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Anyone using lion's mane mushrooms for brain health?

 
pollinator
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I have not grown my own lion's mane yet because I am in a transitional phase so I purchased a freeze dried supplement from Host Defense. I have recently begun taking this supplement as a preventative measure given that I have been in Iraq and Afghanistan. I developed PTSD from years in combat (I was an infantryman) which I have overcome but a lingering problem other than hypervigilance is short term memory loss. I have made improvements over the years through holistic approaches but I am always exploring natural remediation and of course improvement.

If you have had experiences with lion's mane or anything in this realm your input is appreciated.
 
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I've tried lions mane with an older relative who is getting forgetful. It seems to have stabilized and then slightly improved the situation. They've been taking it since the spring. We've tried the store bought capsules and tincture and recently I got some dried lions mane which I powdered in the blender. I did have to microplane the rock hard bits. They take half a teaspoon once or twice a day of the powder in some sweetened kefir, which they would have anyway. The homemade stuff is considerably cheaper. I am working on a double extraction which will be ready in a week or so.

I have some carpel tunnel pain and started taking the same dose and it seems to be helping. It's all nerve stuff.

The store bought and homemade lions mane seem equally effective. Stabilization then very slow gradual improvement.

Both our problems are wear and tear and aging issues not a result of trauma.
 
Amedean Messan
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Its good to hear another account of improving nerve functioning. I had done some research on lion's mane where ingestion is linked to improved nerve growth factor. This is where my area of interest is because of my exposures. Aside from that, you seem to be a bit experienced with this. I was planing on growing this in the future but I do not have enough information yet on harvesting for potency.
 
gardener
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I have found some Lion's Mane in the forest and ate it. I am also very slowly trying to learn how to cultivate it. It is part of my long term strategy. Other good strategies might be to keep learning new things and keep mentally challenged, and eating very high quality fats. David Perlmutter wrote "Grain Brain" which I highly recommend, and ? Davis wrote "Wheat Belly", which are both rather persuasive in explaining the research and anecdotal empirical findings about eating avocadoes, olives, nuts, seeds ( which approximately 100% of all serious nutrition scientists are in favor of) and pastured organic raw milk, eggs, butter, cheese, meat, kefir and buttermilk (which is much more highly controversial. They have to be organic, non-gmo, and pastured, or even they say it's junk. Dr. Mercola and Weston Price Foundation/Nourishing Traditions also really grooves on this stuff. They also recommend limiting or completely avoiding grains, especially wheat.
John S
PDX OR
 
steward
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Okay I know this is a serious thread and I don't want to take away from the amazing conversation you all are having but when I saw this topic text I literally pictured someone cutting a real life lion's mane off and trying to use it as a medicinal thing. As you can tell I have NO experience with medicinal plants but would really really like to get more educated in this area. I think they are amazing. I now know lion's mane is a medicinal mushroom.. Thanks google.
 
steward
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Amedean Messan
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Yes the mushroom.......
 
John Suavecito
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It's supposed to grow very easily in the wild in Lousiana and Mississippi. We see some here in the PNW, but mostly a different species. I am trying to grow it. No fruiting bodies yet, but I'm still hoping.
JohnS
PDX OR
 
Alfrun Unndis
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I used "Mushrooms for Health" by Greg A. Marley, Down East is the publisher. It's available at my library but Amazon has the book for around $10. Marley cites Japanese studies for lion's mane's success in nerve growth. He also gives instructions on how to make a double extraction tincture. He covers ten different mushrooms.

If you want to try growing some there are lions mane indoor mushroom growing kits available and spawn is available pretty widely too. I just bought the dried mushrooms from the folks I usually get my mushrooms from.
 
John Suavecito
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Since I have been looking for it more actively, I have found several in the forest this fall. They were huge and superabundant. I'm going to try to catch them a bit earlier. One one of them, the taste was not as good because it was somewhat old. Stamets and many others have referenced scientific data suggesting its value. I am now thinking that it is so large when one finds one that I might focus on gathering rather than growing it.
JohnS
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I just get it from the Stamets shelf (available at almost any thoughtful grocery-perveyor in Portland), when I am feeling not quite sharp enough for activities of daily living (known as ADL's in the social-work trade). If I am not feeling smart enough for urban ADL's, I am not smart enough to tromp around in the forest looking for something that looks close enough to an internet photo of Lion's Mane. Also,this adventure involves so much less gas expended. I can walk to the coop. If energy is flagging, I can pick up cordyceps. If I am feeling winter infection-challenged, I pick up Turkey Tail. If I am worried about a DNA challenge, I pick up Chaga.

I like to patronize this line. I most definitely do not want my favorites to go away. As a natural-health advocate, I also want to share my wild urban finds with others who are likely not going to go trekking when they feel not quite tip-top.
 
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Hello! I am new to permaculture and medicinals, however I did just grow some shiitake mushrooms from a local (Missoula) mushroom company. They do sell a lion's mane kit. It looks like they sell it as a culinary mushroom; I am not sure if it is usable as a medicinal or perhaps you just need a whole bunch! Their website is www.gardencityfungi.com

~Michelle
 
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I am just now getting my first pips on Oak logs here in Sandy Eggo , I inoculated the logs about 8 months ago. I have yet to harvest any mushrooms yet, but I have been adding an organic powdered hericium ( Lions mane) to my smoothies and soups. I think it is helping with my sciatic pain.
 
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Friend in N Cal goes to Oakland and teaches people about mushrooms. Been doing it for about 3 decades. While not a PhD or anything - he (they) DID teach a person with a Masters in Biology with an emphasis on mycology how they could functionally and easily grow a variety of mushrooms without the million $$$$ sterile lab environment.

Ray and Patty - really, really good people here, so be nice and tie into their facebook group. You'll learn more than you knew you didn't 'know. Or whatever.

www.mushroommaestros.com/classes/attend-a-class/
 
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John Saltveit wrote: I am also very slowly trying to learn how to cultivate it.


If it's helpful, Field and Forest has some excellent resources to help with cultivation. Check them out.
 
brad roon
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Amadean and Alfrun

A ketogenic diet - reduced glucose/starches/carbs from grains etc - and replacing some of that with a medium chain triglyceride like a good quality coconut oil has REVERSED Alzheimers in multiple people. It also has producee many anecdotal reports of reduced MS, ALS, etc. Neural issues all.
By reducing the carbs less glucose/glycogen is produced. Then the brain fires with ketones at about six times the efficiency. The fats repair the myelin sheathing (indicated in all alzheimers, MS, Lou Gehrigs, and many other issues) AND repairs synapses.
Lowfat/no fat diets are horrible for our bodies. We NEED cholesterol - not just for the hormones used everywhere for almost every biochemical aspect, but they are powerful anti-oxidants, necessary for (LDL here) Vitamin D3 manufacture in the skin to prevent 20+ cancers, etc.

Medicinal mushrooms are great, but like all dietary stuff, the more angles one can deal to a problem the better YOUR individual biochemistry will use the correct stuff in the correct way for you. Oh - carpal tunnel. Most don't know this but about 90% of the people w/carpal tunnel have had their neck injured - think the C6 or C7? Consider chiropractic with a barter if possible.
 
John Suavecito
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There's a real conflict in modern nutrition advice among doctors specializing in nutrition. Some, like Michael Greger, Joel Fuhrman, and Neal Barnard, emphasize plants and how they can stop heart attacks, cancer and overweight. Others, like David Perlmutter, Joseph Mercola, and Josh Axe, emphasize the value of eating fat and meat for a low glycemic load, and therefore stopping diabetes, alzheimer's disease, and thereby other things. The high fat people are insistent that you should only eat pastured organic meat or meat products. People seem very excited to have permission to eat as much meat and fat as they want, and almost none of them seem to pay attention to the crucial point that they need to be organic and pastured. I think both groups of doctors have got good points. I neither eat a high carb nor a high fat diet, although most in both camps will grudgingly admit that if you eat both high carbs and high fat, it is bad for you. Many people have decided that their side is awesome and the other side is evil. I think they are actually asking different questions. All of them agree that eating lots of organic fresh and mostly raw vegetables is probably the most important thing to do.

All agree that mushrooms are key to good health. Shiitake is the most popular because it is both a delicious culinary mushroom and an outstanding medicinal mushroom. Lion's mane is great for anti-brain degeneration, according to preliminary research.

I am almost a vegetarian, but I did just buy some pastured pork and we've been cutting it up and slowly adding bits of it to meals. This is a little bit complicated because my wife is a vegan. She is on a low fat diet. I am not. I only eat pastured organic butter but I also eat vegetable spread that is set for the right omega 3's and 6's.

In other words, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the ketogenic or vegan diets, but hardly any controversy about the idea that we should be eating a lot more mushrooms and vegetables. French fries and tater tots don't count as vegetables.
John S
PDX OR

 
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I purchased the Lions Mane indoor kit and spawn plugs from Paul Stamets company fungi.com. The kits are loads of fun and watching the mushrooms that look like a mass of ice cycles growing in the comfort of your living room is very convenient. Sauteed in butter they taste like lobster meat. Two years ago I took the plug spawn and my cordless drill to a local park (N. California) when it was raining and did some gorilla plugging on some recently downed oaks. I have seen Lions Mane in this park before so I was not introducing anything foreign, just increasing my chances of harvesting some. It has been droughty the last two years and I have not seen any fruits from my efforts. I may try again this year.
 
steward
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Because of the initial discussion in this topic I have been taking Lion's Mane since January (Stamet's brand although I'm going to be trying Aloha Botanicals next). The primary reason was because my mental acuity has been off severely since I had a near intestinal bleedout from incorrect use of pain meds. The label clearly says to take with food which, being a typical old jarhead, I had ignored. I have since progressed to a better method of pain relief.

Anyhow, my mental acuity was zilch squat shit combined with the chronic pain issues and so I started taking this fungi. The results, though anecdotal in nature, have been pretty freaking awesome. Conversion of short term memory to medium and long term has pretty much returned, although I still have some blocks on words and concepts time to time. Many things from the time of my incident (oh, the bleed out dropped my blood pressure to serious danger territory and I was very fortunate to not die) to when I started are still foggy and or non-existent in my memory. But since I began the regimen I am functionally much better.

The initial experiment was on myself, and because of my happiness with the results I have encouraged my Bride, who managed a few TBIs in the past couple of years, to begin taking it as well. There has been a noticeable improvement in her acuity and function. Her recall is much better than it was, although she still has a few lapses, but she has only been at it for a month or so now. We will continue the experiment and if anything unusual occurs I will report it further.

One side effect that I appreciate has been because my memory has improved, I'm not so cranky because I can't remember simple conversations between myself and others. I like that.
 
John Suavecito
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I am using it, but as a combination of food and preventative health. I also just think that it's fun to go hiking and find mushrooms. It also tastes good. I am able to find it in the wild and collect it. I find it here mostly on maples, which are very abundant in our area. I eat mushrooms and vegetables, sauerkraut, etc........ partly because I want to prevent a lot of the maladies I see in people who have the Standard American Diet (SAD) and Lifestyle of Standard Suburbanites (LOSS). Yes I did make up that last one. I think one of the benefits of the slow food/medicine/health/gardening lifestyle is gradually learning how to do healthier things in enjoyable ways. It's a reinvention of culture, looking back to what happier people in simpler societies do, and updating it to what we can do today.
JohN S
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Cassie Langstraat wrote: Thanks google.

try looking up Paul Stamets

webpage
 
pollinator
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We've harvested 4 lbs of Lion's Mane this year. My husband had been keeping his eye on this tree but he felt it was too sketchy to put a ladder against it (the mushroom was too high to reach). It finally fell and was very productive, fruiting in 2 spots multiple times.



I am also on a ketogenic diet as was mentioned above. I think a ketogenic diet would be more helpful than the mushrooms. Alzerheimers is starting to be called Type 3 diabetes because the brain is getting resistant to glucose. A ketogenic diet has been shown to help with that and other mental illness/issues tho I can't recall anything specifically related to hypervigilance. You need to give it a good month to adapt and see if it helps tho. Do a lot of reading before you try it. It's easy to avoid keto flu (carb withdrawal) if you know what to do.
 
Cj Sloane
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BTW we've found Lions Mane on Shagbark Hickory and Water Birch.
 
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If anyone is interested in growing Lion’s Mane for their own use or for use by family or friends, indoor culture has become very efficient. Controlled indoor growth is a way to have a reliable supply. Some of the big commercial supplier, like Fungi Perfecti and even Field and Forest Products, have sales terms than forbid spawn propagation or apply other restrictive terms on use, which is understandable but limits utility of already expensive products. Often these strains are not optimized for indoor production. Aloha Medicinals charges a lot of money for isolated strains, typically in the range of $300. However, they are providing a valuable service of preserving the strains against future loss.

There is another very affordable option. Strains from Andrew Reed and others are available on the Facebook group ‘Official Mycology Classifieds’ that have high biologic efficiency for growth indoors. Official Mycology Classified has been a very reputable group for obtaining spawn, strains and blocks that is economical and unrestricted. The sellers are small scale operations by entrepreneurs, more in the spirit of permies and are kept honest by an ongoing rating system. Andrew’s strain is very aggressive and tasty. The spore load is low, and it is super easy to fruit—from a block (of inoculated sawdust, grain and straw), just punch a hole in the bag where you want a mushroom to emerge. Unfortunately, I’m not sure yet if my brain is any better for it, but they sure taste great.
 
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John Saltveit wrote:There's a real conflict in modern nutrition advice among doctors specializing in nutrition.  Some, like Michael Greger, Joel Fuhrman, and Neal Barnard, emphasize plants and how they can stop heart attacks, cancer and overweight.    Others, like David Perlmutter, Joseph Mercola, and Josh Axe, emphasize the value of eating fat and meat for a low glycemic load, and therefore stopping diabetes, alzheimer's disease, and thereby other things. The high fat people are insistent that you should only eat pastured organic meat or meat products.  People seem very excited to have permission to eat as much meat and fat as they want, and almost none of them seem to pay attention to the crucial point that they need to be organic and pastured.   I think  both groups of doctors have got good points.  I neither eat a high carb nor a high fat diet, although most in both camps will grudgingly admit that if you eat both high carbs and high fat, it is bad for you.  Many people have decided that their side is awesome and the other side is evil.  I think they are actually asking different questions.  All of them agree that eating lots of organic fresh and mostly raw vegetables is probably the most important thing to do.  

All agree that mushrooms are key to good health.  Shiitake is the most popular because it is both a delicious culinary mushroom and an outstanding medicinal mushroom.  Lion's mane is great for anti-brain degeneration, according to preliminary research.  

I am almost a vegetarian, but I did just buy some pastured pork and we've been cutting it up and slowly adding bits of it to meals.  This is a little bit complicated because my wife is a vegan.  She is on a low fat diet. I am not. I only eat pastured organic butter but I also eat vegetable spread that is set for the right omega 3's and 6's.  

In other words, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the ketogenic or vegan diets, but hardly any controversy about the idea that we should be eating a lot more mushrooms and vegetables.  French fries and tater tots don't count as vegetables.
John S
PDX OR



John it sounds like you've done quite a bit of research on the ketogenic vs vegan diets. I've recently been listening to Dr. Greger's "How not to die" audio book. Would you expanding your thoughts on how you're striking a balance between these two types of diets? Dr. Greger quotes alot of studies and they sound very compelling, I've not researched these studies myself nor have I read any books from the ketogenic side. Can you recommend any that would help me round out my knowledge. I'm trying to determine if I really need to go strictly vegan in order to ward off all the nasty western diseases.
 
Cj Sloane
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Kevin, I've been on a ketogenic diet for over 2 years. I have lost 30 lbs and my blood work is excellent.
Trigs=43
HDL=105
LDL=132
I suspect if I had a particle test the LDL would be the light fluffy kind and the numbers would look even better.

I think you can be healthy on a low fat or low carb diet. If you have any sort of insulin resistance low carb is much better. Also better for any neurological issues. The brain is 70% fat BTW.

If you have no health issues, than you just have to choose - would you rather have butter and bacon or bread and bananas?
 
Kevin Swanson
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Cj Sloane wrote:Kevin, I've been on a ketogenic diet for over 2 years. I have lost 30 lbs and my blood work is excellent.
Trigs=43
HDL=105
LDL=132
I suspect if I had a particle test the LDL would be the light fluffy kind and the numbers would look even better.

I think you can be healthy on a low fat or low carb diet. If you have any sort of insulin resistance low carb is much better. Also better for any neurological issues. The brain is 70% fat BTW.

If you have no health issues, than you just have to choose - would you rather have butter and bacon or bread and bananas?



What about walking the middle ground? Say Medium carb medium fat which is essentially what I am eating right now... all organic and pasture raised meat and dairy and all organic plants.
 
Cj Sloane
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Kevin Swanson wrote:
What about walking the middle ground? Say Medium carb medium fat which is essentially what I am eating right now... all organic and pasture raised meat and dairy and all organic plants.



Well... that sounds like the zone diet. I think it might be ok if you stay away from processed foods. It could be a problem as you age tho. If you don't gain weight as you get older, and your blood work is OK it would be hard to convince you to change one way or another.

Your genetics is going to play into this as well. I happen to have fairly good longevity genes, 3/4 grandparents made it into their 90s.

If cancer, heart disease, diabetes run in your family, diet is going to play in to that.
 
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There are many foods and herbs believed to improve brain health, but mostly with no solid evidence that they do what's claimed. No harm in trying though.
I'd like to point out the MIND diet, which supposedly supports brain function and prevents Alzheimer's.

In short, eat more of these:

  • Vegetables, green leafy vegetables in particular (spinach)
  • Berries, especially blueberries
  • Nuts (walnuts, almonds)
  • Beans
  • Wine (moderately)
  • Whole grains
  • Fish (tuna, sardines)
  • Poultry (chicken)
  • Olive oil

  • And less of these:

  • Fried or fast food
  • Red meats
  • Cheeses
  • Butter and stick margarine
  • Pastries and sweets

  • As for herbal remedies, the following are also worth considering:

  • Huperzia Serrata
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Mucuna Pruriens
  • Vinca Minor (Periwinkle)
  • Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha)
  • Ginkgo Biloba

  • References:
    http://www.mhrc.cc/articles/wicked-brain-herbs.html
    http://www.livescience.com/57132-mind-diet.html
     
    Cj Sloane
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    Looks like my spawn from last year is still viable.
    IMG_2052.jpg
    [Thumbnail for IMG_2052.jpg]
     
    Mac Lockerd
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    Give it a couple more months and it'll turn into this:

     
    Cj Sloane
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    No thanks. We have plenty already. My husband took the dogs morel hunting. A porqupine fell out of a tree and the dogs pounced.
    Screen-Shot-2017-05-17-at-10.45.31-AM.png
    [Thumbnail for Screen-Shot-2017-05-17-at-10.45.31-AM.png]
     
    pollinator
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    I'm a pretty skeptical person when it comes to some of the holistic "remedies" that people talk about. A couple of years ago, my wife was in a bad auto accident and sustained brain trauma that still affects her today ... memory loss, short attention span, not being able to finish sentences, weak concentration, visual cacophony.  Before the accident, my wife was someone who was the complete opposite of these symptoms. Her chiropractor recommend she take a daily dose of ginkgo biloba. He had some specifics about which GB she needed to buy (not his product). So, I quietly observed for a while. She made improvements. I was attributing this to natural brain elasticity and healing over time. Then, she was out of town for an extended period of time and was without her GB dose and she regressed. I suggested she start taking her GB again and we very quickly saw an improvement in some of her metal faculties.  So, GB is something I have come to understand can be helpful to the brain.

    Now, I'm excited to see if LM might be good for my wife and her recovery. Amedene, I so very sorry you are experiencing the issues you are facing. I do what I can to help my wife reform new neural pathways and retrain her brain to do things. We're going to start to learn to play the ukulele together to exercise a part of the brain neither of us have worked much before since neither she nor I play an instrument. So, I suggest you also investigate ginkgo biloba as an additional aid. I'm now headed off to investigate LM for my bride!  Thank you for starting the thread.
     
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    There's a youtube video where Stamet's posits (hasn't tested) that combining lion's mane with niacin and psilocybin mushroom in microdose level will mutually synergize. Makes sense cuz the flushing of the niacin yields better transport of medicinal qualities to the cells. ...So would with alcohol. Isn't it the case the vasodilating effect of alcohol is one good reason why alcohol is used in herbal medicinal tinctures, no? Does anyone know how little, i'd guess it is, alcohol it takes to trigger that effect of optimizing transport, if all else is functioning kinda normally, at least? Big diff is niacin is Vitamin B3, while alcohol is like machine fuel, if being critical.  Thanks, OgreNick
     
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    I had great hope. I bought two pounds of dried and spread them through my diet. I saw no improvement, maybe fresh would be better, or more likely my memory loss is of a type that does not respond. Last year I plugged three different types of logs, and different structures, but I’m afraid my climate is just too dry. Maybe this will be the year!
     
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    Dennis Mitchell wrote:

    I had great hope. I bought two pounds of dried and spread them through my diet. I saw no improvement..

    This is the main problem with natural medicine. Natural medicine works with the individual. You may need to try the mushroom in combination with a different food for absorption. You made need to eat more naturally produced gut supporting foods like sauerkraut, kefir etc to improve absorption. Or, as you say, you may have a type of memory loss or body that just doesn't respond. This is why so many doctors I know are negative about natural medicine - they don't appreciate that there is often much more trial and error involved. People seem to be happier taking a pill (some with horrible side effects) than learning how to listen to their own body and taking the time to help it. Hang in there and keep experimenting! Since people above say they're yummy, unless you feel eating it made you feel worse, it still fits the category, "first do no harm".
     
    Nick Dimitri
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    The problem with unnatural medicine is it's too unnaturally convenient, too easy to pop a (usually, a permutation of motor oil) pill or lie there and be carved up while you sleep (surgery). There are two main ways to take lion's mane, in an aqueous solution or ethanol (tincture). I would think powdered should work too, but here read https://restorativemedicine.org/journal/neurological-activity-lions-mane-hericium-erinaceus  But yeah, good point that natural medicine works thru digestion, so improving that may be best. Cooking the mushroom is important too. If you get it dried try rehydrating it and cooking it with ginger, cumin and such which makes foods more bioavailable, rather than cooking it into meals, overcomplicating for the digestive system to handle. But cooking isn't needed if making an alcohol tincture. Best 'o luck for speedy recovery,  OgreNick
     
    steward
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    Wow, such a great thread about lion's mane for brain health and memory and how to grow and find it. I was posting a reply about mushrooms for senior health and brain function here and this popped up in the similar threads below it.

    My post linked above links to a study that found a correlation between a reduction in "mild brain decline" with those who eat mushrooms - especially so if they ate them at least twice a week. While the mushrooms in the study were "oyster, shiitake, white button, dried, golden and tinned" it's rather cool that more of these kind of studies are happening.

     
    Nick Dimitri
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    Hi Jocelyn, "They" have termed the mycelial mat that undergirds a healthy forest the Wood-Wide Web and likened internet traffic to brain activity -- the real intranet. "I'm just saying" this fits well into the signature theory of herbal medicine: http://www.naturasophia.com/Signatures.html
    Good luck to us all keeping our heads on straight in this bent right outa shape upside-down whirled weirld: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG6Eop0x5UU
     
    I miss the old days when I would think up a sinister scheme for world domination and you would show a little emotional support. So just look at this tiny ad:
    Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
    https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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