The Best Source of Lion’s Mane

The best source of lion’s mane is probably the mushroom itself, but you’ll need to know where to find it. The odd-looking Hericium erinaceus is usually found growing on living or dead broadleaf trees, particularly in late summer and fall. It has long spines that give it its lion-like appearance and are actually part of its fruiting body, which is where most of the nutrients in this mushroom reside. If you’re willing to do a little work, Bergo suggests checking in with your local mycological society or foraging guidebook to see if it’s a good option for you to hunt for this mushroom.

The hericium, also referred to as matsutake and yamabushitake, has been used for centuries if not millennia in Asia as a medicinal mushroom for cognitive health. The mushroom is believed to promote nerve growth and enhance memory, focus and brain function. In some animal studies, hericium erinaceus has even been shown to prevent ischemic injury (damage caused by a lack of blood flow), which is the leading cause of death in brain cells and may be a factor in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Roots of Radiance: Finding the Best Source of Lion’s Mane

Hericium erinaceus is available as a supplement in capsule and powder form. It’s recommended to take 250 to 500 milligrams up to three times a day with or without food. When choosing a supplement, Watson advises looking for products made from mycelium or fruiting body, which are the actual mushrooms. These are more potent than the extract and may have a better chance of being effective for regular therapeutic dosing.