Lion’s Mane Mushroom for Memory

Lion's Mane Mushroom for Memory

There is been much hype around lions mane mushrooms potential for memory enhancement. We took a closer look at what science says about the effects of lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) has on memory. We were really surprised by what we found from the clinical studies. Here are our findings about lion’s mane mushroom for memory.

Quick Intro to Lion’s Mane

Hericium erinaceus, Lions Mane Mushroom, Santas Beard: This fuzzy fungus goes by a lot of names. Lions mane grows on dead trees during the late summer and early fall months of the year throughout Europe, Asia, and North America.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom for Memory

Lions Mane Mushroom appears to help with memory, attention, and general cognitive function. Although research into lions mane and memory among humans is still being done, available studies appear to support the fact that this species of mushroom may improve memory dramatically. Furthermore, studies of lions mane and Alzheimers disease appear to suggest that this mushroom might even be capable of recovering cognitive functions lost due to the affliction.

Does Lion’s Mane Support Brain Health?

Lion’s manes’ protective effects on brain are well documented, particularly from studies with animals. Both anecdotal and study-based data appear to indicate that lions mane supplements may benefit brain fog, whether caused by stress, mental health issues, chronic illnesses, or a lack of sleep. A 2018 animal study examined the effects of lions mane extract on symptoms of anxiety and depression, including brain fog. The results suggested that Hericium erinaceus appears to reduce those symptoms, once again, promoting the growth and regrowth of brain cells.

Can Lion’s Mane Improve Memory?

Both animal and human studies of the effects of Lions Mane Mushroom Extracts on cognitive functions appear to indicate that Lions Mane may have some quite positive effects for memory. A Japanese study examined the effects of mycelium from the fungus Hericium erinaceus on learning and memory deficits caused by the amyloid-b2535 peptide in mice.

Mice were fed diets that contained Lions Mane for 23 days. Results showed that consumption of lions mane prevented the deterioration of visual recognition and short-term spatial memory. A study published in International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms reached similar results.

In that study, researchers examined the spatial memory in wild-type mice given dietary supplements containing mane. The mice were given tasks, such as the Novel Object Recognition Test and Y-maze tests, before starting to consume the lions mane. After taking Hericium erinaceus for 2 months, the mice performed significantly better on these tasks, probably because of hippocampal neurogenesis occurring from the use of lions mane.

Lion’s Mane and Cognitive Function in Human Studies

A Japanese double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigated Hericium erinaceus effects on cognitive functions — including memory — in humans. In this double-blind clinical trial, a test group was given capsules containing the Lions Mane mushrooms for 12 weeks, and the control group was given a placebo. Both groups were tested for visual retention and verbal learning, and for their overall psychological condition. After taking Lion Mane for 12 weeks, the testing group showed significant increases both in visual retention and verbal learning, whereas the control group did not.

What We Know to Date About Lion’s Mane for Memory

  • Heres what we know so far about lion’s mane mushroom and memory.
  • Animal studies show lions mane extract might reverse memory loss in patients with dementia and Alzheimers.
  • Lions mane appears to boost neurogenesis in the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in learning and memory.
  • An animal study suggests that it may also reduce symptoms of brain fog, which may, in turn, enhance memory and learning abilities.
  • Lions mane appears to enhance memory and learning abilities, and reduces the deterioration of cognition, in mice.
  • A Japanese study indicates that lions mane improves cognitive functions, including memory, in humans, too.

More studies on humans are needed to unravel the basic mechanisms underlying lions mane and its effects on memory. Given the lack of drawbacks of taking lions mane, its low cost, and high accessibility, it might make sense to incorporate the mushroom into ones diet as a means of improving your memory and other cognitive functions.

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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