Head To Head: Lion's Mane & Cordyceps Showdown
Mushrooms have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties. And today, the use is becoming more popular. Why not, the health benefits are numerous. However, choosing these mushrooms can sometimes be tricky. But, not anymore.
We will be comparing two of the most common mushrooms around. Lion’s mane and Cordyceps, both of which have a variety of health benefits. They have been used to boost immunity, improve cognitive function, and enhance physical performance.
In this article, we will be comparing Lion's mane and Cordyceps to see which one is better for you. We will look at their health benefits, potential side effects, and more. We will also discuss the possible benefits of taking them together.
By the end of this article, you will have the knowledge to make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
What Are Lion's Mane Mushrooms?
Lion’s mane mushrooms, also known as Hericium erinaceus, are a type of edible mushroom that grows on dead or dying hardwood trees. Native to North America, Europe, and Asia, these mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine for centuries.
Lion’s mane mushrooms have a unique shape and appearance, resembling a white, shaggy mane. It is believed to have many health benefits, including improving cognitive function, boosting the immune system, and helping with sleep.
In addition to their potential health benefits, lion’s mane mushrooms are also popular for their culinary uses. They can be added to soups, stir-fries, salads, and other dishes for a unique flavor and texture.
How Do They Work?
Lion's Mane contains compounds called beta-glucans, which are known to have a variety of health benefits. Beta-glucans are polysaccharides, which are long chains of simple sugars that are linked together.
When consumed, these compounds are broken down by enzymes in the stomach and small intestine, which then makes them available for absorption into the bloodstream.
Once in the bloodstream, beta-glucans can interact with the body's immune system. They are known to stimulate the production of macrophages, which are white blood cells that help to fight off infection and disease.
Benefits Of Lion's Mane
Lion's mane mushrooms are prized for their potential health benefits. Studies have shown that these mushrooms contain a number of compounds that may provide a variety of health benefits. Here are some of the benefits you should note:
- Immune System Boost: Lion's mane mushrooms contain polysaccharides and beta-glucans, which are both known to help boost the immune system. Studies have shown that these compounds can help to improve the body's natural defense against disease.
- Reduce Symptoms Of Depression And Anxiety: Lion's Mane mushrooms may help to increase levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood and improving sleep. A 2010 study of menopausal women found that eating cookies containing lion’s mane mushrooms daily for 1 month helped reduce self-reported feelings of irritation and anxiety.
- Cardiovascular Protection: Lion's mane mushrooms contain compounds that can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can help to protect against cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown that these mushrooms can help to reduce cholesterol levels and improve blood pressure.
Cancer-Fighting: Studies have shown that Lion's mane mushrooms can help to fight cancer. They contain compounds that can help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and even help to induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells.
According to research, Lion's mane extract was more effective than traditional cancer medications at slowing tumor growth in mice, as well as having fewer side effects.
- Cognitive Benefits: Lion's mane mushrooms are believed to improve cognitive functions and concentration. A recent research published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience in June 2020 discovered that consuming three 350 mg capsules of lion's mane daily for 49 weeks may have led to significant improvements in brain health in individuals with mild Alzheimer's disease.
What Are Cordyceps?
Cordyceps is a type of fungus that grows on the larvae of certain insects. They have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and have recently gained popularity in the Western world due to their many health benefits. Mostly found in high-altitude regions of China, Nepal, and Tibet.
They are composed of a stroma or stem, and a head or cap. The stroma is part of the mushroom that is visible above the ground and the head is the part that is underground. They are available in a variety of forms, including capsules, powders, and teas. They can also be found in some natural health stores in the form of dried mushrooms.
How Do They Work?
They contain compounds called polysaccharides, which are similar to beta-glucans found in Lion's mane mushrooms. These compounds can help to regulate the immune system, improving its ability to fight off infections and diseases.
Once in the bloodstream, polysaccharides can interact with the body's immune system. They are known to stimulate the production of cytokines, which help to regulate the body's immune response.
Another way that cordyceps works in the body is by stimulating the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary source of energy for cells. This can lead to increased energy levels and improved athletic performance.
Benefits Of Cordyceps
Cordyceps mushrooms are known for their medicinal properties and are believed to have a wide range of health benefits.
- Improved Physical Performance: Cordyceps works in the body by stimulating the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary source of energy for cells. Studies have shown that taking Cordyceps can improve aerobic capacity, endurance, and exercise performance. They are believed to also improve physical performance by increasing oxygen uptake and energy production.
- Boosts the Immune System: According to the Frontiers literature review, cordyceps contains a number of compounds that have an immunostimulatory effect, which means they modify the body's immune system response. Improving your immune response can assist your body in fighting infections and keeping you healthy.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Cordyceps is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis. Research has shown that when human cells are exposed to Cordyceps, special proteins that increase inflammation in the body become suppressed.
- Anti-Aging Properties: Cordyceps is believed to have anti-aging properties, which can help reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles and sagging skin. Several studies have found that Cordyceps increase antioxidants in aged mice, helping improve memory and sexual function.
- Anti-Cancer Properties: According to one research, a cordyceps sinensis extract may suppress tumor growth and be a potential adjuvant chemotherapeutic agent. Adjuvant chemotherapy is a form of augmentation therapy that is usually used in addition to a primary therapy to maximize treatment effectiveness.
Lion's Mane Vs Cordyceps: Key Differences
When it comes to choosing between Lion's mane and Cordyceps mushrooms, there are a few key differences that can help you make an informed decision. Here are the key things you should know:
Lion's mane mushrooms have a mild, sweet flavor that is often described as a combination of seafood and nuts. They can be eaten raw, cooked, or brewed into tea. The taste is often described as “earthy” and “woody.”
Cordyceps mushrooms have a savory, umami flavor and an earthy, nutty taste similar to that of chestnut mushrooms. They can also be eaten raw, cooked, or brewed into tea. The taste is often described as “earthy” and “mildly sweet.”
Lion's mane and Cordyceps mushrooms are both packed with a variety of health benefits and can be used in many ways. Lion's mane is most commonly used as a dietary supplement and can be taken in pill, capsule, or powder form. It can also be brewed into tea or added to smoothies, soups, and other recipes.
Cordyceps, on the other hand, is most commonly used as a tea, but can also be taken in pill, capsule, or powder form.
Lion’s mane is known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties. Studies have shown that Lion’s Mane can help boost your immune system, protect against cardiovascular diseases, and reduce the risk of cancer. It can also help improve concentration, cognitive functions, and memory.
Cordyceps is known for its adaptogenic properties. It has been used for centuries to treat fatigue, boost energy, and improve physical performance.
It is important to note that the effects of Lion’s mane and Cordyceps may vary from person to person. It is best to consult with your healthcare provider before taking either mushroom supplement to ensure you are taking the right dosage and to avoid any potential side effects.
Choosing Which One Is Better For You
Choosing which mushroom is best for you can be a difficult decision. Both Lion's mane and Cordyceps have their own unique benefits, so it’s important to consider the specific needs of your body when making a decision.
Lion’s mane is a great choice for those looking to improve their cognitive functions, strengthen their immune system, and protect against cardiovascular diseases.
Cordyceps, on the other hand, is a great choice for those looking to improve their athletic performance, increase their testosterone levels, and boost their energy levels.
Stacking Mushrooms: Benefits Of Taking Them Together
Combining two or more mushrooms can produce a synergistic effect that enhances the individual benefits of each mushroom. Lion's mane and Cordyceps are two of the most popular mushrooms used for stacking, as they offer a range of complementary health benefits.
Boosts Your Immune System
Studies have found that Lion's mane contains a variety of compounds that can help to stimulate the immune system.9 Cordyceps mushrooms are also known to be immune-boosting.
Both Lion's Mane and Cordyceps mushrooms can help to boost your immune system, but the compounds in each mushroom may work differently in the body. For best results, it is recommended to take both mushrooms together as part of a daily supplement regimen.
Possible Cancer Benefits
When it comes to possible cancer benefits, both Lion’s mane and Cordyceps mushrooms have been studied for their potential to help. Lion’s mane has been studied for its potential to inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells. It has been found to have anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
The polysaccharides and triterpenoids found in Cordyceps have been shown to reduce the proliferation of cancer cells by inducing apoptosis. Additionally, one study showed that Cordyceps had the potential to reduce the size of tumors in mice.
Adaptogens are a category of natural substances that help the body adapt to stress, improve energy levels, and promote overall health. Lion’s mane and Cordyceps are two of the most popular adaptogens on the market, and they both offer a range of benefits.
Lion’s mane contains a compound called hericenones, which is known to reduce stress, improve memory, and enhance cognitive function. Cordyceps, on the other hand, is packed with polysaccharides, which are beneficial for reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system. They are both powerful adaptogens that can help the body adapt to stress, improve energy levels, and promote overall health.
Pre-Workout Energy Boost
Lion’s mane and Cordyceps mushrooms are two natural alternatives that have been shown to provide an energy boost when taken before exercise.
Both Lion’s mane and Cordyceps mushrooms can provide a sustained energy boost before exercise, which can help you push harder and longer in the gym. They can also help to reduce fatigue and improve endurance, which can lead to better results from your workouts.
If you’re looking for a natural alternative to caffeine for a pre-workout energy boost, then Lion’s mane and Cordyceps mushrooms may be worth considering.
Protection Against Cardiovascular Diseases
The potential benefits of Lion's Mane and Cordyceps mushrooms for protecting against cardiovascular diseases are still being studied, but early research suggests that they could be beneficial. Studies have shown that Lion's Mane can reduce inflammation, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Cordyceps has also been found to have a positive effect on heart health.
Both Lion's Mane and Cordyceps mushrooms have the potential to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of these mushrooms for protecting against heart disease.
Improves Concentration And Cognitive Functions
Lion's Mane and Cordyceps are two of the most popular mushrooms for this purpose, and both have been found to have beneficial effects on brain health. Both Lion's Mane and Cordyceps have been found to have beneficial effects on cognitive function and concentration. They can both help to improve memory and focus, as well as reduce anxiety and depression.
How To Take Lion's Mane And Cordyceps Together
Taking Lion's Mane and Cordyceps mushrooms together can provide a powerful combination of health benefits. The two mushrooms have different active ingredients and can be taken together to provide a synergistic effect.
The most common way to take Lion's Mane and Cordyceps together is to use a supplement that contains both mushrooms. This is usually in the form of a powder. Both can be added to your tea or any preferred drink. The dosage of the supplement will depend on the product, so make sure to read the label carefully.
Lion's Mane and Cordyceps mushrooms offer a variety of health benefits, including boosting the immune system, providing cancer protection, and improving cognitive functions. They can be taken together for even more powerful effects, such as increased energy, better concentration, and improved cardiovascular health.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which one is best for your individual needs. Both mushrooms are safe to take, however, it's important to speak with your doctor before adding any new supplements to your routine. With the right information and guidance, you can make an informed decision and reap the health benefits of these amazing mushrooms.
For additional reading, check out:
- Cannabis Derived Terpenes: What You Should Know
- What Are Terpenes? A Beginner’s Guide
- What Is Live Resin? Live Resin 101
Should you take lion's mane or Cordyceps everyday?
The general consensus is that taking either Lion’s Mane or Cordyceps every day is unlikely to cause any harm. However, it is always best to check with your doctor before taking any supplement, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
What mushroom is best for brain health?
Both Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps have been shown to have beneficial effects on brain health. However, lion’s Mane has been found to improve cognitive function, reduce inflammation, and even protect against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Does lion's mane increase dopamine?
Studies have found that Lion’s Mane can increase levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the brain’s reward system.
Does cordyceps increase testosterone?
Studies have found that Cordyceps can increase levels of testosterone, a hormone that is important for maintaining muscle mass, libido, and energy levels. A 2017 functional study indicated that cordyceps can be effective in treating people with testosterone deficiencies.
What mushroom is best for anti-aging?
Both Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps have been found to have anti-aging properties. Lion’s mane has been thought to reduce inflammation, protect against oxidative stress, and even reduce wrinkles. Cordyceps have been found to reduce inflammation, protect against oxidative stress, and even improve skin elasticity.
Can I take CBD with lion's mane and cordyceps?
It is generally safe to take CBD with Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps. However, it is always best to talk to your doctor before taking any supplement.
- Chong, P. S., Fung, M.-L., Wong, K. H., & Lim, L. W. (2019). Therapeutic potential of hericium erinaceus for depressive disorder. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(1), 163. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010163
- Li, G., Yu, K., Li, F., Xu, K., Li, J., He, S., Cao, S., & Tan, G. (2014). Anticancer potential of hericium erinaceus extracts against human gastrointestinal cancers. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 153(2), 521–530. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2014.03.003
- Li, I.-C., Chang, H.-H., Lin, C.-H., Chen, W.-P., Lu, T.-H., Lee, L.-Y., Chen, Y.-W., Chen, Y.-P., Chen, C.-C., & Lin, D. P.-C. (2020). Prevention of early alzheimer’s disease by Erinacine a-enriched hericium erinaceus mycelia pilot double-blind placebo-controlled study. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2020.00155
- Park, S.-Y., Jung, S.-J., Ha, K.-C., Sin, H.-S., Jang, S.-H., Chae, H.-J., & Chae, S.-W. (2014). Anti-inflammatory effects of cordyceps mycelium (Paecilomyces Hepiali, CBG-CS-2) in raw264.7 murine macrophages. Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine, 15(1), 7–12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13596-014-0173-3
- Ji, D.-B., Ye, J., Li, C.-L., Wang, Y.-H., Zhao, J., & Cai, S.-Q. (2008). Antiaging effect of cordyceps sinensis extract. Phytotherapy Research, 23(1), 116–122. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.2576
- Ji, N.-F., Yao, L.-S., Li, Y., He, W., Yi, K.-S., & Huang, M. (2011). Polysaccharide of cordyceps sinensis enhances cisplatin cytotoxicity in non–small cell lung cancer H157 cell line. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 10(4), 359–367. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534735410392573
- Yamaguchi, N., Yoshida, J., Ren, L. J., Chen, H., Miyazawa, Y., Fujii, Y., Huang, Y. X., Takamura, S., Suzuki, S., Koshimura, S., & Zeng, F. D. (1990). Augmentation of various immune reactivities of tumor-bearing hosts with an extract ofcordyceps sinensis. Biotherapy, 2(3), 199–205. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02173520
- Chen, Y.-C., Chen, Y.-H., Pan, B.-S., Chang, M.-M., & Huang, B.-M. (2017). Functional study of Cordyceps sinensis and Cordycepin in male reproduction: A Review. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, 25(1), 197–205. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfda.2016.10.020
- Lai PL, Naidu M, Sabaratnam V, Wong KH, David RP, Kuppusamy UR, Abdullah N, Malek SN. Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2013;15(6):539-54. doi: 10.1615/intjmedmushr.v15.i6.30. PMID: 24266378.