Mental Clarity, Focus and Memory Support With Lion’s Mane

“Lions mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is a medicinal mushroom and powerful superfood adaptogen for the brain, nerves and immune system.

The mushroom looks quite different than other mushroom varieties. Instead of caps and stems they grow in globular masses and have long flowing spines. Known for its powerful effects as a brain tonic, Hericium erinaceus is rumored to have been used as a tea for centuries by Buddhist monks to enhance brain power and heighten their ability to concentrate during meditation.

Mycologist Paul Stamets says,

Unlike any other food substance known, the mushroom has been studied to be extremely effective at encouraging and inducing Nerve Growth Factor in the brain.

We consider lion’s mane the perfect superfood for those who have experienced seizures because of this ability to elicit nerve regeneration. It can be extremely helpful for those with epilepsy or who have experienced Gran-mal seizures, both of which are thought to cause nerve cell injury in the brain and affect cognitive function.

Lions mane, like other medicinal mushrooms, contains high amounts of antioxidants, beta-glucan and polysaccharides that are made available when the mushroom is heated or prepared as a hot water extract. These health components are powerful immuno-modulators that support “deep immune health.”

The specific active ingredients in the mushroom, including beta-glucoxylan as well as four other polysaccharides and polypeptides, are responsible for significantly enhancing the immune system and currently being research for their effects at decreasing tumor growth.

Brain and Neurological Support

Lion’s mane is a potent catalyst for brain tissue regeneration and helps to improve memory and cognitive functions.

In studies conducted in Japan, by Dr. Hirokazu Kawagishi, it was discovered that the mushroom stimulates the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). This is the primary protein nutrient responsible for enhancing and repairing neurological disorders.

What is Nerve Growth Factor?
Nerve Growth Factor (or NGF) is a protein that plays a major role in the maintenance, survival and regeneration of neurons. A lack of NGF is considered one of the major causes of Alzheimer’s disease. It is required by the brain and important sensory neurons to keep the entire nervous system strong and healthy. Nerve growth factor is also known to stimulate and develop “new neuron growth” in the central and peripheral systems.

When various neurological disorders occur, the brain is unable to manufacture its own internal source of NGF. To make matters worse, the semi-permeable membrane, called the myelin sheath or blood-brain barrier, inhibits the body from delivering external sources of NGF and deterioration of brain neurons begins to slowly occur over time.
Lions mane mushroom has been shown to be exceptionally active in stimulating the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor, containing the two unique compounds: hericenones and erinacines. Hericenones has the ability to activate the brain to produce more NGF.

The erinacines compound found in the mushroom mycelium is one of the most powerful NGF inducers of all natural compounds. It can actually pass through the blood-brain barrier to encourage the production of new neurons within the brain itself.

In a 2013 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms it states, ” In conclusion, the aqueous extract of H. erinaceus contained neuroactive compounds which induced NGF-synthesis and promoted neurite outgrowth in NG108-15 cells.”

The mushroom was proven effective for its ability to efficiently stimulate neuron growth, improving muscle-motor response pathways in Parkinson’s and repairing neurological trauma in stroke victims.

In addition, lions mane mycelium has been studied to reduce amyloid plaques that interfere with brain neurotransmission. Amyloid plaques are clumps of beta-amyloid proteins, which originate in the fatty membrane surrounding nerve cells. When these smaller proteins break off they can block the signals between cells, which is thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s and various neurodegenerative disorders, like Parkinson’s.”

References:

(n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://www.superfoods-for-superhealth.com/lions-mane.html
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