Benefits of Lion’s mane mushroom

Benefits of Lion's mane mushroom

Know in one minute about Lion’s mane mushroom

This mushroom has many common names like Monkey-head, Old man’s beard or Pom pom mushroom, etc. This mushroom offers a good source of protein, fat, carbohydrates, essential amino acids. The benefits of Lion’s mane mushroom are

Health benefits of Lion’s mane mushrooms

  1. It improves gut health.
  2. Prevents stroke by hemagglutinating activity.
  3. Prevents age-related disorders, obesity
  4. Relief pain
  5. Treats fatigues
  6. Anti-aging
  7. Keeps liver healthy, manage diabetes
  8. Protect bones


Name: Lion’s mane mushroom

Scientific name: Hericium erinaceus of family Hericiaceae

Common name: Monkey-head, Mountain-hidden, Lgelstachelbart, Yamabushitake (Japan), Houtou  (China), Hedgehog, Bearded tooth, Satyr’s Beard, Whitebeard, Old man’s beard, or Pom pom mushroom.

Cultivated in:  China, India, Japan, Korea, European countries, and the southern states of America

Lion’s mane mushroom grows slowly on both living and dead broadleaf trees such as oak (Quercus) and beech (Fagus) (2). It has been used for centuries as a food source and herbal medicine in traditional Chinese medicine in China where its first artificial cultivation started in 1988. 

Lion’s mane mushroom formed semi-spherical, soft spines hang from tough, hidden unbranched clump fruit bodies with white (young) and light yellow to brown color (age) with seafood like taste like shrimp or lobster taste (3).

Lion’s mane mushroom exhibits various pharmacological properties such as antioxidant, antitumor, antimutagenic, hypolipidemic, hemagglutinating, antimicrobial, antiaging, and immunomodulatory properties (4,5).

Nutritional value of Lion’s mane mushroom

Lion’s mane mushroom is highly nutritious and offers a good source of protein, fat, carbohydrates, essential amino acids, moisture and soluble sugar include arabitol, glucose, mannitol, Myo-inositol, and trehalose. It also contains polysaccharides, lectins, phenols, hericenones, erinacines, and terpenoids (6).

Health benefits of Lion’s mane mushroom

1. Phenolic acids of Lion’s mane helps to treat hypertension

Lion’s mane mushroom is a rich source of phenolic acid which acts as an antioxidant and angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) agent is being used to reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of hypertension complications (7).

2. Antibacterial properties of mushroom Lion’s mane

Lion’s mane mushroom is a rich source of various acidic phenol-like and neutral fatty acids such as hericenones and hericerins which are effective against pathogenic microorganisms. It helps in the protection against various bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecalis, Plesiomonas shigelloides, and Shigella sp. Furthermore, β-Glucan found in this mushroom activate the immune system and increase life spans infected with a lethal dose of Salmonella  Typhimurium thus protect the liver (8,9).

3. Erinacines in Lion’s mane mushroom helps in the prevention of  age-related disorder

Diterpenoids that are erinacines in Lion’s mane mushroom promote functional recovery, enhance nerve regeneration and delay neuronal cell death. Thus protect from neurodegenerative diseases, such as ischemic stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. Furthermore, the presence of hericenones generates nerve growth factor which is beneficial in improving mild cognitive impairment (10).

4. Eating Lion’s mane mushroom helps in the improvement of gut health

Polysaccharides present in Lion’s mane mushroom acts as a protective dietary agent that prevents gastrointestinal disorders such as Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) due to oxidative stress. It reduces colonic inflammation and alters intestinal flora by increasing the vital bacteria including Clostridiales, Akkermansia as well as Desulfovibrio (11).

5. Hericenone is Lion’s mane mushrooms helps in the prevention of platelet aggregation

Lion’s mane mushroom contains a bioactive substance known as hericenone B which inhibited collagen-induced platelet aggregation further cause thrombosis. Therefore, Lion’s mane mushroom prevents platelet aggregation and acts as therapeutic agents of various vascular diseases, including myocardial infarction and stroke (12)

6. Polysaccharides of Lion’s mane mushroom helps in managing diabetes

Lion’s mane mushroom acts as a hypoglycemic agent which Enhanced the sugar tolerance level and subsequent decrease in blood glucose levels (13).

7. Prevent obesity 

A research study suggested that intake of Lion’s mane mushroom with a high-fat diet for 28 days a significant decrease in body weight gain, fat weight, and serum and hepatic triacylglycerol levels.  Therefore lion’s mane mushroom improves lipid metabolism and prevents obesity (14).

8. Antioxidant properties of Lion’s mane mushrooms

Polysaccharides, herinase, and iso hericenone found in Lion’s mane mushroom may act as protective agents that will help reduce the problem of suboptimal health status in humans and even reduce oxidative damage-associated diseases (15)

9. Speedy healing of wounds

Lion’s mane mushroom possesses wound healing or wound repairing properties that heal wounds by increasing fewer macrophages and more collagen with angiogenesis. Thus intake of Lion’s mane mushroom takes less time in wound healing (16).

10. Immunomodulatory properties of Lion’s mane mushrooms

Lion’s mane mushroom is a good source of polysaccharide that increases natural killer cell activity, macrophage phagocytosis, activates cell-mediated and humoral immunity thus regulates intestinal mucosal immune activity (17).

11. Exo-biopolymer in Lion’s mane mushrooms helps in controlling cholesterol level

Lion’s mane mushroom acts as a hypolipidemic agent because of the compound Exo-biopolymer (200 mg/kg). It reduces the plasma total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglyceride, phospholipid, atherogenic index, and hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity. It also increased the plasma HDL cholesterol level (18).

12. Hemagglutinating properties of lectins in Lion’s mane mushrooms

Lion’s mane mushroom contains lectins that show hemagglutinating activity and these agglutinate transformed cells better than the normal ones thus can be used as a diagnostic approach for the treatment of cancer (19).

13. Inhibit Helicobacter pylori growth

Lion’s mane mushroom protects digestive organs, including the stomach, liver, intestines, and colon by inhibiting the growth of Helicobacter pylori which may cause gastritis and ulcers (20).

14. Relief pain

Lion’s mane mushroom may act as an analgesic agent which has the ability to reduce heat-induced pain and diabetic neuropathic pain while also reduces nociceptive behavior (21,22).

15. Prevent cancer

Lion’s mane mushroom contains polysaccharides that induce cell apoptosis and cell cycle arrest of cancerous cells thus very beneficial in preventing gastric cancer progression (23). Furthermore, higher content of β-glucans induces NK activity, activation of macrophages, and inhibition of angiogenesis which is further beneficial for the reduction of tumor size (24).

16. Gastroprotective properties of Lion’s mane mushroom

Some bioactive compounds such as phenolic acid in Lion’s mane mushroom protect gastric mucosa against ethanol-induced injury. Consumption of lion’s mane mushroom (400 mg/kg) significantly reduces the ulcer area and may play a major role in gastroprotective activity (25).

17. Anti-inflammatory properties

Lion’s Mane exerts an anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting TLR4-JNK signaling which further suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokines thus ameliorates adipose tissue inflammation associated with obesity (26).

18. Antiviral properties due to Lectin

The presence of lectin in Lion’s mane mushroom inhibits HIV-1 reverse transcriptase activity which later expands the HIV virus (27).

19. Protect the liver

Polysaccharides present in Lion’s mane mushroom decrease the lipid peroxidation and may protect from chemically induced liver injury (28,29).

20. Treats fatigue

The presence of polysaccharides in lion’s mane mushroom possesses significant anti-fatigue activity and was capable of elevating the exercise tolerance like swimming time, increase tissue glycogen content and antioxidant enzyme activity, and reduced biochemical parameters such as blood lactic acid serum urea nitrogen and malondialdehyde which is responsible for fatigue (30).

21. Healthy bone due to selenium-rich polysaccharides

A recent study suggested that Se-enriched polysaccharides, sterol (cerevisterol 6-cinnamate; 6), and other bioactive compounds of Lion’s mane mushroom possess radical scavenging activity which removes harmful radicals from the body. Thus improves bone mineral density and bone mineral content and inhibits osteoclastic differentiation that forms osteoporosis (31, 32).

22. Anti-aging properties of Lion’s mane mushroom

Skin aging mainly caused by oxidative injury and decrease collagen content (hydroxyproline) in the skin. However, the study suggested that lion’s mane mushroom polysaccharides treatment can reverse these effects thus may retard skin aging (33).

Side effects of Lion’s mane mushroom

A research study suggested that lion’s mane mushroom is safe up to 3g/kg body weight/day with no observed adverse effect. Therefore, lion’s mane mushroom consumption is relatively non-toxic (34,35).

Edited By: Dr. Asha Jyoti Bharati