Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) As An Anxiolytic and Antidepressant

Hericium erinaceus is an edible fungi that has a number of medicinal effects in animals and humans. Common names for Hericium erinaceus include lion’s mane. The fungus belongs to the tooth fungus group (Basidiomycota) and is found in North America, Europe and Asia. The fungus grows on hardwood trees and is identified by its spines that dangle down from a central clump. Lion’s mane is evidenced to act on the central nervous system of humans and animals and this interaction may produce mood elevating effects. For example, in one study, researchers administered extracts of lion’s mae to mice and then exposed them to experimental stress. This stress was designed to elicit anxious and depressive-like behaviour in the mice. The results of the study showed that administration of the lion’s mane extract caused significant anti-anxiety and antidepressive behaviour in the mice. The researchers suggested that these effects were due to the creation of new neurones in the hippocampal region of the brain’s of the mice. 

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Ryu, S., Kim, H. G., Kim, J. Y., Kim, S. Y. and Cho, K. O. 2018. Hericium erinaceus Extract Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Brain. Journal of Medicinal Food. 21(2): 174

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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