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Study Finds Lion’s Mane Doubles Neuron Growth, Dramatically Improves Memory

Study Finds Lion’s Mane Doubles Neuron Growth, Dramatically Improves Memory

Jun 23, 2023 | Research Findings

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that I may earn a small commission from, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I use or have used myself. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Unique in Appearance, Mighty in Medicinal Properties

Unmistakable in appearance, lion’s mane is a striking medicinal mushroom with shaggy, cascading white tendrils. Highly bioactive, it has been shown to fight cancer, reduce inflammation, regulate the immune system, and manage diabetes symptoms. The mushroom is also helpful for reducing heart disease risk, protecting against dementia, and addressing depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. And now researchers have found lion’s mane doubles neuron growth and dramatically improves memory.

The Many Benefits of Lion’s Mane

Most associate lion’s mane mushroom with its ability to protect against and treat neurological conditions such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.1,2,3 I personally use it every day as part of a protocol to manage my MS.

But this powerful mushroom offers much more. It has been shown to reduce the severity of damage after a stroke; protect against and heal stomach and intestinal ulcers; and significantly boost and modulate the immune system so that infectious illness, cancer, and autoimmune conditions are kept in check.4,5,6,7 Several studies have also found that the mushroom is helpful for treating neuropathy and reversing nerve damage.8,9 Additionally, lion’s mane reduced anxiety and irritability in menopausal women in one small study.10

And now, a 2023 study has found that lion’s mane mushroom is much more effective than previously thought in promoting brain health.

Lion's mane (Hericium erinaceus )

Significant Neuron Growth and Memory Improvement

Published in the Journal of Neurochemistry, researchers at the Queensland Brain Institute in Australia found that neurons from animal models that were exposed to lion’s mane extract grew twice as long compared to those not exposed.11 The isolated molecules N-dephenylethyl isohericerin (NDPIH) and its derivative hericene A extracted from lion’s mane promoted the most growth. What’s more, the mushroom extract “significantly enhanced mice’s recognition memory.”12

While not involved in the study, Kalipada Pahan, PhD, professor of neurology, biochemistry and pharmacology at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, notes that “Lion’s mane mushroom is good for stimulating neural nerve growth. It has been widely studied, and a number of studies have shown it is good for cerebral and sensory development and neurite outgrowth.” Pahan adds, “It has been shown to be useful for spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, as well as some diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s.”13

Neurons are shaped somewhat like a tree with dendrite and axons branching out. They allow neurological cells to communicate. The growth cone is a group of fine filaments at the end of these branches and they are designed to pick up on signals from other neurons. When this happens, they grow towards each other, instead of haphazardly. In the study it was shown that when exposed to lion’s mane extract, the growth cone not only became larger, but also grew more efficiently and established more neural connections. The implications of the findings are groundbreaking for those who would like to enhance brain health or treat a neurological condition.

Nicoles Apothecary Mushroom Fourtress

The Gold Standard of Medicinal Mushroom Extracts

Lion’s mane, along with reishi, turkey tail, and cordyceps medicinal mushrooms are an integral part of my MS healing journey. In fact, medicinal mushrooms are what allowed me to regain my health and get out of my wheelchair. But simply drinking mushroom tea or eating it fresh wasn’t enough.

There is a precise extraction process that is necessary to access the full spectrum of beneficial compounds. Medicinal mushrooms and lichens require a double-extraction in both water and alcohol. For highest potency, a third step is applied called spagyric extraction method where the spent herb is processed with pressure and heat to produce a mineral-rich ash. This is added back to create a tincture that includes a range of intracellular minerals and plant cell salts. These tinctures are highly energized and concentrate the full medicinal properties, nutrients, and enzymes of the herb.

It is also important to use extracts that are derived from the fruiting bodies of the mushroom without fillers. Fruiting body extracts contain 30 to 40 percent beta-glucans, compared to mycelium extracts, which typically have only 5 to 7 percent. These compounds are known to boost and regulate the immune system, improve glucose tolerance, support heart health, and more. In short, if you are seeking the most potent medicinal mushroom extract, tinctures that utilize the whole fruiting mushroom body are essential.

At Nicole’s Apothecary, our tinctures are the gold standard of medicinal extracts as we employ each of these methods to produce the most potent and effective products on the market. If you are seeking the highest quality lion’s mane medicinal mushroom tincture available, tap here to learn more.

Nicole Apelian

Nicole’s Apothecary Products in this Post

Nicole's Apothecary Mushroom FOURTress Bundle

Mushroom FOURtress Bundle

Nicole's Apothecary Cordyceps Mushroom Tincture

Dual-Extracted Cordyceps Mushroom Tincture

Nicoles Apothecary Lions Mane Tincture

Dual-Extracted Lion’s Mane Mushroom Tincture

Nicole's Apothecary Reishi Mushroom Tincture

Dual-Extracted Reishi Mushroom Tincture

Nicole's Apothecary Turkey Tail Mushroom Tincture

Dual-Extracted Turkey Tail Mushroom Tincture

  1. Tsai-Teng, T., Chin-Chu, C., Li-Ya, L., Wan-Ping, C., Chung-Kuang, L., Chien-Chang, S., Chi-Ying, H. F., Chien-Chih, C., & Shiao, Y. J. (2016). Erinacine A-enriched Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease-related pathologies in APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice. Journal of biomedical science, 23(1), 49. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12929-016-0266-z
  2. Li, I. C., Chang, H. H., Lin, C. H., Chen, W. P., Lu, T. H., Lee, L. Y., Chen, Y. W., Chen, Y. P., Chen, C. C., & Lin, D. P. (2020). Prevention of Early Alzheimer’s Disease by Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Pilot Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study. Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 12, 155. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2020.00155
  3. Samberkar, S., Gandhi, S., Naidu, M., Wong, K. H., Raman, J., & Sabaratnam, V. (2015). Lion’s Mane, Hericium erinaceus and Tiger Milk, Lignosus rhinocerotis (Higher Basidiomycetes) Medicinal Mushrooms Stimulate Neurite Outgrowth in Dissociated Cells of Brain, Spinal Cord, and Retina: An In Vitro Study. International journal of medicinal mushrooms, 17(11), 1047–1054. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v17.i11.40
  4. Hsu, P. C., Lan, Y. J., Chen, C. C., Lee, L. Y., Chen, W. P., Wang, Y. C., & Lee, Y. H. (2022). Erinacine A attenuates glutamate transporter 1 downregulation and protects against ischemic brain injury. Life sciences, 306, 120833. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2022.120833
  5. Diling, C., Xin, Y., Chaoqun, Z., Jian, Y., Xiaocui, T., Jun, C., Ou, S., & Yizhen, X. (2017). Extracts from Hericium erinaceus relieve inflammatory bowel disease by regulating immunity and gut microbiota. Oncotarget, 8(49), 85838–85857. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20689
  6. Wong, J. Y., Abdulla, M. A., Raman, J., Phan, C. W., Kuppusamy, U. R., Golbabapour, S., & Sabaratnam, V. (2013). Gastroprotective Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.:Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) Extract against Ethanol-Induced Ulcer in Rats. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2013, 492976. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/492976
  7. Diling, C., Chaoqun, Z., Jian, Y., Jian, L., Jiyan, S., Yizhen, X., & Guoxiao, L. (2017). Immunomodulatory Activities of a Fungal Protein Extracted from Hericium erinaceus through Regulating the Gut Microbiota. Frontiers in immunology, 8, 666. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00666
  8. Functional Recovery Enhancement Following Injury to Rodent Peroneal Nerve by Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae). Volume 11, Issue 3, 2009, pp. 225-236. DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushr.v11.i3.20
  9. Zhang, C. C., Cao, C. Y., Kubo, M., Harada, K., Yan, X. T., Fukuyama, Y., & Gao, J. M. (2017). Chemical Constituents from Hericium erinaceus Promote Neuronal Survival and Potentiate Neurite Outgrowth via the TrkA/Erk1/2 Pathway. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(8), 1659. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18081659
  10. Nagano, M., Shimizu, K., Kondo, R., Hayashi, C., Sato, D., Kitagawa, K., & Ohnuki, K. (2010). Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Biomedical research (Tokyo, Japan), 31(4), 231–237. https://doi.org/10.2220/biomedres.31.231
  11. Martínez-Mármol, R., Chai, Y., Conroy, J. N., Khan, Z., Hong, S. M., Kim, S. B., Gormal, R. S., Lee, D. H., Lee, J. K., Coulson, E. J., Lee, M. K., Kim, S. Y., & Meunier, F. A. (2023). Hericerin derivatives activates a pan-neurotrophic pathway in central hippocampal neurons converging to ERK1/2 signaling enhancing spatial memory. Journal of neurochemistry, 10.1111/jnc.15767. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/jnc.15767
  12. “Improving memory: Lion’s mane mushrooms may double neuron growth”, Hannah Flynn, Alexandra Sanfins, Ph.D., Medical News Today, February 17, 2023. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/improving-memory-lions-mane-mushrooms-may-double-neuron-growth
  13. “Latest Study Suggests Lion’s Mane Mushrooms May Boost Brain Health”, David Rossiaky, Jill Seladi-Schulman, PhD, Healthline, February 22, 2013. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/latest-study-suggests-lions-mane-mushrooms-may-boost-brain-heath
  14. “9 Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Plus Side Effects)”, Erica Julson, MS, RDN, CLT, medically reviewed by Alexandra Perez, PharmD, MBA, BCGP, Healthline, February 7, 2023. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lions-mane-mushroom

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