Lion's Mane mushroom vs. Lion's Mane supplements: Which one is the best fit for you? These magnificent fungi have a rich history dating back centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. Their extraordinarily flavorful profile sets them apart and ignites a culinary frenzy in countless dishes. But with their rise in popularity has come a much more popular way of taking them: supplements.

Those who are interested in reaping the potential benefits of Lion’s Mane might be asking, what’s the best way to enjoy it? Should you be cooking it or taking it as a supplement throughout the day in order to get the most out of what it has to offer? In this guide, we’ll compare and contrast cooking Lion’s Mane mushroom vs. Lion’s Mane supplements to help you better understand which is the best fit for you.

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What Are Lion's Mane Mushrooms? Origins and Beyond

Lion's mane mushrooms, scientifically known as Hericium erinaceus, are fascinating fungi that thrive in the wild, primarily on hardwood trees like oak or maple. They’re known for their characteristic shaggy, puffy form that resembles a lion’s mane. These remarkable mushrooms have been treasured in traditional Chinese medicine for ages and are now gaining popularity among health enthusiasts for their potential wellness benefits including digestive issues, inflammation, and more.1

Lion's mane mushrooms bring a one-of-a-kind taste adventure to your palate. Delighting your senses with a mild earthiness and a subtle hint of the sea, they offer a satisfying crunch. You can get creative in the kitchen and incorporate these versatile wonders into soups, stir-fries, casseroles, and beyond or streamline the process and take them as a supplement.

Benefits Of Lion's Mane Mushroom 

Lion’s Mane is a mushroom that has become quite popular because of the many benefits it’s said to offer. Some of the potential benefits of Lion's Mane mushroom include:

Brain Health 

Studies have shown that the active compounds in the mushroom, including hericenones and erinacines, have been found to stimulate the growth of nerve cells in the brain, which can help improve memory and concentration.2 The compounds in the mushroom may help increase levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are important neurotransmitters that regulate mood. Studies have also shown that Lion's Mane may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression., although they’re not a suitable replacement for traditional talk therapy and medication.3

Immune Support 

The polysaccharides, beta-glucans, and other compounds found in Lion's Mane mushrooms may have a positive effect on the production of white blood cells, reducing oxidative stress, reducing inflammation, and stimulating the production of cytokines. Additionally, the polyphenols found in Lion's Mane mushrooms may help to protect the gut microbiome, reducing the growth of harmful bacteria and promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria. 

Helps Treat Diabetes 

Studies have shown that Lion's Mane mushrooms may help to reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. In one study, diabetic rats were given a daily dose of Lion's Mane extract and their blood sugar levels were significantly lower than those of the control group.4 Additionally, Lion's Mane may help to reduce the inflammation associated with diabetes, although further research is required.

Helps Treat Infections

Studies have shown that Lion's Mane may help fight off a variety of bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. In one study, Lion's Mane was found to have strong antibacterial activity against E. coli, while in another study, it was found to be effective against the fungus Candida albicans and the herpes simplex virus.5 

Helps Heal Wounds

Studies have shown that Lion's Mane mushrooms contain compounds that are beneficial for wound healing.6 These compounds include polysaccharides, which help to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Furthermore, the mushroom has been found to stimulate the production of collagen, which is essential for wound healing.

Nutrients In Lion's Mane Mushroom 

Lion’s mane mushrooms are a great source of essential minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients. They contain high amounts of B vitamins, D, C, and K, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, iron, and potassium, dietary fiber, protein, and essential fatty acids, antioxidants, beta-glucans, hericenones, and other beneficial compounds. Eating Lion's Mane mushrooms may help boost the immune system, support brain health, and provide a variety of other health benefits.

Tips For Cleaning Lion's Mane Mushrooms 

When preparing Lion's Mane mushrooms for cooking, clean them properly to ensure that the mushrooms are safe to eat. Here are some tips for cleaning Lion's Mane mushrooms:

  1. Gently brush off any dirt or debris from the surface of the mushroom.
  2. Rinse the mushrooms in cold water, making sure to remove any dirt or debris that may still be on the surface.
  3. Gently dry the mushrooms with a paper towel.
  4. Slice off the stem of the mushroom and discard it, as it is not edible.
  5. Slice the mushroom into thin slices and place them on a clean cutting board.
  6.  Use a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining dirt or debris.
  7. Place the sliced mushrooms in a colander and rinse them with cold water.
  8. Dry the mushrooms with a paper towel. 
  9. They are now ready to be cooked!

Cooking Methods For Lion's Mane Mushroom 

Lion's mane mushrooms can be cooked in a variety of ways and each method brings out a different flavor and texture. Here are some tips for cooking Lion's Mane mushrooms.

Boiling is one of the simplest methods for cooking Lion's Mane mushrooms. It is also the fastest way to cook them. Simply add the mushrooms to a pot of boiling water and let them cook for about five minutes. This is best for dishes that require a softer texture.

Sautéing is a great way to bring out the flavor of Lion's Mane mushrooms. Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of butter or oil. Once the butter or oil is hot, add the mushrooms and sauté for about five minutes. 

Roasting brings out the nutty flavor of Lion's Mane mushrooms. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the mushrooms in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes. 

Grilling gives the Lion's Mane mushrooms a smoky flavor. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Place the mushrooms on the grill and cook for about five minutes, flipping once. 


Suggested Recipe For Lion's Mane 

Whether you're looking for a savory side dish or a main course, there are several ways to enjoy this superfood. Here are some of our favorite recipes for cooking with Lion's Mane mushrooms.

Sauteed Lion's Mane mushrooms make a delicious and nutritious addition to any meal. This recipe is quick and easy to prepare, and is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.

- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 pound of Lion's Mane mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add the sliced mushrooms and garlic to the skillet and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Season the mushrooms with the sea salt and pepper.
4. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown and tender.
5. Add the fresh parsley and stir to combine.
6. Serve the sautéed Lion's Mane mushrooms warm. 


Roasted Lion's Mane mushroom is an easy and delicious way to enjoy this superfood. This method brings out the earthy flavor of the mushrooms and adds a crunchy texture.

- 1 pound of Lion's Mane mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional herbs and spices for flavor

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Clean the mushrooms with a damp cloth or paper towel.
3. Cut the mushrooms into 1/2-inch slices.
4. Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
6. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown and crispy.
7. Add optional herbs and spices for added flavor.
8. Serve and enjoy.


How To Store Lion’s Mane Mushrooms 

Storing Lion's Mane mushrooms is an important step in making sure you get the most out of this superfood. Here’s how to store them properly.

Fresh Lion's Mane mushrooms should be stored in a cool, dry place. If you have purchased them fresh, they should be stored in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Make sure to check the mushrooms for any signs of mold or decay before storing them. Consume these mushrooms as soon as possible so they don’t go bad.

Dried Lion's Mane mushrooms should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. The container should be kept away from direct sunlight and moisture.

Lion’s mane supplements should be stored according to the instructions on the label. Generally, they should be kept in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture as well.


Cooked Lion's Mane Mushroom Vs Lion's Mane Supplements: Which One Is The Best For You? 

Are you considering adding Lion's Mane mushrooms to your diet? While both cooked Lion's Mane mushrooms and Lion's Mane supplements offer a range of health benefits, you are still left with the question of which one is right for you.  All in all, it boils down to your preference.

If you are living that fast-paced lifestyle and don’t have the time to cook, or if you love cooking but cooking doesn’t love you, Lion’s Mane supplements are perfect for you.  You can easily pop them in your mouth anytime, anywhere.  But if you are a foodie and want to incorporate Lion’s Mane mushrooms into your diet, go ahead and get the pot boiling and taste the deliciousness and benefits of these mushrooms in every bite.

There are a few considerations to have when weighing cooking Lion’s Mane mushroom vs. Lion’s Mane supplements, however. 

Lion’s mane mushrooms can be a little difficult to get your hands on. Your local grocery store may not carry it, and you may have to seek out an Asian grocery chain to purchase them.

Fresh Lion’s Mane mushrooms are expensive, going anywhere from $14 to $16 per pound (or more, depending). If you’re on a budget, it might be better to opt for supplements instead of cooking them fresh.

Cooking Lion’s Mane may eliminate some of the vitamins contained within Lion’s Mane. That being said, it’s not going to completely eliminate the benefits. Don’t feel as though you have to take supplements because you’re worried you might not get the most out of this mushroom when you cook it. 

Choosing The Best Supplement With Lion's Mane 

When choosing a Lion's Mane supplement, it is important to pay attention to the quality of the product. Look for a supplement that is made from a reputable source and is free from any artificial additives or fillers. It is essential to look for a supplement that is certified organic and non-GMO and provides a certificate of analysis (COA) that verifies the product's purity and potency. Finally, it is crucial to look for a supplement that is produced in a GMP-compliant facility to ensure the highest quality product.

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Final Thoughts 

Lion's Mane mushrooms are a delicious and nutritious addition to any diet. Whether you choose to cook them or take a supplement, you can enjoy the numerous health benefits that Lion's Mane mushrooms have to offer. Just make sure to choose a high-quality supplement and store the mushrooms properly for the best results.

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Check out these recommended blogs:

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Is it better to eat Lion's Mane mushrooms raw or cooked? 

It is best to cook Lion's Mane mushrooms before eating them. Raw Lion's Mane can be quite tough and difficult to digest. Cooking them helps to soften them up a bit, making them more palatable.

What is the nutrition of the cooked Lion's Mane? 

Cooked Lion's Mane mushrooms are a good source of dietary fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. They are rich in antioxidants and are a good source of B-complex vitamins, such as niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid.

What does a Lion's Mane mushroom taste like when you cook it? 

Cooked Lion's Mane mushrooms have a mild flavor with a slightly sweet, nutty taste. They can be cooked in numerous ways, from sautéing to roasting, and can be added to  dishes, from soups and salads to stir-fries and casseroles. The types of seasonings you add will play a role in the final product.

Does the Lion's Mane have lasting effects? 

Lion's mane mushrooms are believed to have numerous health benefits, including supporting brain health, boosting the immune system, and beyond. However, like any supplement, these benefits may only last as long as you take Lion’s Mane. 

How long does the Lion's Mane stay fresh? 

Lion's mane mushrooms should be stored in a cool, dry place and can stay fresh for up to two weeks. If you plan to cook them, it is best to use them within a few days of purchase. Otherwise, they can become soggy, moldy, and rotten. 

What are the side effects of the Lion's Mane? 

Generally, Lion's Mane mushrooms are considered safe and have few known side effects. However, some people may experience mild digestive discomfort, such as bloating or gas, after consuming them. Because this is a food, there is a chance that you could be allergic. Keep an eye out for any major health issues, and speak with a healthcare professional before incorporating them into your routine. 

How long does a Lion's Mane take to grow? 

Lion's mane mushrooms typically take between five and eight weeks to grow. The exact time will depend on the variety of Lion's Mane and the growing conditions. If you plan on growing your own, make sure you’ve carefully researched what conditions they need in order to thrive. 

Can I mix Lion's Mane with water? 

Yes, you can mix Lion's Mane mushrooms with water. However, the mushrooms will absorb the water, so it is best to use only a small amount.

How much Lion's Mane can you eat? 

There’s no limit to how much Lion’s mane you can eat, given that it’s going to be incorporated into a dish. If you’re curious as to how much of a supplement you should be taking, the recommended dosage of Lion's Mane mushroom tends to hover anywhere between 500mg and 3000mg. The dosage may vary depending on individual needs and health goals. Start with the lowest dose possible and work your way up until you experience the benefits you’re looking for.


  1. Lion’s mane mushrooms: Benefits and side effects. (2018, October 22).
  2. Active compound in Lion’s Mane mushroom improves nerve growth and memory. (2023, February 13).
  3. Health Benefits Of Lion’s Mane. (2023, January 11). Forbes Health.
  4. Yi, Z., Shao-long, Y., Ai-hong, W., Zhi-chun, S., Ya-fen, Z., Ye-ting, X., & Yu-ling, H. (2015). Protective Effect of Ethanol Extracts ofHericium erinaceuson Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Neuropathic Pain in Rats. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2015, 1–5.
  5. Basnet, B. B., Liu, L., Bao, L., & Liu, H. (2017). Current and future perspective on antimicrobial and anti-parasitic activities of Ganoderma sp.: an update. Mycology, 8(2), 111–124.
  6. Sharifi-Rad, J., Butnariu, M., Ezzat, S. M., Adetunji, C. O., Imran, M., Sobhani, S. R., Tufail, T., Hosseinabadi, T., Ramírez-Alarcón, K., Martorell, M., Maroyi, A., & Martins, N. (2020). Mushrooms-Rich Preparations on Wound Healing: From Nutritional to Medicinal Attributes. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 11.
  7. Lion’s Mane Mushroom. (n.d.).

June 19, 2023 — Griffin Lynch

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