Lions Mane (Hericium erinaceus)
We are huge fans of Lions Mane - it's a big part of why Dirt Queen started.
Lions Mane is a medicinal mushroom native to North America, Europe, and Asia. It has long dangling spines giving it a shaggy appearance similar to, you guessed it, a lions mane! (as shown above) In Vitro, studies have shown Lion’s Mane contains two special compounds that stimulate brain cell growth: Hericenones and Erinacines. Click here to read the study. (It's also important to note that In-Vitro does NOT translate tic for tac to humans but there is still enormous evidence forthcoming every day that Lions Mane offers great memory support*)
We love Lions Mane for supporting cognition* - it's part of why we started. I (Desiree) was having difficulties with working memory and short term memory from stress. I was suggested some Lion's Mane in lieu of Gingko at my local Whole Foods. It's been a really good mushroom for me, within a couple of weeks I started feeling the difference. The difference for me was better recall and working memory. Working memory is what Matthew Cruger of the Childmind Institute refers to as "It’s keeping in mind anything you need to keep in mind while you’re doing something." Wallet, Car Keys, Cell Phone, Mask, that appointment on Thursday, remembering to remember, etc.
Stress is probably one of the biggest factors impacting working memory. Meditation, routine exercise, getting outside are all great ways to help reduce stress AND potentially help your memory if you're under acute stress.
Lion's mane isn't a cure-all by any stretch but it certainly helped me and helped inspire wanting to spread the word about it. Here’s a link to a study showing similar results with adults. I've taken it various ways - in my coffee or tea every morning as a loose powder, in food, infused in with coffee, or as a capsule. Capsules typically have a better shelf life, but powders are also great - especially if you're consistent in your routine and you don't like taking pills.
Maybe it's the stress of election season, maybe it's being back in school, quarantine - who knows - but we've had a huge uptick in Lions Mane sales in October!