As westerners are becoming increasingly familiar with the lion’s mane and chaga mushroom species used for thousands of years medicinally in the East, the benefits they offer are continuing to unravel. While various species share some elements, they each contain unique attributes which may be used for specific needs.
Scientists and medical researchers are continuing to investigate these natural powerhouses, which, due to their position on an ecosystems food chain, hold potent, bioactive ingredients. Certain species of mushrooms are classified as functional foods, meaning that they are naturally occurring, eatable, and may offer benefits beyond just providing nutrition. As naturally occurring plants and mushrooms, these species of mushrooms are mostly safe at modest amounts, and because of that, many people are accepting of their usage and including them as part of their everyday health regimen.
As you are learning about different species and their individual support for health and wellbeing, you might wonder how they work together. For instance, could lions mane and chaga be taken together? Keep reading for answers to your questions.
Benefits of Lion’s Mane and Chaga
Functional Mushrooms earned this title because they are unlike culinary mushrooms, which we eat for nutrition. Historically, these uncommon species were harvested, dried, and used as medicine in ancient and traditional medical practices in different Asian cultures. Some species are also used throughout the Northern Hemisphere, from Siberia and Scandinavia to North America.
Anti-inflammatory compounds supported healing and promoted healthy aging. Immune-supporting polysaccharides support modulation of immune responses. Prebiotic fibers support growth of a healthy gut flora that supports digestion and blood sugar levels.
Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals and protect against damage caused by oxidative stress. There is a certain overlap of benefits, which provides synergistic effects. For instance, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties support heart health, and anti-inflammatory properties and healthy gut flora contribute to modulation of the immune system.
Lions Mane, also known in scientific nomenclature as Hericium erinaceus, is a fuzzy looking, edible mushroom found growing on northern hemisphere hardwood trees; it tastes somewhat like seafood. It is a natural nootropic, a substance that may support memory and brain function. It supports the growth and differentiation of the nerve cells.
It is also known for improving mood and reducing anxiety. The studies listed above found supplementation of lion’s mane supports psychological function. This nootropic effect persisted as older adults consumed powdered mushrooms, but it waned after the participants stopped taking it.
Chaga is a strange-looking mushroom found growing on birch trees in colder regions of the northern hemisphere. With a woody texture too tough to swallow, and with naturally occurring vanillin, chaga has been ground up and consumed as a flavorful substitute for tea or coffee.
While lion’s manes unique properties support the brain and nervous system, chaga is known for its adaptogenic properties. Adaptogen is a naturally occurring plant or fungus product that is prized in Chinese and Ayurvedic traditional medicine for supporting the body’s responses to physical, chemical, and biological stresses. Adaptogens support the body’s homeostatic balance, with implications for blood pressure and stress hormones.
In terms of antioxidants, chaga has some of the highest levels found in foods. This can support healthy aging, since antioxidants offset the tissue damage caused by oxidative stress. Chaga has been used to support healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Can You Take Lion’s Mane and Chaga Together?
To reap the combined nootropic and adaptogenic benefits of lion’s mane and chaga, you can definitely consume them together.
This could be done a few ways.
We promote a few difference brands that make great organic mushroom powders of both lion’s mane and chaga. If you want to reap the benefits of individual, whole-mushroom powders while taking one dose of each, start by mixing one teaspoonful of the organic lion’s mane mushroom powder blend in your morning coffee, and dressing it as you normally would with cream and/or sugar. This will give 2g of the lion’s mane fruiting body and mycelial biomass with all of its bioactive ingredients. Remember to swirl the glass a bit while drinking this one so that none of its superfood powders are left behind.
Later in the day, maybe before bed, make yourself a cup of chaga Tea by stirring one teaspoon of chaga orrganic mushroom powder blend with some sugar into warm water. As an alternative, both lion’s mane and chaga powder are available in convenient capsule form. You can also mix either mushroom powder into recipes such as stews and soups to bring its benefits and delicate flavors into the kitchen.
Are Lion’s Mane and Chaga Available in a Mushroom Complex?
If you would rather reap the benefits of both lion’s mane and chaga in one, simple-to-use product, then we have got you covered. For a comforting drink combining lions mane and chaga with reishi, turkey tail, and ashwagandha, a plant-based adaptogen, try the mushroom complex from either Real Mushrooms or FreshCap, more information is available via this link from our post on the best mushroom complex. This carefully-curated blend provides adaptogenic and immune-system benefits, as well as supporting mental clarity and attention.
By selecting functional mushrooms with benefits that support your wellness goals, and pairing them with the power of their superfood counterparts, it is easy to integrate them into your routine. Whether you choose to combine two products from one species or try one of our specialty blends, it is completely up to you to decide what your needs and preferences are. Either way, you cannot go wrong with the products from the brands we have found, organically grown to rigorous quality standards.
You can find our favorite capsules, powders, and tincture’s on the following pages of our website and learn more about each individually:
Click here for Our Favorite Lion’s Mane Supplements
Click here for Our Favorite Lion’s Mane Powders
Click here for Our Favorite Lion’s Mane Tinctures
Click here for Our Favorite Lion’s Mane Gummies