Lion’s Mane “The Smart Mushroom”

Smart mushroom lionsmane

In the realm of mycology, one name stands out as a bright shining start of knowledge and innovation: Paul Stamets. Renowned for his groundbreaking research and advocacy for medicinal mushrooms, Paul has given in the world of funghi Lions Mane mushroom the title of “smart mushroom.” But what exactly is the reasoning behind this? 

If you are struggling with focus, mental clarity, or memory issues, then I invite you to continue reading. You’re not alone. In today’s fast-paced world, many of us face these cognitive challenges. The brain’s health is crucial for overall well-being, yet it’s often overlooked until problems become severe. 

Imagine the frustration and anxiety of not being able to recall important information or struggling to stay focused at work. Now, imagine the relief and joy of having a sharp, clear mind, capable of tackling any challenge with ease. Lion’s Mane mushroom promises to turn this aspiration into reality.

Before we explore the fascinating Lions Mane, let’s first get to know the man behind the word choice. Paul Stamets is a mycologist, author, and entrepreneur who has dedicated his life to studying and harnessing the power of fungi. With decades of experience and expertise, Paul Stamets has become one of the foremost authorities on mushrooms, earning him the nickname “Mycelium Man” among enthusiasts in the mushroom kingdom.

Oh and then there is me. My name is Sharon Fernie and I am the Founder of Herbal Cacao, providing the world with high quality Medicinal Ceremonial Cacao Blends, supporting our community in their journey of self and spiritual discovery. I have a deep passion for holistic wellness and ancient traditions. Through Herbal Cacao, I aim to spread awareness about the profound benefits of ceremonial cacao and other medicinal herbs & mushrooms. I strive to create a space where individuals can connect with themselves and each other on a deeper level, to be the love, share the love and spread the love.

Join me here in the “Herbal Cacao Journal” as we explore the fascinating world of our active medicinal ingredients, cacao rituals, ancient healing practices, and modern wellness techniques. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or just beginning your journey, this blog post in the “Herbal Cacao Journal” is your invitation to deepen your understanding of this sacred plant and its profound impact on mind, body, and spirit. 

Let’s embark on this journey together, cultivating a community rooted in love, healing, and spiritual exploration

Now, let’s turn our attention to Lions Mane mushroom, the star of the show! 

Lions Mane, scientifically known as Hericium erinaceus, is a  is a non-psychedelic very well studied medicinal or functional mushroom, a unique fungus with a white appearance resembling a lion’s mane. 

Lionsmane mushroom

uncovering the science ...

Paul Stamets refers to Lions Mane as the smart mushroom due to its remarkable ability to support brain health and cognitive function. Research has shown that Lions Mane contains compounds compounds that have a protective effect on the brain while supporting its natural cognitive functions like improvement in focus / mental clarity / memory.– are called nootropics

Science once believed that the brain could not grow new brain cells. That once our brain developed during childhood, and we reached adulthood, we had all the brain cells we’d ever have. Now we know that neurons can regenerate.

Specific naturally occurring bioactive compounds, including hericenones and erinacines, are thought to be responsible for this mushroom’s brain boosting effects.  Erinacines are found in the mycelium of Lion’s Mane Mushroom and hericenones are limited to the fruiting body.

These important nootropic compounds found in Lion’s Mane can cross the protective blood-brain barrier. They stimulate the synthesis of and BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and NGF (nerve growth factor). NGF is a protein that plays a major role in the maintenance, survival and regeneration of neurons. They both help to promote the growth, repair, and normal functioning of neurons, keeping them strong and healthy. Neurons are the nerve cells that are the building blocks of our brain and nervous system. When various neurological disorders occur, your brain is unable to produce its own internal source of NGF.

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In Paul Staments research and advocacy work, he has highlighted the potential of Lions Mane to enhance memory and cognitive function, making it a valuable ally in the quest for mental clarity and acuity. 

Both BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and NGF (nerve growth factor)are necessary for neuroplasticity, the generation of new neural pathways in the brain.

Paul Stamets’ designation of Lions Mane as the smart mushroom speaks to the profound intelligence and healing potential of fungi. 

Lions Mane mushroom earns its title as the smart mushroom not only for its brain-boosting benefits but also for the insights it offers into the boundless potential of fungi. 

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A groundbreaking study

In a groundbreaking four-week study conducted by Nagano, M., Shimizu, K., Kondo, R., Hayashi, C., Sato, D., Kitagawa, K., & Ohnuki, K. in 2010, the potential mental health benefits of Lionsmane mushroom, scientifically known as Hericium erinaceus, were explored. Thirty women, with an average age of 41.3 years, participated in the study, aiming to uncover how this revered mushroom, deeply ingrained in Asian traditional medicine, could positively impact their mental well-being.

The study followed a meticulous design, employing a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled framework. The scientists randomly assigned participants to the Lion’s Mane or the placebo group. They received specially made cookies – the Lion’s Mane group had cookies with 0.5 g of powdered Hericium erinaceus, while the placebo group had cookies without the extract.

Each day, participants documented what they ate, how they felt physically, and their menstrual status.

Lion’s Mane stands out for its impressive biological properties. The compounds found in its fruiting bodies offer a range of health benefits, from fighting tumours to acting as antioxidants. Many studies have found specific components like hericenones and erinacines to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) production. NGF has been linked to positive effects on brain cells and has shown promise in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.


The study revealed that Lion’s Mane group participants reported significantly lower scores on the Indefinite Complaints Index (ICI) than those in the placebo group. Additionally, scores on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and specific ICI terms were notably reduced after Lion’s Mane intake, suggesting a potential reduction in depression and anxiety.

This study sheds light on the potential benefits of Lion’s Mane mushroom for mental well-being. The NGF-enhancing action of this remarkable fungus holds promise in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Furthermore, the study points to a potential impact on frustration and palpitations, which warrants further investigation into physiological markers like autonomic nerve activities and hormone levels. These findings highlight the potential of Lion’s Mane mushroom as a natural intervention for enhancing mental health. Further research holds the key to uncovering its full benefits, potentially relieving many dealing with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.

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The Lion’s Mane dual-extract 15:1 used in the "Brain Power" blend from Herbal Cacao is 100% natural, sustainably grown and certified organic Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus) 15:1 >20% Beta glucans 1,3/1,6. > Meaning to make 1gram of this extreme potent extract, 15gram of raw dried organic Lion’s Mane is used

Going beyond the mind...

In various spiritual traditions, the search for enlightenment often begins with the mind. Lion’s Mane is like your best friend in this journey, helping us to explore the depths of our being. 

Because Lion’s Mane has a calming effect on our mind, it can create a bridge between our conscious mind and the spiritual realms. In stillness, we find profound insights and a deeper connection to the universe. 

The clarity offered by Lion’s Mane often leads to moments of synchronicity and serendipity. These seemingly “random” events carry deep spiritual meaning, guiding us on our souls path. 

This incredible fungi encourages a shift from the mind to the heart, so we can open ourselves to love, compassion, and unity, recognising that we are all interconnected threads in the fabric of existence.

As you sip you Lion’s Mane “Brain Power” cacao blend, let us remember that this ancient fungi is really far more then just a boost for our brain! It’s a key to the sacred temple within. 

This remarkable mushroom invites us on a spiritual journey dropping from the mind into the heart. It helps us journey inward, our path of self and spiritual discovery is a journey we embark upon every day, one sip at a time. 

Embrace Lion’s Mane, and let it lead you on a spiritual adventure where the mind, heart, and soul unite in harmony with the cosmos

Thanks to pioneers like Paul Stamets, we continue to uncover the mysteries of the fungal kingdom. We have much to learn from the natural world, and Lions Mane serves as a beautiful example of nature’s wisdom

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Sharon Fernie (Founder of Herbal Cacao)

With love, 

Sharon Fernie, Founder Herbal Cacao