Like many ingredients used in traditional practices (such as TCM) there are many questions revolving around their validity and even lack of supporting evidence.
But does a lack of studies prove a lack of efficacy? We think not.
When pondering why there might be a lack of studies one might consider thoughts like;
Who would have the resources to conduct the study?
Who would fund the study that doesn't have a financial bias in the outcome?
Why would someone study natural compounds such as lions mane (when they can patent chemical compounds to make a lot more $$)?
We won't go on but as I'm sure you know there are many reasons that this may not have been explored in depth just yet (we hope to change this one day)
So due to legalities we have to be careful what we say about such wonderful compounds (thanks a lot big pharma) BUT we will do our best to skirt the lines of such guidelines to provide you with a greater insight.
Does Lions Mane work?
Well depends on what you want it to 'work for' so we can't answer that for you BUT if you take a look at some of our LUCID customer reviews, they might give you a clue. Their words not ours!
How does Lions Mane work?
Here's where it gets tricky.. we legally can't talk in absolutes..
HOWEVER, we can elaborate on the compounds for which some people classify it as a "medicinal mushroom" and a few ways scientists think it might work...theoretically of course.
Lions Mane's traditional name is Hericium Erinacines, no surprise then that the 2 prized components of Lions Mane for it potential benefits are, hericenones and erinacines.
Now according to Wikipedia,
"Hericenones are isolates of the fruiting body of Hericium erinaceum that promote nerve growth factor synthesis in vitro." - Wikipedia
("In Vitro" describes something in glass, such as a petri dish or test tube. More theoretical work)
The Erinacines are a separate compound but have a similar description ("isolated from the cultured mycelia of Hericium erinaceus, the main representative of this compounds group, has an enhancing effect on nerve growth factor synthesis in vitro." - Wikipedia)
Ok cool, so they might have something to do with nerve growth factor.. why do we want that?
Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) is primarily involved in the regulation of growth, maintenance, proliferation, and survival of nerve cells.
As you might know our Nervous System is a crucial part of us functioning as a human and the nerve cells (neurons) are the basic unit of communication in this nervous system. Some might say that its pretty important to have good cell communication (when we don't, we can end up with things like Auto-immune issues where our body attacks itself, not fun!)
Which Lions Mane is best?
We'll amend this question to *which Lions Mane supplement is best?
What to look for in a Lions Mane supplement?
Double/Dual Extracted Lions Mane (many mushrooms have both alcohol AND water soluble properties that we might want, this is why tinctures are such a great delivery method as it combines both)
We have not found a reliable test to determine a products level of Hericenones or Erinaceus' (hence why we don't mention this on ours) So be cautious of products that claim to have a certain amount or percentage.
Check the ingredients - if it says "brown rice" then they have included the mycelium and inadvertently the substrate the mushroom grew on. Which is like including the roots and soil your vegetables grew in. The mycelium MAY provide some additional benefits but to include this you risk diluting the final product with the substrate (brown rice). Which is why we only use the fruiting body and mycelium we can harvest without including any substrate.
With our attempt to share the limited and (hopefully) unbiased information we can (as a provider of a lions mane product in Australia), we hope this has helped to expand your knowledge and intrigue of this wonderful mushroom. But like any investment (in your health or otherwise) always do plenty of your own research from multiple sources before deciding what is right for you.
Our contact form and DM's are always open so let us know if you have any questions and your experience with Lions Mane if you're at that stage of your journey.