We hear about Lion Manes and anxiety quite often, so we dug deeper into current clinical studies. We wanted to find out whether or not this psychiatric mushroom enhances mental health, and in particular, if it helps reduce panic attacks and anxiety. What follows is an in-depth summary of our findings regarding the effects of Lion’s Mane mushroom for anxiety.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Although Lions Mane has been a staple in Chinese medicine for centuries, the Western world is only beginning to understand the numerous health-enhancing properties of this mushroom. It seems this saprotrophic mushroom may be useful in treating everything from Alzheimers disease, depression, and diabetes. Due to its large supply and promising potential, health enthusiasts began to promote the medicinal benefits of Lions Mane mushrooms. However, there is so much more to be learned about these adaptogenic mushrooms, and specifically, about their application as an alternative to medications when treating mental health issues.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a mental health condition that causes physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 19% of American adults have some kind of anxiety disorder, and prevalence is somewhat higher among women than men.
What are the Different Types of Anxiety
There are five main types of anxiety disorders. These disorders have some symptoms in common, such as excessive worrying with no obvious reason, but they also have their own unique sets of symptoms.
- generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- panic disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- social anxiety disorder
More on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
GAD is the most common type of anxiety.
restlessness or feeling on edge getting tired easily experiencing muscle tension difficulty concentrating exaggerated feelings of worry without an apparent cause irritability sleep issues (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep)
Can Lion’s Mane Treat Anxiety?
According to studies, Lions Mane Mushrooms appear to decrease minor symptoms of anxiety and depression. In addition to their ability to make you feel more relaxed and focused, these functional mushrooms might be able to improve problems with sleep, which is a common symptom of anxiety disorders.
Does Lion’s Mane Provide Anxiety Relief?
A Japanese study examined the effects of Lion Mane Dietary Supplements on the levels of anxiety and depression among menopausal women. Women were tested for their initial levels of irritability and anxiety, and were given the lions mane extract for 4 weeks. When tested again for these measures, the women taking a lions mane supplement scored significantly lower than their control-group counterparts, meaning that they showed less symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Does Neurogenesis Affect Anxiety?
Research suggests that Hericium erinaceus appears to help with the production of neural growth factors and to contribute to neurogenesis. One study examined the link between neurogenesis and anxiety, concluding that decreased neurogenesis may be associated with increased anxiety-related behaviors. In other words, there appears to be an inverse relationship between new neurofiber production and levels of anxiety experienced by individuals. An animal study seems to support the idea that lion’s mane powder may help with neural growth, and thus, decrease anxiety.
Mice given the fruiting body extract from Hericium erinaceus (lion’s mane) showed signs of neurogenesis, especially in the brains hippocampus. In addition, they showed less signs of anxiety-like behaviors, which confirmed the mushrooms potential to produce anti-anxiety effects.
Lion’s Mane and Anxiety-Related Sleep Disorders
Lions mane extract seems to ease one of anxieties most common symptoms, trouble sleeping. A clinical trial investigated the effects of Hericium erinaceus on the sleep quality and overall wellbeing of female students during the especially stressful examination period. The students reported feeling significantly more relaxed and had a significant improvement in their sleep patterns after using a Lions Mane Mushroom Extract for 4 weeks.
Conclusion About Lion’s Mane and Anxiety
Although more research is needed regarding lions manes effects on anxiety, we can deduce that taking this mushroom may be beneficial for the nervous system as a whole, as well as reducing symptoms related to anxiety. Heres what we currently know about Hericium erinaceus and anxiety. According to one study of menopausal women, the lions mane appears to ease symptoms of anxiety that are common in menopause. An animal study suggests the neurogenerative properties of lions mane might make it also be anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing). Lions mane appears also to improve problems sleeping, a commonly associated symptom of anxiety.
More research in humans is needed to understand the basic mechanisms underlying lions mane and its effects on anxiety. Given the lack of drawbacks of taking lions mane, its low cost, and high accessibility, it might make sense to incorporate this mushroom into your diet as a way of alleviating symptoms of anxiety.
Lion’s Mane Dosage for Anxiety
There is no ideal Lion Mane dosage that absolutely eases everyones anxiety. While some report taking around 750-1000mg a day, others have taken as much as a couple of tablespoons of powdered lions mane mushrooms (about 5,000mg) to experience the soothing effects from lion’s mane mushroom. So, it is best to start off at a lower dose and slowly build up to a dose you find works well for you.