Lion's Mane mushroom (Hericium Erinaceus) is an edible, medicinal mushroom that can be found growing on hardwoods and is most commonly found on dead oaks, walnuts, birches, and maples.
Lion's mane mushroom extract has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes in Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, China, and India for centuries. It was used as an effective health treatment for neurodegenerative disease, and rightly so because it has proved neurodegenerative qualities.
While the mushroom provides many health benefits when consumed cooked or raw, its extract can also be used as a dietary supplement. Lions mane mushroom powder, tea, and capsules are all popular. How can you tell which lion’s manes supplement is right for you?
The best lion‘s mane supplement is the one that works for your body. This review will help explain what to look for when buying Lion’s Mane supplements.
How We Choose the Best Lion's Mane Supplement
There are many low-quality products on the market that claim to be high-quality mushroom supplements. When evaluating any potential mushroom supplement for safety, purity, and potency, remember these tips:
- Read the label of the product and attempt to distinguish the actual contents from the list of ingredients.
- Choose mushrooms that contain the fruiting body, not just mycelium alone. Buy products that contain specific information about the plant parts of the fungi.
- Look for brands that include beta-glucans in their supplement facts panel. Make sure that the ingredients are organically grown.
- Choose a trusted source that openly reveals what extraction methods they use and the tests they perform.
Best Affordable Lion's Mane
Double Woods Lions Mane Mushroom
This Lion’s Mane supplement from Double Woods is a great affordable option. It is affordable and also gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and vegan.
Lions Mane supplement supports immune responses. The product is especially popular due to its cognitive boosting results. It has received positive reviews, and many reviewers report improving mental function, focus, and energy.
This supplement is tested for potency using high-quality ingredients. Double Woods promises a money-back guarantee, which shows they’re confident in their products.
Best Powered Lion's Mane
Real Mushrooms Lions Mane Mushroom
This Real Mushrooms Lion’s Mane supplement is a great bulk and powder-based option. The supplement is extracted from 100% Lion’s Mane mushrooms. The powder can be added to your coffee, smoothie, or any recipe.
Real mushrooms is a reputable, practitioner-approved brand, and its quality is tested at accredited third-party labs. The powder contains no added starch, mycelium, or grain fillers.
Best Replacement for Coffee
Four Sigmatic's Lions Mane Coffee
Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom Coffee is one of the most popular lion’s mane supplements on the market. It also comes in powder form, but they have convenient travel packets.
What’s different about this product is that it’s a replacement for your morning coffee, but with much less caffeine. It has 50mg of caffeine compared to a cup of coffee which has ~125mg. So it can help you wean off of your caffeine addiction while getting all of the effects of Lion’s Mane.
Best of Power and Capsule
KOS Lions Mane Mushroom Powder
This Lion’s Mane supplement by Kos is the best of both worlds. It’s the only pick on our list that comes in both powder and capsule form.
The product is said to give your brain and mood a boost. The reviews seem to agree, as many people reported experiencing reduced brain fog and improved brain health. Kos also provides a 60-day money-back guarantee, showing that they believe in their product.
To use, you can put one scoop of Kos Lion’s Mane powder in any food dish, smoothie, or beverage. The powder contains 104 servings, but the capsules only contain 30 servings. Kos recommends taking 3 capsules a day.
Best Organic Lion's Mane
NOW's Lions Mane Mushroom Supplement
This Lion’s Mane supplement by NOW Foods is made with organic Lion’s Mane mushrooms. Specifically, NOW Foods uses mushrooms’ fruiting bodies containing naturally produced beta-glucans, which are known for stimulating the immune system.
This supplement is also nut-free, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO. It's manufacturing process has been examined for stability, potency, and product formulation. NOW Food’s bottle only contains 30 servings. If you’re looking to try out a Lion’s Mane supplement to see how it works for you, this is a good starter option.
What Are the Best Lion's Mane Mushrooms?
There are three different types of lion's mane mushroom species. Hericium Erinaceus is the most common one because its cap resembles a white pom-pom.
Lion's mane mushrooms have a mild flavor and a fairly soft texture. They're similar to crabs. Lion's mane mushrooms are a rich source of various nutrients, including potassium, zinc, and magnesium. They're also a good source of vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.
Some supplements are made from extracts of the fruiting bodies, while others are made from the mycelium. Many of these supplements promise to help improve brain and nerve function.
Why Should You Take Lion's Mane Supplement?
Lion’s mane mushrooms have been shown to improve cognitive impairment, and mental clarity and even help fight against Alzheimer's disease.
As we get older, the rate at which we produce new brain cells decreases. But studies show that eating lion’s mane mushrooms can promote neuron development. This stimulation of new brain cell growth is why lion’s mane can also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive health.
For example, in one animal study, the consumption of Lion's Mane mushrooms helped alleviate memory loss symptoms in mice. It also seems to protect neurons from amyloid-beta plaque buildup, which has been shown to build up as Alzheimer’s progress.
Because of its antioxidant abilities, consuming lion’s mane reduces oxidative stress, including autoimmune disorders, risk of heart disease, and even cancer. One study showed that lion’s manes fight against inflammation and prevent ulcerations in the stomach.
With that said, this is a safe, inexpensive supplement. It even comes in fun forms, like coffee!
Best Lion's Mane FAQs
Finding out which Lion’s Mane supplements are best for your money can be difficult. With the increasing popularity of adaptogenic mushroom supplements, there are now a growing number of brands available. It is important to be aware of what to look for when trying to find a quality supplement to get the health benefits you are looking for by asking important questions.
Is the Lion’s Mane Supplement Made of the Mushroom or Mycelium?
There is a lot of debate about which part of the fungus is the most effective for the specific cognitive benefits it is known for the fruiting body or the mycelium. Most of the clinical data on lion’s mane mushrooms are based on research using their fruiting bodies.
Both have demonstrated neuroprotective properties in scientific studies. There are two problems associated with using mycelium-based lion’s mane supplements:
1. Mycelium supplements include the grain they are grown on. This effectively dilutes its medicinal compounds.
2. Mycelium research is based solely on mycelium grown through liquid fermentation. Myceliated grains are very different from liquid fermented mycelium.
What is the Beta-Glucan Content of the Lions Mane Supplement?
Many brands will add a variety of starches, fillers, colorations, and unnecessary additives, which provides no health benefits. This results in a reduced concentration of medicinal compounds in the supplement, which means a lower therapeutic potency.
For the best and highest-quality functional mushrooms supplement, look for the product label for the beta-glucan content of at least 20%.
Is the Lion’s Mane Supplement Organic and Tested for Purity?
It is important to make sure that you are buying a high-quality lion’s mane supplement that is free of any contaminants.
Have the mushrooms been screened for contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides? Organic mushrooms do not have any herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides.
One important thing to keep in mind when using capsules is that you can check the supplement facts on their labels to see if they're certified organic.
Heavy metals are also an important consideration when choosing mushroom varieties. Mushrooms absorb minerals and heavy metals depending on where they grow.
How is the Lion’s Mane Supplement Extracted?
A good quality functional mushroom product has been extracted from its fruiting body using an appropriate method. There are three methods used for extracting medicinal mushrooms: Hot water, Alcohol, and dual extraction – both hot water and alcohol.
Lion’s mane mushrooms should be extracted using the hot water extraction method and use the entire mushrooms.
How Much Lion's Mane is Too Much?
You shouldn't take more than 5 grams of lion's mane in your daily dose. There are no serious adverse effects associated with taking lion's mane even at high doses. You may experience some digestive discomfort when taking a high dose, such as indigestation and bloating.
Potential Health Benefits of Lion's Mane Mushrooms
There are several therapeutic uses for mushrooms including enhancing brain function, relieving stress and depression, stabilizing blood sugar levels, stimulating the immune system, and building new nerve growth factor.
Preliminary research suggests additional benefits may be associated with better cognitive function and reduced depressive behaviors. Studies in rodents have shown that the mushrooms promote longevity and protective effects against gastric ulcers.
Lion’s mane mushroom supplements aren’t used by conventional medicine, but some nutritionists recommend them as an alternative to conventional medical treatment.
Lion’s mane is not recommended for use during the two weeks before surgery. Two small studies suggest that the lion’s tail may thin the blood, which could cause blood clots.
How to Take Lion's Mane Mushroom
Taking a lion‘s mane supplement is one of the easiest ways to get this adaptogenic herb into your diet. Some supplements are available in the form of capsules, gummies, and powders which can be added to drinks like coffee.
The traditional method: lion’s mane tea
Lion’s mane tea is traditionally made from the dried leaves of the plant. Hot water helps to extract the beneficial nutrients from mushrooms. This is also true for other medicinal mushrooms, including turkey tail, cordyceps, and reishi mushroom.
To make lion‘s mane tea, first, you will need to steep dried or fresh mushrooms in boiling water.
Many people recommend steeping the mushrooms for longer than you would typically brew tea to give you the most flavor. For example, some mushroom recipes suggest simmering them in water for around 20 minutes to extract their goodness.
You can also brew tea using lion’s mane powder. Because the surface area is so high when the mushrooms are ground up, this reduces the steeping time considerably.
For example, some people recommend adding tea leaves to hot water and letting them steep for around 10 minutes before drinking.
You can also add other flavors to your tea if you like. Chai spices are often added to tea.
The daily supplement method: lion’s mane capsules
Many people take lion's mane in capsule form. They usually take 1 or 2 capsules each day with a meal.
Best Lion's Mane Supplement for You
If you’re looking for inflammation-reducing, immune-boosting effects, memory-boosting, and improved cognitive function supplement, then Lion's mane is a safe, simple, inexpensive one you can try.