✓ Medically Reviewed and Fact-Checked by Dr. Jesse Ropat, PharmD, RPh, B.Sc.
Lion’s Mane (Hericium Erinaceus) is an edible mushroom that grows on hardwoods. It’s most commonly found on the trunks of dying oak, walnut, birch, and maple trees.
Now, that may not sound very appetizing. But hear us out. These furry, white mushrooms are loaded with health benefits.
Lion’s Mane has been used for culinary and medical purposes in Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, China, and India for centuries. While the mushroom provides benefits when eaten cooked or raw, its extracts can also be used in health supplements.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms have been shown to enhance memory and improve mental clarity. It has even started to gain research for potentially fighting Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and even cardio- and cerebrovascular disease. Although these studies come from animal models, they show incredible promise. Hopefully, this will be explored more with human clinical trials.
As we age, the rate at which our brains develop new cells declines. But studies show that consuming Lion’s Mane mushrooms can promote neuron development and growth. This stimulation of new cell growth is why Lion’s Mane can also function as a preventative against Alzheimer’s disease.
For example, in one study, the consumption of Lion’s Mane mushrooms helped diminish memory loss symptoms in mice. It also seemed to protect neurons in mice against amyloid-beta plaques, which have been shown to build up in the brain as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.
The proposed mechanism for this is that lion’s mane stimulates the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) proteins. This crucial protein improves neuron survival and may improve health outcomes from a variety of neurological conditions.
Consuming Lion’s Mane unleashes its antioxidant properties, and reduces chronic inflammation, which is thought to be the basis and a key marker of many illnesses today, from autoimmune disorders to cardiovascular disease. One study showed that Lion’s Mane fights against inflammation and prevents ulcers in the stomach.
More practically for us just looking to improve our health, the theory goes, is that it can reduce minor inflammation as well. This means it may have many of the same benefits as other anti-inflammatory supplements, like omega-3s.
However, because research on the mushroom has been done mostly on animals, we’re looking forward to more human research.
With that said, it’s a safe, inexpensive supplement. It even comes in some fun forms, like coffee. So let’s get into the best lion’s mane supplements.
*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.
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RealMushrooms are the leading experts on mushroom supplementation. They’ve been family owned and operated for over 40 years, and specialize in making the highest quality, organic mushroom products.
They’re one of the only companies that third-party test their mushrooms for beta-glucan content, which is what gives mushrooms supplements like Lion’s Mane their effectiveness. With RealMushrooms, you know you’re getting tested, science-backed products.
This Lion’s Mane supplement by Realmushrooms is a great bulk and powder-based option. They extract their product from the “fruiting body” part of the mushroom, which is what contains these beta-glucans, and are the part of the mushroom that lives above ground. The powder can be added to your coffee, smoothie, or any recipe.
RealMushrooms is a reputable, practitioner-approved brand, and its products are quality tested at accredited third-party labs. The powder contains no added starch, mycelium, or grains. It is also USDA Certified Organic, Certified Kosher, gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan.
Lastly, this product contains 60 grams of abstract mushroom powder, which can provide 30 to 60 servings, making it also one of the best values on the market.
In other words, it’s the highest quality and the best value. This makes RealMushrooms a no-brainer for our top spot.
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RealMushrooms also has a capsule version of the same quality. It’s third-party tested for beta-glucan content, pure mushrooms extract, and free of any grain fillers.
The powder contains no added starch, mycelium, or grains. It is also USDA Certified Organic, Certified Kosher, gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan.
Every capsule has 500mg of Lion’s Mane. You can purchase 120 capsules for $29.95 (before our discount), or 300 capsules for $59.95.
This is competitively priced with other products, but the only one at this price that ensures you’re getting the highest quality.
PerpetuaLife’s mushroom product is a little different than the others on the list. In addition to lion’s mane, it includes 9 other mushrooms. All of these mushrooms have different active compounds, and therefore varying benefits. Reishi, for example, may support the immune system, while turkey tail has been shown to support gut health.
In terms of an all-in-one product to get a full spectrum of mushroom benefits, it’s hard to beat PertuaLife Shrooms.
And they come in gummy form, so that’s fun.
This Lion’s Mane supplement from Double Woods is a great affordable option. It provides a 4-month supply for under 20 dollars. It is also gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and vegan.
It’s manufactured in the USA, where it is tested for potency using high-quality ingredients. And if you don’t enjoy the product, Double Woods promises a money-back guarantee, which shows they’re confident in their supplement.
Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom Elixir Mix is one of the most popular lion’s mane supplements on the market. It also comes in powder form, and they have convenient travel packets.
What’s different about this product is that it’s actually a replacement for coffee, but with much less caffeine. It has 50mg of caffeine compared to a cup of coffee which has ~125mg. So it can help you wean off of your caffeine addiction, while getting all of the benefits of Lion’s Mane.
Four Sigmatic is vegan, gluten-free, and made in the USA.
Ath’s Shrooms contains 400 milligrams each of 4 popular nootropic mushrooms: Cordyceps, Maitake, Chaga, and Lion’s Mane.
This mushroom combination may improve oxygen and mental clarity, as well as delay the onset of fatigue. It can be taken in the morning, 10 to 15 minutes before training.
This supplement is also gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, keto and paleo-friendly, and made in the USA.
Price: $16- 28.00
This Lion’s Mane supplement by Kos is the best of both worlds. It’s the only pick on our list that comes in both powder and capsule form.
The product is said to give your brain and mood a boost. The reviews seem to agree, as many people reported experiencing reduced brain fog and improved mood. Kos also provides a 60-day money-back guarantee, showing that they believe in their product.
This Kos Lion’s Mane supplement is non-GMO, plant-based, made in the USA, and USDA organic.
To use, you can put one scoop of Kos Lion’s Mane powder in any food dish, smoothie, or beverage. The powder contains 104 servings, but the capsules only contain 30 servings.
This is because Kos recommends taking 3 capsules a day.
This Lion’s Mane supplement by FreshCap is another great affordable option. Each bottle contains 120 capsules, which is roughly 60 servings. You can also take this supplement any time of day, with or without food.
They also test it both before and after packaging for pesticides, gluten, and heavy metals.
It’s Non-GMO, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and vegan. Even the capsule is made with plant-based material.
And with 607 raving reviews, you can expect to see results while taking this FreshCap supplement.
This Lion’s Mane by Piping Rock is perfect for someone wanting a super affordable but reliable supplement. This supplement contains 2100 milligrams of Lion’s Mane mushroom extract in every capsule, and the bottle has 120 capsules inside. That is a 4 month supply of brain food for only $15!
Piping Rock’s Lion’s Mane supplement is also gluten-free, lactose-free, soy-free, Non-GMO, and vegetarian. It also is free from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. In other words, this supplement contains only the good stuff. In fact, the only ingredients listed are Lion’s Mane mushroom extract and black pepper.
Lastly, it has a 4.7 rating with over 200 reviews, so I’d say it’s definitely worth a try!
This Lion’s Mane supplement by NOW Foods is made with organic Lion’s Mane mushrooms.
Specifically, NOW Foods uses mushrooms’ fruiting bodies containing naturally produced beta-glucans, which are known for stimulating the immune system.
This supplement is also nut-free, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO. The only downside is, like the Kos capsule option, NOW Food’s bottle only contains 30 servings. However, if you’re looking to try out a Lion’s Mane supplement to see how it works for you, this is a good starter option.
Last but not least, we have another mushroom blend on the list. This Complex Brain Supplement by Future Kind consists of 4 powerful mushrooms: Lion’s Mane, Chaga (a superfood known for reducing inflammation), Maitake (improves energy and focus), and Shiitake (supports the immune system).
This mushroom combination is said to improve cognitive functioning, support the immune system, and provide an energy boost. And if it doesn’t, Future Kind provides a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Future Kind’s supplement is labeled as vegan, non-GMO, and free from all major allergens. It is also tested for quality assurance at a third-party lab.
Here are the major considerations we took to make this list.
Obviously this is what’s most important. Specifically when it comes to Lion’s Mane supplements, remember that it’s the beta-glucans that make the magic. That’s why companies that actually test and disclose their beta-glucan content deserve a nudge.
That’s exactly the case with RealMushrooms.
We also looked for products free of fillers and with strict-testing standards.
Lion’s Mane supplements come in capsules and powders alike. It’s a personal preference which you prefer, but I’m a big fan of the Lion’s Mane coffee idea.
We also looked at the overall cost, as well as the dose of actual Lion’s Mane to assess the overall value.
Even when consumed in high quantities, lion’s mane mushrooms and their extracts are safe.
However, people have experienced allergic reactions. Obviously, if you’re allergic to mushrooms, you shouldn’t take mushrooms. If you take lion’s mane and suspect you’re having an allergic reaction, then you should stop taking lion’s mane until you find out. All told, though, a mushroom allergy is uncommon. We’re not talking about peanut butter here.
Aside from those allergic to mushrooms, a few other groups should proceed with caution.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding you should talk to your doctor and get approval before taking lion’s mane, or really any supplement. Because lion’s mane impacts cognition and brain function, if you’re taking any medications related to this, you’ll want to check with your healthcare provider. Lion’s mane also has shown support for healthy blood clotting, so if you’re any blood thinning or clotting medication, talk to your healthcare provider.
Lion’s mane on its own has a taste similar to seafood. Some people say that it tastes like crab. Because this isn’t exactly what you want at 7 in the morning to start your day, most people add it to their coffee, a morning smoothie, or another beverage. So while you can take it with hot water alone, it’s going to taste a lot better in coffee. If you don’t want to deal with this, then go with a capsule option, like RealMushroom’s capsules.
The active compounds in most mushroom supplements are called “beta-glucans.” In the case of lion’s mane, these beneficial compounds are hericenones and erinacines. This is why it’s important that a lion’s mane product tests for beta-glucan levels, which have been shown to have immune benefits and antitumor effects.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for an inflammation-reducing, memory-boosting supplement, lion’s mane is a safe, simple, inexpensive one you can try. If you’re curious to learn more about another supplement that helps support cognitive functioning, check out our lists of comparing other mushroom supplements.
The best reishi mushroom supplements.
The best turkey tail mushroom supplements.
The best cordyceps supplements.