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How Long Does It Take For Lion’s Mane To Work?

For centuries, lion's mane mushroom has been a trusted and widely used treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

how long does it take for lions mane to work?

As the demand for alternative medicine continues to grow, lion's mane is now booming in popularity in the West, with more and more people taking it to treat various ailments.

As we'll explore later, science is now beginning to support many of the benefits and 'wonder claims' surrounding lion's mane, piquing the interest of millions of alternative medicine users globally.

If you're thinking of jumping on the bandwagon, you may have some questions - and rightfully so.

Just how effective is lion's mane? How long does it take to work? Read on below as we take you through what you need to know.

What Is Lion's Mane?

Despite what the name might suggest, lion's mane has nothing to do with lions! ;)

Lion's mane is a type of edible and medicinal mushroom that's been used as an ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years.

The mushroom grows naturally in China, Japan, Korea, and other parts of Asia.

It's also grown commercially in Europe and North America, where it's often referred to as Lion's Mane or Lion's Hair.

The mushroom contains high levels of vitamin B1, which helps boost energy levels and improve moods. It also contains trace amounts of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and much more.

These mushrooms are white and globe-shaped with long, distinctive spines. Some say they're even structurally similar to a cauliflower!

the best Lion's Mane Mushroom extracts

Does Lion’s Mane Help With Brain Fog?

Brain fog isn’t a medical condition as such - it's a symptom or a certain set of symptoms, that can affect your ability to think and function normally.

If you’re experiencing brain fog, you may feel confused, have trouble concentrating, focusing, speaking and more.

Does Lion’s Mane Help With Brain Fog

Although there’s no specific research on the links between lion’s mane and brain fog, we do know that lion’s mane may improve the symptoms of conditions that can cause it.

Brain fog can be caused by a number of different things including:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Medication
  • Sleep Disorders

Two of the most common causes of brain fog are anxiety and depression - and lion’s mane is thought to help alleviate some symptoms of these conditions.

This is thought to be due to high levels of L-tryptophan which is a precursor to serotonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that's thought to help with regulating emotions, sleep cycles, appetite, and pain sensitivity.

One four-week study gave patients lion's mane mushroom powder cookies.

Each cookie contained 0.5g of lion’s mane mushroom, and each patient was advised to eat four cookies a day (total daily dosage of 2g).

Ultimately, the study concluded that there was good evidence to suggest lion's mane can help significantly reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Does Lion’s Mane Make You Smarter?

I’m not really sure how you can define smarter - but, lion's mane is definitely a powerful nootropic.

This means it improves brain function by increasing memory, concentration, focus, and learning ability.

In one study, patients were given 250 mg of lion's mane four times a day for sixteen weeks. This was a daily total dose of 3g.

The effects were observed against a placebo group, and the study concluded that the group given lion's mane saw a notable improvement in their cognitive functioning with no side effects.

There’s also evidence to suggest that lion’s mane may promote the production of neurons in the brain, which are responsible for receiving sensory information, and how our brains communicate with our muscles.

What’s more, lion’s mane may stimulate the growth of the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), and the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF).

Our brains use these proteins to create new brain cells and maintain and support existing ones.

This can help the brain rewire itself and modify connections, as well as encourage the insulation of nerves and allow electrical impulses to travel effectively through the nerves.

So, although there’s no definitive answer to this question, the evidence suggests that lion’s mane may support our brain health and may improve cognitive function.

the best Lion's Mane Mushroom extracts

How Does Lion’s Mane Make You Feel?

This question obviously changes from person to person - however, generally speaking - extracts of the lion’s mane mushroom may reduce anxiety and stress levels, and commonly make users feel calmer.

Some patients who take lion’s mane regularly describe it as feeling like a ‘clean slate.’

If you’ve been feeling stressed, anxious, and like you’re walking through life in a daze, lion’s mane may help you to feel calmer and experience life with more clarity.

If you’re looking for a high or a buzz, you may be disappointed. Lion’s mane doesn’t work in this way.

Like plenty of other medicines, lion's mane may not have an immediate effect and its treatment will require consistent use to build up in your system before seeing any noticeable results.

The time lion's mane takes to work may also depend on the reasons you're taking it and your desired outcome. However, the average time it takes for users to report noticing a change seems to sit somewhere between three days and two weeks.

Remember: this may also vary depending on dosage, your unique constitution and how frequently you're taking lion's mane.

Is Lion’s Mane Addictive?

There appears to be no risk of addiction or dependency when taking lion’s mane mushrooms.

is lions mane addictive

Even when taken at high doses, existing studies have not reported any damaging effects caused by addiction or dependency.

Side effects and adverse reactions are also extremely rare, so for most people, lion’s mane is a safe supplement.

However, those with a sensitivity or allergy to mushrooms should avoid taking lion’s mane and you should always consult your GP before taking any alternative medicines.

Is Lion’s Mane Good For MS?

Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a disease that can affect the spinal cord, brain and optic nerves, and it can cause a multitude of symptoms, including:

  • Mobility issues
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Pain
  • Muscle spasms, weakness, and stiffness
  • Vision issues

MS can be mild, but in some cases, it can cause serious disability. Unfortunately, MS is a lifelong condition, and there’s currently no cure.

Although it’s not fatal, it can seriously impact a person's quality of life.

There is some interesting early and ongoing research that supports the benefits of using lion’s mane to manage the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Researchers believe that the primary bioactive ingredient in lion’s mane, erinacine A, may promote the nerve growth factor (NGF), which can help regulate the development and growth of certain brain neurons.

However, research in this area has been limited largely to animals and much more human research is needed to discern whether the same results are present in human participants.

One of the main causes of MS is damage to the nervous system.

This damage is responsible for the majority of the symptoms we see with MS, and this damage can also be associated with other conditions such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

However, one study discovered that lion’s mane may promote the growth and repair of nerve cells and although far more studies are needed to confirm this, it’s a promising discovery for people living with MS.

the best Lion's Mane Mushroom extracts

The Bottom Line

Lion's mane has been used as a medicinal treatment for centuries and seems to have a particular edge when it comes to brain health and function.

Although the science suggests it works (and the thousands of people who reap its benefits will agree, too), it may take a while before you see any noticeable results.

The effects of lion's mane mushrooms aren't immediately observable like other medications, such as Xanax or other prescription drugs.

Instead, you'll need to take the correct dose consistently before the drug can build up in your system. This may take anywhere between a few days to two weeks, sometimes even longer.

Remember: when you start taking lion's mane, be patient. Consistency is key!

P.S. - if you’re lucky enough to live in a region where you can forage for fresh lion’s mane mushroom - here’s a great way to cook them up and eat them!

Darcy Ogdon-Nolan

Holding a Bachelor Of Science (Hons.) combined with close to a decade now in the health food and wellness industry, I believe I'm uniquely positioned to provide a depth of knowledge and first-hand experience on emerging health products, trends and ideas! From greens powders and medicinal mushrooms through to protein powders and workout nutrition - I'm particularly interested in what modern science can uncover about what human cultures have been using to treat ailments for millennia!

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