When it comes to magic mushrooms, Lion’s Mane is our number one. It was the first mushie to go into our organic chocolate bars, with more benefits than a Cancer has moods in a day. This superpowered funghi was traditionally used in Chinese and Japanese medicine as a digestive aid and brain-enhancing nootropic. For the uninitiated (welcome to the club), nootropics are herbal compounds that enhance the cognitive processes of your brain (like thinking, remembering and problem solving). These days, Lion’s Mane is widely used throughout the world – heralded as a herbal rock-star for its mind-bending benefits.
Lion’s Mane (hericium erinaceus) is mostly found in Asian continents, growing on decaying evergreen trees. It’s light, coral-like appearance, which expands as it grows, looks almost like a real-life lion’s mane, hence its Western name. We harvest the naturally-derived magic mushie for Fungirl, offering you a gift far beyond taste. And when we’re not snacking on our silky smooth chocolate bars, you can find us microdosing Lion’s Mane every day. Here are ten reasons you should too:
Lion’s Mane loves your brain.
Lion’s Mane boasts all kinds of benefits. But its most widely recognised and celebrated is its ability to enhance cognitive function. Studies have shown that Lion’s Mane can support brain health by stimulating the creation of two essential compounds: nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF). Without going full Doc Brown on you, these compounds stimulate the production of new cells and strengthen existing ones, maintaining the health of your body’s central organ.
It increases immunity.
Ever heard of biological response modifiers? It’s not exactly water-cooler talk. Turns out these long-chain polysaccharides (a naturally-derived, carb-based molecule) are part of the biological structure of Lion’s Mane. Even better, when ingested these molecules awaken our immune response, helping our fighter cells remove old cells, get rid of harmful ones and regulate inflammation.
It’s great for your gut.
Lion’s Mane is naturally anti-inflammatory and has been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It’s also thought to boost immune function and encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gut. That’s three big wins for our digestive system.
Boosts your energy.
When was the last time you woke up actually refreshed? We feel you. For those days we can’t get nine hours in the sack, we reach for Lion’s Mane. It’s been shown to promote tissue glycogen, which assists energy production, AND reduce lactic acid in the blood, which can cause fatigue after intense physical exercise.
Increases memory retention and focus.
Remember those friendly NGF and BNDFs we were talking about? Yeah, those guys. They’re the ones that can increase new cell synthesis and strengthen existing brain cells. That equals increased memory retention and a stronger ability to focus on mental tasks. One more time for the people out back: Lion’s Mane makes you smarter!
It’s an antioxidant superhero.
Blueberries, goji, broccoli, Lion’s Mane – they’re called ‘superfoods’ for a reason. These foods contain super high levels of antioxidants, the helpful chemicals that fight disease-causing free radicals and dead cells in your body. The more antioxidants you have, the easier it is for your body to stay on top of its game.
Regulates your mood.
Lion’s Mane may be an effective hormone regulator, reducing the severity of anxious or depressive emotions and stabilising mood swings. One study, conducted over four weeks, showed reduced irritation, anxiety and stress responses in those who microdosed Lion’s Mane when compared to the control group. The scientists concluded that Lion’s Mane has some serious mood-lifting power. Sign us up!
Protects against cognitive decline.
Lion’s Mane contains two specific molecules (for the herb nerds in the room: hericenone and diterpenoids) that are able to pass through the blood-brain-barrier to stimulate our fave NGFs. This process may help protect against Alzheimer’s, a degenerative brain disease that causes progressive memory loss. In fact, Lion’s Mane and its extracts have been shown to prevent neuronal damage caused by amyloid-beta plaques (the kind that build up in Dementia and Alzheimer’s conditions).
Increases your libido.
Let’s talk about sex, baby. Libido and your adrenal response (i.e. the system that regulates hormones, stress levels and sex drive) are intrinsically linked. By regulating your adrenals, you can increase your libido. Lucky for us mushroom lovers, Lion’s Mane is an effective adaptogen that helps you adapt to life’s stresses and moderate your adrenal response. Boom!
It tastes real good.
Okay, you’ve got to believe us on this one. Lion’s Mane has got a rep for being a little potent on the taste buds. When you try our Fungirl chocolate, you won’t even know you’re eating magic mushies. Our chocolate is made with organic, fair-trade cacao, cacao butter, coconut sugar, sea salt and not much else. It’s good for your body, mind and spirit.
Ready for a little nootropic and chill? Shop now.
Written by Sarah Frish