What is Lion’s Mane Powder?
Lion’s Mane Powder is a popular nootropic product that can be found on the market of medicinal mushrooms. The recent Western popularisation of this organic product comes as a result of commercialisation strategies of various nootropic products, but has been used in Eastern traditional medicines for thousands of years. The healing properties can vary from improved cognitive skills up to reducing the risks of heart diseases.
There are 4 types of Lion’s Mane powders:
- Powders that are mainly produced out of 100% fruiting bodies of Lion’s Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus)
- Powders produced from the myceliated grains.
- Powders that are a combination of both the Lion’s Mane whole fruiting bodies and the myceliated grains
- Powders that contain a mix of Lion’s Mane and other medicinal mushrooms supplemental powders such as chaga or cordyceps
Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) is one of the most widespread medicinal mushrooms that can be cultivated commercially. This mushroom has reached its status as one of the few mushrooms found in nature that can easily interact with the neurons in the brain, thus improving the user’s cognitive skills. However, before it was known as a “brain booster”, the Lion’s Mane mushroom has been known to people as a delightful food with extraordinary texture, delicious taste, and great nutritional value.
Benefits of Lion’s Mane Powder
Lion’s Mane Powder is mostly associated with benefits like cognitive improvement, prevention or reduction of symptoms of dementia, encouragement of neural growth (neurogenesis), healing of nerve damage, and acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. These properties come from the compounds called hericenones and erinacines that are known for stimulating the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and regenerating the myelin sheets of the nerves.
Additionally, like almost all other medicinal mushrooms, the Lion’s Mane contains high levels of beta-glucans – a sugar compound found in fungi that supports the immune system to fight bacterial infections.
Apart from the cognitive improvement, the Lion’s Mane mushroom powder benefits include anti-inflammation properties, improvements in the digestive tract, reducing risks of heart diseases, and helping in battling depression and anxiety.
The following list presents scientific articles that confirm the various health benefits that occurred during experimentation with Lion’s Mane mushroom:
- Prevention of cognitive dysfunction (Mori, 2011)
- Reduction of anxiety and depression (S Ryu, 2018))
- Improvement of cognitive skills (Ratto, 2019, More, 2008)
- Lion’s Mane as an anti-fatigue supplement (Liu, 2014)
- Reduction of inflammation in the digestive tract (Qin, 2016)
Additionally, the anti-inflammatory properties of the mushroom can contribute to lowering the severity of some chronic aches like migraines.
Why Do People Choose Powder over Other products?
Lion’s Mane in the form of powders have high versatile applicability, making it super convenient to add in any kind of beverage, food, or simply water. Additionally, the low content of moisture allowing long-term storage and high bioavailability.
The average nutritional data of a 100-gram portion of dried Lion’s Mane mushroom is the following:
- 35 calories
- 7 grams of carbohydrates;
- 2.4 grams of protein;
- 10 milligrammes of sodium;
- 2 milligrammes of calcium;
- 304 milligrammes of potassium;
- 0.41 milligramme of iron.
Please note this can vary between different brands.
Lion’s Mane Powder vs Extract
One of the main differences between lion’s mane dried powder and a lion’s mane extract is its potency. The dried mushroom powder is made by drying the fruiting bodies of the mushroom and then grinding it up.
For extracts, in the process of production of Lion’s Mane extract two types of solvents are added (water, alcohol) to extract the beneficial compounds of the mushroom (hericenones, erinacines, beta-glucans, etc.).
Although both forms of the product are very easy to consume at home, the mushroom extract is more suitable for consumption because of the smaller doses, longer shelf life, and the affinity to be well mixed with different kinds of medicinal supplements.
How to Take Lion’s Mane Powder?
Choose A High quality Product
First, we must be sure that we obtain a high-quality product that we intend to use. The best way of doing this is to select the producers that can offer a quantitative and qualitative chemical analysis of the product. For more information on choosing a top potent Lion’s mane product, read our analysis of the best Lion’s Mane mushroom supplements in the United States.
Alternatively, if you are in Australia, check out our guide to Lion’s Mane mushrooms in Australia.
How Much Lion’s Mane Powder Should I Take?
The Lion’s Mane powder dosage is the same as the dosage when using intact dried fruiting bodies of the mushrooms. This dosage is approximately between 0.5 – 1 gram of Lion’s Mane mushroom powder. The proper dosing of Lion’s mane powder can also be dependant on the type of health issues that the user is experiencing. Numerous sources are recommending that the daily consumption should not exceed 2-4 grams.
Can you overdose on Lion’s Mane Powder?
Although there are no reports of intoxication of Lion’s Mane and the mushroom itself, it is very safe even in high doses. We would like to mention, similar to everything in life, to take Lion’s Mane in moderation. An excessive high daily dosage of Lion’s Mane has a possibility to for a person to experience an allergic reaction such as stomach ache, skin rashes or difficulty breathing. (58, 59).
How Long Does it Take For Lion’s Mane Powder To Work?
Lion’s Mane has accelerated in popularity due to anecdotal testimonials of feeling the cognitive effects of mental stamina and focus within a day of taking it.
For those who do not feel the benefits and want faster results in their cognitive improvement it is recommended to double their dose in the first 3 weeks and then lower it to a normal dosage (mentioned above). For those who do not feel the cognitive effects in the first few days, conclude that the first signs of improvements are experienced after several weeks of usage.
To grasp the true benefits of this medicinal mushroom, it is recommended that Lion’s Mane powder be used for a longer period (minimum 3-4 weeks) With irregular usage and proper dosage, the user’s experience can dilute the medicinal benefits needed for solving their health issues.
How Do I Take Lion’s Mane Powder?
Because it is in the form of a powder, these products can be added to almost any hot or cold beverage, food, or water. One of the most popular ways to consume Lion’s Mane powder is to add the pulverised mushroom in warm water or coffee. Others prefer mixing the powder in smoothies, non-dairy milk, hot chocolate, or food.
How Much Lion’s Mane powder Needs to be added to coffee?
The answer to this question is simple; just add your daily dose. Lion’s mane coffee offers a huge cognitive boost when combining the effects of caffeine and hericenones.
When Should I Take Lion’s Mane Powder?
The best time of the day to take Lion’s Mane powder is in the morning, while the brain is waking up and ready for executing functions. Taking Lion’s Mane powder earlier in the day helps stimulate the Nerve Growth Factor, which is a type of protein that promotes the healthy and proper functioning of the human nervous system. Morning dosages allow enough time for the active compounds of the mushroom to react with the NGF in the body.
Does Lion’s Mane Powder Expire?
Like every other organic compound, the Lion’s Mane powder is susceptible to spoiling if it is not kept correctly. The powder must be kept at room temperature in a place where there is no light and excessive heat. The perfect place would be some distant cupboard in the kitchen away from the oven and the fridge. In addition, it is recommended the powder be stored in an airtight container. Pulverised forms of dried mushrooms can be prone to clumping due to their low moisture content and the ability to attract moisture. In order to solve this issue, a popular method is to use two jars (one needs to fit inside the other) where the content of the mushroom will be in the smaller jar. Additionally, for more security and prevention of clumping, one or two silica gel bags can be added in the closed space between the two jars. The commercial expiration of Lion’s Mane powders on the market are often described within a 2-year warranty of their freshness and bioavailability. Be sure to cheque the packaging on the products you purchase. If in doubt, just ask your producer!
World Mushroom Society is a collective of medicinal mushroom advocates and contributors. Our team of authors includes backgrounds in environmental science, neuroscience, bio-molecular technology, agronomy and general health.