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Lion's Mane For Anxiety: 4 Benefits You Don't Want to Miss
Jun 06, 22
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Author: Sony Sherpa

Lion's Mane For Anxiety: 4 Benefits You Don't Want to Miss

  • by Sony Sherpa
  • |
  • 9 min read

Anxiety is a common mental health problem that can feel incredibly debilitating. But what if there was a natural way to ease anxiety symptoms? Luckily for you, there is!

Lion's mane mushrooms offer significant benefits for anxiety relief. In this blog post, we'll explore four top benefits of Lion's mane mushrooms on anxiety.

What Is Lion's Mane?

Before we jump into Lion's mane anxiety benefits, let's understand what 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 grows 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 rising popularity of Lion's mane mushroom, thanks to its incredible health-boosting effects. 

These mushrooms can be consumed at home or taken as health supplements. Some people take Hericium Erinaceus to reduce fatigue and enjoy an energy boost. Others use Lion's mane for its spiritual benefits. The mushroom also slows down the growth of cancer cells. 

Lion's mane is known to benefit the brain and prevent conditions like Parkinson's, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, etc. Moreover, the mushroom also fights anxiety, which is our main focus in this detailed guide.

So how does Lion's mane mushroom help you calm your anxious mind? Let's find out!

Lion's Mane Mushroom Anxiety: 4 Ways Through Which It Helps

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. 

Erinacines and Hericenones are known to induce the production of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)(3) and brain-derived neurotrophic (BDN) factor(4).

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, reducing symptoms of anxiousness. 

Read More: Learn how Lion's mane neurogenesis benefits impact NGF production positively. 

Studies have shown that people can use Lion's mane for anxiety. Researchers into Lion's mane mushrooms found that long-term administration of Hericium Erinaceus showed anxiolytic(7) and antidepressant-like effects, 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 four weeks. Researchers used several clinical parameters to assess Lion's mane impact on anxiety.

According to the results of the study, Lion's mane mushrooms had the possibility of reducing both depression and anxiety. The concentration, irritation, and anxiety among the women who took Lion's mane mushroom 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. Sleep disruption is a significant health issue in people with anxiety. 

The mycelium of Lion's mane has been found to modulate several pathways in the brain resulting in antidepressant-like effects. This provides anxiety relief(10) by improving sleep disruptions.

The best time to take Lion's mane mushrooms for sleep is at night. You can consume Lion's mane extract with your supper. 

Improved sleep carries a variety of other health benefits—for example, a well-rested body has a better immune system. Moreover, the following day after sufficient sleep, you enjoy mental clarity, meaning no brain fog. 

Learn More: See how taking Lion's mane before bed improves your sleep. 

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. Oxidative stress has been implicated in anxiety disorders(11). Some studies have even suggested that antioxidant therapy may be a helpful treatment for oxidative stress.

Lion's mane mushroom contains antioxidant compounds(12) like phenols that may help ease anxiety symptoms. Additional clinical studies are, however, required to explore this mechanism of action. 

Animal studies have found that Lion's mane mushroom effectively combats oxidative stress. Its supplements eliminate the negative impacts of free radicals. This often results in positive effects of Lion's mane on your anxiety levels. 

Because of their 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 crucial 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 enter the brain, which can cause direct and indirect toxic effects. This makes a person vulnerable to anxiety disorders.

Lion's mane mushroom(14) combats inflammation and makes 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 mushroom's anti-inflammatory properties may potentially help fight frazzled nerves.  

Research suggests that using Lion's mane organic powder regularly is the key to benefiting from the mushroom's anti-inflammatory benefits. 

How To Use Lion's Mane For Anxiety

How to Use Lion's Mane for Anxiety

If you are wondering how to use Lion's mane for anxiety, you are not alone—most new users often lack a good idea of how to take advantage of the mushroom. 

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 as a mushroom supplement. 

The supplement is available in various products—you can use powder, Lion's mane capsules, or tinctures to fight anxiety. To reduce mild anxiety symptoms with Lion's mane, prepare a Lion's mane tea or coffee with mushroom powder. 

When it comes to the amount you can consume, the dosage depends on the person using the mushroom. However, a dosage of about 1,000 mg daily has proven effective for anxiety

However, suppose your goal is to use the Hericium Erinaceus extracts for other benefits, including anti-cancer effects and other physical health benefits. In that case, your dosage may need to be recalibrated by a health practitioner.   

Final Thoughts

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 while protecting your body from the damage caused by free radicals, inflammation, and a weakened immune system.

A handful of clinical research based on animals and humans has linked Lion's mane to these anxiety benefits, although additional information is still needed. Always seek help from a licensed medical practitioner if you have anxiety issues. Also, note that mushrooms are not intended to replace anti-anxiety medications.

Have you used Lion's mane for anxiety or any other condition? Let us know your experience in the comment section. 

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  1. COVID-19 pandemic triggers 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide (1) 
  2. Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild Type Mice, (2) 
  3. Hericium erinaceus mycelium and its small bioactive compounds promote oligodendrocyte maturation with an increase in myelin basic protein (3)
  4. Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorate anxiety induced by continuous sleep disturbance in vivo, (4)   
  5. Mental disorders, functional impairment, and nerve growth factor, (5)   
  6. Circulating levels of GDNF in bipolar disorder, (6)   
  7. Hericium erinaceus Extract Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Brain, (7)   
  8. Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeksHericium erinaceus intake, (8)
  9. Sleep and Anxiety Disorders (9)
  10.  Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorate anxiety induced by continuous sleep disturbance in vivo, (10)   
  11. The role of oxidative stress in anxiety disorder: cause or consequence?, (11)
  12. Prospecting medicinal properties of Lion's mane mushroom, (12)   
  13. Neuroinflammation-Associated Alterations of the Brain as Potential Neural Biomarkers in Anxiety Disorders, (13)
  14. Immunomodulatory effects of Hericium erinaceus derived polysaccharides are mediated by intestinal immunology, (14)

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