Lion’s Mane to Boost the Brain

Dr. Alexia Harris, ND

The medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus, commonly known as Lion’s mane, has gained popularity for its ability to support the brain and nervous system. Researchers have identified and isolated two nerve growth stimulant (NGS) compounds, erinacines and hericiones, which have been shown to stimulate regrowth of neurons and their myelin, the insulating sheath that surrounds nerves. These nerve-regenerating properties may offer potential benefits in the treatment and prevention of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, peripheral neuropathy, seizures and more. For centuries in Asia, it was known to give one “nerves of steel and the memory of a lion.”

 

This mushroom is quite flavourful and can be sautéed like other popular mushrooms. However, a great way to get a daily dose of the nerve-regenerating medicinal properties of Lion’s mane is to use it as a powder in your favourite cup of tea or coffee. Here is a recipe for a brain boosting latte designed to help bring your focus and brain power to the next level.

 

Lion’s Mane Latte

  • 2 shots of organic espresso, or your favourite tea
  • 1 cup homemade walnut mylk (1 cup of organic walnuts soaked overnight; rinse and blend with 2 cups of filtered water; strain off the fibre and add to a steamer).
  • 1 tsp of Lion’s Mane Powder (Four Sigmatic Foods, or Harmonic Arts)
  • 1 pinch vanilla powder
  • 2 tsp honey (optional)

 

Instead of dairy, try this homemade walnut mylk to support your brain and cognitive function. Walnuts are rich in brain-supporting omega 3 fatty acids as well as antioxidant compounds that are known to be neuro-protective, including vitamin E, folate, melatonin and various polyphenols. Research shows that regular consumption of walnuts may be protective against the development of cognitive decline and depression.

 

References:

Pribis, P. (2016). Effects of Walnut Consumption on Mood in Young Adults—A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients.Nov; 8(11): 668.

Stamets, P. (2005). Mycelium Running. Ten Speed Press, New York. Pp 246-247.

 

 

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