Lion's Mane Mushroom South Africa - 9 Powerful Benefits

Lion’s mane mushrooms, also known as hou tou gu or yamabushitake, are large, white, shaggy mushrooms that resemble a lion’s mane as they grow.

According to scientific research on Healthline, Lion's mane mushrooms have the below benefits. These amazing benefits is why we added this amazing ingredient into Designer Coffee.

lion's mane mushroom
  • 1. Could Protect Against Dementia
  • 2. Helps Relieve Mild Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
  • 3. May Speed Recovery from Nervous System Injuries
  • 4. Protects Against Ulcers in the Digestive Tract
  • 5. Reduces Heart Disease Risk
  • 6. Helps Manage Diabetes Symptoms
  • 7. May Help Fight Cancer
  • 8. Reduces Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
  • 9. Boosts the Immune System

"Hi, I'm John, founder of designerCOFFEE. I love drinking coffee every day. I was thinking about how I can take my daily cup of love to the next level and that's how this amazing product was born.

It's not just coffee. It's a health elixir designed to help you be your best."

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Designer Coffee Special Ingredient #2 - Lions Mane

This mushroom is native to several Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, China and India and it’s traveling all over the world for a reason. It’s able to be eaten in just about any way you could want and it provides health benefits to the heart, the gut and the brain.

At least, that’s what the research and fans seem to believe about this one. There are definitely some good reasons to include it in this coffee, because it seems to help those who struggle with a number of different health conditions.

What are the benefits of using Lions Mane?

Lion’s Mane can be good for preventing dementia, relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety, improving nervous system injuries, decreasing the risk of ulcers, managing diabetes, decreasing the risk of heart disease, fighting cancer, reducing inflammation and even improving the immune system.

If you can get all of those benefits from just one ingredient it seems like a no brainer to put it into something that you’re taking every day.

This ingredient helps to give our coffee an even better flavour and also makes sure you’re getting all-around benefits when it comes to your health. There’s nothing lacking here.

The Power of the Lion's Mane: No other fungi embodies holistic health like this ancient Japanese mushroom

Do you know anyone who would not jump at the opportunity to be able to accomplish more with their lives? Who would not want to live a smarter and happier life in fullness of health? No such person exists. This is the main reason why scientists are always neck deep in research, looking for the best solution to help us achieve this longing.

The discovery of Lion's Mane mushroom is a huge step in the direction of optimal health and longevity. This edible mushroom has been touted (and in most cases, scientifically proven) to put a wrench in a lot of health problems. Everything from cognitive disorders and memory loss to weak immune systems, anxiety and depression, heart conditions, and inflammation have made the list of health problems that Lion's mane is proving effective at handling. This is becoming increasingly too as more studies begin to pop up.

Also known by its botanical nomenclature Hericium Erinaceus, this powerhouse fungi can be found in abundance on all first-world continents, usually wherever you have dense hardwood tree populations. Although its commercial demand is relatively recent, its discovery is thanks to the fact that ancient Asian cultures like Japan and China have already known about its health benefits for thousands of years.

This medicinal 'shroom gets its name from the fact that it resembles a Lion's mane. It has long, spiky white tentacles clumped together, kind of like dreadlocks. The way these spikes are bundled up is what gives the appearance of a mane. Other observations also say it looks like brain matter (which kind of makes sense given that it helps cognitive function) and even like a cheerleader's pom poms.

Over time, a lot of research surrounding this mushroom has been documented. These studies are a combination of animal tests, test-tube studies, and a few human clinical trials. While these studies point to the 'shroom's ability to deal with a plethora of health concerns, the one that has really grabbed attention is its brain/cognitive benefits and its ability as a mood booster. Of course, like every other health-related discovery, more research (especially human-based research) is needed to establish the farthest reaches of its applications and benefits. Still, the mushroom is highly regarded as very safe and has already made its way into a plethora of supplement products, many of which boast rave reviews from users.

What are these benefits of Lion's Mane?

So what are these benefits that endear wellness seekers, biohackers and everyone in between to opt for using Lion's mane? Here are some of the most impressive benefits of this ancient fungi that may make you a believer as well.

It delivers protective and regenerative solutions for the brain and nervous system

Lion's Mane isn't the only mushroom that helps to enhance brain function and reinvigorate the nervous system, however, no other fungi alternative has come close to its success. This mushroom has elements that trigger the production of two powerful proteins: brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF). The former is saddled with the responsibility of triggering the growth of spanking new brain cells while keeping existing ones at their best performance level.

This protein achieves this by activating select genes that are responsible for developing brain cells and pathways. So basically, whenever your body releases BDNF, your brain function is getting better. Lion's Mane helps causes high levels of BDNF which in turns translates to faster learning, better retentive memory, slower aging, and quick and effective brain rewiring. This protein also raises your brain's plasticity (neuroplasticity) level. This means that even if you suffer a brain injury or you are constantly under stressful conditions, the neural networks in your brain will find a way to self-repair and come back stronger than before. In a sense, the neural networks/pathways in your brain bank on the effect of BDNF to attain greater flexibility in the way it works, instead of shutting down due to injury, stress and more.

While BDNF triggers brain cell production, the nerve growth factor's job extends beyond just the brain to the entire body. So far, this mushroom is the closest nature has come to solving the problem of regenerating the functioning of nerve cells. NGF keeps the nerve tissues and fibers in top condition while optimizing the correspondence between the neurons and axons. Nervous system-related conditions like Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, depression and more are being put under the scrutiny of Lion's Mane to test its effect on them. Both these proteins – BDNF and NGF – are also thought to be useful for guarding the brain against natural aging effects and environmental toxins.

It helps to better brain function, improve memory, and heighten mental focus

With the work that NGF and BDNF do in regenerating the brain and nerve cells, it shouldn't be surprising that better cognitive function, and memory improvement are also on offer. This mushroom acts kind of like steroids for the brain of the non-toxic variety. More studies are coming out everyday that support its positive effect on mental focus, memory improvement, and cognitive function. One such test was carried out on a group of Japanese senior citizens, and the results showed in favour of improved mental function and a relaxed and peaceful state of mind. Some animal studies also showed an extensive elimination of insoluble accumulations and clumps of beta-amyloid proteins (beta-amyloid plaques). This is a huge confirmation of the mushroom's ability to restore the brain to optimal health. The mushroom also has elements that are believed to interact with the brain's kappa-opioid receptors which boost learning and memory.

Improvement in memory is specifically as a result of the work of NGF and BDNF which improve the functioning of the brain's neurons and nerves. In this test, Lion's Mane extracts were given to the subjects. The result showed that short-term memory experienced a significant boost.

It is a mood booster and helps to allay symptoms associated with depression and anxiety

Being in a good mood and lacking the tell tale signs of anxiety and depression is always a good thing. Lion's Mane has been touted to be a trusty mood-booster and there are a few tests (human and animal) that are confirming that assertion.

To confirm the mushroom's effect on mood and emotional well-being, a test was carried out on two groups of menopausal women in Japan. One group was the control placebo while the other was give cookies made from Lion's Mane. The second group showed signs of an improved mood, stress alleviation, and an overall better emotional well-being.

For this mice test, the subjects were fed a Lion's Mane extract known as Amycenone. The results were the same as in humans: a reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression. Other studies added to this discovery by showing that the 'shroom also helps to amplify the levels of the neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine which is vital to cognitive function and mood adjustment.

Apart from its direct benefits for mood regulation and mental function, it also contributes to these solutions by contributing in the area of inflammation reduction. More and more research is showing a direct link between brain inflammation and mental illness. And since this mushroom's helps to inhibit the production and proliferation of inflammatory proteins, it is indirectly responsible for a lowered risk of mental illness.

Also, according to this mice-focused preliminary research, Lion's Mane or its extracts also help mood boosting by upsurging neurogenesis in the brain's hippocampus. For clarity, the hippocampus is responsible for handling and monitoring stuff like memory and emotional stability.

It helps to support our immune system

This wonder mushroom continues its gift giving by helping to boost the immune system. Granted, it isn't the only mushroom that has shown positive signs when it comes to delivering a top-shape immune system, still, its contributions are too good to be overlooked. Like most other mushrooms used for medicinal and nutritional purposes, Lion's Mane contains complex sugars (beta-glucans) and select carbohydrates (polysaccharides), both of which are known to have a welcome effect on how well the immune system functions.

Many animal studies have shown the mushroom's prowess in boosting immune function, especially as concerns antimicrobial and anti-cancer activities in the intestinal tract. Its positive activities in the gut also help to improve the concentration of probiotic gut bacteria, which itself helps to keep our immunity at elevated levels. Additionally a human-focused study fed a supplement to participants suffering from ulcerative colitis. The supplement was made up of 14% Lion's Mane extract and was given to them for three weeks. The result was a massive decrease in digestive tract inflammation and other symptoms of ulcerative colitis as well as an overall improved quality of life.

The benefits of lion's mane also extend to the issues of blood sugar and insulinemic response. As mentioned earlier, its anti-inflammatory properties and its blood sugar and insulin benefits work together to keep the immune system firing on all cylinders.

It helps to fight the effects of aging

Of course, aging can never be stopped – it is a natural effect of time – however, Lion's Mane possesses properties that can slow or eliminate signs of aging. It does this in a general sense by simply promoting overall health and well-being, whether directly or indirectly. The mushroom acts as a catalyst to fire up necessary body processes (such as brain and nervous system operations and repairs) that slow over time as a natural effect of aging.

An example would be how the polysaccharides present in the mushroom helps to speed up the functioning of the superoxide dismutase, which is a potent cell protectant and a super efficient antioxidant. Research in both animal tests and human cell culture tests have shown the positive anti-aging effects of this enzyme in the brain and liver. To put this in perspective, an animal test injected a group of healthy mice with a lethal dose of salmonella bacteria. They were then given doses of a Lion's Mane extract every day. The result was that these mice experienced a near-quadrupling of their life span.

It helps to reduce the risk of debilitating heart conditions.

Whenever the heart is affected, the entire body system is in danger, seeing as the heart is kind of like the engine room. Here this special fungi flexes its powers of holistic health once again. Lion's Mane helps to keep the heart in top shape by regulating the level of cholesterol in the body and aiding proper blood circulation in the body system. The former it handles by eliminating the clumping together of blood platelets (blood clotting) and the onset of atherosclerosis as a result of the thickening of arteries.

A study that allowed a group of mice to ingest Lions Mane extracts reported that there the mice had lower total cholesterol levels. But more than that, there was also a balancing act where triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (or bad cholesterol as they are known) reduced noticeably with an attendant rise in the HDL (good cholesterol) cholesterol levels. Subsequent rodent studies also reported the mushroom's power in systematically boosting fat metabolism. In one such study, a group of rats were simultaneously fed a helping of a high-fat diet and Lion's Mane extracts every day for 28 days. The results at the end revealed the rats were showing 27% reduction in levels of triglyceride and 42% reduction in weight gain.

It may help to fight or possibly cure cancer

So before anyone takes this out of context, it must be stated that as of this time, cancer still has no cure. For all the good it does, Lion's Mane is not a cure for cancer. However, the results of Lab, animal and human tests so far have given people reason to hope.

What is clear at the moment is that the mushroom definitely possesses in its arsenal properties and compounds that fight cancer. A few studies discovered that when Lion's Mane extract is mixed together in a test tube with human cancer cells, the presence of the extract causes the cells to die off at a faster rate. For a more comprehensive confirmation of these results, the tests were repeated for various types of cancer cells: stomach, blood, colon, and liver cancer cells. A further study in mice discovered that extracts from the mushroom proved more effective at slowing tumor growth than conventional cancer medication. It also recorded fewer side effects with Lions Mane than with traditional medication. These tests have yet to be tested directly in humans though, so a lot still needs to be done to know for sure the effects of this mushroom in fighting cancer in humans.

How to find the perfect Lion's Mane supplement.

At this point, you should know that the choices on the market are endless. But there are a few things you should look out for before purchasing. Lion's Mane supplements are made generally from mushrooms grown indoors or in the wild. Most people tend to go for the latter. This is because these outdoor grown mushrooms usually have both the inner (mycelium) and outer network (the fruiting body). Mushrooms grown indoors only have mycelium. I guess you don't need to be told which one of these supplements will carry the full potency of the mushroom's offerings.

Ideally, make sure the Lion's Mane supplement you go for is USDA certified. And even if it isn't, check that the mushroom was at least certifiably and sustainably harvested in the wild.

It is also a plus if the mushroom extract used for manufacturing the supplements is heat-treated or enzyme-treated. Sometimes during handling of the mushrooms, they develop anti-nutritional properties as a self-defense mechanism against predators. Heat or enzyme treatments help to break down these factors to enable effective absorption.

When it comes to dosage, generally, regardless of the extract and supplement option, the goodness of this mushroom can be gotten by consuming a few hundred milligrams up to several grams on a daily basis. Take this alternatively with other medicinal mushrooms to boost the benefits of the mushroom lifestyle to even higher levels.

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