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Lion's Mane Safety Guide
Lion's Mane supplements have made their way into the mainstream of brain health. With many eager to purchase a host of different mushroom products, many ask themselves, is Lion's Mane safe?
In this article we take a deep dive into safe uses for all lion's mane supplements and potential risks they can cause for those on certain medications.
Lion's Mane & Medications
If you have a chronic medical condition it's always best to consult your physician or naturopath to see if certain supplements are right for you. But, if you're one of the many asking themselves does Lion's Mane interact with medications? You've come to the right place.
In the case of Lion's Mane, powders, extracts and even culinary applications are relatively safe. They have a robust history of use in Chinese medicine for thousands of years and continue to be studied for their various health benefits.
However, there are three classes of medications where Lion's Mane may pose a negative or unexpected reaction. Continue below to see if any of them pertain to you.
Lion's Mane May Interact with Anticoagulants
Studies have shown that Lion's Mane can inhibit collagen-induced platelet aggregation. This process plays a key factor in the production of blood clots.
For healthy individuals not on anticoagulant medications, Lion's Mane's inhibitory effect on blood clotting is unnoticeable and can even be beneficial. For individuals who are on anticoagulant medications, slower healing times and easy bruising might be a side effect of taking Lion's Mane Extract.
Lion's Mane May Interact with Diabetes Medications
Lion's Mane has been shown to exhibit antiglycemic properties(1). Simply put, it can potentially lower your blood sugar. For most, this effect can be beneficial, especially if you're using Lion's Mane to enhance your focus.
For those on antidiabetic medications to regulate blood sugar, taking Lion's Mane may lower your blood sugar more than expected. That is why it is important to continually monitor your blood sugar if you are diabetic and plan to take Lion's Mane for long periods of time.
Lion's Mane & Antidepressants
Some of the key benefits of Lion's Mane is its ability to lift brain fog, promote creativity, and improve sleep. This ability stems from its rich concentration of erinacines and hericenones. These two compounds show brain stimulating activity like myelin reproduction and synapse repair. Because of this, many view Lion's Mane Extract as a natural mood stabilizer and stress reducer.
Studies show that taking Lion's Mane Extract for four weeks may lead to the reduction of depression symptoms (2). Furthermore, there is virtually no scientific research outlining any potential negative interactions with depression or anxiety medications.
Lion's Mane Safety FAQs
What Does Lion's Mane Do?
Lion's Mane is a type of medicinal mushroom scientifically known as Hericium erinaceus. It has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and has gained popularity for its potential health benefits.
One of the key potential benefits of Lion's Mane is its impact on brain health. Research suggests that Lion's Mane may have neuroprotective properties and can support cognitive function. It contains bioactive compounds, including hericenones and erinacines, which may stimulate the growth and repair of nerve cells in the brain. This mushroom is believed to enhance memory, concentration, and overall mental clarity.
Additionally, Lion's Mane may have mood-boosting effects. Some studies have indicated that it could have antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties by regulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
Furthermore, Lion's Mane is known for its potential ability to support the nervous system and help with nerve regeneration. It may aid in the management of conditions related to nerve damage or neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Other potential benefits attributed to Lion's Mane include immune system support, anti-inflammatory properties, and digestive health improvement.
Is Lion's Mane psychedelic?
Psychedelic mushrooms are mushrooms that contain mind altering compounds known as psilocybin and psilocin. In the past these mushrooms were viewed as recreational drugs that may pose serious health concerns. However, much of the latest research shows that psychedelic mushrooms promote a brain repairing process known as neurogenesis.
Through neurogenesis, brain tissues known as myelin that connect neurons, synapses, and other brain tissues are revitalized and repaired. It can also promote well-being on a mental and emotional level. Studies show that neurogenesis promoted by psychedelic mushrooms can help people overcome depression, anxiety, addition and overall improve mental health (3).
While venturing on a mind altering mushroom journey is not for everyone, there is still a way to help promote neurogenesis without the psychedelic experience.
Studies show that Lion's Mane is the only non-psychoactive mushroom that can help support neurogenesis. That is mainly due to two brain supporting compounds it contains: erinacines and hericenones.
While these compounds have no psychedelic effects on the brain, regular use of Lion's Mane extracts can help support enhanced cognition and better mental health.
Is Lion's Mane Safe During Pregnancy?
The safety of consuming Lion's Mane during pregnancy has not been extensively studied. There is limited information available on its potential effects on pregnant women and developing fetuses. Therefore, it is generally recommended to use caution and avoid the use of Lion's Mane as a supplement during pregnancy unless specifically advised by your physician or naturopathic doctor.
When Is The Best Time To Take Lion's Mane?
The best time to take Lion's Mane can vary depending on your specific needs and goals. However, here are a few general recommendations:1. Morning: Many people prefer to take Lion's Mane in the morning as it may provide cognitive benefits and support mental clarity throughout the day. It can help enhance focus and concentration, making it a good choice for starting the day.
2. Before or during mentally demanding tasks: If you have a mentally challenging activity or work that requires focus and mental acuity, taking Lion's Mane beforehand may help support cognitive performance and productivity.
3. Prior to studying or learning: Lion's Mane is often taken by students or individuals who want to enhance their learning capacity and memory retention. Taking it before studying or engaging in learning activities may potentially support better information processing and memory recall.
4. As part of a daily routine: Some people choose to take Lion's Mane as part of their daily supplement routine, regardless of the time of day. This consistent intake can provide long-term benefits and support overall brain health.
It's important to note that the effects of Lion's Mane can vary from person to person, and some individuals may find it more effective at different times of the day. Additionally, if you are taking Lion's Mane as a supplement, be sure to follow the recommended dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Where Can I Buy Lion's Mane?
Lion's mane supplements come in many different forms and are produced by a host of different brands.
Many people starting out initially try convenient powders and mushroom coffees that can be easily added to their morning routines. The only downside to these products is that they usually contain a mushroom byproduct called mycelium.
Mycelium can be found on product labels as myceliated oates, myceliated brown rice, or myceliated grain. What it is exactly, is the fungal roots of the mushroom grown on these grains. They don't actually contain real mushroom fruiting bodies and it is still being debated through various studies if they have any real benefit.
For this reason, we created our Lion's Mane liquid extract that is made from organically cultivated Lion's Mane. It contains no mycelium and is 100% sourced and produced in the United States.
The numbers in parenthesis are clickable links to the sources cited in this article.