3 Brain-Boosting Benefits of Lion’s Mane Tea

Lion's Mane mushroom contains unique compounds that stimulate nerve growth factor, showing promise in treating cognitive impairment and mood disorders.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Tea

Key Takeaways

Lion Mane’s Tea Benefits

1. Cognitive Enhancement

Lion’s Mane plays an essential role in cognition and memory due to its neurotrophic compounds that promote Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) production.

2. Brain Cells Protection

Lion’s Mane compounds—hericenones and erinacines—boost NGF, the protein that keeps the existing brain cells healthy and promotes new cell growth.

3. Natural Antidepressant

Lion’s Mane is loaded with a unique anti-inflammatory compound called amycenone, which is responsible for its mood-boosting abilities.

What is Lion’s Mane Mushroom?

Lion's Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is no average fungi—it is a unique mushroom with a track record for boosting your brain and mood. Mushrooms are incredible life forms, not exactly plants or animals, and each part of them is teeming with potential.

When you picture a mushroom, you probably think of the part that pops out of the ground—the stem and cap. But did you know the real magic is in the root-like structure called mycelium? Mycelium is where the mushroom lives for the long haul, while the cap and stem are just short-term visitors.

What sets Lion's Mane apart is that every bit—the mycelium and the stem-and-cap part—offers health perks. Unique compounds called erinacine in the mycelium and hericerin in the stem and cap give this mushroom its brain-boosting powers.

And it does not just act special. It also looks special! Instead of the typical mushroom cap, it has what looks like tiny icicles.

This mushroom is not just a recent trend. It has been a star in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. The belief is that it can give you an iron-clad focus and a memory as sharp as a lion.

So, let's dig deeper to find out how this extraordinary mushroom earns its stripes as a fantastic tool for mental sharpness and emotional well-being.

Benefits of Lion’s Mane

New research is backing up what ancient traditions have long claimed about Lion's Mane—it's a wonder mushroom with a multitude of health benefits.

Researchers have identified around 70 active compounds in this unique fungi. [1] The list of potential perks is impressive due to the mushroom’s antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. [2]

Lion's mane doesn't just stop at boosting your brain; it could also help tackle a range of issues like diabetes, heart disease, stomach ulcers, and kidney and liver conditions. It also has properties that safeguard your brain and could assist with mood disorders and neurological diseases.

Some of these compounds are like health warriors—they fight bacteria, act as antioxidants, reduce inflammation, and boost your immune system. [3] Others are like little brain cheerleaders, encouraging the production of crucial brain chemicals.

In this article, we're zoning in on the mushroom's superpower for your brain. Let's dive into how Lion's Mane mushroom can be a game-changer for your mental well-being and cognitive abilities.

1. Lion’s Mane Tea and Cognition

Exciting research is adding scientific cred to what people have believed for years about Lion's Mane—its brain-boosting powerhouse. These are not just claims; they are backed by numerous lab studies that identified unique health-promoting compounds in Lion's Mane.

One standout is a neurotrophic compound that kick-starts the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). NGF is a vital protein that encourages growth and the healthy functioning of nerve cells.

In a 2013 study, scientists showed that Lion’s Mane extract induced NGF synthesis and promoted neurite outgrowth. [4]

A 2019 study with 31 healthy participants tested the effects of Lion's Mane on brain function. The results? Those who took Lion's Mane powder saw a significant uptick in their cognitive test scores after just 12 weeks. [5] These results affirm this mushroom's potential to enhance cognitive function and protect against short-term memory loss.

The mushroom's cognitive benefits aren't limited to healthy individuals. Another study in 2009 focused on older adults diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. Those given Lion's Mane experienced a significant boost in cognitive function, as judged by the Revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale. [6]

Mild cognitive impairment is a middle stage between regular aging-related cognitive decline and more serious conditions like dementia. While an MCI diagnosis does not guarantee that you will develop Alzheimer's, it does increase your risk.

One particular study handed out dried Lion's Mane mushroom powder to seniors diagnosed with MCI and found notable improvements in their cognitive functions without any side effects after 16 weeks. [7]

But the mushroom might offer even more. Research shows it can break down beta-amyloid plaques, a key biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease. This possibility leads scientists to believe that Lion’s Mane might be a valuable resource in slowing down or even reversing the progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s. [8]

One way Lion’s Mane works is by increasing levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter crucial for memory and learning.

Low levels of acetylcholine are linked to severe neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. Lion's Mane extract has shown promise in boosting these critical acetylcholine levels. [9]

2. Lion’s Mane Tea and Brain Cells Protection

Lion's mane mushroom is like a treasure trove of unique compounds—hericenones and erinacines—that you won't find anywhere else. [10] What makes these compounds extra special? They boost nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein that acts like a super-charged fertilizer for your brain cells.

NGF doesn't just keep existing nerve cells healthy. It also encourages new ones to grow in your brain and overall nervous system.

Some scientists think that not having enough NGF could be connected to Alzheimer's.

The issue is that NGF is a hefty molecule that can't slip past the brain's natural defenses. That's where Lion's Mane comes in. Its hericenones and erinacines are small enough to cross the blood-brain barrier and jack up NGF levels.

And that's not all. Lion's Mane also helps rebuild myelin, the protective layer around nerve fibers that acts like your nervous system's insulation. [11]

Myelin makes sure messages between your brain cells move quickly. Lose too much myelin, and you're looking at issues like multiple sclerosis.

While there's no full-on cure for diseases that strip away myelin, the NGF-boosting compounds in Lion's Mane could be a key part of future treatments. [12]

Let's talk science. A 2023 in-vitro study found that Erinacine S from Lion's Mane mycelium promoted the growth of new neurons by increasing the level of neurosteroids. [13]

Another 2021 in-vitro study discovered four different compounds in the mushroom's fruiting body that boosted NGF production and helped nerve cells to grow, pointing to its potential for improving memory. [14]

These studies prove that the fruiting body and mycelium of Lion's Mane are brimming with brain-boosting benefits.

3. Lion’s Mane Tea as a Natural Antidepressant

Depression is like a complex jigsaw puzzle, and while most people point to a lack of specific brain chemicals (serotonin and dopamine) as the cause, another compelling theory is chronic brain inflammation. [15]

This theory is gaining attention for its role not just in depression but also in other mental conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. [16]

Lion's Mane mushroom brings an exciting twist to this story. It's loaded with a unique anti-inflammatory compound called amycenone, which might be responsible for its mood-boosting abilities. [17] In one study, a single dose of amycenone lowered inflammation significantly.

Another study conducted in Japan focused on 30 women dealing with issues like menopause, depression, and poor sleep quality. These women ate Lion's Mane-infused cookies or a placebo for four weeks. The results were promising: Lion’s Mane reduced their depression and anxiety. [18]

A specialized form of amycenone, known as Amyloban 3399®, has also shown promise in treating sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression while enhancing overall well-being and sleep quality. [19]

In short, Lion's Mane could be a game-changer in understanding and treating a variety of mood and mental disorders.

Safety And Side Effects

Taking Lion's Mane is pretty straightforward, but as always, there are some things to keep in mind.

Some people report itchy skin, but it's usually temporary and not a big deal. This itchiness might even be a sign that the mushroom is doing its job by increasing the nerve growth factor in your body. [20]

But let's talk precautions. If you're allergic to other mushrooms, it's best to give Lion's Mane a pass.

Also, this natural brain booster can thin your blood, so if you're on blood-thinner medication, a chat with your doctor is a must.

Pregnant or breastfeeding? Hold off on Lion's Mane, as its safety during these periods isn't confirmed.

And if you're managing diabetes with medication, keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels since Lion's Mane can lower them.

Adding Lion’s Mane to Your Diet

Cooking with Lion’s Mane

Long before Lion's Mane mushroom became a supplement superstar, it was a culinary gem, said to taste quite like shrimp or lobster.

Curious to try it? You might find it at specialty or gourmet stores or order it dried online. If you're adventurous, you might even want to go foraging for it yourself.

And hey, if you're really smitten, why not grow your own Lion's Mane? You can get a DIY mushroom kit to cultivate them right at home.

Fair warning: It's a game of patience. Expect to wait about six months to a year for your first crop. But hang in there; once they're established, you're in for a mushroom bounty for years to come!

Whipping up some fresh lion's mane mushroom is a cinch! Simply sauté it in a bit of butter or oil. If you're a garlic fan, toss some in. Not only does garlic make the dish tastier, but it also synergistically enhances the brain-boosting benefits of lion's mane. [21] Yum and smart!

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Tea

Are you looking for a convenient way to enjoy Lion's Mane? Why not steep it as tea? While you might find loose Lion's Mane tea in specialty stores selling Chinese herbs, powdered forms are more readily available. Just mix with hot water, and voilà! A cup of brain-boosting goodness.

BrainTea makes it easy for you to have access to this extraordinary fungus. Lion’s Mane powder is one of the main organic ingredients in this natural and tasty tea, alongside Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola, and MCT Coconut Oil.

We include all stages of the mushroom's life cycle—fruiting bodies, primordia, mycelium, and extracellular compounds—meaning you get the full spectrum of its bioactive benefits. Easy, right?


In conclusion, Lion's Mane mushroom presents an intriguing option for those interested in boosting cognitive function and overall brain health. From its promising effects on cognitive improvement, mood disorders, and even neurological diseases to its unique compounds like hericenones and erinacines that stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF), Lion's Mane appears to be a powerhouse for the brain.

Also, it's a versatile supplement, available in various forms, from fresh and dried mushrooms to powders and teas.

For those who'd prefer an all-in-one solution that incorporates Lion's Mane along with other brain-boosting herbs, our BrainTea formula offers a convenient and comprehensive option.

With the full spectrum of bioactive compounds from all stages of the mushroom's life cycle, it's a simple way to tap into the extensive benefits of this remarkable fungus.

Additional Readings

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[1]Chemistry, Nutrition, and Health-Promoting Properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion's Mane) Mushroom Fruiting Bodies and Mycelia and Their Bioactive Compounds - PubMed (nih.gov)

[2]Hericium erinaceus suppresses LPS-induced pro-inflammation gene activation in RAW264.7 macrophages - PubMed (nih.gov)

[3]Evaluation of in vivo antioxidant activity of Hericium erinaceus polysaccharides - PubMed (nih.gov)

[4]Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia - PubMed (nih.gov)

[5]Improvement of cognitive functions by oral intake of Hericium erinaceus - PubMed (nih.gov)

[6]Phytotherapy Research | Medicinal Chemistry Journal | Wiley Online Library

[7]Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial - PubMed (nih.gov)

[8]Erinacine A-enriched Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease-related pathologies in APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice - PMC (nih.gov)

[9]The Neuroprotective Properties of Hericium erinaceus in Glutamate-Damaged Differentiated PC12 Cells and an Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model - PMC (nih.gov)

[10]Hericenones and erinacines: stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF) biosynthesis in Hericium erinac (tandfonline.com)

[12]Exploring the role of nerve growth factor in multiple sclerosis: implications in myelin repair - PubMed (nih.gov)

[13]Erinacine S from Hericium erinaceus mycelium promotes neuronal regeneration by inducing neurosteroids accumulation - PubMed (nih.gov)

[14]Neurotrophic isoindolinones from the fruiting bodies of Hericium erinaceus - ScienceDirect

[15]Inflammatory Cytokines in Depression: Neurobiological Mechanisms and Therapeutic Implications - PMC (nih.gov)

[16]Neuroimmune mechanisms of cytokine-induced depression: Current theories and novel treatment strategies - PMC (nih.gov)

[17]Effects of amycenone on serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-10, and depression-like behavior in mice after lipopolysaccharide administration - PubMed (nih.gov)

[18]Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake - PubMed (nih.gov)

[19]Therapeutic Potential of Hericium erinaceus for Depressive Disorder - PMC (nih.gov)

[20]Expression of nerve growth factor in itchy skins of atopic NC/NgaTnd mice - PubMed (nih.gov)

[21]Enhancement of the neuroprotective activity of Hericium erinaceus mycelium co-cultivated with Allium sativum extract: Archives of Physiology and Biochemistry: Vol 121, No 1 (tandfonline.com)

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