Lion’s Mane Mushroom Side Effects

Wang K, Bao L, Qi Q, et al. Erinacerins C-L, isoindolin-1-ones with a-glucosidase inhibitory activity from cultures of the medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus. J Nat Prod. 2015;78(1):146-54. View abstract.

Health Benefits Of Lion’s Mane

Lenore Cangeloso is a board-certified acupuncturist and herbal medicine practitioner based in Oregon.

Lenore Cangeloso, L.Ac. M.S.A.Om. Acupuncture / Herbal Medicine
Updated: Apr 20, 2023, 10:46am

Commissions we earn from partner links on this page do not affect our opinions or evaluations. Our editorial content is based on thorough research and guidance from the Forbes Health Advisory Board.

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Table of Contents

  • What Is Lion’s Mane Mushroom?
  • Lion’s Mane Health Benefits
  • May Benefit Brain Health
  • Does Lion’s Mane Have Side Effects?
  • How to Use Lion’s Mane
  • What to Look for When Purchasing Lion’s Mane

If you’ve ever noticed pom-pom-shaped growths on the trunks of broadleaf trees like beech or oak, it might have been a lion’s mane mushroom (hericium erinaceus). Lion’s mane mushroom grows in forests across North America, Asia and Europe.

Lion’s mane is an herb that has been used for centuries for its many medicinal purposes, says Trista Best, a registered dietician, environmental health specialist and consultant with Balance One Supplements.

Continue reading to learn more about lion’s mane mushroom, including its history of traditional use in Chinese medicine, as well as potential health benefits that encompass supporting cognition and mood and reducing anxiety and inflammation.

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Ancient Nutrition Organic Lion’s Mane Supplements

  • USDA Certified Organic mushroom tablets
  • Combination of organic lion’s mane and ashwagandha designed to help clear your mind and keep you focused
  • Contains unique compounds different from the nutrients found in fruits or vegetables
  • Works to support healthy cognitive function
  • Helps maintain good immune system balance

On Ancient Nutrition’s Website

What Is Lion’s Mane Mushroom?

Lion’s mane is a mushroom with a history of both medicinal and culinary uses in Asia and Europe. Medicinal mushroom use dates back to 450 BCE when Greek physician Hippocrates discovered the potential anti-inflammatory properties of fungi as well as its role in wound cauterization, according to a 2017 study in the Journal of Restorative Medicine [1] Spelman K, Sutherland E, Bagade A. Neurological Activity of Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus). Journal of Restorative Medicine. 2017;6(1)19-26. .

Lion’s mane grows on old or dead broadleaf tree trunks. Broadleaf trees shed their leaves seasonally and spread their seeds using a vessel, such as fruit.

Lion’s mane is composed of two parts: the visible fruiting body (the mushroom) and the mycelium, which is the bottom structure that resembles roots. Both the fruiting body and the root-like mycelium contain compounds that offer potential health benefits.

Lion’s Mane Health Benefits

The potential benefits of lion’s mane mushroom are numerous and span physical, cognitive and mental health [2] Ghosh S, Nandi S, et alBanerjee A, Sarkar S, Chakraborty N. Prospecting Medicinal Properties of Lion’s Mane Mushroom. Journal of Food Biochemistry. 2021;45(8). . The mushroom is a source of natural bioactive compounds, which are health-promoting chemicals found in certain foods and plants. As a result, it exhibits disease-fighting properties, including anti-cancer, anti-microbial and antioxidant activity.

Research also suggests that lion’s mane may protect nerves from disease or decline, according to a 2015 abstract in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The same study concludes the mushroom displays additional health-promoting benefits, such as:

  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Promotes healthy energy levels and combats fatigue
  • Helps to prevent excess blood lipid accumulation
  • Protects heart health
  • Slows biological aging
  • Protects liver health
  • Protects kidney health

Potential Alternative Treatment for Depression

Lion’s mane mushroom may be a potential alternative treatment for depression, according to a 2020 abstract in the Journal of Molecular Science. The abstract highlights three ways in which lion’s mane may ease depression symptoms:

  • Helping ensure the presence of sufficient neurotransmitters
  • Reducing the loss of nerve growth brought about by stressful situations
  • Minimizing inflammation linked to depression [3] Chong PS, Fung ML, Wong KH, Lim LW. Therapeutic Potential of Hericium erinaceus for Depressive Disorder. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020;21(1):163. .

Furthermore, research shows that people living with major depressive disorder may have lower nerve growth factor than non-depressed people, according to a 2015 meta-analysis in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment [4] Chen YW, Lin PY, et al. Significantly Lower Nerve Growth Factor Levels in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder than in Healthy Subjects: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2015;11:925-933. . Nerve growth factor helps nerve cells specialize, grow and remain healthy, which are important aspects of mood regulation.

A number of studies demonstrate that lion’s mane increases nerve growth factor, according to Lexi Watson, a doctor of pharmacology, functional medicine practitioner and founder of Oakley Wellness, a practice that specializes in brain health and optimal aging.

May Benefit Brain Health

Lion’s mane’s effect on nerve growth factor levels may enable it to help protect against disorders like Alzheimer’s disease that feature cognitive impairment.

Lion’s mane is a type of nootropic, meaning it contains compounds that improve brain health and function, according to Best.

“Some research has shown a benefit on certain measures of memory and cognitive function,” says Tod Cooperman, M.D., a dietary supplement researcher and president and founder of ConsumerLab.com, a health and nutrition product testing company. “But results have been inconsistent, and most improvements have been modest at best,” he adds.

For example, lion’s mane may be effective at improving symptoms of mild cognitive impairment, according to a placebo-controlled trial in Phytotherapy Research. In the trial, adults ages 50 to 80 took four 250-milligram powdered lion’s mane tablets three times daily for 16 weeks. Cognitive function scale testing showed that participants taking lion’s mane scored higher than the placebo group, and their cognitive ability improved with the duration of supplementation. Four weeks after discontinuing lion’s mane, their cognitive test scores decreased [5] Mori K, Inatomi S, Ouchi K, Azumi Y, Tuchida T. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytotherapy Research. 2009;23(3):367-72. .

Promotes Brain Injury Recovery

A 2021 study in Antioxidants offers some promising research of lion’s mane for people who’ve experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI). The study found that both lion’s mane mushroom and coriolus versicolor (another type of mushroom also known as turkey tail) exhibit neuroprotective effects against the inflammation and oxidative stress often associated with TBI [6] D’Amico R, Salinaro AT, et al. Hericium erinaceus and Coriolus versicolor Modulate Molecular and Biochemical Changes after Traumatic Brain Injury. Antioxidants. 2021;10(6):898. .

The neurodegeneration, or progressive breakdown of nerve cells, caused by TBI can lead to further conditions like Parkinson’s disease. Treatment with lion’s mane may reduce the impact of brain trauma and TBI complications like Parkinson’s disease.

Reduces Anxiety and Stress

Lion’s mane may help ease stress, according to Best, and a 2010 study in Biomedical Research provides some evidence to support this theory. The study examines the effects of lion’s mane on brain function and concludes that participants who ate cookies containing 0.5 grams of powdered lion’s mane (specifically the mushroom or fruiting body) for four weeks reported less anxiety than those who ate placebo cookies. The study authors theorize that the nerve growth effect of lion’s mane mushroom contributes to its anti-anxiety action.

Supports Gastrointestinal Health

Lion’s mane mushroom exhibits ulcer-inhibiting action, which research suggests may stem from its effect on the helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria. H. pylori can cause stomach issues including ulcers, according to a study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology [7] Wang M, Konishi T, Gao Y, Xu D, Gao Q. Anti-Gastric Ulcer Activity of Polysaccharide Fraction Isolated from Mycelium Culture of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes). International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. 2015;17(11):1055-60Wang M, Konishi T, Gao Y, Xu D, Gao Q. .

Does Lion’s Mane Have Side Effects?

If you have a medical condition or a history of asthma or allergies, consult your doctor before you try lion’s mane.

“Lion’s mane is generally well tolerated, but the most common side effects include gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea and a skin rash,” says Dr. Watson.

If you experience side effects, discontinue lion’s mane consumption until you’ve spoken with a health care provider. Hives, swelling, diarrhea and abdominal pain were symptoms of a potentially serious allergic reaction to lion’s mane mushroom, according to a 2022 case study in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

FEATURED PARTNER OFFER

Partner Offers feature brands who paid Forbes Health to appear at the top of our list. While this may influence where their products or services appear on our site, it in no way affects our ratings, which are based on thorough research, solid methodologies and expert advice. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services

Apothékary Lion’s Mane Powder

  • Has been said to help reduce stressors in the body, especially after an intense workout
  • Made with exceptionally high level of beta-glucans for cognitive and mental benefits for the brain and body
  • Has a sweet and savory flavor profile
  • Pairs well with coffee, maple syrup and chai spices
  • Known as a “healthy gatorade”

On Apothékary’s Website

How to Use Lion’s Mane

Lion’s mane mushroom can be taken as a supplement form, such as in capsules or a powder, or used fresh as a culinary ingredient. When used for culinary purposes, lion’s mane mushroom has a mild flavor that allows it to blend with a variety of meals and may be used as a plant-based meat substitute or a supplemental powder stirred into coffee or tea.

Lion’s mane powder is also used in savory dishes like stew, or sweet beverages like hot chocolate. It can also be made into a tea by adding hot water to mushroom pieces or powder.

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Lion’s Mane Dosage

As with any supplement, it’s important to take lion’s mane as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions and not to exceed the recommended dose unless directed to do so by a health care provider.

“Most studies have provided [participants with] about 1 gram of dried mushroom (although some have used mycelium [root-like structure] or a combination of the two [mycelium and fruiting body]) given three times daily,” says Dr. Cooperman

Dr. Watson takes a more conservative approach, recommending 250 to 500 milligrams up to three times a day with or without food. The brand she recommends, Om Organic Mushroom Nutrition, contains both mycelial biomass and the fruit body.

Avoid taking lion’s mane during pregnancy and lactation since there’s insufficient research to determine its safety. As with any supplement, speak to your health care provider to determine if lion’s mane is right for you and to determine the proper dosage for your health needs.

What to Look for When Purchasing Lion’s Mane

When purchasing lion’s mane, Dr. Cooperman recommends reading labels carefully. “Be aware that most research has focused on the portion of lion’s mane that grows above ground (the mushroom) as opposed to the part underground (the mycelium),” he says. “In our tests, we found that two out of eight lion’s mane products claim to be [made from the] mushroom but are actually mycelium, as confirmed in our testing. So a consumer needs to be sure they are getting a product that contains what they are expecting.”

Dr. Watson advises assessing the manufacturer when you’re considering a lion’s mane supplement. “I recommend taking lion’s mane from manufacturers who provide professional-grade supplements,” she says. “These companies work hard to ensure they use the best ingredients from the best sources and follow up their products with third-party testing. This ensures that what you put in your body is high quality, matches what it says on the label and will have the best chance of working for you,” she adds.

The Functional Mushroom Your Brain Has Been Waiting For

Ancient Nutrition’s Lion’s Mane supplement are made with USDA Certified Organic mushroom. Offering a combination of organic lion’s mane and ashwagandha, it is designed to help clear your mind and keep you focused.

On Ancient Nutrition’s Website

LION’S MANE MUSHROOM – Uses, Side Effects, and More

Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) is a mushroom that grows on trunks of dead hardwood trees such as oak. It has a long history of use in East Asian medicine.

Lion’s mane mushroom might improve nerve development and function. It might also protect nerves from becoming damaged. It also seems to help protect the lining in the stomach.

People use lion’s mane mushroom for Alzheimer disease, dementia, stomach problems, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

We currently have no information for LION’S MANE MUSHROOM overview .

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Lion’s mane mushroom is possibly safe when used in a dose of 1 gram daily for 16 weeks. Side effects are mild and may include stomach discomfort.

When applied to the skin: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if lion’s mane mushroom is safe when applied to the skin or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Lion’s mane mushroom is possibly safe when used in a dose of 1 gram daily for 16 weeks. Side effects are mild and may include stomach discomfort.

When applied to the skin: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if lion’s mane mushroom is safe when applied to the skin or what the side effects might be.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if lion’s mane mushroom is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bleeding conditions: Lion’s mane mushroom might slow blood clotting. This might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding conditions.

Surgery: Lion’s mane mushroom might slow blood clotting and reduce blood glucose levels. This might cause extra bleeding, and interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using lion’s mane mushroom at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions ?

Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with LION’S MANE MUSHROOM

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with LION’S MANE MUSHROOM

Dosing

There isn’t enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of lion’s mane mushroom might be. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

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Saitsu Y, Nishide A, Kikushima K, Shimizu K, Ohnuki K. Improvement of cognitive functions by oral intake of Hericium erinaceus. Biomed Res. 2019;40(4):125-131. View abstract.

Samberkar S, Gandhi S, Naidu M, et al. Lion’s Mane, Hericium erinaceus and Tiger Milk, Lignosus rhinocerotis (Higher Basidiomycetes) Medicinal Mushrooms Stimulate Neurite Outgrowth in Dissociated Cells of Brain, Spinal Cord, and Retina: An In Vitro Study. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2015;17(11):1047-54. View abstract.

Samberkar S, Gandhi S, Naidu M, et al. Lion’s Mane, Hericium erinaceus and Tiger Milk, Lignosus rhinocerotis (Higher Basidiomycetes) Medicinal Mushrooms Stimulate Neurite Outgrowth in Dissociated Cells of Brain, Spinal Cord, and Retina: An In Vitro Study. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2015;17(11):1047-54. View abstract.

Tsai-Teng T, Chin-Chu C, Li-Ya L, et al. Erinacine A-enriched Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease-related pathologies in APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice. J Biomed Sci. 2016;23(1):49. View abstract.

Tsai-Teng T, Chin-Chu C, Li-Ya L, et al. Erinacine A-enriched Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease-related pathologies in APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice. J Biomed Sci. 2016;23(1):49. View abstract.

Tzeng TT, Chen CC, Chen CC, et al. The cyanthin diterpenoid and sesterterpene constituents of Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorate Alzheimer’s disease-related pathologies in APP/PS1 transgenic mice. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(2). pii: E598. View abstract.

Tzeng TT, Chen CC, Chen CC, et al. The cyanthin diterpenoid and sesterterpene constituents of Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorate Alzheimer’s disease-related pathologies in APP/PS1 transgenic mice. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(2). pii: E598. View abstract.

Wang K, Bao L, Qi Q, et al. Erinacerins C-L, isoindolin-1-ones with a-glucosidase inhibitory activity from cultures of the medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus. J Nat Prod. 2015;78(1):146-54. View abstract.

Wang K, Bao L, Qi Q, et al. Erinacerins C-L, isoindolin-1-ones with a-glucosidase inhibitory activity from cultures of the medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus. J Nat Prod. 2015;78(1):146-54. View abstract.

Wang M, Gao Y, Xu D, Gao Q. A polysaccharide from cultured mycelium of Hericium erinaceus and its anti-chronic atrophic gastritis activity. Int J Biol Macromol. 2015;81:656-61. View abstract.

Wang M, Gao Y, Xu D, Gao Q. A polysaccharide from cultured mycelium of Hericium erinaceus and its anti-chronic atrophic gastritis activity. Int J Biol Macromol. 2015;81:656-61. View abstract.

Wang XL, Xu KP, Long HP, et al. New isoindolinones from the fruiting bodies of Hericium erinaceum. Fitoterapia. 2016;111:58-65. View abstract .

Wang XL, Xu KP, Long HP, et al. New isoindolinones from the fruiting bodies of Hericium erinaceum. Fitoterapia. 2016;111:58-65. View abstract .

Wong JY, Abdulla MA, Raman J, et al. Gastroprotective Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.:Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) Extract against Ethanol-Induced Ulcer in Rats. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:492976. View abstract .

Wong JY, Abdulla MA, Raman J, et al. Gastroprotective Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.:Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) Extract against Ethanol-Induced Ulcer in Rats. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:492976. View abstract .

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Wong KH, Kanagasabapathy G, Naidu M, David P, Sabaratnam V. Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers., a medicinal mushroom, activates peripheral nerve regeneration. Chin J Integr Med. 2014 Aug 26. View abstract.

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Wong KH, Naidu M, David P, et al. Peripheral Nerve Regeneration Following Crush Injury to Rat Peroneal Nerve by Aqueous Extract of Medicinal Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae). Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:580752. View abstract.

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Xu CP, Liu WW, Liu FX, et al. A double-blind study of effectiveness of hericium erinaceus pers therapy on chronic atrophic gastritis. A preliminary report. Chin Med J (Engl). 1985;98(6):455-6. View abstract.

Yang BK, Park JB, Song CH. Hypolipidemic effect of an Exo-biopolymer produced from a submerged mycelial culture of Hericium erinaceus. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2003;67(6):1292-8. View abstract.

Yang BK, Park JB, Song CH. Hypolipidemic effect of an Exo-biopolymer produced from a submerged mycelial culture of Hericium erinaceus. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2003;67(6):1292-8. View abstract.

Yi Z, Shao-Long Y, Ai-Hong W, et al. Protective Effect of Ethanol Extracts of Hericium erinaceus on Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Neuropathic Pain in Rats. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:595480. View abstract.

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Zan X, Cui F, Li Y, et al. Hericium erinaceus polysaccharide-protein HEG-5 inhibits SGC-7901 cell growth via cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Int J Biol Macromol. 2015;76:242-53. View abstract.

Zan X, Cui F, Li Y, et al. Hericium erinaceus polysaccharide-protein HEG-5 inhibits SGC-7901 cell growth via cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Int J Biol Macromol. 2015;76:242-53. View abstract.

Zhang CC, Yin X, Cao CY, et al. Chemical constituents from Hericium erinaceus and their ability to stimulate NGF-mediated neurite outgrowth on PC12 cells. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2015;25(22):5078-82. View abstract.

Zhang CC, Yin X, Cao CY, et al. Chemical constituents from Hericium erinaceus and their ability to stimulate NGF-mediated neurite outgrowth on PC12 cells. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2015;25(22):5078-82. View abstract.

About Us

Family Medicine

Family MedicineIn 2024 our team of doctors and nurses provide a comprehensive range of family planning services. Our doctors have expertise in antenatal care, preconception planning, and STD checks. Contraceptive advice including Mirena and Implanon insertion is available.

  • Early detection of illness;
  • Family planning;
  • Promotion of healthy lifestyle;
  • Skin cancer checks;
  • Sports injuries;
  • Weight reduction;
  • Workers compensation and third party.

  • Children's Health

    Children's HealthBaby Weighing Service. Babies can be booked with our Nurse for weighing, a doctors appointment is not required to use this service. Contact reception for a appointment to have your baby weighed.

    Immunisations. At Tuggeranong Square children's immunisation is regarded an important part of your childs health care. Our doctors take immunising children very seriously. and to ensure all children are immunised Tuggeranong Square Medical Practice doctors BULK BILL for all childhood immunisations. Tuggeranong Square Medical Practice also ensures the Practice Nursing Staff are highly trained in childhood immunisations.


    Women's Health

    Women's HealthOur practice is dedicated to treating a wide spectrum of women’s health concerns. We offer pre-natal, antenatal and postnatal care, contraceptive options, pap screening, and preventative health care advice. We provide assistance, advice and support through all stages of life, recognising the many issues many women may face from adolescence through to the peri and post-menopausal period.

    • Cervical Screening tests;
    • Reproductive health. Including Mirena and Implanon insertion;
    • Shared antenatal care.

    Men's Health

    Men's HealthWe encourage men to present routinely to their GP to discuss all aspects of their health. We provide comprehensive advice and support for men to address the prevention and management of various health conditions. This may include assessments for cardiovascular risk, diabetes, cancer prevention, mental health assessments, STD screening, sports injuries and the importance of sleep as it relates to other areas of health.


    • Preventative Healthcare. Including cardiovascular screening, mental health and cancer checks;
    • Prostate examination.
Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population [BiomedCentral.com]; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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