Lion’s Mane Mushrooms: A Comprehensive Guide to Their Health Benefits

Lion’s Mane is an edible mushroom from the tooth fungus group that grows on the trunks of dead hardwood trees, including Oak, American Beech, and Maple, during late summer and fall. Its scientific name is Hericium erinaceus, and it is often called lion’s mane mushroom, mountain-priest mushroom, bearded tooth fungus, and bearded hedgehog.

Lion’s Mane offers various health benefits, such as enhancing nerve development, improving brain functions, protecting nerves from possible damage, and protecting the stomach’s inner lining, according to WebMD.

This article discusses Lion’s Mane mushrooms, their looks, taste, and nutritional value. Further discussion is about the health benefits of Lion’s Mane, how to use Lion’s Mane Mushrooms and their side effects.

What are Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?

What are Lion's Mane Mushrooms?

Lion’s Mane mushrooms, scientifically called Hericium erinaceus, are edible mushrooms from a fungus group known as tooth fungus that grows on dead hardwood trees’ trunks, usually in the regions of North America, Asia, and Europe. These are called “Lion’s Mane” due to their aesthetic resemblance to a Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane is saprophytic (feeding from dead or decaying matter) in nature as it usually grows on dead trees. Sometimes, it can be found on living trees and shows their parasitic nature.

Lion’s Mane has over 1-centimeter(or 1/2-inch) long spines that grow together in an area and hang from its top. Its fruit body is large and irregular in shape and is covered with a bunch of hanging spines.

What does it look like?

Bellow are images showing Lions Mane in different shapes and sizes.

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Lion’s Mane mushroom looks like a lion’s Mane, thick fur around a lion’s neck. Lion’s Mane mushrooms have a large, white, and round fruit body that is covered with long spines hanging from it.

Lion’s Mane’s size can be up to 16 inches in diameter, and its spines can grow up to 2 inches long. Its colour is white when it is fresh and becomes yellow as it gets older. 

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Taste

Lion’s Mane Mushroom’s taste, when it is fresh, is mildly sweet, like the meat of shellfish, crab, lobster, or other seafood. The dried and concentrated Lion’s Mane extract tastes slightly like chocolate.

Nutritional value of lion’s mane mushrooms

The nutritional value of Lion’s Mane mushrooms per 100 grams is given below, according to FoodData Central of USDA.

  • Water Content: 88.6 grams
  • Energy: 43 kcal
  • Protein: 2.5 grams
  • Total Fat: 0.26 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 7.59 grams
  • Thiamin: 0.146 mg
  • Riboflavin: 0.363 mg
  • Niacin: 1.63 mg
  • Calcium: Less than 2.5 mg
  • Iron: 0.69 mg
  • Magnesium: 11.7 mg
  • Phosphorus: 94 mg
  • Potassium: 443 mg

Potential Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

The health benefits of Lion’s Mane are given below.

  • Protect against dementia
  • Relieves the symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Helps in nervous system recovery
  • Protect digestive tract
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Helps in diabetes management
  • Improve cancer-fighting abilities
  • Reduces inflammation and oxidative Stress
  • Boosts immune system

Brain Health

Lion’s Mane can help improve brain health by promoting the growth of brain cells, recovering the nervous system, protecting against dementia, and reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

According to a study by Naufal Kushairi and Chia Wei Phan, Lion’s Mane was found to help grow brain cells, protecting brain cells from damage and reducing brain swelling. It was found helpful in neurodegenerative disorders, the brain condition in which brain cells die.

According to a study done by Tzeng Tsai-Teng and Chen Chin-Chu on Lion’s Mane effects on mice, Lion’s Mane was found to reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing harmful plaques, increasing helpful enzymes, and improving the growth of brain cells.

Lion’s Mane protects DPC12 cells (brain cells) against neurotoxicity induced by an unusual accumulation of L-glutamate amino acid, according to a study done by Junrong Zhang and Shengshu An on The Neuroprotective Properties of Lion’s Mane. The study further suggests that Lion’s Mane can be used to protect neurons against neurodegenerative diseases.

Lion’s Mane shows antioxidant and neuroprotective effects on neurotoxicity induced by Amyloid-beta protein, according to a study by Jai-Hong Cheng and Chia-Ling Tsai on the effects of Lion’s Mane on neurotoxicity. The study showed that Lion’s Mane can be used to prevent neurotoxicity.

A study by I-Chen Li in 2020 suggests that consuming 1 gram of Lion’s Mane mushroom daily for 49 weeks improved the cognitive scores in people suffering from mild Alzheimer’s disease.

A study by Chun-Hung Chiu suggests that the extract of Lion’s Mane mushrooms has anti-inflammatory effects and helps in reducing anxiety and depression in mice.

Another study done on animals by Sun Ryu suggests that Lion’s Mane extract helps in the regeneration of brain cells and improves the working of the hippocampus, the brain part that is responsible for processing memories and emotional responses.

A small study on women after menopause done by Mayumi Nagano found that consuming Lion’s Mane mushroom cookies reduced irritation, anxiety, and depression symptoms.

According to a study done by Kah-Hui Wong, the Lion’s Mane was found to help in the quick recovery of the nervous system by promoting nerve cell growth in people with peripheral nerve injury.

Immune system support

Lion’s Mane helps boost immunity by improving the intestinal immune system and protecting the stomach and body from pathogens entering the stomach through the nose and mouth, according to a study by Xiaotong Sheng.

In another study by Sung Phil Kim on the effects of Lion’s Mane extracts on mice infected with Salmonella bacteria, daily consumption of Lion’s Mane increased the lifespan of mice by 4 times.

Reduce blood sugar levels in diabetic patients

Lion’s Mane helps reduce blood sugar levels in normal and diabetic mice after giving daily 2.7 mg of Lion’s Mane mushroom per pound of weight, according to a study by Xirui He.

Lion’s Mane reduces blood sugar levels by blocking alpha-glucosidase enzyme from breaking carbs in the small intestine, according to a study by Seul Ki Lee.

According to a study by Zhang Yi on the effects of Lion’s Mane on diabetic rats, consuming Lion’s Mane mushroom extract for 6 weeks can significantly reduce diabetic pain and blood sugar levels and increase antioxidant levels.

Heart health

Lion’s Mane mushroom extract can reduce triglyceride levels, one of the factors of increased heart disease risk, and improve fat metabolism in rats, according to a study by Won-Sik Choi.

A similar study on rats in 2010 suggests that when fed a high-fat diet and given Lion’s Mane extract daily, they showed 27% decreased triglyceride levels and 42% less weight gain due to Lion’s Mane extract.

A test-tube study by Mohammad Azizur Rahman showed that Lion’s Mane extract prevented cholesterol oxidations in the bloodstream, thus reducing the risk of heart attack. Oxidized cholesterol molecules attach to artery walls and increase the chances of heart attack.

Another study by Dina A. I. Albadawi on Lion’s Mane’s effects on platelet function showed that hericenone B, a chemical compound in Lion’s Mane, decreased the blood clotting rate and lowered the heart attack risk.

Gut health

Lion’s Mane can protect against ulcers in the stomach and digestive tract by reducing the growth of H. pylori, a bacteria that infects and damages the stomach tissue and lining, and protecting the stomach’s inner lining, according to a study by Ge Wang.

In a test-tube study, Lion’s Mane extract inhibited H. pylori growth. A similar study on animals in 2013 showed that Lion’s Mane extract can reduce alcohol-induced ulcers effectively.

A 2016 study involving people suffering from ulcerative colitis suggests that consuming a supplement with 14% Lion’s Mane extract reduced ulcer symptoms in 3 weeks.

Cancer Prevention

Lion’s Mane extract causes human cancer cells to die sooner when mixed with cancer cells in a test tube, according to the test-tube studies done with various cancer cells, such as liver, colon, stomach, and blood cancer cells. It can reduce the rate at which cancer is spreading in the body.

A study by Guang Li in 2014 suggests that Lion’s Mane effectively reduces the growth rate of tumours in mice and has low side effects.

A similar study on mice with colon cancer by Sung Phil Kim showed that Lion’s Mane extract decreased the spread of colon cancer to the lungs by 69%.

Helps reduce inflammation

Lion’s Mane has effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant chemical compounds and can reduce inflammation, according to biomedical research by Yiling Hou.

A 2012 study focused on finding antioxidant properties of 14 different mushroom species found that Lion’s Mane has 4th highest antioxidant effectiveness.

How to Use Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

How to Use Lion's Mane Mushrooms

Lion’s Mane can be used as a supplement, such as Microdosify capsules containing Lion’s Mane and Golden Teacher, and culinary or food items.


Lion’s Mane can be consumed as a supplement in the form of capsules, extracts, supplement form, and powders. The following Microdosify supplements contain Lion’s Mane mixed with Golden Teacher.

  • Microdosify CREATE: Capsules containing Lion’s Mane (100 mg in 1 capsule) and Golden Teacher (200 mg in 1 capsule). CREATE capsules are effective in unlocking your creative and imaginative ability.
  • Microdosify CALM: Capsules containing Lion’s Mane (250 mg in 1 capsule) and Golden Teacher (50 mg in 1 capsule). CALM capsules are effective in instilling inner peace and serenity within you.
  • Microdosify FOCUS: Capsules containing Lion’s Mane (200 mg in 1 capsule) and Golden Teacher (125 mg in 1 capsule). FOCUS capsules are effective in improving your mental focus and concentration.

Culinary uses

Lion’s Mane can be used in culinary or food items, such as soups, sauces, and other foods. It can be cooked, boiled, or dried, and then you can consume it. This mushroom can be used as a replacement for meat and seafood due to its meat-like taste.

Is Lion’s Mane a Psychedelic?

No, Lion’s Mane is not a Psychedelic because it does not contain psychoactive chemical compounds such as psilocybin. It does not create any hallucinations or psychedelic state in a person. However, it is helpful in mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and dementia.

Side Effects and Precautions

There are no major side effects of Lion’s Mane that have been identified in humans, according to HealthLine. However, someone with mushroom allergies should avoid Lion’s Mane. Certain cases have been documented, including people experiencing breathing difficulty, skin rashes, and irritation after Lion’s Mane’s exposure. These documented cases are likely the result of allergies.

Where to buy lion’s mane mushroom supplements?

Microdosify is a website specializing in selling psilocybin capsules for people looking to heal through holistic practices. It has various supplements that contain Lion’s Mane, including FOCUS, CALM, and CREATE capsules. Each supplement contains a mixture of Lion’s Mane and Golden Teacher. These capsules are suitable for microdosing psilocybin and Lion’s Mane stack.

Final Thoughts

Lion’s Mane is an edible and medicinal mushroom from the tooth fungus group. It usually grows on the trunk of dead hardwood trees, such as Oak, American Beech, and Maple. It is scientifically known as Hericium erinaceus. It is called Lion’s Mane due to its physical resemblance to the lion’s fur around its neck, also called Mane.

Lion’s Mane offers various health benefits, such as protection against dementia, reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, increased growth of nerve cells, and preventing cancer growth.


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  • Zhang, J., An, S., Hu, W., Teng, M., Wang, X., Qu, Y., Liu, Y., Yuan, Y., & Wang, D. (2016). The Neuroprotective Properties of Hericium erinaceus in Glutamate-Damaged Differentiated PC12 Cells and an Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 17(11). 
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Author Microdosify

By Rachel Grey

I’m Rachel Grey, a Ph.D. psychologist specializing in psychedelic therapy with psilocybin and natural plant medicines. I obtained my doctorate from the University of Toronto, where I immersed myself in the study of these transformative therapies. With over 10 years of experience, let’s embark on transformative journeys of healing, growth, and self-discovery as we explore the power of psychedelic therapy together.

Updated on November 3, 2023