Deep dive into herbs | Lion's Mane
The benefits of Lion's Mane
Lion’s mane mushroom is also named as hou tou gu or yamabushitake. They are large in size, white in color and shaggy in appearance, that is why they have resemblance with lion’s mane when they grow. These mushrooms have diverse medicinal benefits, people from China, Japan, India, and Korea used them in their food. The extract of these mushrooms is very beneficial for multiple health conditions.
Lion’s mane mushroom has proven to be beneficial in Alzheimer’s disease. The research found out that Lion’s mane has some components such as hericium and erinaceum, these two wonderful compounds of mushroom have the potential to stimulate the growth of nerve cells. Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease, our brain cells also get old as we grow old, that is why Alzheimer’s disease gets worse in older people. From both laboratory and clinical applications, it has proved that Lion’s man has antidementia characteristics and is very beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients (Kawagishi et al., 2004).
One-third of people in the world, living in developed countries are suffering from stress, depression, and anxiety. A well-known edible mushroom Lion’s mane is beneficial in relieving stress, depression, and anxiety. Its fruiting body has hericium and erinaceum, these two compounds are very effective to trigger the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), which improves the brain functioning and autonomic nervous system. Research on animal models showed that the extract of Lion’s mane assists to enhance the hippocampus functioning, a part of the brain that controls the emotional response and process memories. It is believed that better functioning of the hippocampus can help to reduce the depressive and anxious behavior in the mice (Ryu et al., 2018).
Gastric ulcer is a complicated gastrointestinal disease. The occurrence of the disorder is associated with the impairment of gastric mucosa, which results in perforations in the lining of the stomach and it is followed by bleeding of the stomach wall. Usually, ulcers develop due to an imbalance among aggressive factors, for example, pepsin secretions and acid. Gastrointestinal ulcers can also develop due to decreased defensive factors, like reduction in mucous and bicarbonate secretions. The study showed that Lion’s mane mushroom’s extract promotes the protection against gastrointestinal ulcers and substantially reduce the ulcer area (Wong et al., 2013).
The high concentration of lipids and cholesterol in blood plasma has been strongly associated with cardiovascular diseases. Research has been revealed that Lion’s mane mushroom can deliver some beneficial effects that can reduce the risks for cardiovascular diseases by improving the fat metabolism and lowering the triglyceride levels from the blood. According to the study the hericium erinaceus act as an inhibitor for the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and overcome the oxidative stress to reduce the chances for cardiovascular disorders (Rehman et al., 2014).
Diabetes is a condition when the body loses the potential to control the blood sugar level because of insufficient production of insulin hormone. A recent study evaluated Lion’s mane anti-diabetic effect in rats. According to the study, the polysaccharides, HEP-C from the fruiting body of mushroom has the strong antioxidant potential to scavenge free radicals (that can worse the diabetes condition) and inhibitory effects on alpha-glucosidase (that increases the glucose levels in the blood). That is why the extract or juice of a lion’s mushroom is beneficial for diabetic patients (Cai et al., 2019).
Chronic inflammation can result in many disorders such as autoimmune diseases, heart diseases, liver diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. Research showed that Lion’s mane mushroom has beneficial anti-inflammatory effects. The ethanol extract of Lion’s mane mushroom can have therapeutic effects on inflammatory bowel disease because hericium erinaceus reduce the inflammatory factors and stop the intestinal bleeding. The extract is also helpful for improving the length and health of the colon by suppressing the synthesis of inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress (Qin et al., 2016).
Effects on Boosting Immune system
A strong immune system and efficient immunity protect the body from foreign antigens like bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. The research revealed that polysaccharides present in the fruiting body of Lion’s mane mushroom are beneficial for boosting the immunity. Polysaccharide HEP increases cell-mediated and humoral immunity. This polysaccharide from mushroom has proved very effective in the regulation of immune activity of intestine (Sheng et al., 2017).
Cai, W. D., Ding, Z. C., Wang, Y. Y., Yang, Y., Zhang, H. N., & Yan, J. K. (2019). Hypoglycemic benefit and potential mechanism of a polysaccharide from Hericium erinaceus in streptozotoxin-induced diabetic rats. Process Biochemistry.
Kawagishi, H., Zhuang, C., & Shnidman, E. (2004). The anti-dementia effect of Lion's Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceum) and its clinical application. Townsend letter for doctors and Patients, (249), 54-57.
Qin, M., Geng, Y., Lu, Z., Xu, H., Shi, J. S., Xu, X., & Xu, Z. H. (2016). Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ethanol Extract of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), in Mice with Ulcerative Colitis. International journal of medicinal mushrooms, 18(3).
Ryu, S., Kim, H. G., Kim, J. Y., Kim, S. Y., & Cho, K. O. (2018). Hericium erinaceus extract reduces anxiety and depressive behaviors by promoting hippocampal neurogenesis in the adult mouse brain. Journal of medicinal food, 21(2), 174-180.
Rahman, M. A., Abdullah, N., & Aminudin, N. (2014). Inhibitory effect on in vitro LDL oxidation and HMG Co-A reductase activity of the liquid-liquid partitioned fractions of Hericium erinaceus (Bull.) Persoon (lion’s mane mushroom). BioMed research international, 2014.
Sheng, X., Yan, J., Meng, Y., Kang, Y., Han, Z., Tai, G., ... & Cheng, H. (2017). Immunomodulatory effects of Hericium erinaceus derived polysaccharides are mediated by intestinal immunology. Food & function, 8(3), 1020-1027.
Wong, J. Y., Abdulla, M. A., Raman, J., Phan, C. W., Kuppusamy, U. R., Golbabapour, S., & Sabaratnam, V. (2013). Gastroprotective effects of Lion’s Mane mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers.(Aphyllophoromycetideae) extract against ethanol-induced ulcer in rats. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013.