If you’ve made it to this article you’ve likely tried some sort of lion’s mane mushroom supplement and it didn’t work for you. You may be wondering why lion’s mane has become so popular when it’s clearly a sham - or worse, maybe you’ve wondered if there’s something wrong with you that you can’t feel it. The reason I say this is because, like you, I had heard about the growing popularity of lion’s mane mushrooms and gave it a shot with zero results. Furiously frustrated and determined to find a natural method to eliminate my brain fog… I did some digging. Not literal digging, but I wanted to get to the bottom of this. If SO many people love lion’s mane, why couldn’t I feel it… Now, the information I’m about to share with you is not meant to step on any toes. I know that there’s hundreds of thousands of lion’s mane lovers who mix their powders and pills into smoothies and coffees and I 100% support you if it makes you feel better. This article is based on my own personal experience from growing THOUSANDS of pounds of lion’s mane mushrooms and the research I’ve done for my own extractions. Without further adieu, here’s some of the reasons why lion’s mane might not work for you. Most Lion’s Mane Pills and Powders are Missing The Key Compounds Responsible for Increasing Mental Clarity Lion’s mane mushrooms have one common thread with nuts and seeds and it’s that they both have “antinutrients” designed to stop animals from digesting it. In nuts and seeds, the purpose of these digestion blockers are to help the seed remain intact so that the seed can be pooped out and land in soil to carry on the plant’s life. Essentially, nuts have compounds that block the ability of animals to break it down in their gut. Lion’s mane mushrooms have a similar situation. Lion’s mane mushroom cells contain an indigestible fiber called, “chitin” that blocks your ability to absorb the brain boosting benefits of lion’s mane. This is why lion’s mane has been traditionally consumed in extractions, not eaten raw. Pan seared lion’s mane tastes amazing… but there’s a reason why Buddhist monks used hot lion’s mane teas instead of raw lion’s mane to enhance focus during meditation. Here lies the problem with most pills and powders… The problem with most powders is that they’re not actually extracts. See, lion’s mane pills and powders are simply dried and ground up lion’s mane mushrooms. So the powder you put in your smoothie still has the fiber that you can't digest. This isn't the good kind of fiber. It keeps you from getting the benefits of lion's mane. Don’t get me wrong, you can still get some benefits from the powders and pills… but oftentimes it requires taking much more than is recommended on the supplement label. And by the time you get enough lion’s mane powder to feel it, it can cause a stomach ache because you’re bombarding your gut with the indigestible “chitin” fiber. For this reason, the true mushroom experts all agree that dual extracted liquid lion’s mane extracts are the superior choice (more on this in a moment)... Your Lion’s Mane Extract May Use an Incomplete Extraction Without going too deep in the science, Lion’s Mane contains two major active compounds that give you the benefits that make it so popular for eliminating brain fog: Hericenones Erinacines You need both compounds in your extract in ample amounts to receive the focus boosting and memory supporting benefits of lion’s mane… One of the most difficult aspects to producing a quality lion’s mane extract is that Hericenones and Erinacines both require a different extraction method. The Hericenones need to be extracted with alcohol over a 2-4 week period. Quality alcohol is expensive, and big corporate companies don’t want to wait 2-4 weeks to sacrifice profits for quality, so they simply skip this step. Then they’ll boast about their “alcohol-free” supplement as if it’s a badge of honor. It’s not. It’s an ineffective product. Next, Erinacines have to be extracted using hot water over a low, slow boil. Ideally over an 8-12+ hour period. This is time consuming for the production line so big companies often don’t care to do this. Most of the largest lion’s mane supplement providers simply slap some dried up lion’s mane in a superfood mix and try to pretend you’re going to get the benefits… As you now know, the powders are still going to contain the indigestible fiber, leading to a product that is not bioavailable. In other words, it’s virtually useless. So for starters, when you’re getting a liquid extract vs the pills and powders… You at least know that the lion’s mane went through one extraction simply by the fact that it’s no longer powder and it’s in liquid form. Ideally, you want a dual extracted lion’s mane extract so you know that it contains both Hericenones and Erinacines. I wish that we could stop the article here but incomplete extractions are not the only thing getting in the way of you receiving lion’s mane’s benefits… Your Lion’s Mane Supplement May Be Subject to “Mycelium Mischief” There is a dirty ploy in the mushroom industry to boost profits and cut costs while intentionally sacrificing quality to the customer (you)... I call this trickery, “Mycelium Mischief”. Now in case you’re not familiar with the way that mushrooms grow… All medicinal mushrooms start as spores. Next, the spores mate and they form networks of “mycelium” which consume a “substrate”, typically sawdust as their fuel to grow. When the mycelium is completely full of nutrients, it will start “fruiting” and that’s when the actual mushroom appears… Why is this important to you? Well, the majority of clinical studies done on the benefits of lion's mane mushrooms are on the fruiting bodies of lion’s mane (the actual mushroom), not the mycelium. There are a lot of companies that include the mycelium (and sawdust) in their product because they can get more mushroom weight out of the same crop to extend profits. This allows them to falsely claim a higher milligram dosage of lion's mane on their product. For this reason, milligram statements in the mushroom industry are not a reliable method for judging potency. A lot of mushroom growers enhance their sawdust with wheat bran as well, so there can be hidden gluten in the mycelium as well… So if you looked on the label of your lion’s mane supplement and it said anything about mycelium there… You were likely conned by mycelium mischief and that’s probably why you didn’t feel the life changing effects of lion’s mane. When you select your lion’s mane supplement you want to make sure the extract is a lion’s mane fruiting body only extract. Ideally, with only three ingredients; lion’s mane fruit body, water, and alcohol for the maximum brain boosting benefits. Your Mushrooms May Have Been Contaminated You may be familiar with the term 3rd party testing. Quick refresher: this is when a supplement company sends off their final product to a lab (that is not owned by the company) to verify that the product is free of contamination and safe to use. You DEFINITELY want your lion’s mane extract provider to be third party tested but the problem is that it’s too easy to pay those guys off. I know BIG companies that have failed their tests, written a check, and the product is out the door in customers belly’s the next day. Personally, I prioritize USA grown over third party testing. Here's why: The majority (95%+) of medicinal mushroom supplements sold in the US are grown in China and shipped on a long voyage across the sea before it’s sold to a corporate factory to be mixed in the products. The issue with this approach is simply the nature of mushrooms. They’re grown in extremely humid temperatures. Lion’s mane is over 70% water by volume (like us humans)... And this leave for a small margin of error in the drying process. They have to be dried COMPLETELY before they’re shipped across the sea. If a TINY bit of moisture is left inside and they were not thoroughly dried before they were shipped - nature’s medicinal gift can turn into a toxic poison due to bacteria growth. This is part of the reason why the number one side effect reported online with lion’s mane is an upset stomach. The other reason being the “chitin” content in lion’s mane pills and powders. Now, there’s a small part of the population who are allergic to mushrooms and this accounts for some of these reports as well, however, it’s usually a contamination issue due to sourcing in China. Which again, is over 95% of the products on the market. Especially on Amazon. So if you’re in the USA, choose USA grown products. It will at least ensure that your mushrooms have not been through a long voyage across the sea which is the prime environment for bacteria/mold to form. Unfortunately, this is common practice for the majority of pills, powders, and superfood mixes. How to Find a Lion’s Mane Extract That Actually Works to Improve Mental Clarity: Now that we’ve covered the major reasons why lion’s mane supplements might not have worked for you… I’d like to share with you the lion’s mane extract that’s totally transformed the way my brain functions. In case you’re not familiar with me or my story… I’ve personally grown THOUSANDS of lion’s mane mushrooms by hand. First as a hobby, and then to create quality mushroom extracts that I would share with my friends and family. But before I started all that I got a parasite from surfing in contaminated waters that ultimately led to some serious brain damage. I could barely think straight. My mind was hazy. And my memory got so bad that I was forgetting where I parked my car, far too often for it to be normal… That’s when I first tried lion’s mane supplements and like you, had little results. I had to take FIFTEEN times the recommended dose of powder to feel anything. And that’s why I started doing the research because I was committed to finding out why lion’s mane wasn’t working for me. Eventually, I decided that the only solution to get a quality lion’s mane extract that actually worked, was to make it myself. So I became OBSESSED with growing and mastering the extraction process which resulted in our Advanced Dual Extracted Lion’s Mane Liquid Extracts that are: Dual Extracted Handcrafted in small batches USA grown in Portland, OR 3rd party tested With Fruiting Bodies Only (Zero Mycelium Mischief) We’ve got some incredible reviews of life changing results on our website but I’ll list a few here as well: If you have any questions or comments about this article or our product, I’m happy to answer below. I appreciate you reading and I hope you’re having a great day when you see this. To your health and happiness. Mush Love Luke “The Lion”
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