Category Archives: Herbs & Supplements

Lion’s Mane Mushroom



The Lion’s mane mushroom, Hericium ericanceus, is an edible mushroom that has received increasing amounts of attention over the past ten years. Most notably, research suggesting that the whole mushroom—including both the root-like mycelium and the fruitbody, when extracted with heat and alcohol—can support both our immune and neurological systems.

The nerves of our bodies are constantly sending signals back and forth from our brains to our bodies. All of this activity means that our nerve cells use a tremendous amount of glucose and nutrients as compared to other tissues like muscle and organs. Some of these nutrients can be obtained from a diet of proteins, poly-unsaturated fats, green vegetables and fruits and berries. Lion’s Mane, however, provides compounds that can’t be found anywhere else. And these compounds are remarkable in their range of support.

Lion’s Mane has numerous specialized compounds derived from both the root-like mycelia and the fruitbody. Some unique alcohol-soluble metabolites support neurological tissue while other water-soluble polysaccharides support our innate immune system of natural killer cells and macrophages. Even more compounds act as prebiotics and feed our probiotic microflora. Lion’s Mane is a functional food that provides basic nutrients including complete, vegetarian proteins, vitamins and minerals. It’s a powerhouse of nutrients that can benefit your whole body when taken daily.

The studies on Lion’s mane show promise in regards to immunity, cognitive functioning, mood, memory and nerve functioning. And interestingly, some of the studies look at how Lion’s Mane’s compounds called hericinones from the fruitbody and erinacenes from the mycelia support cognitive functioning in an aging population. Study participants took Lion’s Mane for two to three weeks before noticing improvement. The improvements lasted throughout the duration of the study and for about three to four weeks after the study ended. After the studies ended, there was a gradual return over four weeks to pre-study level of functioning. What this tells us is that Lion’s Mane is not a magic wand. It’s a functional food that provides our bodies with key nutrients that support ongoing neurological functioning.

In order to maintain the most effective neurological system possible, the constant signaling that occurs in our nervous system demands that we provide our bodies with the nutrients that will support it. Daily intake of Lion’s Mane mycelia and fruitbody can provide your brain and nervous system with unique specialized nutrients that nourish and nurture your body and mind.

By: Jerry Angelini

 

Supportive Research:

Int J Med Mushrooms. 2012;14(5):427-46.

Neuroregenerative potential of lion’s mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (higher basidiomycetes), in the treatment of peripheral nerve injury (review).

Wong KH, Naidu M, David RP, Bakar R, Sabaratnam V.

 

Fiziol Zh. 2003;49(1):38-45.

The influence of Hericium erinaceus extract on myelination process in vitro.

Kolotushkina EV, Moldavan MG, Voronin KY, Skibo GG.

 

 

Chin J Integr Med. 2014 Aug 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers., a medicinal mushroom, activates peripheral nerve regeneration.

Wong KH1, Kanagasabapathy G, Naidu M, David P, Sabaratnam V.

 

 

Drugs Fut 2008, 33(2): 149: ISSN 0377-8282, Copyright 2008 Prous Science

Compounds for dementia from Hericium erinaceum

Kawagishi, H., Zhuang, C.

 

 

Biomed Res. 2010 Aug;31(4):231-7.

Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake.

Nagano M, Shimizu K, Kondo R, Hayashi C, Sato D, Kitagawa K, Ohnuki K.

 

 

International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, Vol. 5, pp. 181–193 (2003)

Potentiation of Cell-Mediated Host Defense Using Fruit Bodies and Mycelia of Medicinal Mushrooms

Paul Stamets

 

 

Bioactive Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibre: Volume 2, Issue 1, July 2013, Pages 45–64

Non-digestible long chain beta-glucans as novel prebiotics

Ka-Lung Lam, Peter Chi-Keung Cheung,

Calendula for Radiation Induced Dermatitis

This is a picture of radiation dermatitis. This can happen in some women when they get radiation. The skin reacts and it can become very painful and obviously, uncomfortable. So there are some things, mechanically, that are very effective at helping to reduce the risk of dermatitis.

The first one I want to mention is Calendula. So Calendula is an herb that can be used topically. There’s a very important thing I want to say which is that you’d never want to put anything topically on your skin before radiation treatments because if you moisturize your skin before you get radiation, it can actually make that dermatitis worse. So you want to go in as dry as possible. But right after radiation, if you apply Calendula ointment, then it has been shown in clinical studies to reduce the risk of developing this dermatitis. Calendula is very very indicated; very well documented therapy to help reduce this dermatitis.

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Herbal/Supplement Information

The final installment in our supplement series will take a look at some of the reliable resources available to consumers for supplement and herbal information.

There are several places one can look to find concise information about a botanical supplement. This brief list of sources is evolving, and new credible sources are being compiled as more clinical evidence is validated:

Books

  • The Complete German Commission E Monographs – Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines by Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Busse WR, Gruenwald J, Hall T, Riggins CW, Rister RS (eds.)

This book is an English translation of the standard European reference for all herbals.

  • The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs by Blumenthal, M.

This book is unique in that it provides a list of all brand-name products used in various clinical trials. This list is particularly useful since all products used in clinical trial must meet current GMP standards, and are thus more likely to be quality products. The book includes concise monographs of about 40 commonly used herbal supplements. It also briefly summarizes the current clinical evidence that supports or refutes the purported claims of the herbal. Continue reading