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< class="article__title title what-to-look-for-when-buying-lions-mane"> What To Look For When Buying Lion's Mane>
What To Look For When Buying Lion's Mane
Apr 28, 22
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

What To Look For When Buying Lion's Mane

  • by Sony Sherpa
  • |
  • 15 min read

Lion's mane is one of the most popular mushroom supplements. It has various benefits, from reducing inflammation to boosting cognitive function. 

But with so many supplements on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? This guide will help you understand what to look for when buying Lion's Mane supplements and how to choose the best product for your needs.

Are you ready to consume the best Lion's mane products? Read on!

What Causes the Confusion When Buying Lion's Mane?

Lion's mane mushroom is a unique-looking edible mushroom found in the woodlands of Asia and North America. Mane mushrooms, also known by their scientific name Hericium Erinaceus, have a fruiting body that grows on the dead and decaying stumps or logs of oat, walnut, maple, beech, and sycamore trees.

While you may not confuse the mushroom's large, shaggy-looking white spines for something else or other mushroom species, it is also unlikely that you will foray into the wild looking for Lion's mane. Moreover, growing Lion's mane from scratch takes a lot of effort and work.  

Luckily for you, Lion's mane mushroom is available as a supplement that provides all the fantastic benefits of this unique fungus. Lions mane mushroom supplements are widely available in the market, and you can get them either in powders, tinctures, or capsules. 

With so many options to choose from, it might get a little tricky and confusing for you to determine which option to add to your cart. However, choosing the right supplement is crucial for maximum Lion's mane benefits.

Much information on choosing the right Lion's mane supplement exists on Facebook, Instagram, and online blogs. However, this information is often confusing and contradicting. 

Some content will even tell you that the component in each supplement changes, and there is evidence to back these claims. But before you rack your head and overuse your mind trying to buy the best lions mane mushroom supplement, we will tell you precisely what you need to know! All you have to do is keep reading this Lion's mane mushroom buying guide.

What To Look For When Buying Lion's Mane?

Lion's mane mushroom supplements have become increasingly popular, and many variations of the extracts are available today. The appearance of Lion's mane mushroom products also varies depending upon the purity and quality of the extract.

Some common questions and queries get thrown around frequently when we discuss the best Lion's mane supplement. We will discuss each of these lion mushroom questions in detail below. These details should help you buy high-quality Lions mane mushroom supplements. 

Keep in mind that different mushrooms may have varying component amounts. Therefore, if you are new to using Lion's mane mushrooms, you may want to seek individual medical advice before making your purchase. 

A good doctor or health professional should help you determine the functional mushroom product that will help you boost your cognitive function and provide the most beneficial beta and alpha glucans.   

Whole Fruit Body Vs. Mycelium: Which One Is Better?

A lot of debate is going on as to which part of the lions mane mushroom is better when making the best Lions mane supplement or Lions main powder. Fruiting bodies are the part of the mushroom above the ground, while mycelium is the root-like underground structure.In this section, two compounds will be the main topic of discussion—Hericenones and Erinacines. 

The whole fruit body contains Hericenones, whereas the mycelium contains Erinacines. Both bioactive compounds have demonstrated beneficial effects on neuronal health(1). Ideally, the best Lion's mane supplements combine the two components to offer maximum benefits.

However, the problem with choosing a mycelium-based Lion's mane product—or a product made using the myceliated biomass—is that mycelium is generally grown on grains. Therefore, Lion's mane extract from mycelium often lacks as many benefits as the mushroom's fruiting body. Growing mycelium on grain is usually cheaper and easier than growing fruiting bodies. However, the lower cost of growing mycelium on grain often results in reduced product quality. 

The grain dilutes the mycelium and its medicinal properties, which, even in the undiluted form of Lion's mane product, occur in a minimal amount (around 0.01%). Mycelium grown on grains further diminishes this value. This suggests that the best Lions mane supplements are not sourced from mycelium. 

At best, quality mushroom powders will come from the entire mushroom—that is, they will be a combination of the fruiting body and the mycelium. You will enjoy maximum nerve growth factor and other beneficial compounds from the functional mushrooms when using Lion's mane powder produced this way. 

Read More: Learn how high-quality Lion's mane promotes neurogenesis and increases the nerve growth factor (NGF). 

Most clinical data on the benefits of Lion mane powder is done on mushroom fruiting bodies. Even if the research is based on mycelium, it is done on liquid-fermented mycelium. 

When comparing fermented Lion's mane vs. regular mycelium, the fermented is usually much better. The fermented form of mycelium is different from the mycelium raised in the grain—the fermented form makes a better Lion's mane supplement.

To truly benefit from using Lion's mane for diabetes and other conditions, buy supplements containing the whole fruit body rather than mycelium. Doing so will ensure you get all the health-supporting compounds in your body rather than unbeneficial fillers.

What Is 1:1 Extract Vs. 8:1 Extract?

The extraction ratio is the number of raw mushrooms used to produce finished Lions mane products. To get a quality product, you need to understand the meaning of ratios on Lion's mane products sold. 

A 1:1 extract is when the whole Lion's mane mushroom has been dissolved in hot water. This breaks down the chitin cell wall of the mushroom, releasing its beneficial bioactive compounds like beta-glucans. The Lion's mane is then collected, dried, and transformed into a powder form. 

For people comparing Lion's mane extract vs powder, the 1:1 extract explains how the two differ. In most cases, the powder is produced after the mushroom extract has already been taken

An 8:1 extract requires 8 kg of raw mushroom to produce 1 kg of the extract. This extract ratio generally provides the most benefits—it is often more potent than the 1:1 extract. For this reason, the 8:1 extract is usually recommended for maximum Lion's mane memory benefits

Beyond a certain level, a higher extraction ratio provides no additional benefits for Lion's mane mushroom extracts. It may even be detrimental to the quality of the lions mane mushroom extracts. After a certain point, a higher ratio can easily spoil the beta-glucans in the mushroom product. 

For this reason, when looking for the best supplements or Lion's mane products, try to maintain your preference for recipes featuring a good extraction ratio

Does The Kind Of Extract Matter When It Comes To Lion's Mane Supplements?

The wide variety of active compounds in lions mane mushroom extracts needs to be extracted for the body to access them. The compounds may be water-soluble (triterpenes) or alcohol-soluble (beta-glucans).

The best Lion's mane mushroom supplement can be extracted:

  • With hot water 
  • Alcohol like ethanol
  • The two processes: Ethanol and hot water, can be combined to form a double extract. 

The best Lions mane mushroom supplement is usually double extracted (with water and alcohol). Double extraction is the standard method used by top-rated brands. 

The best Lion's mane brand will use the double extraction process as it ensures the resulting Lion's mane products have all the beneficial compounds so that the body can get full-spectrum support from the mushroom. 

Read More: See how double-extracted Lion's mane eliminates brain fog

Do the Lion’s Mane Supplement Ingredients Matter?

Do the Lion’s Mane Supplement Ingredients Matter?

Research has shown that a daily dose of functional mushroom products can offer numerous advantages. However, for someone to enjoy maximum benefits, they need to check the product label to ensure their product has the right ingredients. You do not want to be taking Lion's mane at the right time without getting any benefits. 

The following section will show you the ingredients that make the best quality Lion's mane. 

1. Beta Glucans Content

The polysaccharide in Lion's mane mushroom should not exceed the beta-glucan content by more than 5%. Always read labels for the specific beta-glucan content when placing your Lions mane order. The best mane extract will always have a label indicating the beta-glucan percentage. 

The percentage of beta-glucan in Lion's mane mushrooms is essential as this is one of the primary compounds responsible for its medicinal properties. It is worth noting that you may not get maximum benefits if you use a mushroom grown on grain spawn or grain starch. Therefore, when checking the beta-glucan content, check how the mushroom was grown. 

When growing mushrooms, the best brands ensure that utmost care is taken. This guarantees a unique mushroom with good beta-glucan content.

2. Organic Certification—The Raw Mushroom Should Be USDA-Certified Organic

The best mane powder is prepared from organically grown Lion's mane. Therefore, look for a whole mushroom that is certified organic and grown without pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. 

You should also ensure the product has been created sustainably, using non-GMO ingredients. Avoid anything not certified organic, as this could harm your overall health. 

When we say "certified organic," we are not just referring to the mushroom—some manufacturers will often use other materials in addition to the mushroom during the capsule production process. 

Ensure the additional minerals and vitamins are from foods that have been certified organic. This will guarantee maximum health benefits from the mushrooms. 

Read More: See how organic Lion's mane aids ADHD treatment

3. Fillers

The best Lion's mane supplement will not have grains as the primary or secondary ingredient. These ingredients do not carry any health benefits.  

For this reason, avoid mushroom products with grains as a main component of the extract or supplement. The non-beneficial grains and fillers include mycelial biomass and rice. 

Top-quality brands that invest time in producing their mushroom extracts pride themselves in avoiding methods and ingredients that won't benefit their consumers. Therefore, when buying your Lion's mane mushroom extracts from top-quality brands, you won't have to worry about improper preparation.

4. Absence Of Heavy Metals

The term "heavy metals" refers to any metallic chemical element with a relatively high density and is poisonous or toxic even at low concentrations. Examples of heavy metals include:

  • Mercury
  • Lead
  • Chromium
  • Cadmium
  • Arsenic 

In addition to carrying a combination of beneficial active compounds, the best mane mushroom products will not have heavy metals. The best brands will always test their products to ensure they only supply beneficial compounds and zero toxins or poisonous compounds. 

What Is The Best Lion's Mane Supplement?

When going for dietary supplements made using Lion's mane, there are several things you need to consider. The best Lions mane powder has the following properties:

  • Made from 100% fruiting bodies
  • Contains high levels of beta-glucans and low levels of starch and fillers
  • Should be analytically tested
  • Double extracted 
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Organic certified
  • It is not made using myceliated rice. Myceliated rice has a high amount of starch and lacks valuable nutrients. Carrying a high amount of complex carbohydrates, this type of supplement may be unhealthy. 
  • It can be (but this is not mandatory) in capsule form to ease consumption

What Are Some Common Misconceptions About Lion's Mane?

There are some not-so-true things that people believe about Lion's mane. In the following section, we will list these myths and analyze them. 

Lion's Mane Is A Psychedelic

People often fail to buy Lions mane because they think it may alter their reality. This is a myth that should be ignored. The mushroom does not alter the state of reality

However, Lion's mane is one of the best mushrooms for brain health; it improves your cognitive function and mental performance without causing psychedelic symptoms like hallucinations. 

Medicinal Mushrooms Are Not Safe

Lion's mane, contrary to popular belief, is safe for consumption. The mushroom has no known significant side effects. 

If you intend to buy Lion's mane for the first time, you can talk to your doctor first. This should help you get an ideal Lion's mane dosage, which will, in turn, help you enjoy Lion's mane supplements without worrying about side effects. 

Wildcrafted Lion's Mane Is Superior To Factory Produced Supplements

Factory-crafted Lion's mane can provide the same benefits as wild mushrooms. The best mane brand will only use top-quality materials to produce the best mane supplement. 

Where To Buy Lion's Mane Mushrooms?

Now that you know what to look for when buying Lion's mane, we will answer the question, "Lion's mane mushroom where to buy?" 

While it is possible to fulfill your Lion's mane order at a local store, you probably do not have enough time to walk around shopping for the supplement. 

At Nature's Rise, however, we deliver the best Lion's mane supplements to your doorstep so that you can focus on enjoying the flavor of top-rated supplements instead of moving from one store to the other, wondering which store offers high-quality supplements. 

Ordering Nature's Rise Lion's mane organic mushroom powder guarantees you a top-quality product.  

Final Thoughts

So that's the guide to buying Lions mane. When purchasing Lion's mane, pick products made from mushroom fruiting bodies, double extracted, certified organic, and analytically tested for purity and potency. The mushroom supplement should also have a high percentage of beta-glucan content and have non-GMO ingredients. 

A Lion's mane supplement that ticks all these checkboxes will be of the best quality.  Now that you know what to look for when buying Lion's mane, grab a packet of this remarkable mushroom!

Have you tried purchasing Lion’s mane before? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments. 

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References

  1. Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help? (1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3924982/
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