Lion’s Mane, Monkey’s head or White beard are terms used to describe the Hedgehog mushroom (Hericium erinaceus).
The mushroom is named for the long tendrils that fall from its base. The mushroom grows on fallen oak trees.
The hedgehog mushroom has been used over the centuries to improve memory function but has only recently been detected by the radar of the supplement world.
Lion’s Mane is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a digestive tonic and by Native Americans to stop external bleeding.
Like other medicinal mushrooms, the beta-glucan component is thought to stimulate the immune system and carry the anti-cancer activity of the mushroom.
But Lion’s Mane contains another unique polysacharide called Hericenone.
Hericerone is believed to stimulate the synthesis of nerve growth factor (NGF), a specialized protein neccessary for the growth of sensory neurons.
NGF improves cognition, memory and delays the onset of dementia.
It is thought that extracts of H. erinaceus can promote the formation of myelin, the sheath that surrounds nerves in the brain. This improves their ability to transmit impulses and avoid neurological diseases like Alzheimers and other degenerative disorders.
Hot-water extracts of Lion’s Mane are available in 400 mg capsules containing 15% beta-glucan by weight.