Roughly 20 million(1) Americans live with some form of neuropathy. Those living with the condition know that the pain can affect their quality of life.
Even straightforward neuropathic disorders often require some trial and error to find the most effective treatment to manage the symptoms. So, whether you're newly diagnosed or have failed to achieve relief in the past, you may want to consider Lion's mane mushroom for neuropathy.
A holistic health solution that has worked for different conditions in the past, Lion's mane could offer you the relief you need. Read on to see how Lion's mane can help.
Does Lion's Mane Mushroom Help With Nerve Cells Treatment?
Research has suggested the potential benefits of Lion's mane on nerve pain. The Lion's mane extract, also known as Hericium Erinaceus, helps regenerate nerve cells (or neurons) and temper inflammatory and immune responses.
Lion's mane mushrooms are known to increase the production of nerve growth factors, making them some of the best medicinal mushrooms for treating issues related to nerve cells and nerve pains.
Read More: See how Lion's mane neurogenesis boosts nerve growth factors.
We took a deep dive into the latest research on the relationship between Lion's mane and neuropathy and were impressed with what we found.Along with this, we will also explore Lion's mane nerve damage benefits in this detailed guide.
Let's get into it!
7 Benefits Of Lion's Mane For Neuropathy
For the unversed, neuropathy means nerve damage. It is a condition that can affect the nervous system, and recovery from the disease is often considered impossible.
Some symptoms often associated with nerve impairment include numbness, tingling, weakness, and loss of sensation in the feet, legs, arms, hands, fingers, toes, and even muscles. Nerve damage is also associated with other issues, including poor reflexes, lack of autonomic balance, improper coordination, and improper sensations.
A wide range of conditions can cause neuropathy. These conditions include trauma, inflammation from autoimmune diseases, and diabetes.
Read More: See how Lion's mane aids diabetes treatment.
After a neuropathy diagnosis, what's supposed to be next? Unfortunately, many patients often turn to pharmaceutical drugs, which tend to have numerous side effects in most cases.
If you do not want to rely on the pharmaceutical treatments recommended by your doctor after the diagnosis, can you rely on supplementation with functional mushrooms? And if yes, what would be the best mushroom for nerve damage?
While there are numerous mushrooms for nerve pain, this detailed guide will put all its focus on Lion's mane neuropathy relationship. We will help you understand the best Lion's mane dosage for neuropathy.
Read on to learn how to use Lion's mane for neuropathy.
1. Heals And Regenerates Nerve Fibers
The essential Lion's mane neuropathy benefit is its ability to regenerate nerve fibers. The mushroom is also the most renowned for this advantage.
One of the reasons the fungus is recognized as a robust, holistic health solution for nerve functionality is its neurogenesis benefits.
Lion's mane mushroom contains two important bioactive compounds: hericenones and erinacines. These compounds stimulate(2) the release of insulin-like protein known as the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), which is essential for the survival, growth, development, and maintenance of neurons.
The Nerve Growth Factor's impact on the neurons makes the benefits of Lion's mane mushroom for neuropathy more noticeable.
One of the best mushrooms for neuropathy, the healing effects of Hericium Erinaceus were demonstrated in a 2019 study(3) that examined the impact of the mushroom on drug-induced peripheral neuropathy. The drug in context was Cisplatin, one of the most effective anti-cancer medications that cause neuropathic pain when taken in high dosages.
Read More: See how Lion's mane aids cancer treatment and fights side effects of conventional tumor treatment options.
In this animal-based study, those that were given the mushroom showed fewer signs of neuropathy as opposed to those who did not consume Lion's mane.
Studies suggest that Lion's mane mushrooms could also aid in regenerating nerve cells. One such research explored(4) the neuro-regenerative potential of extracts of Lion's mane in the treatment of peripheral nerve injuries.
In the study, researchers compared the effects of Hericium Erinaceus with one of the most commonly used treatments for peripheral nerve injury: vitamin B12. Results showed that Lion's mane mushroom elicited quicker nerve regeneration.
This suggests that someone with neuropathy can take advantage of the benefits of Lion's mane nerve regeneration—this can help the body produce newer nerves to replace the damaged ones. With new nerves replacing the damaged nerves, this suggests that people with neuropathy can use Lion's mane for nerve pain.
There is also anecdotal and scientific evidence that Lion's mane mushroom helps repair myelin sheath, the insulating outer layer of the nerve cells. The sheath is integral for the proper functioning of nerve cells.
Few animal studies(5) have looked at the potential benefit of Hericium Erinaceus on the myelination process and found that the mushroom extract improved its rate and quality.
This evidence suggests that Lion's mane mushroom is beneficial in the healing and regeneration of nerve fibers in neuropathy, further cementing lions mane neuropathy benefits.
It is worth noting that Lion's mane is not the only mushroom that can help with neuropathy treatment. Research has also shown that there are other mushrooms for nerve damage.
For example, people can use reishi mushrooms for neuropathy too—a research study conducted in 2017(6) showed that Ganoderma Lucidum (reishi mushroom) has neuroprotective benefits against oxidative stress-induced neuronal apoptosis.
2. Role In Diabetic Neuropathy
In Lion's mane nerve damage relationship, this mushroom goes beyond nerve regeneration to treat conditions that cause neuropathy in the first place. The Lion's mane mushroom nerve regeneration becomes necessary if healthy nerves are damaged. However, its diabetes benefits help with blood sugar regulation, reducing the risk of nerve damage.
One of the most critical forms of neuropathy is a long-term complication of diabetes. Persistently high and uncontrolled blood sugar damages the nerves and interferes with their signaling abilities.
High blood sugar levels also weaken the walls of the small blood vessels that supply the nerves with adequate nutrients and oxygen, leading to diabetic nephropathy (DN). Diabetic neuropathy is complicated because even with Lion's mane for nerve regeneration, the mushrooms for nerve regeneration may not work if blood sugar is out of control.
In people with diabetes, Lion's mane mushroom nerve repair only works when people with diabetes manage to bring their blood sugar to normal, healthy levels.
One of the most important ways to prevent DN is by controlling blood sugar. The good news is that several animal studies have shown the anti-hyperglycemic effect of Lion's mane mushrooms.
One such animal experiment(7) investigated the ability of Lion's mane mushroom to reduce blood sugar in diabetic rats with a damaged pancreas. The water extract of Hericium Erinaceus was administered for 28 days, and the results showed a significant decrease in blood sugar levels and a significant rise in insulin (the hormone that keeps our blood sugar in check).
Another study found that the mushroom helps lower blood sugar by blocking the activity of an enzyme called alpha-glucosidase. This enzyme breaks down carbohydrates in our gut and stopping it disrupts the process. The resultant effect is lower blood sugar levels.
Read More: Type II diabetes is often caused by obesity. See how Lion's mane promotes weight loss to prevent type 2 diabetes.
3. Reduces Inflammation And Regulates Immune Responses
Disorders of the immune system can lead to inflammatory neuropathies(8), causing the myelin sheath's breakdown. Lion's mane mushrooms can help control inflammatory responses in the body and temper the immune system.
One study(9) evaluated the anti-inflammatory effects of Lion's mane and found that the alcohol extracts of the medicinal mushroom inhibited several factors involved in the inflammatory process.
Likewise, studies have also shown that Lion's mane medicinal mushroom can modulate the immune system(10), uplifting and downregulating it according to the situation. In addition, Lion's mane extracts also improve the activity of NK cells, a type of white blood cell which plays an active role in strengthening immunity.
Autoimmune disorders also cause neuropathies, and Lion's mane mushrooms may help reduce the symptoms of an overactive immune system.
4. Combats Infection
Certain viral or bacterial infections also lead to the development of peripheral neuropathies.
Lion's mane mushrooms are known to combat bacterial infections. The flavonoids, phenol, and ascorbic acid in Hericium Erinaceus have demonstrated antimicrobial activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
Similarly, Lion's mane mushroom also has anti-viral properties. For example, a lectin(11) found in the mushroom has been found to inhibit an enzyme involved in the replication of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The virus causes inflammation that can damage the nerves.
5. Combats Mild Cognitive Impairment
While mild cognitive impairment may not be directly related to neuropathy, research shows that most individuals with chronic pain from nerve damage tend to have far poorer cognitive function than those who have fibromyalgia and healthy people. This suggests that brain functions and cognitive functioning may have an indirect—or somehow direct—relationship.
Read More: See how Lion's mane prevents memory loss and improves cognitive function.
A research study conducted in 2021(12) showed a relationship between cognitive performance in older adults and peripheral neuropathy. The research study determined that brain function and the health of brain cells in older adults were connected to the health of the nerve cells. The human research suggests that each case of mild cognitive impairment found indicates a case of peripheral nerve disorders.
Lion's mane has been named one of the best mushrooms for brain health many times. This suggests that Lion's mane extract may also be effective in improving the production of nerve growth factors, helping with peripheral nerve regeneration, and providing health benefits that will enhance the health of the nerves.
6. Lion's Mane Helps With Weight Loss
Weight gain and obesity are two of the most common causes of nerve issues. Each additional pound an individual gains imposes an estimated four extra pounds of force on the spinal cord and joints. This increases the risk of damage to the central nervous system.
A research study conducted in 2016(13) analyzed the relationship between obesity and neuropathic pain. The study determined that obesity could be a precursor for neuropathic pain.
An earlier research study(14) determined that obesity and damage to the peripheral nerves feature a direct and dangerous liaison. These studies show that losing extra weight could help with nerve repair.
Luckily, Lion's mane mushroom extract helps with weight loss. First, Lion's mane reduces the food people consume—it contains fiber that makes people full much faster. Second, using Lion's mane pre-workout eliminates fatigue and allows people to work out more—this further helps with weight loss.
In addition to improving mild cognitive impairment, as noted earlier, Lion's mane also uses weight loss to address issues with the peripheral nervous system.
8. Lion's Mane Helps With Blood Pressure Control
High blood pressure destroys the blood vessels that often supply nerves with oxygen and the nutrients they need to stay healthy. This usually affects nerve growth and causes nerve damage.
Luckily, Lion's mane treats high blood pressure. The mushroom is known to lower high blood pressure, returning it to normal. By maintaining normal blood pressure, the mushroom reduces the risk of nerve damage and helps promote nerve growth.
Lion's Mane Neuropathy Dosage
Research has not been done to determine the ideal Lion's mane dosage for fighting neuropathy. However, we recommend talking to a healthcare professional before using Lion's mane—this should help you determine the ideal dosage depending on your health status and body requirements.
On average, however, you can take 2,000 mg daily. However, starting with a maximum of 1,000 mg daily would be wise. You can increase the quantity as your body becomes used to the mushroom.
Lion's mane is not known to cause significant side effects when used at the proper dosage. However, if you notice any side effects, always seek the doctor's attention immediately.
Can Lion's Mane Regenerate Nerves?
Hericenones and erinacines isolated from Lion's mane mushrooms stimulate Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) production. NGF plays a vital role in nerve regeneration and its survival, growth, and development.
Are There Negative Effects Of Lion's Mane?
Lion's mane mushroom appears safe for most people, but limited information on its adverse effects is available. Avoid using the mushroom if you are allergic to it, pregnant, or using other drugs.
Read More: Learn about Lion's mane interactions with other drugs.
Even better, talk to a healthcare professional to ensure you can use Lion's mane without suffering side effects.
Lion's mane mushroom helps heal and regenerate nerve fibers after an injury. It also lowers the risk of diabetes, infection, and inflammation and regulates the immune system, which may precipitate neuropathy.
Making positive changes to your lifestyle also dramatically reduces the risk of neuropathy. Eating a healthy diet (which includes Lion's mane mushroom), exercising regularly, and avoiding bad habits are significant steps in that direction.
Have you used Lion's mane before? We would love to hear about your experience. Be sure to let us know how Lion's mane changed your health—talk to us in the comment section.
- Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet, (1)https://www.ninds.nih.gov/peripheral-neuropathy-fact-sheet
- Chemical constituents from Hericium erinaceus and their ability to stimulate NGF-mediated neurite outgrowth on PC12 cells, (2)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960894X15301256
- Healing effect of Hericium erinaceus in experimental peripheral neuropathy model, (3)https://web.p.ebscohost.com/abstract?direct=true&profile=ehost&scope=site&authtype=crawler&jrnl=13078798&AN=137698148&h=gtdI8Ql50P8cXjVECtD%2f2e32f7wotlBbi1rOyMs1GDUSZcB9MyvowlpmVSx9J3PA8sQ3hJATSpTFVdJW4QrPcg%3d%3d&crl=c&resultNs=AdminWebAuth&resultLocal=ErrCrlNotAuth&crlhashurl=login.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26profile%3dehost%26scope%3dsite%26authtype%3dcrawler%26jrnl%3d13078798%26AN%3d137698148
- Neuroregenerative Potential of Lion's Mane Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (Higher Basidiomycetes), in the Treatment of Peripheral Nerve Injury (Review), (4)https://www.dl.begellhouse.com/journals/708ae68d64b17c52,03ea8c440cfbb276,23c2fd3840f4e0c9.html
- The influence of Hericium erinaceus extract on myelination process in vitro, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12675022/
- Neuroprotective effects of ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides against oxidative stress-induced neuronal apoptosis, (6)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5514871/
- Antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic activities of aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus in experimental diabetic rats, (7)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3852124/
- Inflammatory Neuropathies: Pathology, molecular markers and targets for specific therapeutic intervention, (8)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4575885/
- 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, (9)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26559695/
- Immunomodulatory effects of Hericium erinaceus derived polysaccharides are mediated by intestinal immunology, (10)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28266682/
- A Novel Lectin with Antiproliferative and HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitory Activities from Dried Fruiting Bodies of the Monkey Head Mushroom Hericium erinaceum, (11)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2896861/
- Relationship between peripheral neuropathy and cognitive performance in the elderly population, (12)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8137106/
- Relationship between Neuropathic Pain and Obesity, (13)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4904620/
- Obesity and peripheral neuropathy risk: a dangerous liaison, (14)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16279984/