Top Medicinal Mushrooms for Brain Health – Memory, Mood & Focus
Whether we’re talking about mental performance or mental health, having a balanced thriving brain and mind space is something that is fast becoming part of daily care rituals.
Our brains are mission control for our body, navigating complex functions with the help of 100 billion neurons, processing all of the elements that define our sense of identity and how we perceive the world like our memories, desires, dreams and emotions.
A high functioning brain allows us to experience life in a greater state of flow; less mental blocks and distracting thoughts, and more creativity, focus, and sharp memory recall.
In this journal entry we’re diving into our top medicinal mushrooms for brain health, Lion’s Mane and Tremella. Lion’s Mane and Tremella, in their own way, both resemble the form of a brain – which is pretty awesome. Is nature giving us a clue here?!
Lion’s Mane - The Smart Shroom
Lion’s Mane mushroom has long been considered a natural cognitive enhancer being referred to as ‘nature’s nutrient for the neurons,’ It’s Lion’s Mane’s potential benefits for the brain that make it a truly fascinating shroom. Studies have demonstrated that Lion’s Mane may support brain health by stimulating nerve growth factor (NGF).
Lion’s Mane & Cognitive Support
Our brain functionality naturally slows down over time with things like memory loss and lack of focus increasing as we age. This is caused by various factors in our nervous system like shrinking neurons and impaired brain cells. Studies have demonstrated that Lion’s Mane may support brain health by stimulating the creation of two important compounds, nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
NGF proteins protect existing neurons and stimulate new neuron growth. While this is the case, the blood-brain barrier is not permeable by NGF proteins which are too big to pass through. Hericium Erinaceus, Lion’s Mane’s Latin name, alludes to the substances which give the potential for this potent mushroom to provide brain supporting benefits; hericenones are molecular compounds that can stimulate the brain to make more NGF and erinacines are small enough to cross this barrier and have the potential to work with the brain to foster the production of NGF.
Lion’s Mane & Mood
One of the most noticeable effects on the perceived health of our brain is mood. Who doesn’t want to feel at ease, focused and motivated? There have been some promising studies on Lion’s Mane mushroom in relation to mood and states of depression which open the door to greater research in this area.
A 2010 study of Lion's Mane mushroom on a group of 30 women experiencing depression and anxiety was carried out over a 4-week period. At the end of the study, the participants in the test group reported an overall improvement in mood, depression and sleep quality.
Tremella - Neuroprotective
Lion's Mane often receives the most praise as the ultimate brain health shroom, however, Tremella is not to be overlooked with its own raft of brain supporting benefits. A 2007 study clinically examined Tremella Fuciformis and its neuroprotective effects, finding that the polysaccharides and beta-d-glucans unique to Tremella mushroom promote brain cell growth and have the potential to support cognition against neurogenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Tremella, Vitamin D & Mood
Tremella mushroom is rich in vitamin D which is thought to play an important role in supporting our mood, serotonin levels and melatonin regulation – and we all know how important quality sleep is for rejuvenating our brain and entire body. So, if you haven't been able to catch as much vitamin D promoting time in the sun as you’d like Tremella could be your backup plan.
Tremella & Brain-Supporting Antioxidants
Tremella’s polysaccharides and beta-d-glucans also stimulate the production of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in the brain and liver. SOD is the ultimate free radical scavenger and in the case of our brain health, it helps support our overall cognitive function and protect against oxidative stress.
Daily Brain Care Rituals
In addition to using medicinal mushrooms as tools to support our cognitive function, it's always a good idea to take a holistic approach. Additional ways to support a healthy brain on a daily basis include exercise, quality sleep, avoiding inflammatory foods and alcohol where possible, meditation, staying socially engaged and challenging ourselves through learning experiences – there’s no better time to try something new than today!
Our Inner Atlas Lion’s Mane and Tremella are:
- Highly potent, containing greater than 30% beta-D-glucans.
- Certified USDA & EU Organic.
- Fruiting body only – 100% real mushrooms with no added fillers or mycelium.
- Semi-wild cultivated and wood-grown.
- Sourced from pristine di tao locations.
- Lab-tested for purity.