Anxiety is a common experience that can feel incredibly debilitating. But what if there was a natural way to help ease anxiety symptoms? Lion's mane mushrooms are a type of mushroom that has been shown to offer significant benefits for anxiety relief. In this blog post, we'll explore four of the top benefits of lion's mane mushrooms when it comes to anxiety.
In today’s fast-paced world of deadlines, traffic, trends, and tasks, catching a breath seems like a difficult feat. Even worse, the current pandemic has detrimentally impacted mental health, triggering a 25% increase(1) in the prevalence of depression and anxiety worldwide. In the 21st century, staying relaxed, content, peaceful, stress-free, worry-free, and happy seems to be becoming harder and harder.
Many people trying to cope with the clamoring world are unable to do so on their own. While it is best to seek professional help for your frazzled nerves, some natural ways can help you take a breather. One such popular way is Lion’s mane mushroom for anxiety.
When used correctly, a good Lion's mane dosage can help you live free from worry (anxiety), free from stress, and free from fear. A top-rated functional mushroom, Lion's mane carries numerous benefits—some of these benefits include helping you be confident, easygoing, carefree, sure of oneself (self-assured), certain of oneself, lighthearted, at ease, serene, and comfortable.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, you may have heard about the other many health benefits of this fascinating shaggy-white mushroom. It makes you sharp, and focused, and enhances your learning(2). Lion's mane is also used for depression and some people use Lion's mane before bed to improve their sleep at night.
The mushroom is also known for helping users reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. But does a lion’s mane supplement help with anxiety?
This article here will explore the link between lion's mane and anxiety, the benefits, and how to use it. Keep reading to know more about this incredible superfood mushroom and how patients suffering from anxiety can benefit from the mane mushrooms products or mane extract.
What Is Lion’s Mane?
Before we jump to the lion’s mane anxiety benefits, let’s understand what these Lion's mane mushrooms are all about!
Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom is known by several names like Hericium Erinaceus, mountain-priest mushroom, Pom-pom Mushroom, or Monkey Head mushroom. It is a mushroom native to the northern hemisphere and is found growing in the cracks of beech, oak, walnut, and apple trees.
The traditional healers in Chinese medicine have used Lion’s mane for centuries. Today, there is a rising popularity of Lion’s mane mushroom, thanks to its incredible health-boosting effects. Because more people are looking to try them out, these mushrooms can now be easily found in your nearest grocery aisle.
These mushrooms can be consumed at home (try our amazing array of Lion’s mane recipes) or taken in the form of health supplements—for example, Lion's mane mushroom powder. Regardless of how you take the mushroom,the benefits of lion’s mane for anxiety are something you cannot miss out on!
Some people prefer to take Lion's mane extracts pre-workout to reduce fatigue and enjoy an energy boost that is usually provided by the fungus. Others prefer to take Lion's mane for spiritual benefits. There is no doubt that Lion's mane helps people get rid of different types of pain—including slowing down the growth of cancer cells.
However, if you take Lion's mane at the right time, can you protect yourself from the anxiety experience? If you haven't used a Lion's mane product before, you may have a lot of questions.
Some people even ask: does Lion’s mane cause anxiety? This question is often asked by people who would like to use Lion's mane for Parkinson's disease or other brain-related conditions and are worried about side effects.
One thing we can tell you is that the activity or effect lion’s mane appears to ease the symptoms of anxiety rather than cause it. Research and doctor findings are yet to answer all the questions surrounding the use of Lion’s mane mushrooms for brain health.
However, the currently available evidence indicates that high-quality Lion's mane—our guide shows you what to look for when buying Lion's mane—boosts cognitive function and also helps you treat the anxiety condition.
So how does Lion’s mane mushroom help you calm your anxious mind? Let’s find out!
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Anxiety: 4 Ways It Helps
1. Stimulating The Synthesis Of Brain Cells
When it comes to lion's mane anxiety, one of the things that makes Lion's mane effective is its ability to regenerate brain cells. Lion’s mane mushroom contains two bioactive compounds: Erinacines and hericenones. When using lions mane for anxiety, your body leverages the two compounds to restore order and self-belief in your life.
NGF helps build and repair brain cells. It can reach the brain through the blood and promote the differentiation of neurons. NGF supports cognitive functions like learning and memory, thereby playing an important role in behavioral changes, emotions, and anxiety(5).
Several clinical studies have found reduced levels of NGF(6) in mental health disorders. This suggests that using lion's mane for anxiety raises the levels of NGF, which, in turn, reduces anxiety. In other words, the more the levels of nerve production in the brain, the lower levels of anxiety a person experiences.
Now let's take a look at some of the scientific evidence related to Lion’s mane and anxiety. In the following section, we will look at both human and animal studies that explain the lions mane anxiety relationship.
People who are still trying to determine the answer to the question "is lion's mane good for anxiety?" should know animal studies have shown extract of Lion’s mane mushroom reduces anxiety and depressive behavior.
Other studies have shown that people can use lion's mane mushrooms for depression and anxiety. Researchers into lion's mane mushrooms found that long-term administration of Hericium Erinaceus showed anxiolytic(7) and antidepressant-like effects which could be possibly related to the increased production of neurons.
Human studies(8) on the benefits of lion's mane for anxiety have also demonstrated similar effects. In a 2010 Japanese study, 30 females were either assigned to receive Lion’s mane cookies or placebo cookies for 4 weeks. Several clinical parameters were used to assess the outcome of the research and to determine the impact the lion's mane mushrooms would have on the participant's level of anxiety.
According to the results of the study, Lion’s mane mushrooms had the possibility of reducing depression and anxiety. The concentration, irritation, and anxiety among the women who took the lion's mane mushrooms cookies were lower than those who did not.
2. Improving Sleep
Psychological distress such as anxiety can wreak havoc on your sleep routine(9). Excess worry and fear make it harder to fall asleep at night. Not only is sleep disruption a major health issue in people with anxiety, but it can also increase the risk of several other diseases.
The mycelium of Lion’s mane has been found to modulate several pathways in the brain resulting in antidepressant-like effects. Not only does it improve sleep, but it also provides anxiety relief(10) by improving sleep disruptions.
If you are wondering what is the best time to take lion's mane mushrooms for sleep, the best time will be at night. You can consume the lion's mane extract together with your supper or eat the lion's mane mushroom extract before or after your main dinner meal.
In addition to helping you with anxiety, one additional benefit of consuming lion's mane extract for sleep is that the lion's mane mushroom extract also improves and eliminates mild cognitive impairment. Improved sleep also carries a variety of other health benefits—for example, a well-rested body has a better immune system. better nerve cells, healthier and lower blood sugar levels, and much more.
Therefore, even if your goal is not to eliminate anxiety by taking Lion's mane or Chaga at night, the medicinal mushrooms will give you access to the numerous Chaga and lion's mane mushroom benefits.
3. Combating Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress is the imbalance between harmful oxygen molecules and the body’s ability to neutralize them. Luckily for people with this type of imbalance, lion's mane extracts can help. Lion's mane specifically targets the harmful oxygen molecules and eliminates them—this reduces their activities in the body, which protects adults and children from oxidative stress.
Brain damage caused by oxidative stress leads to impairment of the nervous system function. It has been implicated in anxiety disorders(11) and high anxiety levels. Some studies have even suggested that antioxidant therapy may be a useful treatment option.
Lion’s mane mushroom contains antioxidant compounds(12) like phenols that may help ease the symptoms of anxiety. Additional clinical studies are, however, required to explore this mechanism of action.
Animal studies have found that the lion's mane mushroom is very effective when it comes to combating oxidative stress. Researchers have found that Lion's mane supplements will eliminate all the negative impacts of free radicals.
This often results in positive effects of lion's mane on your anxiety levels. With these benefits on oxidative stress, it becomes impossible for people to avoid lion's mane mushrooms when they are dealing with stress-related anxiety.
Because of its ability to protect the body from oxidative stress and induce relaxation, Lion's mane mushrooms have been used for years in traditional Chinese medicine. One of the selected culinary medicinal mushrooms, Lion's mane played a key role in helping the monks relax during meditation.
4. Anti-Inflammatory And Immune-Boosting Actions
Preliminary evidence(13) suggests that anxiety disorders are associated with increased inflammation. Disruption of the immune system has also been implicated.
Clinical studies have shown an increase in inflammatory markers in people with anxiety. The inflammation present in the body may be able to enter the brain which can cause direct and indirect toxic effects. This makes a person vulnerable to anxiety disorders.
Lion’s mane mushroom(14) has been known to combat inflammation and make our immune system stronger. It contains phytochemical substances like beta-glucans that can modulate the immune system.
Because of the close relationship between inflammation and anxiety, the anti-inflammatory properties of the mushroom may have the potential to help fight frazzled nerves.
Research suggests that using lion's mane powder regularly—instead of just once and then forgetting about the lion's mane powder—is the key to benefiting from the mushroom's anti-inflammatory benefits. The mushroom's ability to fight inflammation also makes it a perfect solution for people looking for Lion's mane brain fog benefits.
It is worth noting that the immune-boosting actions are some of the reasons Lion's mane is used during pregnancy. This of the medicinal mushroom Hericium Erinaceus benefits, when combined with the mushroom's ability to deal with human monocytic leukemia cells, human gastrointestinal cancers, and inflammatory bowel disease, makes the medicinal mushroom one of the best dietary supplements for pregnant women.
How to Use Lion's Mane for Anxiety
If you are wondering how to use Lion's mane for anxiety, you are not alone. If you have time at your disposal, you can convert raw mushrooms into a nice meal. However, if you are busy, lion's mane mushrooms may be ideal for you if used in the form of a mushroom supplement.
The supplement form is available in various types of products—we would recommend lion's mane capsules or tinctures for people who want to use the mushroom supplement directly. To reduce mild symptoms of anxiety with Lion's mane, you can prepare a Lion's mane tea or coffee with the mushroom powder.
Irrespective of the form in which you take Lion's mane, you will enjoy a reduction in mild symptoms of anxiety, improved cognitive health, better mental health, reduction of depressive disorders, improvement in sleep quality, enhanced brain functions, and reduced panic attacks.
When it comes to the amount you can consume, the dosage depends on the person using the mushroom.A dosage of about 1,000 mg per day has been proven effective for anxiety.
However, if your goal is to use the Hericium Erinaceus extracts for other benefits, including dietary supplementation for accelerating wound healing, the mushroom's anti-cancer effects, stomach ulcers healing, peripheral nerve regeneration, improved mental functioning, eliminating neurodegenerative diseases, or any other medical condition, your dosage may need to be recalibrated by a health practitioner.
Hericium Erinaceus or Lion’s mane mushroom has the potential to ease symptoms of anxiety.
This white and fuzzy-maned fungus helps tackle anxiety disorders by stimulating the synthesis of new brain cells. It can help you sleep better all the while protecting your body from the damages caused by free radicals, inflammation, and a weakened immune system.
A handful of clinical research based on animals and humans has linked these lion’s mane anxiety benefits, although additional information is still needed. Remember to always seek help from a licensed medical practitioner if you are having anxiety issues. Also, note that mushrooms are not intended to replace anti-anxiety medications.
- COVID-19 pandemic triggers 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide (1) https://www.who.int/news/item/02-03-2022-covid-19-pandemic-triggers-25-increase-in-prevalence-of-anxiety-and-depression-worldwide
- Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5237458/
- Hericium erinaceus mycelium and its small bioactive compounds promote oligodendrocyte maturation with an increase in myelin basic protein (3)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-85972-2
- Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorate anxiety induced by continuous sleep disturbance in vivo, (4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8643634/
- Mental disorders, functional impairment, and nerve growth factor, (5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5189700/
- Circulating levels of GDNF in bipolar disorder, (6)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21820487/
- Hericium erinaceus Extract Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Brain, (7)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29091526/
- Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeksHericium erinaceus intake, (8)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20834180/
- Sleep and Anxiety Disorders (9)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17118281/
- Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorate anxiety induced by continuous sleep disturbance in vivo, (10)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8643634/
- The role of oxidative stress in anxiety disorder: cause or consequence?, (11)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6218334/
- Prospecting medicinal properties of Lion's mane mushroom, (12)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34169530/
- Neuroinflammation-Associated Alterations of the Brain as Potential Neural Biomarkers in Anxiety Disorders, (13)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7555994/
- Immunomodulatory effects of Hericium erinaceus derived polysaccharides are mediated by intestinal immunology, (14)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28266682/