What are functional mushrooms, and will they make you hallucinate? Here's what you need to know about functional and psychedelic mushrooms!
Many people are aware of 'magic mushrooms' and their psychedelic properties, which have been utilized for recreational and spiritual practices in some cultures.
However, people frequently confuse the use of psychoactive mushrooms (which are illegal in most states in the United States) with functional mushrooms and their benefits. Keep reading if you're curious about the difference between adaptogenic mushrooms like lion's mane, and those that cause altered consciousness.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about lion's mane mushrooms and their benefits. And we’ll answer any of your questions about this fantastic mushroom's properties!
What Is A Lion's Mane Mushroom?
Lion's mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is a type of mushroom that falls under the functional mushroom category. Functional mushrooms have been used in holistic medical practices for centuries. The western world has more recently become aware of the benefits offered by these mushrooms. These benefits go beyond their nutritional composition, supporting the body and balancing natural bodily functions.
Lion's mane mushrooms get their name from their appearance. They have luscious white tendrils trailing down from their cap, and some find that this makes the mushroom look like a 'lion's mane'.
Lion's mane mushrooms aren't just for eating; they are popular within the health and wellness community through supplements, powders, and tinctures - making them more accessible to those wanting to improve their wellness routine.
Lion's Mane Compounds
Lion's mane contains many different compounds known to support bodily functions. Here's a list of some of the many possible beneficial elements of this mushroom:
Prebiotic fibers play an essential role in our gut health. Lion’s mane may encourage the growth of good healthy bacteria in the gut, which is vital for supporting immune system health, metabolism, and digestive function.
Polypeptides may play an essential role in stimulating cell repair and healthy collagen production. They are amino acids, one of the key ingredients in skin proteins produced by the body. You may support skin health and tissue regeneration for wound healing by getting a healthy supply of polypeptides in your lion’s mane supplement.
Beta-Glucans 1,3 1,6
Beta-glucans 1,3 1,6 may be highly beneficial in the body. They support the body's natural processes that manage bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, which is essential for cardiovascular health. They may also help support the body's blood sugar management processes, which leads to overall health benefits. Lion’s mane may be just the ticket for giving your body an extra source of this important fiber. Lion’s mane have 29 times more 1,3 1,6 beta glucans compared to the mycelium.
Polysaccharides are essential in supporting the body's production of white blood cells for a protective effect. The polysaccharides found in lion’s mane mushrooms may support immune function, aiding the body's ability to fight bacteria and germs. They also provide the body with plenty of dietary fiber, aiding digestion and supporting metabolic health.
Digestive enzymes in lion's mane mushrooms help encourage your body's natural digestive processes to break up fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Taking steps to care for your digestive health can improve your bowel movements, metabolic rate, and weight loss journey.
Compounds that Support Nerve Growth Factor (Cognitive Function)
Lion’s mane have 8 classes of compounds well studied for supporting NGF and cognitive function that are not in the mycelium including Hericinones, Dilinoleoyl-
phosphatidylethanolamine (DLPE), amyloban, amycenone , 3-Hydroxyhericenone F, Hericene, Hericerin, erinacerin.
What Are The Benefits Of Lion's Mane?
Now you know a little bit about this curious mushroom, we can discuss the benefits of lion's mane for your health and well-being. In nature, mushrooms support the organisms around them, contributing to the health of the whole forest ecosystem. And they could do the same for your body. Here's how!
May Support Mood And Mental Health
One important property of the lion's mane mushroom is its ability to support the body's natural cell regeneration processes - particularly in the hippocampus region of the brain. Lion’s mane is well-known for helping to support a healthy mood and emotional response.
By supporting this part of the brain with beneficial compounds, you can ensure your body has the tools to manage mood and mental health more effectively. Lion's mane is like a soothing cup of tea for your memory and mood centers, supporting more balance in your spirit.
May Improve Cognitive And Neurological Function
Brain fog is a very common complaint, regardless of age, and can stop you from reaching your potential each day. One of the potential benefits of lion's mane is aiding in your body's cognitive functions and neurological processes.
The compounds in the lion's mane may support the body in managing occasional inflammation post workout or other like activities. By helping support your body's processes, you could ensure that your brain function is less inhibited. Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) is important for brain health, and lion’s mane supports this important function.
You can think of the lion's mane mushroom as a turbo-charge for your brain cells, helping your body to clear space for improved focus and concentration - which may be a lifesaver for your productivity levels.
May Help The Body Adapt To Occasional Stress
Did you know that adaptogenic mushrooms, like lion's mane, may support your body's mood and mental health management processes? Adaptogens play an essential role in helping your body to 'adapt' to specific occasional stressors by supporting your adrenal function.
This property means that getting a healthy dose of adaptogens from lion's mane mushroom extracts may provide your body with support in managing the occasional stresses of your day-to-day life. So, when your boss pressures you, your body will have more tools to manage those palm sweats and panicked feelings!
May Support Your Immune System
The prebiotic and digestive enzymes you ingest when taking lion's mane benefit your gut health. You will notice improved overall well-being if you support your gut health with helpful compounds and nutrients. This effect is because a healthy gut can help to fight off harmful bacteria entering your body via your mouth, nose, and throat, and encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Additionally, the polysaccharides in lion's mane may help support the body's production of white blood cells, significantly supporting your immune function. This functional mushroom is like your shield against the bad guys.
Promotes Gut Health
The prebiotic and digestive enzymes you get from taking lion's mane may benefit your weight loss journey. They offer support for your gut health, which has a positive influence on your metabolic health and digestive function. Improving your digestive health and eating a nutritious, calorie-balanced diet will help you to reach a healthy weight.
Is Lion's Mane Psychoactive?
Functional mushrooms are frequently confused with psychoactive mushrooms. Functional mushrooms, like lion's mane, are not psychoactive. They are not psychoactive because they do not contain psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found in a 'magic mushroom'.
Psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in the majority of states here in the United States, except for Oregon and Colorado where they are legalized only on a state level for medical use.
Even though you won’t have a hallucinogenic experience taking functional mushrooms, your body could experience transformative benefits. Many people who start taking lion's mane report that they feel more vibrant and experience feelings of wellness when taking these adaptogenic mushroom supplements. The mushroom can also play an essential role in your daily spiritual practices, supporting yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.
Risks And Side Effects Of Taking Lion's Mane Mushrooms
If you're curious about trying a lion's mane extract but don't know whether it's safe, you don't need to worry. Lion's mane is safe for daily consumption, even at higher doses, without adverse effects. If you have a mushroom allergy, you should avoid taking functional mushroom supplements, and consult your primary care first. As with any addition to your healthcare regimen, reach out to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Curious about the lion's mane mushroom? Here are some questions people often ask about this fascinating species of functional mushroom.
Can I Be Allergic To Lion's Mane?
Although very unusual, you can have an allergic reaction to lion’s mane if you are allergic to other mushrooms. If you already know of a mushroom allergy, it's best to consult your primary care provider.
Can I Hallucinate With Lion's Mane?
Lion's mane may help to support your brain health but won't give you any hallucinogenic effects. You can enjoy a clear head, supporting cognitive function, and clearing out any cobwebs in your mind with lion's mane.
Does Lion's Mane Contain Psilocybin?
Lion's mane does not contain psilocybin. Psilocybin is a psychoactive ingredient in some mushrooms that causes hallucinations and psychoactive effects. It is safe to take a lion's mane dose before driving, and you can go about experiencing the lion's mane mushroom's positive effects on the body.
What Does Lion's Mane Taste Like?
Fresh cooked lion's mane mushrooms taste mild and have a slightly meaty or fishy flavor, which makes them a popular ingredient in vegan seafood recipes. However in an extract they can almost taste slightly chocolatey which can be a delicious addition to your supplement routine. You should only use the mushroom's fruiting body as opposed to the mycelium in your recipe (or in your supplement), as it contains the most beneficial compounds.
Does Lion's Mane Cause Intoxication?
No, a lion's mane dose does not cause intoxication. If you take the lion's mane mushroom daily, you can still drive and go about your day as usual. The mushroom's positive bioactive compounds can even encourage improved mood and productivity.
Is Lion's Mane Mushroom Legal?
Lion's mane are perfectly legal everywhere in the world. You can cook with them or take a lion's mane extract daily to experience its positive effects.
Takeaway on Taking Lion's Mane Mushrooms
Lion's mane mushrooms are just one of many different functional mushrooms. Functional mushrooms won't make you hallucinate, but they will give your body extra fuel and tools for improved health.
At Mushroom Revival, we are passionate about the power of mushrooms, and want all of our customers to benefit! Check out our blog and website for detailed information, and use our chat function for any questions.