggests they may work well together. 

This guide will explore how combining Lion's Mane and Adderall can benefit people with ADHD. Moreover, we will answer your frequently asked questions about Lion's Mane and how this unique fungus can help your overall brain health. 

What is Lion's Mane?

What Is Lion's Mane?

Lion's Mane, scientifically known as Hericium Erinaceus, is a unique, edible fungus. This medicinal mushroom, traditionally found in North America, Europe, and Asia, is characterized by its long, cascading spines that resemble a lion's Mane. 

Interesting Read: Learn about Lion's mane look-alikes.

The use of Lion's mane mushrooms in traditional medicine, particularly in China and Japan, dates back centuries as a natural treatment for various health conditions, including cognitive health.

The Medicinal Properties of Lion's Mane

Nerve Growth Factor Synthesis

One of the critical benefits of Lion's Mane is its ability to stimulate nerve growth factor synthesis. This process—known as Lion's mane neurogenesis—is critical for maintaining and improving brain function, a quality that makes it a popular nootropic supplement. In addition, this property is thought to impact brain chemistry, potentially offering benefits for those with mental health disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Cognitive Enhancement

Lion's Mane is widely recognized for its brain-boosting properties. It has been studied(1)for its potential to support cognitive functions, particularly in individuals with mild cognitive impairment. The effects of Lion's Mane on cognition could make it an ideal natural choice for those looking to boost their focus, memory, and mental clarity.

Other Health Benefits

Aside from its cognitive health benefits, Lion's Mane also supports the immune system. In addition, regular consumption of Lion's mane mushroom, either in culinary use or as Lion's mane supplement, is believed to enhance immune responses, providing further health benefits.

Scientific Studies Supporting the Benefits of Lion's Mane

Numerous scientific studies support the benefits of Lion's Mane, mainly its potential to alleviate symptoms associated with neurological conditions. For instance, one study found that(2) Lion's Mane could help alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. In addition, another research found that(3) the effects of Lion's Mane could benefit those seeking herbal supplements to improve overall cognitive health.

What is Adderall?

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription medication consisting of two stimulant drugs: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. This amphetamine, called Adderall, was approved by the FDA in 1996. 

Its primary medical use is to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) specifically, but it's also prescribed for narcolepsy, a condition characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness.

The Effects of Adderall

Cognitive Enhancement

One of the main reasons Adderall is prescribed is its ability to enhance cognitive functions. By altering the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain, Adderall stimulates the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control, helping to improve focus, attention, and organization. In this way, it can improve brain function, particularly in individuals with ADHD who may have a different brain chemistry than those without the disorder.

Other Health Implications

Beyond its effects on cognition, Adderall can impact other aspects of health. For example, it can affect mood and energy levels, and it can also suppress appetite. Despite these potential benefits, it's important to note that these effects can vary based on environmental factors, individual health status, and dosage.

The Potential Risks and Side Effects of Adderall

While Adderall can be effective in managing ADHD symptoms and enhancing cognitive functioning, it carries potential risks and side effects. It's a potent stimulant, and misuse can lead to serious health problems like heart disease and mental disorders like anxiety and depression. In addition, long-term use can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication.

Furthermore, typical side effects can include insomnia, dry mouth, increased heart rate, and mood changes. Therefore, Adderall should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional, and ADHD patients need to be monitored regularly while on this medication.

Scientific Studies Comparing Lion's Mane and Adderall

Scientific Studies Comparing Lion's Mane and Adderall

Currently, limited direct scientific studies are comparing Lion's Mane vs. Adderall. However, both have been individually studied for their impacts on cognitive function and ADHD. 

The neuroprotective effects of Lion's mane mushroom help promote brain health and self-control, which can benefit those with ADHD. On the other hand, Adderall is a proven and widely used treatment for ADHD, with its efficacy well-documented in numerous studies.

Similarities Between Lion's Mane and Adderall

Both Lion's mane mushrooms and Adderall share a common effect: they both have the potential to enhance cognitive function. This can mean improved focus, memory, and overall mental clarity, which can help individuals perform better in tasks that require intense mental effort. 

Additionally, both have been reported to have some mood regulation effects. Therefore, they can potentially help improve feelings of well-being and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Lion's Mane Vs. Adderall: How Do They Fight ADHD And Which One Is Better?

Lion's Mane Vs. Adderall: How Do They Fight ADHD And Which One Is Better?

Lion's Mane and Adderall are two different substances that work in different ways to address the symptoms of ADHD. If you are thinking of using one or the other, you will be interested in knowing how these options measure against each other. 

Lion's Mane Promotes Neurogenesis And Fights Inflammation

Lion's Mane contains compounds(4) that stimulate neurogenesis. This process increases the growth of new brain cells and the production of certain neurotransmitters. 

Lion's Mane enhances the production of acetylcholine, brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF), and nerve growth factor (NGF). The emergence of the primary symptoms of ADHD has been linked to(5) changes in BDNF activity. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties of amycenone (6) in Lion's Mane are responsible for improved attention.

These Lion's Mane effects may help to improve focus, memory, and overall cognitive function, which are areas that people with ADHD may struggle with.

Read More: See our detailed guide on how Lion's Mane fights ADHD.

Adderall Works As A Stimulant

Adderall, on the other hand, is an amphetamine medication that belongs to the class of stimulants. Like coffee stimulates the central nervous system, Adderall causes people with ADHD to have more brain activity. It works by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which can help to improve focus, attention, and impulse control. 

Adderall Has More Side Effects

Lion's Mane is a natural supplement generally considered safe but has not been extensively studied for its effects on ADHD. Adderall is a prescription medication that can be effective in treating ADHD, but it also has a risk of side effects.

Some of the adverse effects of using Adderall include anxiety, headaches, insomnia, loss of appetite, and more. Adderall can also be addictive and habit-forming, making it a less compelling option for people with addiction issues.

Read More: See why Lion's Mane is neither addictive nor habit-forming.

Use Adderall For Rapid Relief And Lion's Mane To Avoid Side Effects

Adderall is the best option if you want rapid relief and are prepared to put up with any potential side effects. On the other hand, Lion's Mane is preferable if you want to try an all-natural method without adverse side effects.

Even a low Lion's mane dosage helps improve focus and concentration. You can safely consume 2 to 3 grams of Lion's Mane daily.

Due to the seriousness of Adderall's side effects, many people with ADHD dislike using the medication or may be reluctant to do so. However, since Lion's mane mushrooms have no significant adverse effects, they may also function as an Adderall substitute with a far less drastic impact on the body.

Today, many people with ADHD use natural supplements instead of Adderall, while some combine medication with nootropics like Lion's mane extract. When combined with other ADHD treatments, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (psychotherapy), Lion's mane product can be one o the best alternative treatments to dextroamphetamine like Adderall. 

However, before making any changes to your treatment, see your doctor or other healthcare professionals for professional advice on using other options to treat the ADHD condition. 

Can You Take Lion's Mane Mushroom With Adderall?

Can You Take Lion's Mane Mushroom With Adderall?

There is no conclusive research on whether Lion's Mane can be taken safely and effectively with Adderall. However, no reports suggest harmful interactions between the two substances. Therefore, you can take Lion's Mane with Adderall. 

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that Lion's Mane may help to mitigate some of the side effects of Adderall, such as anxiety and restlessness. In addition, Lion's Mane may also provide additional benefits for cognitive function that can complement the effects of Adderall.

Read More: See how Lion's Mane fights anxiety.

However, it is essential to note that vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplements may interact with Adderall. The active components in Adderall are alkaline, which interacts poorly with acids, whereas vitamin C is an acid. Thus, vitamin C might prevent the absorption of Adderall. You should err on the side of caution and take your Adderall about an hour before you eat breakfast because ascorbic acid may be present in many foods.

FAQs About Lion's Mane And Adderall

Does Lion's Mane Interact With Medications?

Lion's Mane may interact with certain medications, so it's essential to consult a healthcare provider before taking it. For example, Lion's Mane has blood-thinning effects, so it may interact with blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin, clopidogrel, or aspirin, increasing the risk of bleeding. 

Lion's Mane may also interact with immunosuppressant drugs, as it may increase the immune system's activity. Therefore, individuals taking immunosuppressant medications should avoid taking Lion's Mane. 

Read More: See our detailed guide on Lion's mane drug interactions for more information.

Is Lions Mane A Stimulant?

No, Lion's Mane is not a stimulant. Instead, it is a natural supplement considered a nootropic, which means it has cognitive-enhancing properties that can improve focus, memory, and overall cognitive function. 

While some people may feel a slight energy boost or increased mental clarity after taking Lion's Mane, it does not stimulate the central nervous system like traditional stimulants such as caffeine or amphetamines. Instead, the bioactive ingredients in Lion's mane mushroom encourage the development of new brain cells, which not only fights cognitive impairment but also boosts focus and attention span, giving a stimulant-like effect. 

Does Lions Mane Improve Focus?

Yes, Lion's Mane mushroom helps to improve focus and mental clarity. One of the best nootropic supplements, it contains compounds that can stimulate the growth of new brain cells and increase the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and nerve growth factors (NGF). 

These effects can improve cognitive function, including focus and attention. In addition, Lion's Mane has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce brain inflammation, which may contribute to improved focus and concentration. 

Is Lions Mane Good For Brain Fog?

Lion's Mane benefits brain fog due to its ability to stimulate the production of nerve growth factors, which are essential for the growth and maintenance of brain cells. It also contains compounds that may help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain, which can contribute to brain fog. 

Lion's Mane also improves cognitive function, including memory and concentration, which may help alleviate brain fog. While more research is needed, Lion's Mane mushroom extract shows promise as a natural remedy for brain fog. 

Key Takeaways

For people with ADHD, there is no harm in taking Lion's Mane and Adderall together since they are not known to interact with each other.  However, before using these fungi, talk to your doctor—the doctor can help you determine an ideal dosage for a safe experience when using the mushroom and your Adderall. 

Remember that you should use Lion's Mane as part of your diet and not fully replace your prescribed Adderall with this mushroom before getting the go-ahead from your doctor. While there are studies upon studies about Adderall being effective in fighting ADHD, researchers still need more human studies to understand the effect of Lion's Mane on ADHD fully. 

Have you used Lion's Mane for ADHD? Did you combine it with your Adderall? What was your experience with this functional mushroom? Please share your experience with us in the comments section.

We Would Love To Here Your Comments Leave A Comment


  1. Dietary Supplementation of Lion's Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), and Spatial Memory in Wild-Type Mice, (1) 
  2. Prevention of Early Alzheimer’s Disease by Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Pilot Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study, (2) 
  3. Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia, (3) 
  4. Hericenones and erinacines: Stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF) biosynthesis in Hericium erinaceus, (4) 
  5. Alterations of Growth Factors in Autism and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder,  (5)
  6. Effects of amycenone on serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-10, and depression-like behavior in mice after lipopolysaccharide administration, (6)

Let Us Know Your Comments

1 Response

D. Going | March 21, 2023

I started taking Lions’s Mane two weeks ago and have been taking Adderall XR for about 3 years. I can’t believe how good I feel especially considering I am heading into menopause and the brain fog has been intense. I actually feel better than I ever have! It’s amazing and I can’t wait to see if it’s only going to get better!