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When Should You Take Lion's Mane?

Lion's Mane is a potent mushroom that has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years for its many beneficial and medicinal properties. Its furry appearance can be quite peculiar at first glance, but the fungus is quite remarkable in how it can affect your nervous and circulatory systems. 

It can also be incorporated into culinary dishes, but most people today like to take Lion's Mane in supplement form. Typically the mushroom is ground into a powder or made into tablets or capsules from this powder for easy ingestion. But what are some of the health benefits of this fungus, and why should you consider adding it to your daily routine? And if you do decide to include a lion's mane supplement, what are the best times to take it? In this article, we will be covering:

  • The health benefits of Lion's Mane mushrooms.
  • The effects on brain health.
  • Where to find it.
  • Why should you incorporate this supplement into your daily routine?
  • The best times to take Lion's Mane.
Lions Mane nootropic brain and immunity booster by dr emil

Benefits of Lion’s Mane

This supplement may help you by increasing cognitive health, decreasing inflammation, anxiety, and depression.

Lion's Mane is a popular supplement due to its many benefits. One of the biggest reasons many people choose to take it is because it is nootropic and can help improve their cognitive functions and memory. Everyone would like to stay sharp, and taking a supplement such as a lion's mane may help strengthen your cerebral health and brain plasticity. Animal studies have shown that a lion's mane may also improve object recognition and memory skills. This is especially important for those suffering from minor cognitive impairment to debilitating neurological diseases. Researchers can better treat or prevent these conditions by studying the effects of lion's mane. 

Lion's mane also promotes neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the process of the brain forming new or repairing nerve endings. The Lion's mane mushroom is particularly good at invoking this phenomenon. This process occurs because of the hericenones and erinacines within the lion's mane. These compounds are responsible for Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which are responsible for growing and maintaining cognitive health and retaining memory. These are neurotrophins, a family of proteins responsible for maintaining nerve endings within the brain. When these neurotrophins degrade, neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer's, dementia, and Parkinson's arise. 

Another significant benefit of taking lion's mane supplements is their ability to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. It acts like a powerful antioxidant and works to decrease inflammation that can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. These powerful anti-inflammatory properties also mean that lion's mane can be effective against anxiety and depression. Tests in animals have shown that incorporating lion's mane supplements into a daily routine can help lower the chance of depressive episodes and lower overall levels of anxiety and irritation. 

Essential lion's mane takeaways:

  • Powerful nootropics. Lion's mane may help you increase focus and memory retention and alleviate brain fog.
  • Lion's mane can invoke neurogenesis that can prevent neurodegenerative illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer's. 
  • It can help alleviate some symptoms of depression. The anti-inflammatory nature of this supplement may help decrease the likelihood of depressive or anxious behavior. 
  • Works as an excellent anti-inflammatory. May help prevent diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, which result from inflammation.

Effects of Lion's Mane on Brain Health

For people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, lion's mane mushrooms have proven in a study conducted in 2021 in Antioxidants (a scientific journal) that they decrease inflammation and oxidation stress produced as a result of the traumatic injury. This is significant in the fact that a single type of fungus was capable of being a viable treatment for actual damage. So on top of the fact that lion's mane can be used as a preventative supplement to increase cognitive health and well-being, it can be used to treat trauma. 

Lion's mane mushrooms have shown that they can slow or even prevent neurodegenerative diseases In animals. They can reduce memory loss within mice and prevent neuronal damage caused by Alzheimer's. A study conducted by the Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience has demonstrated improvement in cognitive tests in individuals with early-stage Alzheimer's taking Lion's Mane supplements over a 49-week study compared to a placebo group with early-stage Alzheimer's. Suppose there are individuals within your family that have neurodegenerative diseases. In that case, it won't hurt to begin taking these supplements to prevent the effects of these illnesses later in life if any arise. 

Where to Find Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

 Lion's mane can be taken in:

  • Capsules
  • Tablets
  • Liquids
  • Powders
  • Foods
  • Tinctures

As a food, lion’s mane mushrooms frequently grow on dead and decaying trees throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, usually in late summer and fall, according to Forest Wildlife

You can also purchase lion's mane in supplement form: capsule, liquid, tablet, or powder found online and in health food and grocery stores.

A plastic doll with segments of the brain labeled.
Cognition and overall focus will increase after taking lion’s mane supplements.

How Much Lion’s Mane Should I Take?

Powdered Lion's Mane: If using powdered Lion's Mane extract, a common dosage range is around 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams (mg) per day. It's often recommended to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it over time to assess tolerance and individual response.

Capsules or Tablets: If using Lion's Mane in capsule or tablet form, follow the dosage instructions provided on the product packaging. The recommended dosage can vary between brands and concentrations, so it's important to read and follow the instructions specific to the product you have.

Tinctures: Lion's Mane tinctures are concentrated liquid extracts. The dosage can vary depending on the potency of the tincture and the manufacturer's instructions. Typically, tinctures are taken in small dropperfuls (e.g., 1-2 ml) mixed with water or a beverage of your choice.

Factors like age, weight, and overall health are important to take into consideration. If you are a larger person or are simply older, then naturally you will have to take higher doses of the supplement. You may also consider taking higher doses if you have been diagnosed with a neurodegenerative illness so it may be in your best interest to take higher dosages to prevent the effects of the disease. Of course talk with your doctor before upping your dosage, and that also applies to all other supplements as well.

Although a very peculiar looking fungal body, this mushroom is capable of more than just looking odd.

When should you take your lion's mane supplement?

Although you can take lion's mane any time throughout your day, you might be surprised to know there are many more benefits of taking it before bed!

If the benefits of lion's mane mushroom intrigue you, you might also be pleased to know that taking it right before bed might be the optimal time to take it. As discussed earlier, Lion's mane is a popular nootropic that helps improve cognitive function. Still, it also increases the nerve growth factor (NGF) in our brains--which helps maintain neurons. Taking before bed can stimulate our adrenals to reduce stress, which helps us wind down and prepare for a peaceful and restful sleep. Many people struggle to get a restful sleep each night, and either have trouble falling or staying asleep. This can have repercussions on the body and mind if you're unable to reap the benefits of proper rest and restoration. Taking a dose of lion's mane before bed should help you wind down, prepare for sleep the right way, and wake up refreshed.

Lions Mane nootropic brain and immunity booster by dr emil
Whether you take lion's mane in the morning, at night, or in between, use a supplement that will work for you.

In addition to reducing stress before bed and preparing the parasympathetic nervous system for sleep, the lion's mane can help you shake off any anxiety or worries you might be carrying into bed. Many people have difficulty "turning off their mind" before they drift off to sleep and stay awake thinking about their day or schedule. Taking a lion's mane mushroom before bedtime will reduce stress and anxiety that interfere with sleep and trigger your body's regenerative functions to get a restful sleep truly. Lion's mane is not a stimulant--you should have no problem falling asleep after taking a dose before bed.

If you prefer to take your lion's mane supplement during the day, that also works; find the method that works with your lifestyle.

If you want to improve your cognitive functions, increase clarity, and maybe even reduce your stress and anxiety, taking lion's mane--either during the day or before bedtime--is a good start.

When to take lion's mane:

  • As it fits into your schedule, whether daytime or before bed.
  • Taking it before bed promotes restful and restorative sleep and its other benefits.

What form of Lion’s Mane should I take?

Of course, this all depends on the person taking the supplement and what the benefits are for each of them. The most sure-fire way to ensure that you are getting the maximum benefits would be to eat the fruiting body of the fungus, but there are plenty of individuals who hate the flavor of mushrooms, so powders and capsules could be a better option.

Just ensure that wherever you are purchasing lion’s mane supplements that they are from a reputable supplier. Certain retailers online will supply counterfeit supplements to turn a profit, so make sure that you are doing research to guarantee that you are consuming legitimate lion’s mane. Lion's mane is an excellent way to increase your memory and recognition skills and might help you prevent inflammatory diseases. 

When Should I start?

Like all supplements, speaking to your doctor before incorporating this mushroom into your health routine is always a good idea. Dosages depend on the form you get your lion's mane in and should always be discussed with your healthcare provider. No matter what time of day you decide to take your lion's mane, you'll be starting on the right path toward better cognitive function, decreasing stress and anxiety, and actively preventing inflammation in your body. That's impressive work for such an ordinary mushroom!

Elite Lion's Mane Mushroom Plus 60 Capsules by dr emil
Lion’s Mane is the star ingredient of multiple best selling products on Dr. Emil’s website. | Image courtesy of Dr. Emil.

Try Dr. Emil’s Lion’s Mane Mushroom Capsules Today

Lion's Mane nootropic brain and immunity booster provides the highest possible dosage available on the market. Dr. Emil’s formula is enhanced with BioPerine, a Black Pepper extract clinically proven to aid in absorption and give you all of the benefits described above and more!

You should consult a licensed health care professional before starting any supplement, dietary, or exercise program, especially if you are pregnant or have any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.