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< class="article__title title lions-mane-for-adhd-lions-mane-adhd-benefits"> Lion's Mane For ADHD: Lion's Mane ADHD Benefits>
Lion's Mane For ADHD: Lion's Mane ADHD Benefits
Jul 24, 22
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Author: Sony Sherpa

Lion's Mane For ADHD: Lion's Mane ADHD Benefits

  • by Sony Sherpa
  • |
  • 14 min read

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in children and adults. It is a chronic condition that affects how a person processes information, pays attention and controls behavior. 

There are many treatments for ADHD out there, but some people are looking for alternatives to modern pharmaceutical drugs and medication. Could Lion's mane mushroom be a viable option? Let's take a closer look.

Lions Mane ADHD: Why Take Lion's Mane For Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Maintaining focus for a long time can be quite challenging in our fast-evolving world. Thanks to the internet age and faster social media interactions, people now have access to more information than required. Inevitably, there is a significant rise(1) in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents.

There is a growing interest in using natural options to help treat ADHD, and one supplement that is gaining attention is the fuzzy-looking Lion's mane mushroom or Hericium erinaceus. 

In a world where more people are moving towards herbal and holistic health solutions for mental conditions like dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and others, the interest in finding the best mushroom for ADHD is growing. 

Read More: Learn how Lion's mane aids dementia treatment

Lion's mane mushroom is a tonic for our brains. The fungi are well known for their ability to boost brain health. 

However, for people who have not used Lion's mane for ADHD before, the most common question is, "can the nootropic properties of the mushroom alleviate symptoms of ADHD?"

Hericium erinaceus mushroom stimulates the production of compounds that can boost neuron growth, repair, and development—a process known as neurogenesis. Neurogenesis has a beneficial role in ADHD.

Read More: See how Lion's mane promotes neurogenesis

Below, we will take a closer look at what the available research has to say about the benefits of Lion's mane for ADHD. We will also explore Lions mane ADHD effects.

Let's jump right to it!

Lion's Mane Mushroom For ADHD: What Does The Research Say?

Currently, no research specifically focuses on the effects of Lion's mane extract on ADHD. This, however, does not mean that Lion's mane mushroom ADHD benefits do not exist. On the contrary, anecdotal evidence shows that Lion's mane is one of the best mushrooms for ADHD. 

Although scientific studies on Lion's mane mushroom ADHD benefits are limited, we still did the homework for you. From the results, it looks like we may have an answer to questions about ADHD Lion's mane benefits. 

Below, we will look at Lion's mane benefits that aid ADHD management and treatment. 

1. Lion's Mane Mushrooms Stimulate Nerve Growth

Hericium erinaceus contains two incredibly beneficial compounds, Hericenones and Erinacines. These two natural products isolated from the fruiting body and mycelium of Lion's mane mushroom promote the synthesis of Nerve growth factor (NGF)(2)

These compounds play a crucial role in fighting the traumatic brain injury that is a precursor for ADHD. 

NGF has numerous biological activities, including the prevention of neuronal death and the promotion of neurite outgrowth. It is also essential to maintain and organize neurons functionally. Furthermore, alterations in NGF have been linked with ADHD(3).

Read More: See how Lion's mane fights neuropathy with its NGF-production benefits. 

We already know that raw Lion's mane mushroom and Lion's mane extract stimulate the synthesis of NGF. But, the mushroom also enhances the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF). 

This compound plays a fundamental role in the survival and proliferation of neurons. With healthier neurons, we tend to enjoy better mental health.

Alterations in the activity of BDNF have been implicated in developing the main symptoms of ADHD. Low levels of BDNF in the blood are a common symptom in people with ADHD and may persist till adulthood.

Lion's mane mushroom increases the levels of NGF and BDNF, two key molecules involved in the pathogenesis of ADHD. So even if the research is lacking on the direct effects of Lion's mane mushrooms on the disorder, the benefits are clear. 

2. Hericium Erinaceus Improves Focus

Hericium Erinaceus Improves Focus

The best alternative medicine for ADHD, Lion's mane clears mental fatigue, improves mental clarity, and boosts cognitive function in ADHD patients. In addition, anecdotal evidence suggests that consuming a Lion's mane eliminates brain fog and loss of focus. 

A common symptom of ADHD in both children and adults is the inability to focus at length on the task at hand. As a result, those with ADHD are easily distracted. 

This makes it challenging to give sustained attention to a specific chore, assignment, and activity. This often results in reduced productivity—this could be at work, home, or school. 

Lion's mane mushroom not only shows great potential in improving cognition, memory, and mood but has also been known to improve focus. Better focus with the intake of Lion's Mane seems to be attributed to the anti-inflammatory effect(4) of the compound amycenone.

Read More: See how Lion's mane boosts memory health. 

A top-rated complementary medicine, Lion's mane mushroom is known to fix the nutrient deficiencies that often leave the human body without the compound amycenone. Classified among the best dietary supplements, Lion's mane mushroom—not Lion's mane look-alikes—provides enough amycenone to counter the inflammation effect, improving focus in people with ADHD.

As an added benefit, amycenone prevents cancer. Research has shown that inflammation increases the risk of cancer. An article published in the National Library of Medicine in 2019(5) noted that many environmental causes of cancer and risk factors are associated with some form of chronic inflammation. By fighting inflammation, amycenone reduces the risk of developing cancer. 

Read More: Learn how Lion's mane fights cancer

3. Lion's Mane Posses Anti-Depressant Capacity

Another beneficial property of the Lion's mane mushroom is its ability to improve the symptoms of depression. But how are depression and ADHD linked, you might ask.

Research indicates that ADHD may trigger depressive symptoms, especially when ADHD patients have difficulty coping with the condition. Additionally, both depression and ADHD have been found to co-exist(6).

There is a substantial burden of depression among young adults with ADHD—particularly women. 

Taking Lion's mane mushroom helps with fatigue, depression, and anxiety associated with ADHD. Some researchers even suggest Lion's mane mushroom can be a potential natural alternative for depression. 

Read More: See how Lion's mane fights depression

4. Lion's Mane Helps With Hormone Balance

Hormones have been associated with developing ADHD and mood disorders in both men and women. In 2017, researchers conducted a study(7) to analyze the effects of post- and prenatal testosterone levels in boys and girls. 

The research study concluded that higher prenatal testosterone exposure presented a greater risk of developing disruptive behavioral disorders in girls and boys. In addition, the study noted that testosterone might exert differential neurocognitive effects between boys and girls with ADHD. 

When using Lion's mane for ADHD, Lion's mane offers testosterone benefits, balancing the hormone levels in men and women. 

Lion's mane medicinal mushrooms are known to improve cognitive health and enhance brain activity by simply balancing out testosterone. This helps with the treatment of ADHD. 

One of the symptoms of ADHD is impulsivity which tends to cause mood disorders and mood swings. Moreover, low testosterone levels are associated with the same symptoms of ADHD, such as mood swings. Therefore, since one of the benefits of Lion's mane is helping balance out testosterone, the fungus can help control mood swings and depressive disorders.  

Lion's Mane And Adderall: Are They Equally Effective?

Lion's Mane And 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.

There is limited research that compares the effects of Lion's mane vs Adderall, but let's look at how each of them fares.

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(8).

Adderall is a habit-forming drug and a drug that can be abused, while the mushroom has no such effects. Adderall has also been associated with side effects like heart attack, stroke, and sudden death in people with high blood pressure.

Learn More: See how Lion's mane balances blood pressure

You may not be able 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. Therefore, you should be careful if you drive or do activities that require you to be alert. Likewise, an overdose of the drug could be fatal.

Lion's mane mushroom is generally considered a safe medicinal fungus for most people, even at high dosages<(9). The superfood fungus mushroom is neither a sedative nor a stimulant. 

It tends to yield a steady energy boost without the jitters generally associated with most stimulant drugs. However, the mushroom should be avoided by those with mushroom allergies, children, and pregnant and lactating women.

Read More: Learn about Lion's mane use during pregnancy

Despite all of the drawbacks, scientific studies(10) 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.

The effects of Lion's mane mushroom are yet to be studied extensively in humans, even though its popularity is rising.  Likewise, for its side effects. 

Also, Lion's mane drug interactions are yet to be exhaustively studied. Therefore, before combining Lion's mane and Adderall, talk to your doctor.

Lion's Mane ADHD Usage

So, what is the best way to use Lion's mane for ADHD?

First, you can cook the mushroom, like any other meaty mushroom. When cooked, it has a texture and flavor similar to seafood like lobsters and crabs.

Read More: Interested in turning raw Lion's mane mushrooms into a meal? You can do that with our detailed Lion's mane mushroom recipes

But unless you forage the mushroom from the wild or live near a farmer's market and specialty stores that stock these unique mushrooms, your best bet would be Lion's mane mushroom supplements!

Supplements containing Lion's mane are one of the easiest and most convenient ways to get the benefits of the superfood fungus for ADHD.

Mix Lion's mane organic mushroom powder in a cup of hot water, or take it with any of your desired beverages. Additionally, you can mix a scoop of the powder in your salads, soups, and smoothies. Supplements are also available in the form of capsules and tinctures

What Is The Lion's Mane Dosage For ADHD?

As we mentioned before, no specific research has focused on the effect of Lion's mane on ADHD. Therefore, Lion's mane dosage for ADHD is not precise. 

However, research indicates that when taken as Lion's mane mushroom powder extracts, the optimum dosage ranges from 250 to 1000 mg. The oral intake for pill forms ranges from 1000 to 3000 mg, and when the raw fruiting bodies are incorporated into food, it is roughly 5000 mg.

You may start with a low dose and see how you respond to it before gradually increasing it. Work closely with your healthcare provider to see what amount works best for you.

Final Thoughts

So, how effective is Lion's mane for ADHD? Well, the clinical research in this area is limited. 

However, the mushroom is known to stimulate the production of two compounds directly implicated in the development of ADHD. Furthermore, Lion's mane also improves focus and symptoms of depression, both of which are beneficial in ADHD.

If you or someone you know suffers from ADHD, it might be worth giving Lion's mane a try. Speak with your wellness professional if you want to try the mushroom to help with your symptoms.

Have you used Lion's mane for ADHD before? What were the results? Narrate your experience in the comments section. 

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  1. Twenty-Year Trends in Diagnosed Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among US Children and Adolescents, 1997 2016, (1) 
  2. Hericenones and erinacines: stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF) biosynthesis inHericium erinaceus, (2)  
  3. Alterations of Growth Factors in Autism and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (3) 
  4. Effects of amycenone on serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-10, and depression-like behavior in mice after lipopolysaccharide administration, (4) 
  5. Inflammation and Cancer, (5)
  6. Depression and Suicidal Behavior in Young Adult Men and Women With ADHD: Evidence From Claims Data, (6) 
  7. Potential role of pre- and postnatal testosterone levels in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: is there a sex difference?, (7) 
  8. Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild Type Mice, (8) 
  9. Haematological, biochemical and histopathological aspects of Hericium erinaceus ingestion in a rodent model: A sub-chronic toxicological assessment, (9) 
  10. Efficacy of Adderall for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: a meta analysis, (10)

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