Mushrooms are having a moment. One fabulous fungus in particular, lion’s mane, may help improve depression and anxiety symptoms.
If you’re living with anxiety or depression, you may be curious about all the treatment options out there — including the natural ones.
Mushrooms have long been celebrated as a delicious and nutrient-dense food. Now, researchers are looking deeper to explore other possible health benefits.
Studies on the benefits of lion’s mane mushroom using human subjects are still limited. Still, the current research does show promise in a range of areas, including brain health.
Named for its white, shaggy appearance and dangling spines resembling fur, lion’s mane mushrooms grow naturally in Asia, Europe, and North America.
Known scientifically as Hericium erinaceus, this mushroom has been used for centuries both as a popular cooking ingredient and medicinal supplement, particularly in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)Trusted Source.
Lion’s mane is known to taste similar to lobster or crab. It has a texture that’s “meaty” and chewy, yet tender.
Lion’s mane can be:
- eaten raw
- steeped in tea
- taken as an extract
- consumed in capsule form
The best way to get the benefits of lion’s mane (and most other foods) are by consuming them whole, cooked, or in tea. Extracts and capsules may not contain the pure product, since supplements aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source.
Currently, more research is still needed in humans, but lion’s mane mushrooms have been noted in animal studies to have several benefits, including being:
- antioxidant-richTrusted Source
Over time, its healthy compounds may help reduce some physical and mental health symptoms of certain conditions.
Typically, benefits have been measured over a series of weeks or months in studies, suggesting that small changes take place over time — not all in one go.
Is lion’s mane psychoactive?
Lion’s mane mushrooms are not psychoactive, meaning they won’t make you feel “high,” alter your perception, or drastically change your mood.