The Medicine and The Magic: Lion’s Mane | A Mushroom That Can Make You Smarter
The next time you forget what you were going to say, take note. As we age we are subject to cognitive deterioration that manifests as for example, your thoughts escaping you, forgetting where your keys are, taking a little bit more time to remember a persons name, and so on.
Brain function need not decline with age, however. Our intellectual functions degenerate overtime because our brain cells die and whether we can grow new ones is a century’s old debate. New research shows that we have the ability to birth new neurons well into adulthood where once it was assumed we only could until 25 years old. Lifestyle, diet, exercise, learning, these all play a role in just how healthy your brain continues. You can also fortify your cognitive health with certain herbs and fungi including, Lion’s Mane mushroom.
Our brains are protected by the Blood Brain Barrier - an extremely selective border that protects the brain and central nervous system from harmful matter that may be roaming the blood. In fact, only a short list of substances can easily pass through and those include water and oxygen. Some of the only other compounds able to cross the BBB are found in Lion’s Mane - constituents of this mushroom have the ability to easily leave the blood and enter the extracellular fluid of the brain where they work to stimulate new brain cells to grow, resulting in improved cognitive and intellectual ability.
From Buddhist monks to biohackers, Lion’s Mane has been used for centuries to enhance sharpness, focus and cognitive performance. Lion’s Mane is what’s known as a nootropic: naturally occurring substances proven to help healthy people enhance intelligence, attention, creativity, and memory. So potent are its effects, in ancient times Lion’s Mane was reserved only for royalty.
GENERAL EFFECT: Nootropic
HOW TO USE HER: I use Lion’s Mane as a part of my daily protein smoothies. I blend: Lion's Mane powder, frozen banana, blueberries, non-dairy milk and a dollop of Life Extension’s Whey Protein Isolate (in chocolate:)). Brain food fit for royals!
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hericium erinaceus