So you want to reap the benefits of lion’s mane supplementation. We can’t blame you: it’s packed with the good stuff. As antioxidant powerhouses, lion’s mane mushrooms – also known as Yamabushitake or Hericium erinaceus – contain compounds that several studies show regenerate nerves, ease stomach discomfort and ulcers, increase memory function, regulate mood, and even lower risk of heart disease.
But how much to take? And in what form? All good questions that science is still attempting to answer.
Here’s what we know:
How much lion’s mane should I take?
How much is too much? This depends on several factors, including:
- Your age
- Your overall health
- Your weight
- Your general sensitivity
- The severity of the health issue you’re tackling
As always, the umbrella note: Talk to your doctor. (We don’t wanna have to tell you twice!) Lion’s mane does have a couple of potential interactions, including with blood thinners and with anti-diabetes meds. You can read more about that right here.
Lion’s mane dosage from clinical trials
While human research is limited, some studies focused on evaluating the cognitive effects of lion’s mane used the following dosages:
- 750 milligrams (.75 grams) per day for 16 weeks
- 3 grams per day in tablet form for 16 weeks
- 5 grams per day of the fruiting body in soup or broth
- Additional sources recommend 500-600 milligrams 3 times per day for ongoing maintenance
Curious about conversions for powder?
¼ teaspoon = 0.7 grams
½ teaspoon = 1.4 grams
1 teaspoon = 2.7 grams
See for yourself with this calculator.
The good news: even at high doses, it appears that lion’s mane doesn’t cause any major side effects. In our research, we’ve found just one verified instance of a single person experiencing negative side effects, with an apparent causation between supplementation and respiratory failure. The patient mentioned in the study, a man in his 60s, recovered after a steroid treatment administered at the hospital. Other resources suggest that GI disturbances have also been reported.
Want to find out more about the health benefits of lion's mane? Check out this article.
The 3 Types of Lion’s Mane Products and Recommended Dosing
There are three main ways you can get your lion’s mane mushroom product: in powder form, in capsule or tablet form, or in tincture form. As a precaution (and as with any supplement) take your lion’s mane with some food.
1. Lion’s mane dosage for powder
Take a look at the powdered mushroom offerings out on the market today and you’ll find a number of creative applications. Many of them recommend the same dosage: 1 teaspoon of powder per day, or just over 2 grams.
How to add powdered lion’s mane into your routine:
- Pop it in smoothies
- Add it to tea or coffee
- Mix it into breakfast oats
- Add it to a protein shake
- Melt it into a warm broth
2. Lion’s mane dosage for capsules
Many of the products on the market offering lion’s mane (sometimes combined with other mushroom supplements to boost cognition) suggest the following: 1 capsule daily, where a capsule holds about 500 milligrams (.5 g) of the supplement.
How to add capsules into your daily routine:
- Take these supplements in the morning with breakfast, especially if your goal is to boost memory or cognition. Many supplement companies claim that benefits build over time. Reminder: follow package instructions and most importantly look for a certificate of analysis, or COA, that names the supplement’s beta-glucan content.
We put together a list of the top capsule brands here.
What are beta-glucans?
Beta-glucans are fibers that can be found in the cell walls of certain plants, fungi (like lion’s mane), and bacteria and yeasts. They are the active ingredient in most medicinal mushrooms. Their main benefit: they might help reduce the risk of heart disease and cut down on high cholesterol. Bonus fact: these little guys are water soluble, which means they are most easily pulled (for nutrition’s sake) using hot water extraction. For more on beta-glucans, check out this article.
Lion’s mane dosage for tinctures
As you research lion’s mane tincture products, you’ll find varying “suggested uses,” mostly because these tinctures tend to come in dropper bottles. Some companies give specific milliliter measurements, while others simply say to take a couple squeezes of the dropper. A typical dropper in a dropper bottle can hold about 1 ml of tincture, making most of the suggested doses about 1 to 2 ml of lion’s mane tincture per day.
How to add tinctures into your daily routine:
- Simply drop it on the tongue or add it to your breakfast!
Important note for tinctures: There are two ways to extract nutrients from medicinal mushrooms: ethanol extraction and hot water extraction. Ethanol extraction helps isolate non-water soluble molecules like sterols, terpenes, and flavonoids, while the aforementioned mushroom MVP beta-glucans and other water soluble compounds are isolated via hot water. Since lion’s mane packs a punch in both camps, look for tinctures that have gone through a double extraction process, which means both ethanol and hot water extraction was employed. And again: look for that COA to confirm that beta-glucans are present.
We put together a list of the top tincture brands here.
Tips for taking lion's mane daily
So you’re ready to start supplementing. Great! Science says it just might pay off. Here’s what to think about when you’re starting your daily supplementation regimen.
- Consult your doctor: Again, lion’s mane may interact with anti-diabetes medications and anticoagulants. It may also cause GI upset, and there isn’t one study out there confirming its safety if you’re pregnant. Talk to your doctor to make your regimen specific to you.
- Start small: If the current animal and small human trials out there say anything, it’s that results take time to show. Start small and pay attention to your body.
- Take it in the morning: Think of your lion’s mane supplement as a breakfast food. Take it at the same time every day, and take it with your coffee or breakfast (you can even add mushroom coffee into the mix). Lion’s mane stimulates brain function, which nutritionists say can make it harder to settle down for the night.
- Increase or decrease your dose based on need: Studies in which participants’ brain function was being tested on this supplement listed slightly higher doses than those in which ulcers were being treated. Talk with your doctor about what you’re hoping to gain from supplementing and adjust.
- Be consistent: Not seeing results fast enough? Give it some time. Many of the studies that showed “significant” improvements in cognitive function took place over the course of 16 weeks or more. Take it slow, and be consistent.
- Look for trusted products: Trusted products have tons of reviews. They have COAs. They list extraction and grow techniques on their website. They name the amount of beta-glucans present in one dose. They list independent studies to verify their product’s potency. And they definitely don’t claim to be cure-alls. Be skeptical and do your research.
Medicinal mushrooms like lion’s mane have been consumed for centuries, making these fungi some of Mother Nature’s most lasting medicines. If you’re looking for a memory or mood boost or want to ease stomach pain, lion’s mane is in your corner.