Lion’s Mane & Brain Fog
Slow and muddied thoughts.
Lack of focus or feeling easily distracted.
Bereft of creativity, motivation, or inspiration.
The beginning of an idea that slips away before you can grasp it.
Lapse in memory recall.
Sound familiar? Any one or combination of these symptoms could be described as brain fog. A temporary or lasting state of diminished cognitive function, brain fog can range from proving irritating to being truly debilitating.
What Causes Brain Fog?
Due to the range of expressions and symptoms, no one cause of brain fog has been determined. While this is the case, inflammation is thought to be one of the largest contributing factors in brain fog. The causes of inflammation in the brain are wide-ranging and can be attributed to recovery from a virus or illness, poor circulation, food intolerances, environmental toxins, lack of physical exercise, inflammatory bowel conditions, autoimmune conditions, and chronic stress.
Stress and mental burnout go hand-in-hand and this is something that touches most healthy individuals at some point in their lives, even more so in recent years with lockdowns and global uncertainty, constant digital distractions and the demand for fast-paced output. Being on a work deadline with your most creative thoughts trapped behind a wall of mental fog is stress-inducing in itself, and so the cycle continues!
Lion’s Mane & Brain Fog
When we feel like our brain is trapped in a haze it can be tempting to over-rely on stimulants such as coffee. While stimulants provide a temporary pick me up, they, unfortunately, don't address the cause of the symptoms of brain fog.
In the medicinal mushroom world, Lion’s Mane is famed for its benefits for overall cognitive health. This shaggy shroom also kind of looks like a brain – is nature trying to give us a clue here?! While Lion’s Mane can’t be attributed to an in the moment brain fog fix, studies have demonstrated Lion’s Mane’s ability to elicit neuroprotective effects such as lowering cellular stress in the brain, improving anxiety and depression, and enhancing cognitive function.
You might have heard Lion’s Mane being referred to as a natural nootropic, which are substances that improve cognitive function, memory, creativity or motivation. Lion’s Mane’s reputation as a ‘smart shroom’ is one of the reasons why many biohackers, top professionals and health seekers regard it as their shroom of choice.
Lion’s Mane’s nootropic properties are thought to help target the causes of brain fog, more specifically it may:
Support nerve health and nerve growth via NGF production in the brain thought to help to increase the function and strength of neural pathways which can foster states of creativity, embed memories and create stronger connections between ideas or thoughts.
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. Together these compounds are thought to have the ability to foster NGF production within the brain.
Reduce neuroinflammation bringing about enhanced clarity and focus. Research has indicated that much like our gut, inflammation increases the permeability of the blood-brain barrier which can allow unwanted molecules to pass through impacting the function of our brain. Lion's Mane, like other medicinal mushrooms, is a potent antioxidant that can help against states of inflammation. Further to this reduced inflammation stimulates an increase in blood flow which supplies the brain with a vital fuel source, oxygen.
Support mood and states of anxiety. Lion’s Mane has also been studied for its potential benefits to support mood; key for a focused, switched on mental state. A 2010 study of Lion's Mane 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. The promising results of this small study open the door for greater research in this area.
Working with Lion’s Mane
Lion's Mane medicinal mushroom is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to managing brain fog. Other beneficial practices include exercising, paying attention to good nutrition, sleep and hydration, socialising, taking part in mentally stimulating activities, meditating and reducing distractions to protect your mental energy.
We recommend enjoying ¼ to ½ tsp of Lion’s Mane a day. It can easily be added to coffee, tea, smoothies, juice or meals. However you choose to work with Lion’s Mane, consistency is key, providing your body the opportunity to reap its brain-boosting benefits over time.
Inner Atlas Lion’s Mane
We’ve worked hard to deliver what we believe are the most potent medicinal mushroom extracts available. Mushrooms you can really feel. Our Lion’s Mane extract is quite a concentrated dose with a 10:1 extract, meaning 10 kg of raw Lion’s Mane mushroom is dual extracted to produce 1 kg of powder.
Our Lion’s Mane medicinal mushroom is also:
- Semi-wild crafted, grown in natural environmental conditions on hardwood, where it absorbs all of its beneficial compounds from.
- Certified USDA & EU Organic.
- Grown Di Tao – sourced from the pristine and remote Gutian County growing region in China.
- Fruiting body only – 100% real mushrooms with no added fillers or mycelium.
- Lab-tested for purity.
- Highly potent, containing greater than 30% beta-D-glucans.