Mushrooms are one of those foods that people either love or hate. While I happen to love mushrooms and enjoy eating them any chance I can get, the rest of my family hates them. I completely understand that their earthy taste and chewy texture isn’t for everyone. Fortunately, you don’t have to eat mushrooms to reap their amazing health benefits. Taking them in supplement form is a great way to get their therapeutic effects.
Throughout the world, mushrooms have been valued for their medicinal properties for thousands of years. Scientific findings show that many mushrooms contain compounds that can stimulate immune function and inhibit tumor growth, and many mushrooms can also be used as adaptogens to help the body cope with stress and build endurance.
I have found the research on the culinary-medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (lion’s mane), to be very intriguing. Not only is lion’s mane a unique-looking mushroom, with its globe-shape and long, shaggy spines, but it is also proving to have unique health properties too. Lion’s mane is rich in compounds called β-glucan polysaccharides, which are responsible for its anti-cancer, immuno-modulating, hypolipidemic and antioxidant activities. The latest research on this mushroom is focusing on learning more about its bioactive compounds that have demonstrated powerful neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties.
In studies, lion’s mane has shown the ability to delay neuronal cell death in rats with neurodegenerative diseases, such as ischemic stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Other research shows that it has the ability to reduce beta amyloid plaques, and stimulate Nerve Growth Factors (NGFs) in the brain, which promotes the growth and differentiation and re-myelination of neurons. This research is very exciting for its potential role in helping individuals with neurodegenerative diseases.
While more clinical research is needed to fully understand the potential applications of lion’s mane, the data strongly suggests that it is very safe and shows a lot of promise in promoting brain and nervous system health, which are much-needed areas of support.
At Village Green, we are always working to keep up with the latest research in these important areas of health, which includes bringing in new products to expand our offerings. On this point, I am very excited that Village Green’s Pathway nutrition line now includes an organic lion’s mane supplement, giving us yet another excellent product to recommend to our customers for improving general health and brain function.
Photo from here, with thanks.