Hericium erinaceus, aka Lion's Mane, is an edible mushroom that belongs to the tooth fungus group of the Hericiaceae family and Russulales order. In Asia, the mushroom is used as a stimulant of the immune system and nerve-cell processes. Recently, it found its way to western countries, since it was difficult to ignore multiple positive reviews.
Researches: Lion’s Mane improves memory, learning capabilities, reaction, and cerebration.
The well-known American mycologist Paul Stamets helped generate interest in medicinal mushrooms (fungi), and particularly Lion’s Mane. He compared this fungus to psilocybin (a hallucinogenic alkaloid with a strong effect — fungi that contain this substance are prohibited) and highlighted its favorable impact on the nervous system.
The active ingredients of the fungus are hericenones and erinacines. Andrey believes that these ingredients, which are found only in Lion’s Mane, make it a very effective natural nootropic. The active ingredients are capable of crossing the hematoencephalic (blood-brain) barrier and increasing the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF).
Another reason for Mr. Arbenin to test Lion’s Mane is that it is the only available fungus with a strong effect.
Andrey didn’t consider purchasing Lion’s Mane from shady individuals, China, or other dubious sources, since the effect depends heavily on the place it was grown. Andrey illustrates the price difference between a wild fungus and a product cultivated in Chinese farms — $1 000 against $10.
The well-known bio-hacker Alexander Baryshev also recommends purchasing Lion’s Mane only from Europe and the US. That is why Mr. Arbenin determined only two acceptable ways of getting a "wonder fungus" — to grow it or buy a high-quality product. In fact, the fungus requires a special environment and care; hence, Andrey turned down the first option. He was surfing the Internet for Lion’s Mane and came across capsules produced by the company owned by Paul Stamets, the scientist who popularized medicinal fungi.
The Experiment and Its Results
The experiment began at the end of 2020 and lasted 80 days. The dosage was determined in compliance with authoritative sources — from 1 to 5 grams. No reason to take a larger dose. The supplement is administered after meals and in the evening.
On the second day, Andrey began having vivid dreams — probably, the effect was enhanced by the fact that he was watching the TV series Game of Thrones. After 3-4 days the dreams were gone and the sleep returned to normal. Leaping ahead, on the 70th day, vivid dreams returned.
Mr. Arbenin claims that there are no unwanted side effects from Lion’s Mane — you can take it for several years without any adverse effect. Actually, Andrey did not expect instant results, since neurogenesis takes time. Still and all, he felt the first positive effect after 35 days.
By then, he had completed the course of capsules from Paul Stamets and started on another product from the company based in California. At the same time, he began taking the neurotransmitter Alpha-GPC to find out how two supplements interact. The combo turned out to be successful: Andrey noticed mental clarity, coherent speech, and emerging memories from the past; he even changed the way of content presentation on his channel.
However, most of all he appreciated the emerging urge towards novelty, changing habits, and improved learning rate. As evidence of fungus efficiency, Andrey mentions that at the time of recording the video at 9 am, he hadn't slept all night and still felt fresh. Besides, he highlighted the urge towards reading and learning something new.
After the first month of treatment, Mr. Arbenin has successfully passed the work test of 8 000 questions. Thanks to mental clarity and fast learning, he had no problems passing the test.
On the 70th day, when he began taking 4 capsules a day, Andrey realized that his brain worked faster than ever before. He came to this conclusion after observing the increased volume of processed materials and the work volume being done — he has reached the maximum productivity in all his born days. He noted another important effect of taking Lion’s Mane — you feel how you develop and improve, which lends even more self-confidence.
Mr. Arbenin strongly believes that the effect of Lion’s Mane is undeniable:
“I have never seen a more effective nootropic in my life.”
Yet still, to achieve a noticeable effect, you need to normalize your sleeping regimen and nutrition, as well as get rid of bad habits, particularly alcohol. In the middle of the course, Andrey drank some alcohol and noticed that for 4 days after that he could not concentrate on the intellectual work. Additionally, one should not expect that the fungus will make a person smarter all by itself – you have to exert effort and learn, try new things, and work in new dimensions.
Results After the 3-Month Course
Based on the results of the experiment, Andrey listed the main results he noticed:
Reviews from Other People
Many reviews of Lion’s Mane are positive. One young woman notes her problems with depression and anxiety. Lion’s Mane capsules helped her overcome the difficulties and improve her overall mental state. Additionally, she defeated procrastination and began generating new creative ideas.
Another positive review is from a nurse:
There are critical reviews too. One of the customers believes that the effect is related only to the expectation of changes. In the first weeks and after reading various reviews, he had vivid dreams and improved mental energy. However, the effect did not last long. That is why he ascribes it to the placebo effect.
Several people complained about occasional headaches:
In the meantime, elderly people, who suffer from memory and vitality problems, note the positive effect of the supplement. For example, after two weeks of taking Lion’s Mane, one of them noticed improved concentration, decreased anxiety, and a good mood. He notes decreased libido (mentioned also in some other reviews) as a drawback.
In fact, positive reviews prevail over the negative.
A 50-old woman also noted vitality, improved concentration, and composure after a 1-month course.
Another reviewer again reports vivid, memorable dreams and improved memory. Yet, he warns that Lion’s Mane might disturb the deep sleep. The person solved this problem by taking magnesium supplements.
The experience of Mr. Arbenin and other people shows that on many occasions Lion’s Mane enhances mental processes by improving concentration and memory. But you need to keep in mind the potential adverse effects of Lion’s Mane, such as decreased libido and sleep disorder at the beginning of the course.