Does Lion's Mane Have Caffeine? | Botanic Tonics

Does Lion's Mane Have Caffeine? | Botanic Tonics

Reviewed by Jamal Bouie

Does Lion's Mane Have Caffeine? Unveiling the Truth

If you know what’s what in the mushroom scene, you may already be familiar with the captivating lion’s mane. Affectionately known as the bearded tooth, monkey's head, and bearded hedgehog, this functional mushroom has become all the rage–and for good reason!

Lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) has a unique look with its shaggy tendrils and fluffy appearance, as well as a fascinating history, rich nutritious value, and even potential cognitive benefits. 

But does lion’s mane have caffeine?

Surprisingly, the answer is no. So, what gives lion’s mane its cognitive effects? In this article, we’ll break down the composition of this mysterious mushroom and discuss the what and how behind its cognitive benefits.

Exploring the Composition of Lion's Mane Mushroom

While it may seem like the latest trend in hip food and wellness spaces, lion’s mane is actually an ancient medicinal tool various cultures have revered for centuries. In fact, in traditional Chinese medicine, lion’s mane has been called “Mountain Priest” for its cognitive power and medicinal capabilities.[1]

Here’s a look at the nutritional and medicinal qualities of this magical mushroom:

  • Vitamins and proteins – The lion’s mane mushroom is high in protein, explaining why it’s a popular ingredient in vegan and vegetarian dishes. It’s also a great source of vitamin D, potassium, zinc, manganese, and iron, making it a nutrient-packed super food and a medicinal tonic.[2]
  • Antioxidants and antibacterial compounds – Not only is lion’s mane chock-full of vitamins, but it also boasts antibacterial compounds and antioxidants that can support healthy cell growth.[3] These health benefits are also responsible for lion’s mane’s recent claim to fame: brain health and immune support. 
  • Polysaccharides – Lion’s mane mushrooms are also rich in various polysaccharides, including beta-glucan, which scientists have found can contribute to immune system support.[4] In fact, because of its makeup, people have used this powerful mushroom to heal wounds and treat infections. 

With this information, it becomes clear that lion’s mane has a variety of culinary and medicinal uses—so much so that scientists are now investigating its ability to help individuals prevent and treat Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. One study even found that daily ingestions of Hericium powder resulted in significant increases in brain function.[5]

The Caffeine Debate: Is There Any in Lion's Mane?

While lion’s mane contains several compounds that may contribute to improved cognitive performance and focus, it’s caffeine-free. This means that it may be able to offer you the brain boost you’re looking for in the mornings without the dreaded 2 p.m. caffeine crash that regular coffee can give you. Read our guide on how to avoid caffeine crashes.

Additionally, if you feel jittery, anxious, or suffer from poor sleep after ingesting caffeine, Hericium may be an excellent energy-enhancing alternative.

However, if you want to enjoy your daily cup of joe and take advantage of the benefits of lion’s mane mushroom, you’re in luck. You can make mushroom coffee! While lion’s mane is caffeine-free, it may be able to actually enhance the positive attributes of caffeine, making it the perfect addition to your morning coffee

The compounds found in Hericium can stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) production, which can encourage the growth of neurons and protective cells, assisting with learning, memory, and cognitive function.[6]

This means that while you may drink coffee to help with focus and mental clarity, lion’s mane coffee, tonic, or supplements can give you an added boost, supporting your brain while you sip!

Lion's Mane: A Caffeine-Free Cognitive Enhancer?

While you may assume caffeine is the only way to put some pep in your step, lion’s mane can be a powerful cognitive enhancer and reduce brain fog. People consume it for a variety of brain-related reasons, including enhanced: 

  • Stress support
  • Mental health
  • Overall mood 

Lion’s mane has an outstanding ability to pass through the blood-brain barrier and stimulate nerves in the hippocampus. This may allow it to be a natural alternative to traditional antidepressants, which impact your brain’s neurotransmitters, instead.

Some also argue that lion’s mane mushroom can combat feelings of occasional anxiety and restlessness, helping you feel more at ease while improving your brain function. Regardless, due to its ability to assist with memory and concentration, lion’s mane can easily become an integral part of your morning routine, helping you feel clear and focused throughout your day. 

Take Advantage of the Benefits of Lion’s Mane with Botanic Tonics

Despite its ability to give us a jolt of energy, caffeine isn’t always the ideal go-to compound for a morning boost. In fact, there are proven benefits of giving up caffeine. If you’re trying to beat the coffee jitters or you’re looking for a supplement that offers a range of health benefits, you may want to give lion’s mane mushroom a try.

While you can certainly add it to your favorite dish, its distinct seafood-like flavor may make it tricky to consume daily. Instead, find it in supplement and powder form, or as an ingredient in tinctures and tonics at Botanic Tonics. Try out our kava mushroom drink, full of ingredients such as lion’s mane, rhodiola, kola nut, and kava, to get you through your day. 

When you’re ready to level up your wellness routine, browse our selection of plant-based supplements. 

Sources: 

  1. Cascadia Mushrooms. Everything You Need to Know About Lion’s Mane Mushrooms. https://cascadiamushrooms.com/blogs/cm/everything-you-need-to-know-about-lions-mane-mushrooms 
  2. WebMD. What Are the Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms? https://www.webmd.com/diet/what-are-the-health-benefits-of-lions-mane-mushrooms 
  3. Healthline. 9 Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lions-mane-mushroom#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5
  4. Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine. Neurological Activity of Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus). https://restorativemedicine.org/journal/neurological-activity-lions-mane-hericium-erinaceus/ 
  5. National Library of Medicine. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18844328/ 
  6. Taylor and Francis Online. Hericenones and erinacines: stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF) biosynthesis in Hericium erinaceus. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21501201003735556 

About The Author

Jamal Bouie Botanic Tonic

Jamal Bouie

Jamal Bouie is an accomplished professional with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Lemoyne-Owen College in Memphis. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD in Biomedicine at Salus University. Jamal has worked in several industries; he began his career in pharmaceutical manufacturing and transitioned to the cannabis industry, where he specialized in analytical testing and manufacturing, playing a vital role in ensuring product safety and compliance. Now, Jamal has turned his attention to the dietary supplement field, combining his scientific acumen with his passion for health and wellness.

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