Adaptogens keep cropping up in the world of health and beauty, but it’s hard to know exactly what they are and why it is in the zeitgeist at the moment. Adaptogens are herbs known for their unique ability to “adapt” their function according to the body’s specific needs. Adaptogenic herbs stimulate the body’s hormonal response to improve the body’s functions and overall health. They were first discovered when researchers discovered berries and seeds eaten by native hunters reduced their thirst, hunger, and exhaustion. Adaptogens help our bodies fight the effects of stressors, which means that they have several benefits, but they can be challenging to include in a standard Western diet.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms are an adaptogenic mushroom also known as hou tou gu or yamabushitake, and are large, white, shaggy mushrooms that resemble a lion’s mane as they grow. Studies have found that lion’s mane mushrooms contain two unique compounds that can stimulate brain cells’ growth: hericenones and erinacines. Found worldwide but are primarily used in Asian countries for medicinal and culinary purposes. These mushrooms are nootropic, meaning they help to improve cognition. One study found that Lion’s Mane mushrooms’ use is effective in improving mild cognitive impairment. Not only are these mushrooms effective at enhancing cognitive function, but they also have been shown to help regenerate nerves in the brain in rats in a 2012 study. More research is needed to understand the effects of these mushrooms fully. Still, due to their prevalence in traditional medicine, it’s clear that they positively impact the body.
Lion’s mane is unique in its appearance and function. It’s a powerful catalyst for brain cell regeneration, which helps improve memory and cognition. Hericenones help your brain produce more nerve growth factor, a hormone that boosts and stimulates nerve reparation and growth. While erinacines easily crosses the blood-brain barrier to increase the production of neurons. Lion’s Mane mushroom benefits include possible protection against dementia, relieves mild symptoms of depression and anxiety, may speed up recovery from nervous system injuries, reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, and boosts the Immune System, and more.
One of the issues with adaptogens is that they can be hard to find and include in a Western diet. But that’s where supplements come in. They help you have these rare ingredients in your diet to boost your brain function, reduce your stress, balance your hormones, and more. For another way to introduce them into your diet, try out this recipe. It’s worth giving them a chance to see if they can help you with your specific needs. Including these adaptogens into your diet through supplementation is a proven way to reduce brain fog and increase cognitive function while also preserving it over time.