Lion’s Mane Mushroom for Multiple Sclerosis

For over multiple centuries, Asian medicine has used medicinal mushrooms to treat a multitude of diseases of multiple complexities. Different types of mushrooms have been identified to have positive impact on immune system and diseases associated with it, including Multiple Sclerosis.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a Central Nervous System disorder where the immune system attacks the myelin sheath of neurons. It is a progressive disease which is caused due to damage in the fatty layer surrounding the axons, interrupting electrical impulses. Symptoms of the disease include extreme fatigue, impaired vision, muscle spasms, weak bladder control, memory loss, difficulty in hand-eye coordination and partial or complete paralysis.

Since there is no treatment for MS yet, it is commonly managed through medications and alternate ways in the relapse stages. Medicinal mushrooms, which have shown very promising results in other neurological diseases, have also been researched in the context of MS.

One medicinal mushroom has shown potential in having factors which promote neurological health and nerve cell growth. The mushroom is called Lion’s Mane mushroom, and has been the part of Asian medicine for a long time; only recently it has been researched and accepted into Western medicine.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s Mane mushroom, scientifically names as Hericium erinaceus is a medicinal mushroom which has been researched for its potential to treat and possibly reversed neurological disorders. In Japan it is known as yamabushitake and is believed to give “nerves of steel” which can be related to it having properties which stimulate nerve cell growth and regeneration.

In particular some studies in other animals have shown Lion’s Mane to promote nerve growth and myelin sheath production and stimulating it an increased pace. This has proven to be helpful in managing and recovering from a relapse stage in MS.

One research which studies the effects of Lion’s Mane, subjected rats with severe nerve injury with extract of the mushroom and compared to a control group which wasn’t treated. The results showed that the rats treated with lion’s mane had improvements in different factors that accelerated peripheral nerve cell regeneration; and showed a better immune activity.

The mushroom has the powers to stimulate synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). NGF is a protein that promotes maintenance and regeneration of nerve cells in both, the central and peripheral nervous systems.

NGF protein also plays an important role in stimulating the production of myelin sheath around cells. The study found NGF to protect oligodenrocytes, which are myelin producing cells; and the production of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).

Lion’s Mane mushroom also proved to stimulate a decrease in beta-amyloid plaques; which are proteins that develop in the myelin sheath and disrupt neurotransmission. The study involved injecting rats with neurotoxin peptides which induces plaque formation. After treatments with Lion’s Mane in their diets, the rats improved in their cognitive abilities and developed new neurons.

Showing promising results Lion’s Mane proves to be of qualities which can aid in achieving a comparatively easy and quick recovery from MS relapses. Rich with other vitamins and minerals along with providing the benefit above, Lion’s Mane mushroom can be found in the forests of Asia, North America and Europe. For the ones who don’t have access, there are supplements available which provide all the benefits to manage MS.

When taking any mushroom, it should be antibiotic free because most of the commercial growers use antibiotics to protect the mushroom and have a high yield. The mushroom comes in multiple forms, such as dried powder and extracts. The absorption of the nutrients varies according to the form of the mushroom used.

April 04, 2018 by

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