Foraging Pittsburgh

Wild Food Walks, Workshops, & Guided Nature Hikes

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Lion’s Mane Mushroom For Depression


Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) for depression… ever consider it?  If you haven’t, perhaps the results from a particular study may change your mind (1).

Consuming 2 grams a day for 4 weeks reduced depression and anxiety in female subjects. Results were evaluated using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D) — a common self-screening test used to measure depressive feelings and behaviors.

Lion’s mane has been well researched in the cognitive-improvement arena, so it makes sense that this mushroom might also play some role in alleviating depressive symptoms.  The researchers in this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial suggested that 2 classes of nerve growth factor promoting compounds — hericenones and erinacines — might have something to do with the results, though “more research is needed.”  (Isn’t this always the case?)

Regardless, seriously consider checking out this mushroom if your mental state isn’t feeling so strong.  No — depression isn’t caused by a deficiency of an icicle-like fungus, though it may have something to do with a complete lack of nature connection.

Therefore, seek out wild lion’s mane, and perhaps the act of spending time in nature will do more for your well-being than any mushroom alone ever could.