This mushroom – resembling a lion’s shaggy mane – is capturing the interest of modern-day researchers. Evidence is emerging that the best Lion’s Mane supplements have a variety of uses, both psychological and physical.
If you’re one of the many people struggling with a chronic disorder, you’ve probably at least thought of using Lion’s Made supplements to ease your troubles.
We put together a comprehensive list of the best Lion’s Mane supplements on the market and examined the evidence on how effective they are at treating these symptoms. If you’re looking for a natural remedy to a host of problems, you’re in the right place.
- 8 Best Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplements
- Benefits of Lion’s Mane
- The List
- 1. Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Capsules
- 3. FreshCap Lion’s Mane Capsules
- 4. Gaia Herbs Lion’s Mane Mushroom
- 5. Wellabs Lion’s Mane Extract
- 6. Dr. Emil Nutrition Lion’s Mane Smart Shrooms
- 7. MyPure Lion’s Mane Supplement
- 7. Peak Performance Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract Powder
- 8. Host Defense Lion’s Mane
- 9. Ellixir Lion’s Mane Mind Booster
- Testimonials & User Reviews
- Cost Comparison
- What To Look For In A Lion’s Mane Supplement
- Absorption & Bioavailability of Forms of Lion's Mane
- Buyer’s Guide To Lion’s Mane Supplements
- Lion's Many Supplements FAQ
- What does Lion’s Mane do to the brain?
- Are Lion's Mane Supplements Safe?
- Can You Take Lion's Mane Every Day?
- Lion's Mane Powder vs Capsules – Which Is Better?
- How Does Lion's Mane Make You Feel?
- Does Lion's Mane Make You High?
- How Long Does It Take For Lion's Mane Supplements To Work?
- What Happens If You Stop Taking Lion's Mane?
- Last Thoughts
8 Best Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplements
2. FreshCap Lion’s Mane Capsules
3. Gaia Herbs Lion’s Mane Mushroom
4. Wellabs Lion’s Mane Extract
5. Dr. Emil Nutrition Lion’s Mane Smart Shrooms
6. MyPure Lion’s Mane Supplement
7. Peak Performance Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Capsules
8. Host Defense Mushrooms Lion’s Mane
Of all our picks, Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Capsules from Real Mushrooms takes the crown for the best lion’s mane supplement based on several factors.
• Beta-glucans level – Offers the highest levels of beta-glucans at > 30%. Studies show that the greater the level of beta-glucans in a supplement, the more it is likely to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
• Fruiting body or mycelium – Sources exclusively from the fruiting body.
• Price – With its servings and price considered, it offers the best value.
• Extraction method – Supplement exclusively uses hot water extraction, which is the best method for this mushroom since it leaves its integrity intact.
• Brand reputation – Real Mushrooms is one of the most respected manufacturers of mushroom-based supplements in the USA. Its founder, Jeff Chilton, is a leading expert on mushrooms and their benefits.
Benefits of Lion’s Mane
Lion’s Mane is a nootropic – meaning it supports the brain and nervous system.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms are packed with bioactive compounds that support mood, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, boost the immune system, speed up recovery from injuries, and help in the fight against cancer.
Other benefits include:
- Cognitive enhancement
- Reduces inflammation
- Mental clarity due to brain function boost and reduction of brain fog
- Protects against ulcers
- Nervous system support
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This mushroom powder in these capsules from RealMushrooms is 100% organic. It has no added mycelium, grains, or other fillers.
This gives you a high concentration of active compounds, so you’re not paying for any filler that doesn’t do anything for you.
These capsules are excellent for improving cognitive function and helps with clarity and focus. It also helps to keep your digestive system in top shape. The beta-glucans help to boost your immune system and speed up cell repair and recovery.
Unlike many other types of mushroom supplements, Lion’s Mane doesn’t have a bitter or unpleasant taste. This makes it easier to take the generally recommended dose of 250mg and 750mg per day. Each capsule contains 500mg of lion’s mane mushroom extract.
You can also break it up into smaller portions over a day. One in the morning, one in the evening.
Take it with a meal, or add a scoop of the powdered version into your tea or coffee (Real Mushrooms also make the best lion’s mane powder). Start with one 500mg capsule per day for two weeks, and track the changes in your mood and energy levels. If you don’t feel much difference, you can increase the dosage to the recommended dosage of two capsules.
- Helps to repair damaged cells
- Relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Helps to lower blood sugar
- Reduces inflammation
- Immune system booster
- Some users have said they felt little change
- Side effects include rashes or difficult breathing
Save 10% with code: Genius
FreshCap Lion’s Mane mushrooms are cultivated in greenhouses and shade-houses, allowing them to draw on sunlight, fresh air, and an abundant supply of water. A dual extraction method is used to deliver a brain and focus-boosting supplement with a potency that few other mushroom supplements can achieve.
This is one of the few Lion’s Mane mushrooms that work with anyone on the Paleo diet. FreshCap hasn’t added any grain or fillers, so you don’t need to worry about excess carbs.
A 120-capsule bottle gives you a two-month supply for less than $40, which is a bargain for all the benefits you get.
The capsules are starch-free and vegetarian-friendly. They’re made from tapioca fermented into pullulan.
- Halaal and Kosher certified
- Rich in beta-glucans
- Made from fully developed mushrooms
- Can cause drowsiness
These mushrooms are organically grown and sustainably sourced. Each capsule contains 2.5g of dried Lion’s Mane mushrooms. The extract is only made from fruiting bodies, as the active beneficial compounds are most concentrated in these parts.
These mushrooms are great for when you’re feeling a bit down or anxious. They help restore calm and balance your mood.
One study by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale measured how often people experienced symptoms of depression. It showed that after taking Lion’s Mane for four weeks, feelings of depression and anxiety were significantly reduced.
They also help to maintain a healthy nervous system, so your body’s internal communication remains in working order.
We recommend taking one capsule a day for optimal benefit, and you’ll start experiencing the benefits more and more over time.
- Only uses fruiting bodies
- Vegan capsule
- 5 times the strength of dried mushrooms
- Optimal bioavailability
- Possible upset stomach
This product promotes heightened energy by loading your system with antioxidants.
Because energy is transported between your cells, the more antioxidants in your diet, the easier it is to produce and maintain good energy levels.
Lion’s mane reduces lactic acid in your blood. Lactic acid causes fatigue after physical exercise. It also improves the levels of glycogen in the body, which synthesizes energy quicker.
It comes in liquid form, so it absorbs quickly under your tongue. This also gives you the option to add it to food. Add a drop to a mug of chicken or beef broth, and enjoy an energizing cuppa.
These extracts can also be used on the skin, which is said to help with wound healing.
- Drop delivery for easy absorption
- Very affordable
- Helps with alertness
- Relieves anxiety quickly
- Little evidence to support skin-repair claims
This product is a little different, being enhanced with BioPerine – a black pepper extract that aids in the absorption of the Lion’s Mane. GMO and gluten-free, this Lion’s Mane product is organically grown and hand-picked.
Several users have experienced thicker hair and clearer skin. There’s also a noticeable improvement in joint pain, specifically in the knees.
Dr. Emil Nutrition Lion’s Mane Smart Shrooms have also been found to assist with sleep issues and insomnia.
- Enhanced absorption through BioPerine
- Organically grown
- Helps with insomnia
- Reduction in joint pain
- Can cause sleepiness
MyPure Lion’s Mane offers high bioavailability because they’re treated with hot water to break down the cell walls, maximizing nutrient availability. Each batch is lab-tested and contains 20% to 40% beta-glucans.
The MyPure Lion’s Mane is a great support for liver and stomach function and assists with the digestive process. It also contains compounds called diterpenes which have a positive impact on your mood, support brain health, and improve memory.
Because the extracts are harvested from fruiting bodies, you get the benefits of additional minerals and vitamins and over 20 times the immune-enhancing Beta-(1,3) (1,6)-D-Glucans.
You also get more ergothioneines and di- and triterpenes
- 100% certified Lion’s Mane mushroom extract
- Made from fruiting compounds
- May aggravate symptoms of allergies and asthma
7. Peak Performance Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract Powder
Also rich in beta-glucans, this powder is made from mushrooms grown in the USA.
They’re nutritionally dense and vegan-friendly. Peak Performance prides itself on only using fully grown mushrooms. This ensures they have the time to develop all the critical nutrients you’re looking for.
Peak Performance Lion’s Mane supplement aims to give you a boost in energy. The best time to take it is in the early morning and the early afternoon. This helps to scale up your focus, energy, and alertness at the times you need it the most.
As with any herbal supplement, you won’t experience a difference after just one or two doses. Generally, it takes around two weeks to start noticing any changes.
Keep a journal of how you feel each week while taking the supplement. This helps to judge the efficacy of the supplement, keep track of bodily changes, and help you decide if you need to increase or decrease your dosage.
- Certified organic
- Grown in the USA
- Supports brain health
- Boosts the immune system
- Over usage may result in gastrointestinal discomfort
This product contains activated, freeze-dried mycelium to support memory, cognitive function, and focus. It’s also vegan, organic, and comes in a practical capsule form.
One of the issues we have found is that it contains Lion’s Mane mycelium (the woody stem of the mushroom) and not just the fruiting body. The fruiting body holds the greatest abundance of the active compounds that make Lion’s Mane an attractive supplement ingredient.
It’s also more expensive than some of the other supplements on the market.
- Can be taken on an empty stomach
- Vegetarian capsules
- Activated, freeze-dried mycelium
- Contains no other nootropic ingredients
- Not just fruiting body
9. Ellixir Lion’s Mane Mind Booster
This product also contains the absorption-boosting black pepper extract Bio-Piperine. This means that it enhances the absorption of medications by slowing down the absorption of the lion’s mane compounds and increasing the permeability of cell walls.
Your cell’s ability to absorb more of the lion’s mane is increased, so you actively digest more of the good stuff.
Elixir Lion’s Mane Mind Booster improves focus and concentration levels, making it a great option if you’re studying for exams or struggling to get through the workday. It’s targeted primarily at students who need to give themselves a mental boost in the middle of the day.
- Contains bio-piperine
- Two-piece vegetarian soft-gel caps
- Nitrogen bubble capsule for longer shelflife
- May slow blood clotting
Testimonials & User Reviews
Reading product testimonials and reviews helps you catch a glimpse of what the consumers experienced while using the supplement. Here, we see how users who’ve tried out the supplements featured in this listicle and how their experience went:
For Organic Lions Mane Extract Capsules
“I have been taking 2 capsules of Lion’s Mane every morning for three weeks now. I feel alert, energized, and focused. Lion’s Mane will be a staple part of my breakfast going forward.” – Uli
For Peak Performance Organic Lions Mane Mushroom Powder
“What a delightful discovery! I’d been using another brand, but my sensitive system suddenly developed a strong, negative reaction, and I had to try something else. This product gives me no problems at all, but at the same time, really helps my brain. It’s well worth it!” – Helen
For FreshCap Lion’s Mane Capsules:
“I started taking lions mane because the many benefits are SO interesting to me, which I learned about on Freshcap’s podcast, The Mushroom Show. Started with this powder in my coffee, which to me is tasteless. It’s become a key part of my morning ritual, but makes it into most smoothies I make also. Main interest is boost in brain power, reduction of ‘fog’, and shield against brain disorders” – Austin C.
For Wellabs Lion’s Mane Extract:
“I go down rabbit holes. I get so distracted and dive right in and have to find out all about whatever it is and 4 hours later I realize I still have 8 hours of work to do. I needed focus and “brain energy” for a lack of a better term. I heard this could work. I tried it. It has helped but it helped without me noticing it…I just noticed my work got done fast! I will continue to use it. Try it!” – Jeannie B.
For Dr. Emil Nutrition Lion’s Mane Smart Shrooms:
“I have a brain injury and before I began using Dr Emil’s Lions Mane I had so much difficulty concentrating that I was seeking disability. Once I began taking it, my brain fog and confusion began to lessen. At this point, although I do still have some issues, I am able to accomplish much more. I highly recommend it.” – Geralyn St. Joseph
For MyPure Lion’s Mane Supplement:
“I’ve only begun using your product but I have to say, it really has made a positive difference! I have nerve damage in my right hand but your product has definitely improved the flexibility and reduced the numbness. Thanks so much! I’m hoping to see more improvement as time goes by.” – Brett Carls
What To Look For In A Lion’s Mane Supplement
As lion’s mane supplements are on the rise, the best way to select the right brand for you is to consider important factors about it:
Beta-glucan (β-glucans) is a soluble fiber with numerous scientifically-proven health benefits. The best sources of beta-glucan are mushrooms, grains, wheat, oats, rye, and various types of yeast.
The higher a product’s beta-glucan level, the more potent it delivers its benefits.
The extraction method draws out the components in mushrooms. Various extraction procedures include hot/cold water, alcohol, dual (ethanol and cold water), and triple extraction (ethanol, cold water, and hot water). The ideal extraction method depends on the type of mushroom used.
Opt for the product that uses hot water extraction since lion’s mane mushroom works best with this process and ensures the highest concentration of active compounds, given their most important active ingredients, the beta-glucans, are water-soluble.
Fruiting Body vs Mycelium
A mushroom is the “fruiting body” of a fungal organism called a basidiomycete (except for cordyceps mushrooms), while the mycelium is the network of threads from which mushrooms grow and contains numerous compounds that promote memory, sleep, and energy.
However, it’s the fruiting body that contains more active beneficial compounds, while mycelium is typically grown on a solid substrate that will become part of the finished product. As a result, most supplements use the fruiting body to get more of the benefits.
Whereas, when a supplement is composed of myceliated grain, it acts as a filler and dilutes the beneficial compounds.
Product Purity & Quality
Supplements should be free from heavy metals, pesticides, or other harmful contaminants to ensure maximum product safety, so ensure that your brand of choice undergoes third-party testing to ensure they meet industry and safety standards.
For products made in the USA, always look for the cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practice) mark. Otherwise, check if a product has similar or additional certifications.
Lion’s mane supplements come in various forms, such as powders, gummies, capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts, but some may be more effective or more convenient to take than others.
Gummies and [chewable] tablets, for example, are easier and more palatable for intake; ordinary tablets and capsules have longer shelf lives and more concentrated delivery of benefits; and powders can have large doses of active ingredients and blended with beverages and dishes.
Ultimately, the best supplement form will depend on your needs and consumption preferences.
Some lion’s mane supplements may include additional ingredients, like nootropics, adaptogens, superfoods, and pre/probiotics to enhance absorption or provide additional synergistic health benefits. Others simply contain just the lion’s mane mushroom as the main ingredient.
Opt for a good brand that values ingredient transparency and has nothing to hide in its ingredients, showing how everything falls into place and serves its purpose. Avoid products that use myceliated grain alternatives, grains, or starch fillers.
Always consider the brand’s reputation, preferably with a proven, time-and-tested record of producing high-quality, reliable products, allowing you to stick with a product consistently and removing the need to constantly hop from one brand to another.
But that’s not to say we shouldn’t give newer brands a try, as they could offer new and interesting innovations, features, and benefits that other brands may not always have.
Allergies & Sensitivities
If you’re allergic, you may want to be extra careful or even reconsider taking a lion’s mane supplement, as it can aggravate allergic reactions, such as:
- Skin rashes or hives
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Stomach cramps
- Breathing problems
- Swelling of the lips and mouth
Price & Value
Many people face a dilemma between choosing an ideal supplement and their allotted budget. It’s important to weigh between similar options to find the best choice by considering other factors like the servings per gram, benefits, and ingredients to end up with one that best suits your budget and offers the best value for your money. That way, you won’t have any problems with consistently taking the supplement and enjoy reaping its benefits.
Absorption & Bioavailability of Forms of Lion’s Mane
Fresh, whole mushrooms have low absorption and bioavailability due to their tough cell walls and limited digestion in the human gastrointestinal tract. Dried, powdered mushrooms are slightly more bioavailable but still require proper digestion.
Hot water extracts have better absorption and bioavailability, as they break down the cell walls and make the bioactive compounds more accessible. Ethanol extracts have a higher absorption rate and bioavailability because they contain both water-soluble and alcohol-soluble compounds.
Dual-extracts, which combine hot water and ethanol extraction, have the highest absorption rate and bioavailability. These extracts contain a more comprehensive profile of bioactive compounds and are more easily absorbed by the body.
Keep in mind that more research is needed to determine the exact absorption rates and bioavailability for each form, as well as the optimal dosages and duration for supplementation. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.
Buyer’s Guide To Lion’s Mane Supplements
There are five forms of Lion’s Mane supplements – fresh, powder, capsule, tablet, and liquid. Fresh Lion’s Mane mushrooms are difficult to get, but the other forms are more readily available wherever you are.
Powders and Liquids
Lion’s Mane mushrooms are tasty and have been used in Asian cuisine for centuries. So you can add the powder to your meals without worrying that it’s going to ruin the taste. It works in both savory and sweet foods.
Buying powders in bulk is more cost-effective than tablets or capsules. And because Lion’s Mane is considered a superfood, you want to take as much advantage of its health benefits as possible.
Mushroom extracts are available in liquid form too. The best mushroom tinctures are more potent than the powders so you only need a couple of drops to get your daily dosage.
The flavor of Lion’s Mane mushrooms is similar to seafood or lobster, so it can take some getting used to. This makes buying the bulk powder form a bit daunting.
You may not know how much of the powder to add to your foods, which can also make some buyers hold back. Don’t worry, there are usually instructions on the packaging.
Generally, you should be looking at about one teaspoon per serving.
Capsules and Tablets
If you’re not a fan of that seafood flavor, the capsule form is for you. It can be swallowed with a sip of water and your taste buds will be none the wiser.
The compact size makes them easier to travel with. So if you like to take them with your breakfast at the office, they’re easy enough to slip into your lunch bag.
Because of the extra casings, capsules tend to be more expensive.
They’re also more challenging for people who don’t like to swallow tablets or capsules.
Research on the benefits and risks of the Lion’s Mane mushroom is still in its early stages. While these mushrooms have been part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, it’s only in the past few years that their benefits are being researched in the West.
The bulk of research done on the Lion’s Mane mushroom has been through testing on mice and rats. There’s limited research done on humans, giving us few data points to draw from.
However, more and more positive results are being seen in people who have used it for dementia, depression, anxiety, ulcer treatment, digestive system improvement, and diabetes.
A popular mushroom ‘stack’ is to pair your lion’s mane with a cordyceps supplement. This allows you to feel the nootropic effects of the lion’s mane and the physically energizing properties that come with the cordyceps.
Lion’s Many Supplements FAQ
What does Lion’s Mane do to the brain?
As we age, the brain naturally slows down, and we can experience memory loss and lack of focus. This is due to shrinking neurons and brain cell damage through the aging process.
Lion’s mane mushroom extract can stimulate the creation of two important compounds in our brains: nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). These compounds strengthen existing cells and stimulate the growth of new ones.
Lion’s mane potentially prevents or treats cognitive and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. It also can improve your memory and lower symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Are Lion’s Mane Supplements Safe?
Lion’s Mane powder and capsules are generally considered safe. It is recommended to not exceed 1 gram per day.
The side effects of lion’s mane supplements are limited and mild. Stomach discomfort is the primary side effect reported by new users but this usually passes within a few days.
Do not take lion’s mane if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
It is also recommended to avoid lion’s mane if you suffer from any bleeding conditions or are due to have surgery. This is because lion’s mane mushroom might slow blood clotting and reduce blood glucose levels which may cause complications.
Can You Take Lion’s Mane Every Day?
Yes, you can. However, it is not recommended to exceed 1 gram per day.
Lion’s Mane Powder vs Capsules – Which Is Better?
This comes down to use case and preference.
Lion’s Mane powder is better if:
– you can’t swallow capsules
– you want to mix the supplement into drinks/shakes
– you want to add lion’s mane to food recipes
Lion’s Mane capsules are better if:
– you don’t want to measure out your dosage
– you are traveling or ‘on-the-go’
– you don’t like the taste of lion’s mane
In general, we suggest going for capsules, to begin with, so that you can be sure your dosage is correct.
How Does Lion’s Mane Make You Feel?
There are no immediate feelings that arise after taking a lion’s mane supplement. There is no psychoactive component so you won’t feel high or woozy.
From my experience – These points are not from studies but purely from my anecdotal experience.
– If you take it consistently, once the supplement enters my system I feel a ‘lifting’ of brain fog and my cognitive function improves.
– I also find it easier to focus and ‘snap into’ difficult tasks.
– I also feel a ‘lightening’ of any mild anxiety I may have.
Does Lion’s Mane Make You High?
No, lion’s mane does not get you high as there are no psychoactive ingredients.
How Long Does It Take For Lion’s Mane Supplements To Work?
Consistency is the key factor here. You must take the lion’s mane daily for the benefits to start making a positive impact. If you follow the correct dosing procedure you should start feeling the benefits within two weeks.
What Happens If You Stop Taking Lion’s Mane?
If you stop taking your dosage of lion’s mane you will not feel withdrawals but studies have shown that after 4 weeks the improvements you may have been feeling will start to return to your normal baseline levels.
Reviewing these products has brought us a renewed respect for these shaggy-looking shrooms. With benefits ranging from memory enhancement to injury repair and a stronger immune system, we’re impressed.
Overall, the benefits witnessed by researchers and users have been in favor of this superfood, with few reported side effects.
If you’re unsure about whether you should add a Lion’s Mane mushroom supplement to your diet, or how much to use, always err on the side of caution and consult your physician.
- Friedman, M. (2015). Chemistry, Nutrition, and Health-Promoting Properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) Mushroom Fruiting Bodies and Mycelia and Their Bioactive Compounds. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 63(32), 7108–7123. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02914
- Lee, K. F., Chen, J. H., Teng, C. C., Shen, C. H., Hsieh, M. C., Lu, C. C., Lee, K. C., Lee, L. Y., Chen, W. P., Chen, C. C., Huang, W. S., & Kuo, H. C. (2014). Protective Effects of Hericium erinaceus Mycelium and Its Isolated Erinacine A against Ischemia-Injury-Induced Neuronal Cell Death via the Inhibition of iNOS/p38 MAPK and Nitrotyrosine. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 15(9), 15073–15089. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150915073
- Li, I. C., Lee, L. Y., Tzeng, T. T., Chen, W. P., Chen, Y. P., Shiao, Y. J., & Chen, C. C. (2014). Neurohealth Properties of Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Enriched with Erinacines. Behavioural Neurology, 2014, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/974363
- Mori, K., Inatomi, S., Ouchi, K., Azumi, Y., & Tuchida, T. (2009). Improving Effects of the Mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Double-blind Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial. Phytotherapy Research, 23(3), 367–372. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.2634
- Lemieszek, M. K., & Rzeski, W. (2017). Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. Derived Polysaccharides (EPS) and Steroid (EK100) Regulate Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis. In Hericium erinaceus: An Edible Mushroom with Medicinal Values (pp. 65–76). CRC Press/Taylor & Francis.
These references cover the extraction methods, bioactive compounds, and potential health benefits of lion’s mane mushroom.