Lion’s Mane, the Smart Mushroom

“H. erinaceus can be considered as useful therapeutic agents in the management and/or treatment of neurodegeneration diseases.”

A comprehensive review of the therapeutic effects of Hericium erinaceus in neurodegenerative disease (2014)

“Hericium erinaceus, an edible and medicinal mushroom, displays various pharmacological activities in the prevention of dementia in conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.”

The Neuroprotective Properties of Hericium erinaceus (2016)

“Moreover, results have indicated that administration of H. erinaceus mycelia enriched with its active compounds can promote functional recovery and enhance nerve regeneration in rats with neuropathic pain or presbycusis.”

Neurohealth Properties of Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Enriched with Erinacines (2018)

Adventures in wonderland. It sounds like the stuff of storybooks. A mushroom growing in the forest that when eaten makes you smarter. A wild nootropic sprouting from the nooks of trees, elusive in its singularity and fleeting appearance. In the magical land of the Los Padres.

The lion’s mane mushroom may preserve and expand cognitive function and enhance memory, and not just slow the onset of mild brain damage caused by certain diseases, but reverse and repair the damage.

In this particular mushroom may grow the phenomenal potential to combat cognitive decline as we age.

A pinch out of a lion’s mane mushroom found by my eight-year-old daughter on December 19 revealed pristine white flesh and a fruitful fragrance, despite the outer browning from no rain and low humidity. This mushroom was found on a tree standing all alone in a dry, sunblasted field of brown grass.

The first flush of hericiums I saw this season came in October following a number of days of high humidity and occult precipitation, which swept in with the morning marine layer. The trees dripped rainwater.

These conditions happen to immediately follow the Forest Service’s emergency decree closing the entirety of the Los Padres National Forest due to dry conditions and extreme fire danger.

Again a month or so later similar conditions triggered another minor flush. The precipitation was meager or unmeasurable on most rain gauges, as the County’s webpages reflect. Several mushrooms I saw did hardly more than sprout before browning and withering in this dry La Niña winter.

The precipitation was spotty throughout the land leaving only swaths and select pockets of the forest moistened while most other areas remained dry. ‘Twas just a sneeze.

Yet where it fell the heavy misting was enough and in a few select places choice mushrooms could be harvested and brought to table. In the magical land of the Los Padres.

Renowned mycologist Paul Stamets offers a novel idea to be explored. What has been dubbed the Stamet’s Stack.

He suggests microdosing psilocybin with lion’s mane and adding niacin to drive the medicinal benefits of both mushrooms to the farthest recess of the body, where neurodegeneration often first manifests, such as the finger tips.

Stamets, wearing a hat made from a mushroom, as quoted from the video below:

“I, personally, would love to see it legal to stack them both together. Stacking psilocybin with lion’s mane and combining it with vitamin B3, niacin. . .The advantage is, and this is hypothetical, but is something I think is well worth testing, is that niacin can help drive the neurogenic benefits of psilocybin and erinacines [lion’s mane] to the end of the peripheral nervous system.”

Research of the medicinal benefits of pysilocybin or “magic mushrooms” has recently taken on new found legitimacy with the opening of the Psychedelic Research Center at Johns Hopkins.

 First-of-Its Kind Psychedelic Research Center Debuts at Johns Hopkins.

On another front, David Bronner, of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap fame and fortune, has been bankrolling efforts to legalize pysilocybin mushrooms in several states such as Oregon.

“Dr. Bronner’s soap company was a major financial supporter of the measure, donating more than $1 million directly and providing most of the money behind a political committee that gave another $1.5 million.”

Oregon becomes first state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms

Bronner says he hopes to have an initiative on the ballot in California in coming years.

“Next up for psilocybin legalization, Bronner says, is Washington state in 2022. Then, in 2024, maybe California and Colorado, cash willing.”

How COVID-19 Is Helping Bankroll Magic Mushroom Legalization

The future of fungus for medicinal purposes looks promising.

Related Post:

Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Pom Pom Blanc

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3 Responses to Lion’s Mane, the Smart Mushroom

  1. lindsaykolasa says:

    Lion’s Mane is an excellent medicine for restoring the myelin sheath of the nerves as well… I suppose that is one of its key actions in deterring health issues like dementia and helping folks with neurological damage (from Lyme’s, etc) with restoring their nervous system.

    I’m curious about what Stamets suggests with using psylocibin and B3…very interesting!

    As well, I didn’t know that Johns Hopkins had opened up a research institute of that kind. All very promising…

    Mushrooms are amazing. I heard Stamets speak at the Green Fest a few years in a row when I lived in SF…..he definitely opened my eyes to the healing power of mushrooms in so many ways from the body to the earth body… This was in my early days of herbalism…and I have been following him loosely since that time.

  2. Whatever it does in rats/mice/guinea pigs/cats/dogs/whatever bears NO relation whatsoever in what it will do in humans so is a totally pointless experiment!

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