Lion's Mane Mushroom Extract
Lion’s Mane Mushroom is one of the most interesting medicinal mushrooms: the tea made from Lion’s Mane mushrooms has been used for centuries in traditional Japanese herbalism, primarily as a “tonic.” Modern scientific research now tells us it was the beta-glucans in the mushroom tea that was in fact offering immune support, among other health benefits. * Recent studies also show that hot water/alcohol extracts of Lion’s Mane mushrooms may strengthen memory and concentration and enhance cognitive abilities. * This research indicates that the hot water/alcohol extract of Lion’s Mane may stimulate the synthesis of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and may promote and accelerate the process of myelination. * All the research on the Lion’s Mane mushroom, as well as all the recorded use in traditional Chinese and Japanese herbalism, has involved the use of hot water extracts. This is because the active compounds are found inside the cell walls, and, like all medicinal mushrooms, the cell walls of Lion’s Mane mushrooms and mycelium are composed of an indigestible fiber called “chitin.” Hot water extraction is the only research-validated process for breaking the active compounds out into a bioavailable form.
Historically, Lion’s Mane was used as a tonic formula and has been studied in research as an immuno-modulator, and as a supplement for immune support. Like all medicinal mushrooms, Lion’s Mane contains immune-activating beta glucans and other polysaccharides within the indigestible cell walls. *When properly extracted with hot water these polysaccharides are used in the supplemental form to maintain, protect, and support immune health. There are scores of studies that examine and document these benefits. * More recent scientific research has discovered that the hot water/alcohol extracts of Lion’s Mane may offer other health benefits as well, what some people are calling “Neural Nourishment”. * Extracts of Lion’s Mane mushrooms, and the mycelium grown in liquid (not on rice), may enhance cognitive functions, promote, or accelerate the growth of the myelin sheath (also called myelination), and enhance and promote the production and growth of the neurotrophic Nerve Growth Factor. *
Myelin is a dielectric (electrically insulating) material that forms a layer, called the myelin sheath, surrounding and promoting the normal function of nerve cells. This is essential to the health and normal functioning of the nervous system. In vitro research with Lion’s Mane extracts shows that the extract may be able to stimulate and accelerate the growth of the myelin sheath, a process called myelination*
NERVE GROWTH FACTOR
Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a small, secreted protein that is important for the normal growth, maintenance, and survival of certain neurons (nerve cells). It also functions as a signaling molecule. NGF was one of the first neurotrophins to be described and studied in the research and is part of a family or group of similar proteins that serve to promote the health and normal function of the brain and nervous system.
Extracts of Lion’s Mane may help the body to produce and maintain normal and healthy levels of Nerve Growth Factor. *
It is thought that the fatty acids in Lion’s Mane are responsible for the enhancement of cognitive function and the other neural health benefits Lion’s Mane extracts may provide. * In the research these fatty acids are concentrated through hot water extraction, and then further concentrated using alcohol as a solvent.
The Mushroom Science Lion’s Mane extract is produced through hot water extraction, after which precipitation with alcohol is used to concentrate the heavy molecular weight polysaccharides that contain beta-glucans. This second step, using precipitation with alcohol, also allows us to harvest and concentrate the fatty acids produced in the mushroom fruit body.
Being mild in nature and having a licorice taste, Lions Mane is good for the five internal organs (heart, liver, spleen, lung, and kidney). It is also thought to help digestion. *
In traditional Japanese and Chinese herbalism Lion’s Mane was always prepared as a tea or decoction, a hot water extract.