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< class="article__title title lions-mane-headache-can-a-mushroom-relieve-migraines"> Lion's Mane Headache: Can A Mushroom Relieve Migraines?>
Lion's Mane Headache: Can A Mushroom Relieve Migraines?
Feb 15, 23
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Author: Sony Sherpa

Lion's Mane Headache: Can A Mushroom Relieve Migraines?

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    A rising star in the holistic health field, Dr. Sony Sherpa has been studying medicinal mushrooms for more than 7 years. Although she started writing on Nature’s Rise one year ago, her knowledge of medicinal mushrooms is backed by a master's degree in Holistic Medicine.

  • |
  • 11 min read

The curious-looking Lion's mane mushrooms are gaining popularity as a potential brain-boosting supplement. But with all the buzz comes some confusion and misinformation, including the belief that they can cause headaches.

While there's limited research on the potential side effects of Lion's mane mushrooms, the evidence suggests they're generally safe for consumption. So if you're experiencing headaches, it's unlikely that these mushrooms are to blame. If by chance they are, it's usually only during the initial stages of use.

Interestingly, Lion's mane may have some benefits for people who suffer from migraines. Migraines are debilitating neurological conditions that can cause excruciating headaches and other symptoms. But some evidence suggests that brain-boosting supplements like Lion's mane could help alleviate migraine symptoms and support overall brain health.

Of course, it's always essential to research and talk to your doctor before trying new supplements. But if you're looking for a natural way to support your brain health and potentially alleviate migraine symptoms, Lion's mane mushrooms could be worth exploring further.

Does Lion's Mane Cause Headaches?

Lion's mane may cause headaches in individuals with low Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) levels. However, these headaches are not harmful and do not ruin your mood.Moreover, these headaches go away when Lion's mane promotes neurogenesis and ensures your body has enough NGF.

There may be confusion between magic mushrooms and Lion's mane when discussing mushrooms and headaches. Magic mushrooms contain psilocybin, which can trigger headaches in susceptible people. Research shows(1) that higher doses of psilocybin commonly result in headaches, but they are brief and do not persist for more than a day.

Magic mushrooms are also known as psychedelic mushrooms. Lion's mane is not a psychedelic mushroom, indicating it does not contain psilocybin. 

4 Ways To Prevent Lion's Mane Mushroom Headache

4 Ways To Prevent Lion's Mane Mushroom Headache

1. Adjust Your Dosage

A higher Lion's mane dosage may increase your risk of suffering from Lion's mane headache—this is often the case if the high dosage is introduced into the diet abruptly.Therefore, beginning with a lower dosage of your Lion's mane extract is best to avoid the risk of headaches caused by a higher dosage. 

For example, if you take Lion's Mane supplements as capsules or Lion's mane mushroom powder, start with one gram daily and gradually raise the dose until you feel comfortable at the highest amount. However, try not to exceed a dosage of 4,000 mg daily. 

The suggested starting dose is one teaspoon daily for either cooking with dried Lion's Mane mushrooms or using a liquid tincture. After that, this dose should be increased by one teaspoon every few days until you discover the ideal one. Also to be considered is that since everyone processes supplements differently, it could take some people longer than others to find the proper dosage level.

2. Get A Magnesium Supplement

You can add magnesium supplements to your wellness regimen if dried Lion's mane mushrooms or supplements give you headaches. An absorbable form of magnesium (such as magnesium glycinate) has been shown to prevent headaches prophylactically.

3. Get a High-Quality Lion's Mane Supplement

You can also get a headache after taking Lion's mane dose if the supplement is of inferior quality. In addition, pesticides in mushrooms may trigger a headache. Only buy mushroom supplements from trusted brands which are certified organic.

Read More: See what to look for when buying Lion's mane products.

4. Stay Dehydrated At All Times

Also, drink plenty of water while taking Lion's mane supplement. Many people have noticed dehydration trigger headache and potentially worsens them.

Lions' Mane Mushroom for Treating Migraines

Although it seems contradictory, the Lion's Mane mushroom may be the most effective all-natural migraine remedy. Lion's mane can fight migraines with its impressive protection against nerve pain. In addition, Lion's mane treats migraines by inhibiting cytokines, which are pro-inflammatory substances linked to migraine symptoms. 

A 2020 study(2) compared the effects of natural migraine remedies like Lion's mane with those of prescription migraine drugs. According to research, this mushroom can treat migraines similarly to prescription drugs while causing fewer adverse effects.

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Benefits Of Lion's Mane Mushrooms

Benefits Of Lion's Mane Mushrooms

The main Lion's mane benefit results from its bioactive compounds that induce Nerve Growth Factor synthesis. The Hericenones and Erinacines in Lion's mane promote neurite outgrowth, which improves the health of the nerve cells and neurons, speeds up the recovery from nerve damage and nervous system injuries, and enhances cognitive function, fighting neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's disease, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease.  

The mushroom's ability to treat mild cognitive impairment also fights brain fog to improve focus and treat sleep disorders. Each Hericenone and Erinacine plays a crucial role in battling brain disorders that often make sleeping impossible. 

The polysaccharides and beta-glucans in Lion's mane fruiting bodies boost the immune system and provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition, Lion's mane has cancer benefits, generally inducing apoptosis of cancer cells. In addition to fighting cancer cells, the mushroom does fight other chronic illnesses, including diabetes, regulating blood sugar levels.

Other health benefits of Lion's mane include improving digestive health, preventing memory loss, reducing anxiety and depression, enhancing immune function, and reducing the risk of blood clots and heart disease. The mushroom also fights high blood pressure, which boosts heart health, with Lion'smane supplementation also promoting weight loss and making weight management more effortless. 

Side Effects of Lion's Mane Mushroom Extracts

Side Effects of Lion's Mane Mushroom Extracts

Lion's mane mushroom is generally considered safe and well-tolerated by most people. However, like any supplement, taking Lion's mane mushrooms may cause side effects in some individuals. The most commonly reported side effects of Lion's mane extracts include:

  • Mild gastrointestinal discomfort: Some people may experience mild stomach discomforts, such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
  • Allergic reactions: Rarely, Lion's mane may cause an allergic reaction in some individuals, which can manifest as skin rashes or hives.
  • Headaches: A few people may experience mild headaches when taking Lion's mane. However, these usually go away on their own after some time.

Additionally, Lion's mane may interact with certain medications, so it's essential to consult a healthcare provider before taking it if you're currently on any medication to avoid harmful interactions. It's also worth noting that research on the safety of Lion's mane during pregnancy or breastfeeding is limited, so it's best to avoid it during these periods unless otherwise directed by a healthcare provider.

FAQs About Lion's Mane Headache

How Does Lion's Mane Make You Feel?

Lion's mane is a nootropic that improves cognitive function, memory, concentration, and overall brain health. As a result, some individuals who take Lion's mane may report feeling more mentally alert, focused, and less tired.

The mushroom also gives an energy boost, which could result from its ability to fight fatigue and brain fog. However, the effects of Lion's mane can vary from person to person and depend on various factors such as the dosage, individual tolerance, and the quality of the supplement.

Does Lion's Mane Work Immediately?

The effects of medicinal mushrooms—including cordyceps, reishi, Chaga, Lion's mane, and others—may not be felt immediately. This is because the supplement may take some time to build up in the body to produce noticeable effects. For Lion's mane, some individuals may begin to notice improvements in cognitive function and memory within a few weeks of taking Lion's mane, while others may take longer.

The length of time it takes for Lion's mane to work may also depend on factors such as the individual's age, overall health, the severity of the illness they are treating, and the dosage and quality of the supplement. It is important to note that Lion's mane is not a quick fix and should be taken regularly as part of a healthy lifestyle to reap its potential benefits.

Does Lion's Mane Have Any Psychoactive Effects?

Lion's mane mushroom (fruiting body and mycelia) does not contain any psychoactive compounds such as THC or CBD found in cannabis or psychedelic substances like psilocybin found in magic mushrooms. Therefore, Lion's mane is not known to have any psychoactive effects nor produce any significant alterations in perception, mood, or consciousness.

Lion's mane improves cognitive function, memory, and overall brain health by promoting nerve growth factor (NGF) synthesis and neuroprotective properties. In addition, the mushroom enhances cognitive function by promoting the development of brain cells and improving nerve regeneration through neurogenesis.

What Does Lion's Mane Do To The Brain?

Lion's mane may enhance cognitive function and memory by increasing NGF levels and promoting the growth and development of new nerve cells in the brain. Additionally, studies suggest that Lion's mane may have neuroprotective effects and potentially prevent or slow down the progression of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's.

Lion's mane has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation in the brain, reducing the risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, Lion's mane may promote nerve regeneration and repair in the brain and nervous system, making it beneficial for recovery from nervous system injuries.

Key Takeaways

Though extremely rare, Lion's mane may cause minor headache-like symptoms among newbies using a high dosage. These headaches could happen to people who are low on the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and could indicate that this traditional Chinese medicine is working to promote neurogenesis. Lion's mane headache can be decreased by reducing the dose, staying hydrated, and opting for a trusted organic mushroom supplement. 

Interestingly, research has shown that Lion's mane mushrooms may be beneficial in easing migraine symptoms. This anti-migraine effect results from the mushroom's ability to fight pro-inflammatory substances in the brain. Lion's mane, however, produces the best results when used regularly—for example, researchers indicate that daily mushroom consumption at the proper dosage has the best results for men and women. 

Have you taken Lion's mane before? Did you experience any headaches? Did Lion's mane help you overcome your migraines? Please share your experience with us in the comments section. 

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  1. Psilocybin dose-dependently causes delayed, transient headaches in healthy volunteers, (1)
  2. Migraine treatment and healthcare costs: retrospective analysis of the China Health Insurance Research Association (CHIRA) database, (2)

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