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< class="article__title title what-to-look-for-when-buying-lions-mane-products"> What to Look for When Buying Lion's Mane Products?>
What to Look for When Buying Lion's Mane Products?
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 Products?

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 13 min read
What to Look for When Buying Lion's Mane Products?

When buying Lion's Mane, consider the following factors: choose a product made from organically grown mushrooms, ensure purity and potency through third-party testing, opt for full-spectrum extracts, and avoid added fillers or artificial ingredients. 

Consider your health goals and preferred supplementation (fresh, dried, powdered, capsules, tablets, or tinctures) and compare product potency and recommended dosage. Seek reputable brands with positive reviews and testimonials. 

To avoid low-quality Lion's Mane supplements, carefully analyze products. Look for supplements that have the potential to fight inflammation, depression, and anxiety and boost energy levels while supporting the immune system. 

This detailed guide will take a deeper look at the qualities of the best Hericium Erinaceus supplements. However, before we show you what to look for when buying Lion's Mane, let's see common forms of Hericium Erinaceus. 

Understanding Lion's Mane Supplements: Different Forms of Hericium Erinaceus

Understanding Lion's Mane Supplements: Different Forms of Hericium ErinaceusBefore shopping for the best Lion's mane supplements, it is essential to understand the different forms in the market. Some of the forms you will come across when buying Lion's mane supplements include: 

  • Fresh Lion's mane mushroom: The fresh fruit body of Lion's mane mushroom can be found in some specialty grocery stores, offering culinary and medicinal benefits.
  • Dried Lion's mane mushroom: Dried Lion's Mane can be rehydrated and used in various recipes or as an ingredient in homemade medicinal mushroom teas.
  • Powdered Lion's Mane: Lion's mane powder, made from the entire medicinal mushrooms' fruiting body, can be easily added to smoothies, soups, or other recipes, providing a convenient way to incorporate the best Lion's mane supplement into your daily routine.
  • Capsules and tablets: Lion's mane mushroom supplements are available in capsule and tablet forms for those who prefer a more straightforward approach to supplementation.
  • Tinctures and extracts: Lion's mane extract, a concentrated form of the Lions mane mushroom, can be found in tinctures and liquid extracts, providing another convenient way of buying Lion's mane supplements.

Guide On What To Look For When Buying Lion's Mane


1. High-Quality Supplements Combine Mycelium And Fruiting Body

The fruiting bodies sit above the ground, while mycelium is the root-like underground structure. The fruiting body contains Hericenones, whereas the mycelium contains Erinacines. 

Research studies have demonstrated that both bioactive compounds—Hericenones and Erinacines—have beneficial effects on neuronal health(1), promoting the regeneration of brain and nerve cells. Therefore, the best Lion's mane supplement carries Hericenones and Erinacines. So, when buying Lion's mane supplements, look for those produced using a combination of the fruiting body and the mycelium. 

Read More: is mycelium safe to eat?

2. Pay Attention To The Extraction Ratio

The extraction ratio refers to the amount of raw material (in this case, Lion's Mane mushroom) used to produce a given amount of extract in a supplement. For example, an 8:1 extraction ratio means it took 8 kilograms of Lion's Mane to produce 1 kilogram. 

Lion's Mane extracts with ratios of 10:1, 12:1, or 20:1 are available, but the 8:1 extract is the highest possible ratio without adding fillers to stabilize the powder form. Higher ratios are unstable and require fillers, which the best brands avoid. 

The Lion's Mane 8:1 and 1:1 extracts differ in extraction methods and potency. The 8:1 contains more ethanol-soluble compounds but fewer water-soluble compounds, while the 1:1 is simply hot water processed. As a result, the 8:1 is more potent, but not necessarily eight times more so. It has more potent cognition-enhancing effects but fewer immune and general health effects than the 1:1.

Therefore, to boost immunity and general health, eliminating the risk of tumor growth, the 1:1 mushroom powders may be a better option. However, to boost memory and clarity, increase nerve growth factor (NGF) production, or fix issues with your mind and mood, the 8:1 ratio may be a better source of bioactive ingredients. 

Read More: See how Lion's Mane promotes neurogenesis and NGF production. 

3. Double-Extracted Hericium Erinaceus Is More Potent

The many active compounds in lions mane mushroom extracts must be extracted for the body to access them. The compounds may be water-soluble (triterpenes) or alcohol-soluble (beta-glucans). Therefore, Lion's mane mushroom supplement can be extracted:

  • With hot water 
  • Alcohol like ethanol
  • Both alcohol and hot water (double extracted)

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. 

A double-extracted Lion's mane mushroom product will have the suitable bioactive compounds to offer maximum health benefits. For example, it will promote weight loss, fight cholesterol, and treat diabetes, keeping blood sugar levels in check. 

Read More: See how Lion's Mane fights diabetes.

4. Check Beta Glucans And Polysaccharide Content

The best Lion's mane supplements will have a beta-glucan content of at least 25%. Additionally, a good extract should contain only about 35% polysaccharides (a form of starch). 

It is worth noting that lower-quality Lions Mane mushroom extracts may have starches to improve the taste, containing up to 55% polysaccharides. So when you buy Lion's Mane mushrooms to enhance your brain and nervous system, ensure polysaccharide content is not above the beta-glucan range by more than 10%. 

The percentage of beta-glucan in Lions mane mushroom supplements is essential as this is one of the primary compounds responsible for the medicinal properties of Lion's mane mushroom extract. For example, human studies have shown(2) that beta-glucans improve cognitive function and the health of the brain cells, fighting mental disorders like Alzheimer's disease.  

Read More: See how Lion's mane extract fights Alzheimer's disease

5. Raw Mushroom Should Be USDA-Certified Organic

The best mane powder is prepared from organically grown Lion's Mane. Therefore,  before buying Lion's Mane mushrooms and their supplements, look for 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. The best manufacturers will always have a certification on their labels indicating their powder, tincture, or capsule is free from GMO ingredients. 

Boost Your Brain Health With Our Certified 100% Organic Lion's Mane Powder - Claim Your 10% Discount Now!

6. Confirm It Has Minimal Fillers

The best quality Lion's mane supplements will not have grains or grain starch as the primary or secondary ingredient.  This is because these ingredients do not carry any health benefits.  

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

7. 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 

The best Lions Mane mushroom supplements will not have heavy metals. In addition, the best brands will always test their products to ensure they only supply beneficial compounds and zero toxins or poisonous compounds. 

How to Choose the Right Lion's Mane Product for Your Needs

How to Choose the Right Lion's Mane Product for Your Needs

When selecting the ideal lions mane supplement for your needs, you mustconsider several factors, including your personal health goals, preferred supplementation, product potency, and value. 

Assess Your Personal Health Goals

Lion's Mane is a versatile medicinal mushroom with various potential benefits. First, identify your primary health goals, such as cognitive function, nervous system support, immune system boost, or digestive health. Once you understand your objectives, you can find lions mane supplements specifically targeting those needs.

Determine Your Preferred Form of Supplementation

Lion's mane mushroom supplements come in various forms, including whole mushrooms, mushroom powder, capsules, tablets, and tinctures. If you enjoy cooking with culinary and medicinal mushrooms, fresh or dried lions mane mushrooms may be your best choice. Opt for capsules, tablets, or tinctures if you prefer a quick and easy supplement.

Compare Product Potency

Look for products that use the whole mushroom, as these tend to contain a more comprehensive range of bioactive compounds. Then, consider the "smart mushroom" aspect and choose a product with the desired cognitive benefits.

Consider Product Price and Value

While it may be tempting to go for the cheapest option, it's crucial to consider the product's overall value. A high-quality lion's mane supplement may cost more, but the benefits often outweigh the price difference. Traditional Chinese medicine values Lion's mane functional mushrooms for their numerous health benefits, so investing in a high-quality Lion’s mane extract or supplement is worth it in the long run.

FAQs About What To Look For When Buying Lion's Mane

What Is The Best Form Of Lion's Mane To Take?

The best form of Lion's Mane depends on personal preferences and health goals. Lion's Mane supplement is available in various forms, including capsules, powders, tinctures, and teas, all of which appeal to different consumers.

Lion's mane capsules and powders are the most common forms, with capsules being more convenient and easy to use. In addition, Lion's mane powders can be added to drinks or foods, allowing for more versatility in consumption. 

Tinctures and teas may offer a more traditional approach and be helpful for those who prefer herbal remedies. These forms of Lion's Mane supplement boast the same nutrients—including protein and minerals—and bioactive ingredients, meaning they have the same health benefits. 

What Are The Negative Effects Of Lion's Mane?

Lion's Mane mushroom is generally considered safe, with rare side effects. However, some individuals may experience mild digestive symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, or stomach discomfort when taking higher doses. 

Additionally, some people may experience allergic reactions to mushrooms, including Lion's Mane products, which can range from mild to severe. People allergic to mushrooms should avoid consuming any Lion's Mane supplement. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any new supplements or if any adverse reactions occur.

Should I Take Lion's Mane Every Day?

Lion's Mane supplements are generally safe for most people and can be taken daily as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. However, the frequency and dosage of Lion's Mane supplements depend on individual health goals, overall health, and lifestyle factors. 

Moreover, some people may benefit from taking Lion's Mane supplements daily, while others may find it beneficial to take them intermittently or as needed. The recommended dosage for Lion's Mane supplements varies depending on the form and brand. Therefore, following the instructions provided on the product label or as a healthcare professional recommends is essential. 

Is Lions Mane Better In Morning Or Night?

No specific time of day is recommended for taking Lion's Mane supplements. The best time to take Lion's Mane may vary depending on individual preferences and lifestyle factors. 

Some people may prefer taking it in the morning to help improve focus and concentration throughout the day. Others may like taking it in the evening to promote relaxation and restful sleep. 

How Much Lions Mane Should I Take Daily?

The recommended dosage for Lion's Mane extract varies depending on the form and brand. Therefore, following the instructions provided on the product label or as a healthcare professional recommends is essential. 

The typical daily dosage for Lions Mane mushroom extract ranges from 500 mg to 3000 mg, depending on the concentration of active compounds and the desired health benefits. Start with a lower dosage and gradually increase it to determine the optimal dosage that works for you. 

Key Takeaways

When purchasing Lion's mane mushroom extracts, 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 the best quality.  However, you must also ensure you get your Lion's mane mushroom products from reputable producers. This will reduce the risk of receiving substandard Lions mane mushroom supplements. 

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

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  1. Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help? (1)
  2. Three Different Types of β-Glucans Enhance Cognition: The Role of the Gut-Brain Axis, (2)

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