ADHD is a common mental disorder that affects millions of children and adults worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 9.8 percent of children aged 3-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD in the U.S. For many, these symptoms can have a major impact on their daily lives.
Many people with ADHD take medication to manage their symptoms, but there’s also a growing interest in non-drug treatments. Lion’s mane nootropic (also known as Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract) is one such natural remedy that has been gaining popularity in recent years.
But does it really work? What does the research say?
In this article, we’ll:
- explain what Lion’s Mane is and how it works
- outline the health benefits of this mushroom supplement
- discuss the symptoms and treatments for ADHD
- look at whether Lion’s Mane can be taken for ADHD
- provide dosing guidelines for those who want to try Lion’s Mane
- and answer common questions about taking this nootropic for ADHD
Let’s dive in and find out if Lion’s Mane nootropic can be beneficial for ADHD.
What Are Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?
When you first hear the words “Lion’s Mane mushroom”, you might think of the big, shaggy mane on a lion’s head. But when it comes to these mushrooms, they look nothing like you may be imagining.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms are actually small, white, and fuzzy-looking fungi that grow on hardwood trees such as oak, beech, and maple. They have long, dangling spines that resemble a lion’s mane, hence their name.
Also known as bearded tooth mushrooms, or pom pom mushrooms, these mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for their potential health benefits. Some of these benefits include improved cognitive function, reduced inflammation, and boosted immune system. They are also a popular ingredient in many types of cuisine, and are often sautéed, roasted, or grilled.
Recently, lion’s mane mushroom extracts have become popular in the health and wellness community as a natural nootropic supplement. Nootropics are substances that are believed to enhance cognitive performance and brain function, and many people take them to boost focus, concentration, and memory.
Research (1) has found that Lion’s Mane contains several neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory compounds. These compounds include beta-glucans, hericenones, and erinacines. In addition, Lion’s Mane also contains antioxidants that may help protect against oxidative stress and cellular damage.
So, how do these compounds work? Let’s explore.
How Do They Work?
The bioactive compounds found in Lion’s Mane mushrooms are believed to have several potential health benefits. Here’s a brief overview of how they work.
- Beta-glucans: These are complex sugars found in the cell walls of many types of mushrooms. According to studies (2), these compounds may have anti-inflammatory effects, which could help reduce inflammation in the brain.
- Ergothioneine: This is an antioxidant that is unique to mushrooms. It has been shown to protect against oxidative stress and inflammation, which could help reduce symptoms associated with ADHD.
- Hericenones and erinacines: These are two types of compounds that are found only in Lion’s Mane mushrooms. They have been shown to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein essential for nerve cells’ growth and survival.
It is thought that the stimulation of NGF by Lion’s Mane mushrooms may be responsible for some of their cognitive benefits. NGF plays a critical role in developing, maintaining, and repairing the nervous system, and low levels of NGF have been associated with cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Overall, Lion’s Mane mushrooms are believed to work by supporting the immune system, reducing inflammation, protecting against oxidative stress, and promoting the growth and repair of nerve cells in the brain. This means that they may have potential benefits for people with ADHD.
Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Nootropic For ADHD
Several studies have investigated the potential health benefits of Lion’s Mane mushrooms. We’ll take a look at some of the most promising findings.
Helps With Anxiety And Depression
One study found that Lion’s Mane extract may be beneficial for people with anxiety and depression. The study included 30 women randomly assigned to a placebo or Lion’s Mane extract group.
The women in the Lion’s Mane group took a cookie with Lion’s Mane extract for four weeks, while the placebo group took a cookie without the extract. At the end of the study, those in the Lion’s Mane group had significantly lower levels of anxiety and depression than those in the placebo group.
Helps With Recovery From Nervous System Injuries
Research has also found that Lion’s Mane mushrooms may have neuroprotective properties, which could protect the nervous system from damage. One study (3) in particular looked at the effects of Lion’s Mane extract on rats with induced nerve injuries.
The study found that rats treated with Lion’s Mane extract had faster nerve regeneration and better functional recovery than those in the control group. This suggests that Lion’s Mane extract may be beneficial for people recovering from nervous system injuries, such as those with spinal cord injuries or multiple sclerosis.
Helps With Cancer Treatment
Cancer is a serious illness that can cause major damage to the body’s cells and organs. Some research has found that Lion’s Mane mushrooms may have potential benefits for cancer patients.
Researchers have suggested that Lion’s Mane mushrooms contain anti-cancer compounds capable of reducing the spread and killing cancer cells.
In test tube studies, Lion’s Mane mushroom extract was found to cause cancer cells to die faster than normal. This effect has been observed with different types of cancer cells, including those from the colon, liver, stomach, and blood.
Boosts The Immune System
The immune system is important in protecting the body from infections and diseases. As mentioned earlier, Lion’s Mane mushrooms contain compounds that can support the immune system.
Beta-glucans, for example, are beneficial to the immune system. They help activate certain white blood cells, which recognize and fight off foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Not only that, Lion’s Mane mushrooms can also reduce inflammation, which is a common culprit behind many illnesses. In addition, it’s been shown to have antioxidant properties, which can help fight off free radicals that damage cells and cause oxidative stress.
Reduces Risk Of Heart Diseases
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. According to WHO, 17.9 million people die of heart disease each year. The good news is that Lion’s Mane nootropic has been found to reduce the risk of heart-related diseases.
Some major factors leading to heart diseases are obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood clotting, and a sedentary lifestyle. Lion’s Mane nootropic positively influences some of these factors by reducing inflammation, aiding weight loss, and improving blood flow.
It has been found that Lion’s Mane nootropic helps lower bad cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. In addition, it also helps reduce oxidative stress in the arteries, leading to improved blood circulation and reduced risk of stroke or other cardiovascular diseases.
Reduces Risk Of Dementia
Dementia is a chronic brain disorder that affects the ability to think, remember, and reason. It is characterized by memory loss, impaired judgment, and difficulty concentrating.
Recent research has found that Lion’s Mane nootropic may help protect against the onset of dementia. Two important compounds found in the mushroom, hericenones and erinacines, have been studied by scientists and found to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), which is responsible for the growth, maintenance, and repair of neurons in the brain.
By boosting NGF production, Lion’s Mane nootropic may help reduce the risk of age-related memory decline and dementia. It may also help improve cognitive function and reduce stress levels.
Inflammation is your body’s natural response to injury or infection. It helps to protect the affected area, but when it becomes chronic, it can damage the body’s tissues and organs.
Lion’s Mane nootropic has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation throughout the body, reducing pain and improving overall health.
It contains polysaccharides that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These compounds can help reduce inflammation caused by arthritis, asthma, and other inflammatory conditions.
Helps With Diabetes Symptoms
The amazing power of the lion’s mane nootropic doesn’t end there. It’s also been found to be beneficial for those suffering from diabetes.
Studies (4) have shown that when diabetic rats were given Lion’s Mane nootropic, their blood glucose levels were significantly reduced, and their insulin levels increased. This indicates that the mushroom can help regulate blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for managing diabetes symptoms.
What Is ADHD?
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a mental health disorder affecting both adults and children. This chronic condition affects the brain’s ability to regulate attention, self-control, and focus.
ADHD is a common condition, affecting an estimated 5% of children and adolescents globally. While there is no cure for ADHD, many treatments have been developed to help manage the symptoms.
Symptoms of ADHD
ADHD can manifest in different ways, depending on the individual. Some of the most common symptoms include the following:
- Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
- Impulsivity and hyperactivity
- Poor organizational skills
- Trouble controlling emotions
- Trouble paying attention to details
- Difficulty following instructions
Common ADHD Treatments
Most treatments for ADHD focus on behavioral interventions, such as psychotherapy and education. However, some medications may be prescribed to help manage symptoms. There are five categories of medications currently approved to treat ADHD:
While these medications can be effective, they may also have side effects such as insomnia, nausea, and headaches. That’s why many people are looking for alternative treatments, such as the Lion’s Mane nootropic.
Can You Take Lion’s Mane for ADHD?
Yes, you can take Lion’s Mane Nootropic for ADHD. While more research is needed to understand how it works fully, Lion’s Mane has been shown to have beneficial effects on cognitive function, memory, and focus.
Here is an overview of how the mushroom could potentially improve symptoms of ADHD:
Lion’s Mane And Cognitive Health
Lion’s Mane mushroom contains a compound called erinacines that has been shown to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) in the brain. NGF is a protein that plays a crucial role in the development and survival of neurons.
Studies have shown that NGF levels are lower in people with ADHD, which can lead to cognitive deficits. By stimulating NGF production, Lion’s Mane may help improve cognitive function in individuals with ADHD.
Lion’s Mane And Focus
Lion’s Mane may also help improve focus and attention. A study (5) published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine found that Lion’s Mane improved cognitive function and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in adults with mild cognitive impairment.
Another study found that Lion’s Mane extract improved learning and memory in mice. These findings suggest that Lion’s Mane could help improve focus and attention in individuals with ADHD.
How To Take Lion’s Mane For ADHD
We recommend consulting with your doctor before taking Lion’s Mane (or any supplement) for ADHD. If you decide to use it to improve symptoms of ADHD, here are some tips:
- Start with a low dose and gradually increase it as needed. We recommend starting with 2-5 grams (2,000-5,000mg) daily.
- Follow the instructions on the supplement label for dosage and frequency.
- Take Lion’s Mane with food to boost absorption.
- Monitor your symptoms closely to track your progress.
- Powders are the most versatile and absorbable form of Lion’s Mane. Add the powder to smoothies, soups, and other dishes for an easy daily dose.
- Look for a high-quality, organic mushroom powder from a trusted source.
Though there is still a lot to learn about Lion’s Mane and other nootropics (such as CBD Gummies), the potential benefits of taking Lion’s Mane for ADHD are encouraging. Taking Lion’s Mane in addition to traditional treatments, may help improve focus, concentration, and overall cognitive health for people with ADHD.
As always, you should consult your physician before using supplements, including nootropics. They can help you determine the best approach for your needs and guide you on side effects and proper dosages.
At the end of the day, Lion’s Mane may be an effective supplement to add to your daily routine if you are seeking cognitive enhancement and relief from symptoms of ADHD. Give it a try and see how you feel!
Good luck finding the perfect nootropic for your needs!
How Long Does It Take for Lion’s Mane to Work?
It typically takes 2-4 weeks for Lion’s Mane to start working. Some people may notice effects sooner, while others may take longer to experience the full benefits.
What Are Lion’s Mane Side Effects?
The most common side effects of Lion’s Mane are digestive issues such as gas and constipation. Additionally, some people may experience a skin rash, dizziness, or nausea.
Does Lion’s Mane Get You High?
No, Lion’s Mane does not get you high. Lion’s Mane does not contain psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found in some types of mushrooms. It is non-psychoactive and will not produce a “high” feeling.
What Does Lion’s Mane Do to Your Brain?
Lion’s Mane has been shown to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) in the brain, which plays an important role in neuron development and survival. This helps to improve cognitive performance, enhance mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Can You Take Adderall and Lion’s Mane Together?
It is not recommended to take Adderall and Lion’s Mane together. Adderall may increase the potential for side effects as well as interact with Lion’s Mane in an undesirable way. It is best to consult a doctor before taking both supplements together.
- Lai, P., Naidu, M., Sabaratnam, V., Wong, K., David, R. P., Kuppusamy, U. R., Abdullah, N., & Malek, S. N. A. (2013b). Neurotrophic Properties of the Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 15(6), 539–554. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushr.v15.i6.30
- Bashir, K. M. I., & Choi, J. (2017). Clinical and Physiological Perspectives of β-Glucans: The Past, Present, and Future. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(9), 1906. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18091906
- Wong, K., Naidu, M., David, P., Abdulla, M. A., Abdullah, N., Kuppusamy, U. R., & Sabaratnam, V. (2011). Peripheral Nerve Regeneration Following Crush Injury to Rat Peroneal Nerve by Aqueous Extract of Medicinal MushroomHericium erinaceus(Bull.: Fr) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae). Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/neq062
- Liang, B., Guo, Z., Xie, F., & Zhao, A. (2013). Antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic activities of aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus in experimental diabetic rats. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-13-253
- Sabaratnam, V., Kah-Hui, W., Naidu, M., & David, P. (2013). Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help? Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 3(1), 62–68. https://doi.org/10.4103/2225-4110.106549
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