Found in the northern hemisphere and parts around the equator, this mushroom has been used by the eastern cultures for thousands of years as a brain tonic. Used for centuries as a general tonic and health treatment, the Lion’s Mane Mushroom (also known as Hericium Erinaceus, Yamabushitake or Satyr’s Beard) is native to China, Japan, North America, and Europe. Though it was traditionally prescribed as a restorative, its effect on the brain has always been recognized, and ancient physicians used it to treat what we would now describe as neuro-degenerative diseases.
Lion’s Mane mushroom has neuroprotective qualities, ability to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), and potential for cognitive enhancement and relief of depression and anxiety make Lion’s Mane is one of the most popular and promising natural nootropics. Modern research has discovered that Lion’s Mane extract enhances the production of nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is a protein that, in the brain, plays a critical role in the survival and function of neurons responsible for attention, arousal, motivation, memory, and consciousness. Increased levels of NGF have been shown to enhance memory and learning. Studies also suggest that Lion’s Mane is a powerful neuroprotectant that could be useful in the treatment of a variety of conditions such as liver damage, obesity, and even some types of cancer.