Does Lion's Mane Help with Focus? | Botanic Tonics

Does Lion's Mane Help with Focus? | Botanic Tonics

Reviewed by Jamal Bouie

Does Lion’s Mane Help With Focus?

If you’ve been keeping tabs on the latest developments in the health and wellness scene, you may have heard of the power of medicinal mushrooms. From chaga and maitake to the illustrious lion’s mane, these fabulous fungi have recently gained notoriety and attention in the West. 

But what can lion’s mane do for your health? Can it really improve cognitive function? Does lion’s mane help with focus?

In this guide, we’ll break down the scientific evidence behind this functional mushroom, exploring its impact on brain health, memory, and learning. We’ll also outline additional health benefits of adding lion’s mane to your wellness routine. 

The Science Behind Lion's Mane

As you continue to explore holistic wellness practices and supplements, you may be curious to learn the science behind these ingredients and compounds so you know how they might affect your mental, emotional, and physical health. 

While lion’s mane has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), recent studies in the West have uncovered information about this mushroom's medicinal potential.

The lion’s mane mushroom, also called Hericium erinaceus, is regarded as a nootropic, or cognitive enhancer, because of the compounds found in the mushroom’s fruiting body and mycelium. These compounds, called hericenones and erinacines, have been linked to the stimulation of the synthesis of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF).[1]

NGF is a compound that’s essential for cognitive function and performance. In particular, it prompts the growth of neural pathways and nerve cells in the brain.[2] The growth of these nerves and pathways can contribute to improved memory, focus, creativity, concentration, and mental clarity.

Lion's Mane and Cognitive Performance 

Now that you understand a little more of the science behind lion’s mane, let’s take a closer look at how this “smart mushroom” may be able to affect your brain health, as well as key functions like learning and memory.

Enhancing Brain Health

One indicator of brain health is the organ’s ability to grow and form new connections—factors that may begin to decline with age. However, the compounds found in lion’s mane that promote NGF and the growth of new nerve cells may be able to combat cognitive decline and support the longevity of cognitive performance

These findings have led researchers to conduct further studies regarding the effect of lion’s mane on enhanced brain health. Animal studies have concluded that lion’s mane may help protect against mild cognitive impairment and even degenerative brain diseases, like Alzheimer’s.[3] 

While further research is needed for conclusive results, another 2020 study indicated that this fantastic fungus may be able to protect the brain and reverse Alzheimer-related damage.[4]

Impact on Memory and Learning

Aside from having a potentially positive impact on overall brain health, emergent research has found that lion’s mane may affect other cognitive functions.[5] 

Specifically, hericenones and erinacines (the active compounds responsible for the mushroom’s ability to promote NFG) may also be able to boost memory and assist with learning new information. 

How Can Lion's Mane Help with Focus?

Whether you’re learning a language, spending time with your partner, or mastering a new recipe in the kitchen, the ability to focus and maintain mental clarity is imperative. However, a number of people suffer from “brain fog,” a condition that can produce feelings of confusion, a lack of motivation, and the inability to focus.

Fortunately, one of the most studied benefits of lion’s mane is its potential ability to support concentration. In particular, it’s thought that the compounds that protect against degenerative diseases may also actively support brain function, assisting with concentration and the reduction of brain fog.

So, does lion’s mane help you focus?

While it’s difficult to provide an entirely conclusive answer without extensive scientific research, this mushroom’s medicinal properties, specifically regarding brain health and performance, have already led to eye-opening research about its potential.

Additional Benefits of Lion's Mane for Mental Health

Lion’s mane is popping up on the shelves of health food stores across the U.S. because of its potential benefits regarding brain health, including:

  • Treating neurodegenerative diseases
  • Supporting memory and cognitive function
  • Improving concentration and focus

So, lion’s mane is basically brain food. But are you familiar with the other possible health benefits of adding this mushroom to your wellness routine? 

Here’s a look at some of the other ways this fungus may support your mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

Reducing Anxiety and Depression

Not only is lion’s mane one of the best mushrooms for cognitive function, but it may also act as a treatment for mood-related conditions, like occasional anxiety and depression. In fact, one animal study found that because of the mushroom's anti-inflammatory properties, lion’s mane may be able to reduce occasional anxiety symptoms.[6] 

Additional research has found that the mushroom’s impact on the growth and regeneration of brain cells can improve the function of the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is responsible for processing emotions.[7] 

Minimizing Oxidative Stress

Research also suggests that the anti-inflammatory properties of Lion’s Mane may help reduce oxidative stress in the body.[8] Oxidative stress is responsible for various illnesses, such as: 

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Cancer 
  • Heart disease

In fact, multiple animal studies have found that lion’s mane extract was able to reduce oxidative stress and indicators of inflammation in mice. Additionally, it may have a particular impact on treating and managing conditions like liver damage, stroke, and inflammatory bowel disease.[9] 

While more research is required to draw conclusive results on the effect of lion’s mane on oxidative stress in humans, the findings from these animal studies suggest that this mushroom has powerful medicinal properties. 

Offering Immune Support 

Your immune system acts as your body’s first line of defense against pathogens, making it a vital part of staying healthy. If your immune system is weak or compromised, you may be more susceptible to a variety of diseases and illnesses. 

So, how can you give your immune system the boost it needs? Lion’s mane mushroom just might be the answer. 

Animal research involving lion’s mane has found that it may increase the activity of the intestinal immune system, offering the body protection against viruses and bacteria that may enter through the nose or mouth.[10] 

Emergent research on this topic is promising, with other studies finding that lion’s mane immune support potential may result from the mushroom’s impact on gut bacteria.[11]

How to Incorporate Lion's Mane into Your Daily Routine

Whether you’re a pro in the kitchen or you’re a supplement aficionado, there are plenty of ways to integrate lion’s mane into your diet. However, if you’re hoping to make it a consistent aspect of your daily wellness routine, you may want to consider taking it as a supplement. 

Here’s some additional information about how and when to take lion’s mane to receive the physical and cognitive benefits you’re looking for.

Best Times to Take Lion's Mane for Focus

When you’re adding lion’s mane to your supplement regimen, it’s important to understand the best time to ingest the mushroom to achieve your desired results. For instance, if you’re taking this fungus for its potential to boost cognition, including focus and concentration, you’ll want to consume it in the morning or early afternoon. 

In fact, as a general rule of thumb, you can think about taking lion’s mane at times when you’d normally reach for a cup of coffee. 

Ultimately, taking a lion’s mane mushroom supplement in the morning or early afternoon can help you focus on your work and stay productive while curbing your energy drink habit and eliminating the need to spend money on that daily latte.

See related: Does Lion’s Mane Give You Energy?

Combining Lion's Mane with Other Natural Nootropics

Carefully combining lion’s mane with other holistic ingredients can further enhance the benefits you may experience. For example, you might combine lion’s mane with other nootropics that support memory, cognitive function, and brain health. 

However, it’s important to research the compatibility of various ingredients and nootropics. For this reason, it may be easier to take a supplement that already contains several natural powerhouse ingredients or sip on a pre-made tonic for a wellness boost you can feel confident about.

Experience the Potential Focus-Enhancing Benefits of Lion's Mane with Botanic Tonics

When you’re ready to add lion’s mane to your wellness routine, start slow and sample the effects with a small dose—like what you can find in Botanic Tonics’ herbal energy tonic and supplements. Packed with adaptogenic ingredients, including lion’s mane, kava, kola nut, and rhodiola, our feel free supplements and tonics can provide enhanced concentration, as well as a gentle mood lift and natural stress relief.

Plus, you can feel good about the fact that all of our products are nut-free, alcohol-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. They only contain high-quality, natural ingredients, so you can rest assured you’re giving your brain and body the very best. 

Check out our line of products today to start getting your daily dose of focus-enhancing lion’s mane.  


  1. Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine. Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) 
  2. Taylor and Francis Online. Hericenones and erinacines: stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF) biosynthesis in Hericium erinaceus. 
  3. National Library of Medicine. Erinacine A-enriched Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorates Alzheimer's disease-related pathologies in APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice. 
  4. National Library of Medicine. Prevention of Early Alzheimer’s Disease by Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Pilot Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study. 
  5. Medical News Today. Improving memory: Lion's mane mushrooms may double neuron growth. 
  6. National Library of Medicine. Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Produces Antidepressant-Like Effects through Modulating BDNF/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β Signaling in Mice. 
  7. National Library of Medicine. Hericium erinaceus Extract Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Brain. 
  8. National Library of Medicine. Composition and antioxidant activity of water-soluble oligosaccharides from Hericium erinaceus. 
  9. National Library of Medicine. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ethanol Extract of Lion's Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), in Mice with Ulcerative Colitis. 
  10. National Library of Medicine. Immunomodulatory effects of Hericium erinaceus derived polysaccharides are mediated by intestinal immunology.
  11. National Library of Medicine. Immunomodulatory Activities of a Fungal Protein Extracted from Hericium erinaceus through Regulating the Gut Microbiota.

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.

Back to blog