What is Lion’s Mane used for? (Brain and Spiritual Benefits)


What Is Lion’s Mane Used For?

Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) is a type of medicinal mushroom that is used for many health conditions including the nervous system, digestion, and metabolism. 

Lion’s mane has been consumed in China for centuries. In China, Lion’s Mane is used in various meals and for its various healing properties. 

Scientific research shows that Lion’s Mane contains many compounds including antioxidants and beta-glucan that are responsible for its many health benefits.

  • It helps with many mental conditions like depression, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, autism, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. 
  • It improves digestion and metabolism.
  • It enhances the immune system by reducing inflammation and preventing oxidation.
  • It plays a role in treating and preventing cancer.

What are Lion’s Mane Spiritual Benefits?

Lion’s mane is called the ”spirit plant” because of its wide range of cognition-enhancing and spiritual benefits. It is a nootropic mushroom that provides a state of blissful union with spiritual ecstasy and physical well-being. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine:

It has been used in Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda as a medicinal mushroom for thousands of years. The ancient Chinese referred to it as a tonic for the 5 internal organs (heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and spleen). 


Like many healing mushrooms, lion’s mane has been known for supporting general well-being and longevity. It helps to achieve a crystal clear brain state, perfect for meditation. 

Buddhist monks used it to enhance their brainpower and increase concentration during meditation practices. One famous Buddhist Shaolin used to drink lion’s mane tea before his meditation practice.

In order to achieve that mystical and spiritual connection, lion’s mane activates our crown chakra. It manipulates our brain wave activity and increases neuronal signaling during meditation.

In the video below, the channel FreshCap Mushrooms talks about the power of Lion’s Mane mushroom—known scientifically as Hericium erinaceus—focusing on benefits, uses and how to incorporate it into your routine.

This is our recommended Lion’s Mane supplement (Amazon’s Choice):

Lions Mane Brain and Focus Supplements – Mushroom Powder Extract Capsules – Non GMO and Gluten Free Supplement for Better Cognitive Health

When Should You Take Lion’s Mane?

Lion’s mane should be taken in the morning in the form of a mushroom tea or an infusion to start the day with an energy boost and feel more productive and focused. But some people prefer it in the evening because it has a calming effect on the nervous system.

Lion’s mane mushroom is an adaptogen which means it will take time to work with your system. However, it works differently for people when taken at different times during the day because of the person’s own circadian or biological rhythm. Our best recommendation would be to try it yourself for some days and see how it reacts the best when taken at different times. 

How Much Lion’s Mane Should You Take Per Day?

Generally, Lion’s mane should be taken with a dosage of  1000mg per day. The frequency of the regimen can be three times per day but the dosage should not be exceeded 1000mg/day. As a starting regimen, the dosages of 250-750mg daily for two weeks and gradually increasing after, have also been shown to be effective.

However, the daily dosage of lion’s mane depends on the person’s age, weight, health, and the condition you are trying to treat. Children and older people require less dose than adults. A larger and more frequent dosage of lion’s mane would be used for chronic conditions to make a noticeable difference. 

What Is The Best Way To Take Lion’s Mane?

The best way to take lion’s mane will depend on the form of the mushroom you are consuming. There are many ways that lion’s mane can be consumed. As they have their pros and cons, you can choose which one works the best for you. 

  • Fresh Lion’s Mane: In Chinese medicine, fresh lion’s mane has been used for many years. The fresh mushroom can be eaten raw or cooked.
  • Powered Lion’s Mane: Lion’s mane can is more often used in dried powdered form. You can mix the powder in hot water or add it to your coffee or tea.
  • Lion’s Mane Supplements: The best way to consume lion’s mane would be to take it in capsule or tablet form. It’s because in this form the dosage is precisely measured. And it is easy and convenient too. 

How Long Does It Take For Lion’s Mane To Work?

Many experts claim that it takes two weeks for lion’s mane to work on most individuals. As this mushroom is an adaptogen, which means it will take time to work and give the desired result. So, you need to patiently keep using it for a while before you see the benefits you desire.

What is Lion’s Mane Chinese Name?

Lion’s Mane mushrooms are called Hou tou gu 猴头菇 in Chinese. It has been used in China for culinary and medicinal purposes for centuries. 

Can You Use Lion’s Mane For Nerve Regeneration?

Along with a wide range of benefits of lion’s mane on the nervous system, it is also involved in the regeneration of nerve cells. The neuro-regenerative potential of lion’s mane has been studied and proved by many researchers. 

Title: Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers., a medicinal mushroom, activates peripheral nerve regeneration

Duration: 14 days

Subject information: Srague-Dawley rats

Number of subjects: 40

Methods Used:

It is a model case study to investigate the activity of aqueous extract of Hericium Erinaceus fresh fruit bodies in promoting functional recovery following crush injury to the peroneal nerve in rats. The rats were divided into experimental, positive, and negative control groups. The former group was injected with an aqueous extract of the mushroom and the latter two were injected with mecobalamin and distilled water for 14 days.

Walking track analysis was used for assessing the functional recovery in the behavioral experiment. Peroneal functional index (PFI) was determined before surgery and after surgery as rats showed signs of recovery. Histological examinations were performed on the peroneal nerve to analyze.


Functional recovery was noticeable from day 4 of the treatment in positive and experimental groups. It was found that the aqueous extract of the mushroom promoted the regeneration of axons and reinnervation of motor endplates in the muscles of rats within 14 days. 

Can You Use Lion’s Mane For Parkinson’s Disease?

Lion’s mane is one of the well-established medicinal mushrooms that has been selected for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease due to its neuro-health activity. 

Title: Neurological Activity of Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

Duration: 25 days  


After 25 days of treatment with a low dose of lion’s mane in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease led to significant improvement in oxidative stress and dopaminergic lesions in the striatum and substantia nigra.

Title: Lion’s Mane, Hericium erinaceus and Tiger Milk, Lignosus rhinocerotis (Higher Basidiomycetes) Medicinal Mushrooms Stimulate Neurite Outgrowth in Dissociated Cells of Brain, Spinal Cord, and Retina: An In Vitro Study


Dissociated cells of the brain, spinal cord, and retina from chick embryos were used to investigate the potential of H. erinaceus and some other neurogenerative mushrooms to stimulate neurite outgrowth. An immunofluorescence assay was used to confirm neurite outgrowth in all tissue samples. 


Neuronal differentiation and neuronal elongation were seen at different concentrations of extracts used on the tissue samples. The extracts of H. erinaceus extract at 50 µg/mL triggered neurite outgrowth at 20.47%, 22.47%, and 21.70% in brain, spinal cord, and retinal cells.

Can You Use Lion’s Mane For Multiple sclerosis?

Lion’s mane has been shown promising results for the management of multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder occurring in the central nervous system where the immune system attacks the myelin sheath of neurons. 

Title: The influence of H.erinaceus extract on myelination process in vitro


 This study was done to find the effect of an extract from H. erinaceus on the cerebellar cells and the process of myelination in vitro.


The extract of H.erinaceus promoted the process of myelination of the cultivated cerebellar cells in vitro.  Other than that, there was a decrease in beta-amyloid plaques; which are proteins that develop in the myelin sheath and disrupt neurotransmission.

Can You Use Lion’s Mane For Alzheimer’s Disease?

Lion’s mane has been shown promising results for the management of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that slowly destroys the brain cells which causes impaired memory and thinking skills. 

Title: Erinacine A-enriched Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease-related pathologies in APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice.

Subjects: 5 month-old female APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice

Duration: 30 Days


The effects of erinacine A-enriched Hericium erinaceus mycelia on the pathological changes in APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease were studied by the oral administration of the extract to 5 month-old mice for 30 days, 5-Bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU; Sigma) was injected intraperitoneally at the last 7 days. After that, the mice were sacrificed and the brain was removed and one hemisphere was saved for testing with Aβ ELISA and immunoblotting. While the hemisphere was processed for histochemical and immunohistochemical staining. 


It was found that the oral administration of the extract of H.erinaceous improved the neurogenesis and ratio of nerve growth factor (NGF). The number of plaque-activated microglia and astrocytes in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus were decreased. Both of these effects were significant in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Title: Prevention of Early Alzheimer’s Disease by Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Pilot Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study

Duration: 49 weeks

Methods: This study was done to investigate the efficacy and safety of capsules containing H. erinaceus mycelia for the treatment of patients with mild Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).  The patients were randomized into 2 groups, one being treated with the H. erinaceus mycelia capsules and the other being treated with placebo capsules. Cognitive assessments, ophthalmic examinations, biomarker collection, and neuroimaging were done throughout the study period.


 Three 350 mg/g H. erinaceus capsules interventions for 49 weeks demonstrated higher Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument score, Mini-Mental State Examination score, and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living score. Tests relating to its safety and tolerability were also done which provided desirable results.

Does Lion’s Mane Increase Dopamine Levels?

Lion’s mane has been proven to increase dopamine levels by many mechanisms. There are many factors causing depression and anxiety, decreased level of dopamine and serotonin in the body is one of them. Lion’s mane reduces anxiety and depression by: 

  • Increasing the production of dopamine and serotonin, the mood-regulating hormones. 
  • Reducing anxiety and depression because it contains anti-inflammatory peptides. 

Animal studies have shown that extract of Lion’s Mane can rebuild neuronal cells and promote the effective functioning of the hippocampus that is involved in memory processing and emotional reactions. 

Title: Hericium erinaceus Extract Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Brain

Subjects: 6 Male Mice


6 male mice were given an extract of H.erinaceus once a day orally for 4 weeks. After the last administration, open field and tail suspension tests were performed and they were forced to swim 2 days later to induce anxiety and tension in the mice. 


 It was found that after chronic administration of  H.erinaceus , the mice showed anxiolytic and antidepressant effects. There was renounced proliferative activity of the hippocampal progenitor cells that were assessed by immunohistochemistry of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and Ki67. Neuronal survival rate was assessed by the administration of 5-Bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) intraperitonally on the first day of H.erinaceus administration, followed by isolation of the brains 4 weeks later. 

What is Lion’s Mane Dosage for Depression?

One study evaluated the effect of lion’s mane for reduced depression and anxiety at a daily dosage of 1200 mg for 8 weeks. One survey found that the dosage of lion’s mane for depression and anxiety is 750-1000 mg/day. The dose should not be increased from this limit.

Does Lion’s Mane Help With Autism?

Lion’s mane is known to help people with autism by reducing inflammation and strengthening the immune system. Impaired neurogenesis, apoptosis, and inflammation have been recognized as the causes of autism and that’s the possible mechanism by which lion’s mane helps with autism. 

Autism is a multi-organ system disorder that is first recognized in early childhood and characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. Impaired neurogenesis, apoptosis, and inflammation have been recognized as the causes of autism and that’s the possible mechanism by which lion’s mane helps with autism. 

Can You Use Lion’s Mane for Schizophrenia?

Lion’s Mane is an amazing mushroom that has a wide range of effects on brain health and can be used for schizophrenia. Many studies have proved the presence of bioactive substances in lion’s mane that have the potential to stimulate the production of neuronal cells, repair neuronal damage, and improve brain function, which reduces the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Lion’s mane contains some neuroprotective compounds that inhibit the destruction of neuronal cells by oxidative or ER stress and prevent the formation of amyloid beta-peptide that is involved in the cytotoxicity of neuronal cells.

Schizophrenia is a chronic disorder of the brain characterized by psychosis, delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech. The possible causes of schizophrenia are neuronal cell death, and disruption in the regulation of hormones like dopamine, glutamate, etc, and GABA. 

Does Lion’s Mane Help With Epilepsy?

Lion’s mane has the potential to improve overall brain function which helps people with epilepsy. However, the exact mechanism of lion’s mane for the treatment of epilepsy is not known but it has something to do with maintaining a balance between the excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms of the brain. 

Lion’s mane dosage for improving neuronal function and preventing neuronal damage is 750mg daily. 

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder with a variety of etiologic backgrounds that is characterized by seizures. There are multiple causes of epilepsy involving brain functioning which include an imbalance between the excitatory and inhibitory hormones, brain lesions caused by cancer, stroke, trauma, status epilepticus, somatic mutations, infections, metabolic defects, and inflammation. 

What Does Paul Stamets Think About Lion’s Mane Mushroom?

According to Paul Stamets, Lion’s mane is a ”smart mushroom” that has a variety of benefits for the nervous system. Paul Stamets is a renowned American mycologist and entrepreneur who sells various mushroom products through his company called Host Defense. With its power to protect and regenerate the nervous system, reduce anxiety, stress, and improve cognitive function, this mushroom has earned its title.

Following are other benefits of this smart mushroom:

  • Helps with depression, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, autism, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. 
  • Improves digestion and metabolism.
  • Enhances the immune system by reducing inflammation and preventing oxidations.
  • Plays a role in treating and preventing cancer. 

What is Lion’s Mane Half life?

According to a study, the half-life of erinacrine S that is found in lion’s mane, is 8-12 hours which means lion’s mane can be taken 2 to 3 times daily. But the daily dosage should not be increased from 1000mg. Erinacrine S is a bioactive compound that is the reason behind lion’s are potential to reduce amyloid plaque and improve neurogenesis. 

Although there are not many studies done on finding half-life of lion’s mane mushroom, there have been some investigations conducted on the absorption, distribution, and elimination of some of the important compounds of lion’s mane. 

Should We Take Lion’s Mane With or Without Food?

The best way of consuming Lion’s mane is taking it on an empty stomach without any food in the morning. You can also mix lion’s mane powder in your morning coffee. But some people prefer taking it at night after dinner to have its calming effects. 

However, there is no scientific evidence of how food affects the absorption, distribution, and elimination of lion’s mane. 

What Are Lion’s Mane Drug Interactions?

There are some interactions of Lion’s mane with various drugs including:

  • Anti-Diabetics: Lion’s mane mushroom interact with hypoglycemics like insulin, metformin, etc. It might potentiate the effect of these medications and cause hypoglycemia. These medications must be used with caution when using along with lion’s mane. Daily monitoring of blood sugar should be done.
  • Anti-coagulants: Lion’s mane should not be used along with anti-coagulants like warfarin or clopidogrel. It can decrease the effect of the anticoagulant medication and might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

Want to know more?

Click the links below to access the individual topic pages:


This article makes use of information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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What is Lion’s Mane used for? (Brain and Spiritual Benefits)
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