Lion’s Mane for Neuropathy | A Deep Dive

Lion's Mane for Neuropathy | A Deep Dive

It is been proven that Lions Mane Mushrooms can help with neural growth, but whether or not it can aid in relieving neural suffering is unknown. We took a deeper look at recent studies of the effects of lion’s mane for neuropathy, and were pretty excited by what we found. Let us dive right in to the science.

The Lions Mane Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is one of the healthiest medicinal mushrooms that you can eat. It is typically grown in North America, Asia, and Europe, and is used extensively in alternative medicine because of its beneficial effects on mental, physical, and spiritual health.

What are the Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane?

Research into the potential benefits of Lions Mane Mushroom indicates that the fungus has potential for promoting neural regeneration by producing neural growth factor proteins, thereby healing brain cells. It appears to alleviate symptoms of dementia, reduce oxidative stress, as well as enhance brain function and neuronal health.

It decreases symptoms of ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Improves overall brain health and cognitive function, including learning and memory. Reduces risk for heart disease and blood clots. Improves mental clarity and protects against mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimers disease.

Lowers blood sugar levels and helps with diabetes management. Promotes the apoptosis (cell death) of tumor cells, with potential for combating cancer. Improves digestive health and prevents ulcers in the stomach. Boosts the immune system and enhances immune function. Has neuroprotective properties and decreases neural damage in autoimmune neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinsons.

Maybe a better question would be, what DOESN’T this incredible mushroom do.

What is Neuropathy? What Causes It?

Neuropathy is the malfunctioning and damaging of nerves, often caused by medications, autoimmune diseases, or a neurological condition, affecting the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves). Symptoms typically first strike nerve endings in your hands and feet, then travel up to the rest of your body.

Neuropathy is extremely painful and devastating to those who are unlucky enough to suffer from it. Certain medications may cause neuropathy, and chemotherapy patients are especially prone to having neuropathy as a side effect. Diabetes (more than half of diabetics will experience some kind of neuropathy).

Infections (such as Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Lyme, and diphtheria). Hereditary neural disorders (such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease). Tumors that put pressure on the peripheral nerves. Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Symptoms of Neuropathy

Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet. Sharp or burning pain on the nerves. Dizziness and drops in blood pressure.

Does Lion’s Mane Help Neuropathy?

Yes, Lions Mane Mushrooms do potentially relieve neuropathic pain. A 2019 study investigated Hericium erinaceus effects in cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy.

Cisplatin is one of the most effective cancer drugs, typically used for the treatment of solid tumors. However, those taking large doses of it frequently suffer from neuropathic pain. This greatly limits how much treatment a cancer patient can get, and, by extension, how effective the medication is.

In that study, researchers gave half of the animals both cisplatin and the lions mane extract, derived from hot water extraction in boiling water, and gave the other half just cisplatin. The animals given the lion’s mane showed less evidence of neuropathy and reduced bodyweight due to the cisplatin.

The neuropathy-relieving activities of lion’s mane mushroom require more detailed investigations, particularly in human subjects. In the meantime, adding this mushroom to your diet as an alternative medicine might help should you find youself struggling with neuropathy.

Can Lion’s Mane Regenerate Nerves Or Help Nerve Function?

While no studies have been done in humans on this subject, animal studies have shown that Lions Mane Mushrooms may help with nerve cell regeneration. An animal study published in The International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms investigated the neuroregenerative potential of the lions mane (high-basidiomycete) extract for treatment of peripheral nervous system injuries.

Researchers compared the effects of the lions mane with those of vitamin B12 (commonly used in the treatment of neuropathy) after crushing injuries to adult rats peroneal nerves. Hericium erinaceus caused rapid regeneration of peripheral nerves during early stages of recovery. These results are very promising and call for further research on lion manes and neural regeneration in humans.

What We Can Conclude About Lion’s Mane and Neuropathy

Lions mane appears to relieve the nerve pain caused by cisplatin, a common cancer treatment.

Hericium erinaceus may restore peripheral nerves after they are damaged from crushing injuries, according to one animal study.

Lions mane stimulates production of neural growth factors, which, in turn, stimulates neural growth.

Hericium erinaceus also appears to facilitate remyelination, at least according to animal studies.

More studies in humans are needed to unravel the basic mechanisms underlying mane-lion behavior and its effects on neuropathy. Given the lack of negative aspects to eating lions mane, its relatively low cost, and high accessibility, incorporating this medicinal mushroom into diet supplements might be warranted.

About the author

Bruce Wilson

I've studied Mycology and Forest Pathology and love creating content to help other learn more about my passion. Follow along as I continue to explore the amazing world of functional fungi!

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