ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that affects focus, attention, and impulse control. Symptoms include disorganization, poor task completion, and social difficulties. There are many ADHD treatments, but some people seek alternatives to modern pharmaceutical drugs.
Scientific evidence suggests that Lion's mane mushrooms could be an ideal remedy or therapy for ADHD. Studies have shown that Lion's mane may improve cognitive function, including focus and attention, which are areas of difficulty for those with ADHD.
In this detailed guide, we will examine how the health benefits of Lion's mane fight the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Moreover, we will compare Lion's mane to other therapies for ADHD, like Adderall.
Benefits of Lion's Mane for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
1. Stimulates Neurogenesis
Lion's mane mushroom extract contains two incredibly beneficial compounds, Hericenones and Erinacines. They stimulate Nerve growth factor (NGF)(1) and brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) production through neurogenesis.
Read More: Learn more about Lion's mane neurogenesis benefits.
NGF and BDNF are involved in the pathogenesis of ADHD(2), with Lion's mane extract fighting symptoms of the condition by boosting their levels. In addition, lion's mane supplements also function as a herbal cure for mild cognitive impairment, fighting other brain health issues like Alzheimer's disease and dementia by stimulating BDNF and NGF production.
2. Improves focus
Anecdotal evidence suggests that consuming Lion's mane eliminates brain fog and loss of focus, two symptoms that plague individuals with an ADHD diagnosis.
Research shows(3) that Lion's mane's amycenone (a bioactive compound) is responsible for improving focus and concentration. The bioactive compound also makes the mushroom effective for fighting different causes of mental health disorders and as cognitive-behavioral therapy.
3. Fights Depression
Research indicates that ADHD may trigger depressive symptoms, especially when ADHD patients struggle to cope. Additionally, both depression and ADHD co-exist(4). Taking Lion's mane powder or mane supplements helps with mental fatigue, mood disorders, depression, and anxiety, all common ADHD symptoms.
Read More: See how Lion's mane fights depression.
4. Restores Hormonal Balance
Research suggests that imbalances in certain hormones, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, may play a role in the development and symptoms of ADHD. Additionally, hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy can also affect ADHD symptoms.
Clinical research suggests that consuming Lion's mane mushrooms may affect levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters implicated in ADHD. Lion's mane may increase dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain, potentially improving ADHD symptoms.
5. Fights Inflammation
Chronic inflammation may contribute to the development and severity of ADHD symptoms. In particular, chronic inflammation in the brain may affect the development and function of specific areas involved in attention and impulse control.
One study found(5) that individuals with ADHD have higher levels of inflammatory markers in their blood than those without ADHD. Another study(6) found a relationship between ADHD symptoms and inflammation. Lion's mane anti-inflammatory properties, therefore, may help people with ADHD improve their focus, attention span, clarity, and other associated symptoms.
Research has shown(7) Lion's mane is highly effective in fighting inflammation, suggesting that it could be an alternative medicine for people with major inflammatory problems. In addition, studies have shown(8) that Lion's mane can fight oxidative stress in the brain cells, fighting brain injury and improving brain activity and brain chemistry, which could benefit people with ADHD.
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Lion's Mane vs. Adderall: Are They Equally Effective?
Medication and psychotherapy are the traditional treatment modalities for ADHD. However, one of the most routinely used drugs is Adderall.
Adderall is a prescription medication that is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These compounds are stimulants of the central nervous system that affect the brain's chemicals that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. Lion's mane mushroom, on the other hand, is called nature's brain juice for its ability to address brain health issues(9).
Adderall is a habit-forming, addictive drug, while the mushroom has no such effects. Adderall can cause side effects like heart attack, stroke, and sudden death in people with high blood pressure. You may be unable to use Adderall if you have an overactive thyroid, moderate to severe high blood pressure, severe agitation, heart disease, or a history of drug or alcohol addiction. Adderall may also impair your thinking.
Lion's mane mushroom is generally considered a safe medicinal fungus for most people, even at high dosages(10). The superfood fungus mushroom is neither a sedative nor a stimulant. However, the mushroom should be avoided by those with mushroom allergies, children, and pregnant and lactating women.
Despite all the drawbacks, scientific studies(11) have shown that Adderall is efficacious for aggression, hyperactivity-impulsivity, and inattention symptoms. As a result, this stimulant medication has, for many years, been the pharmacological treatment of choice for children and adults with ADHD.
Read More: Can you combine Adderall and Lion's mane to treat ADHD?
FAQs About Lion's Mane For ADHD
How Do I Take Lion's Mane for ADHD?
Lion's mane mushroom is often available in powder form, which you can add to smoothies, coffee, tea, or other beverages. In addition, you can add powder to food, such as oatmeal or soup. Lion's mane mushroom is also available in capsule form, which can be taken with water or another beverage. Capsules are convenient for those who prefer a standardized dose.
Lion's mane mushroom tinctures are made by steeping the mushroom in alcohol or another solvent. The resulting liquid can be added to water or other beverages or taken directly under the tongue. Some people prefer to use fresh Lion's mane mushrooms in their cooking. The mushroom has a mild, nutty flavor and can be sautéed, roasted, or added to soups and stews.
Read More: See our hand-picked Lion's mane mushroom recipes.
What Is The Lion's Mane Dosage For ADHD?
There is no established or standard dosage of Lion's mane mushroom for ADHD because research on its effectiveness and safety is limited. However, some studies suggest that 500-3000mg daily doses may benefit cognitive function and brain health.
It is essential to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it to the desired level. It's also crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before adding Lion's mane or any other supplement to your regimen, especially if you are taking medication for ADHD or have any other health concerns. The healthcare provider can help determine the appropriate dosage and monitor for potential side effects.
Lion’s mane mushroom carries various benefits that could fight the symptoms of ADHD, making it an effective natural remedy. For example, the mushroom's neurogenesis benefits promote brain cells and nerve regeneration, boosting brain function and fighting symptoms of ADHD. Other benefits that make Lion's mane one of the effective treatment methods for ADHD include its ability to fight brain inflammation, treat depression, and improve focus.
If you or someone you know suffers from ADHD, it might be worth trying Lion's mane. Speak with your wellness professional for guidance on how to use the mushroom for maximum benefits.
Have you used Lion's mane for ADHD before? What were the results? Share your experience in the comments section.
- Hericenones and erinacines: Stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF) biosynthesis in Hericium erinaceus, (1)https://www.researchgate.net/publication/240235316
- Alterations of Growth Factors in Autism and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5507945/
- Effects of amycenone on serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-10, and depression-like behavior in mice after lipopolysaccharide administration, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26150007/
- Depression and Suicidal Behavior in Young Adult Men and Women With ADHD: Evidence From Claims Data, (4)https://pennstate.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/depression-and-suicidal-behavior-in-young-adult-men-and-women-wit
- Peripheral blood inflammatory markers in patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): A systematic review and meta-analysis, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35660454/
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder And Inflammation: What Does Current Knowledge Tell Us? A Systematic Review, (6)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5684106/
- The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Lion's Mane Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) in a Coculture System of 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and RAW264 Macrophages, (7)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26559695/
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. Suppresses H2O2-Induced Oxidative Damage and LPS-Induced Inflammation in HT22 Hippocampal Neurons and BV2 Microglia, (8)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6720269/
- Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice, (9)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5237458/
- Haematological, biochemical and histopathological aspects of Hericium erinaceus ingestion in a rodent model: A sub-chronic toxicological assessment, (10)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27816657/
- Efficacy of Adderall for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: a meta-analysis, (11)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12142863/
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