Lion’s mane (Hericium Erinaceus) is a type of medicinal mushroom. Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, the lion’s mane is widely available in supplement form. Scientific research shows that the lion’s mane contains a number of health-promoting subs.
How to Cook Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
The key to cooking wild mushrooms is simplicity. To cook lions mane mushrooms first, slice them into ½-inch steaks (like a cauliflower!). Heat a skillet over medium heat and do not add any oil. Dry saute until the water releases from the mushroom and the edges start to brown. Then add a healthy pad of butter (or olive oil for a vegan alternative). Cook the lion’s mane mushrooms until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes on each side. When cooked properly, the mushroom has a meaty texture.
Proponents claim that lions mane can help with a variety of health problems, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- High cholesterol
- Parkinson’s disease
1. Lion’s mane may benefit older adults with mild cognitive impairment, according to a small study published in Phytotherapy Research in 2009. For the study, researchers assigned 30 older adults with mild cognitive impairment to take either lion mane extract or a placebo every day for 16 weeks.
2. In cognitive tests given at weeks eight, 12, and 16 of the study, members of the lion mane group showed significantly greater improvements compared to members of the placebo group.
3. In a more recent study (published in Biomedical Research in 2011), scientists examined the effects of lion mane on brain function in mice. Results revealed that lion mane helped protect against memory problems caused by the buildup of amyloid-beta (a substance that forms the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease).
4. Studies have also shown a possible neuroprotective effect against ischemic stroke.
5. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) cautions that while some small preliminary studies on the impact of natural supplements on cognitive function have shown modest effects, “direct evidence is lacking.” Claims made to the contrary are not supported b
It may help alleviate depression and anxiety suggests a small study published in Biomedical Research in 2010. For the study, 30 menopausal women consumed cookies containing either lion’s mane or a placebo every day for four weeks. Analyzing study findings, researchers observed that members of the lion’s mane group were less irritable and anxious and had less difficulty concentrating than members of the placebo group.
Possible Side Effects
Little is known about the safety of long-term use and side effects of lion’s mane supplements.5 However, there’s some concern that lions’ mane may aggravate symptoms in people with allergies and asthma. Therefore, it’s important to consult your physician prior to using lions mane, or any other supplement, if you have a history of allergies and/or asthma or any other medical condition.