Lion’s Mane is a key ingredient in all of the best brain supplements today. It is a central ingredient in Mind Lab Pro, our current recommended daily nootropic stack, and it is frequently used alone as an addition to coffee or morning supplement shakes.
But one interesting potential use of Lion’s Mane is as a nootropic for concussion.
Some have suggested that Lion’s Mane Mushroom might act as a powerful nootropic which helps people recover from brain injuries, particularly traumatic brain injuries thta are associated with concussion and concusive symptoms.
Is this right? Can Lions Mane Mushroom really help with recovery from concussion? Is it good for brain injury?
To find out, let’s take a look at the benefits of Lion’s Mane, how it works, and what it can do for brain cell recovery.
What does Lions Mane do?
Lion’s Mane is a nootropic known primarily for its ability to promote long-term memory function. Most of the clinical trials looking at Lion’s Mane have focused on its effects on memory function, especially in the context of older people with mild cognitive impairment or age-related memory decline.
All of the clinical trials looking at Lion’s Mane show significant improvements in memory function after just a couple of weeks of daily supplementation.
Lions Mane is similarly implicated in short-term cognitive function. Studies show that supplementing with Lions Mane has an immediate and positive effect on focus, learning and concentration.
There is also strong evidence that Lion’s Mane Mushroom can improve mood, reduce anxiety, and potentially improve stress resistance.
So how does Lion’s Mane do all of this? How does it work?
How does Lion’s Mane work?
Lion’s Mane is a totally unique nootropic in terms of how it works.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom works by increasing the expression of neurotrophic factors in the brain. Specifically, Lions Mane triggers the release of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Between them, these two neurotrophic factors control the growth, proliferation, maturation, maintenance, and death of neurons and associated tissues.
Studies show that Lion’s Mane consumption reliably leads to increases in both NGF and BDNF in the brain, although the increases seen in NGF levels are far larger than those seen with BDNF.
By increasing NGF and BDNF in the brain, Lion’s Mane increases nerve cell growth, maintenance, and proliferation. Higher levels of both BDNF and NGF also leads to increased neuron maintenance an repair, as well as faster recycling of old, damaged neurons.
Obviously, increasing the number and health of neurons in the brain will have a dramatic effect on cognitive performance, which is exactly what we see with long-term Lion’s Mane supplementation!
But how does this relate to brain injury and concussion?
Lion’s Mane and Concussion
Does Lion’s Mane help with concussion?
The evidence suggests that yes, Lions Mane is highly effective for treating the symptoms of concussion, as well as acceleratin recover from brain injury more generally.
The clinical literature makes clear that having elevated levels of specific neurotrophic factors, including BDNF and NGF, produces an increase in neuron generation. Increasing these neurotrophic factors has also been shown to improve neuron maintenance, with damaged neurons being destroyed and replaced with new cells faster when NGF and BDNF levels are highest.
It therefore shouln’t be surprising that Lion’s Mane can help with recover from brain injury and concussion.
Lion’s Mane boosts NGF and BDNF in the brain, which speeds up neuron maintenance and repair. It also accelerates the rate at which you replace old, damaged neurons with brand new nerve cells. This will greatlty accelerate recovery from concussion and brain injury more generally.
Brian Johnson is current Editor of Vagarights.com and a long-time writer for VAGA. A former psychologist, Brian is passionate about improving mental health and finding ways to stave off cognitive decline. He is an expert on nootropics, cognitive enhancement and biohacking more broadly. You can see his work on Google scholar.