So you just got your hands on some lion's mane mushroom supplement. You've heard all about the brain-boosting benefits - improved memory, reduced anxiety, enhanced focus and eager to know when you will feel it working?
The nootropic benefits of Lion's Mane start becoming noticeable within 1-2 weeks, but taking it consistently for 3-6 months allows the full nerve regenerating and neuroprotective effects to unfold.
The Lion's Mane Timeline
Here's a general framework for when to expect benefits:
- 1-7 days: Subtle mood boost, less anxiety
- 1-2 weeks: Mental clarity, focus, easier learning
- 1-3 months: Nerve regeneration, lessened brain fog
- 3+ months: Continued cognition gains, nerve growth
A study by Mori et al. (2009) showed that Significant improvements were observed in the revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale (HDS-R) scores of subjects who ingested Yamabushitake powder for 16 weeks
However when comparing Lions Mane mushroom to others such as Cordyceps which is celebrated for its energy-boosting properties, the noticeable increases in stamina can emerge within a few days . When considering a combination like Lion's Mane and Reishi, the timeline can be a bit more extended. While Lion's Mane starts showing its effects on cognition relatively quickly, Reishi, known for its calming and immune-boosting properties, might take a couple of weeks before its full benefits are felt.
The Physiology of The Effect Timeline
Lion's mane contains bioactive compounds like hericenones and erinacines that can readily cross the blood-brain barrier and exert effects in the central nervous system. This allows improvements in mood, anxiety, and cognition to happen relatively quickly over the first few weeks of use.
These compounds stimulate increased Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) production in the brain. NGF is a neuropeptide that regulates neuron growth, proliferation and survival. By boosting NGF, lion's mane promotes neurogenesis - the growth of new neurons and neural connections.
This process of rewiring and regenerating nerve cells takes much longer. It takes time for neurons to form, migrate, differentiate and create new synapses and neural pathways. This is why the enhanced memory, focus, learning ability and nerve pain relief effects build up gradually over months of using lion's mane.
The psychoactive compounds like hericenones provide faster improvements in mood by interacting with neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin in the brain. But the nerve regenerating benefits come from neurogenesis triggered by NGF stimulation, a slower process of remodeling and healing the nervous system itself. With patience, the lion awakens!
The amount you take definitely impacts how long it takes for you to feel the Nootropic benefits kicking in. Studies showing cognitive benefits often use 500-3000mg daily. Start on the lower end and work up from there to find your optimal dose. Taking too much from the jump can cause digestive issues for some people.
For those new to nootropics or any specific supplement, it's always a wise approach to start with a lower dosage. Beginning on the lower end of the recommended spectrum allows your body to acclimate to the substance. Over time, as you monitor your body's reactions and benefits, you can gradually increase the dosage. This method not only helps in identifying the optimal dose for maximum benefits but also ensures that you don't overwhelm your system
The Extract Strength of Lions Mane Makes a Difference
Plain lion's mane mushroom powder will take longer to kick in than a concentrated extract. Extracts like 10:1 or 20:1 concentrate the active compounds, making them more bioavailable so you feel benefits faster.
Age, genetics, diet, lifestyle...all these things affect how quickly supplements work for you. A young health nut may feel benefits in a few days, while it takes an older person a few weeks. Get to know your own biology.
Short Term vs Long Term Lions Mane Use
Some benefits happen fast, others build over time. Mood and anxiety improvements may hit in the first 1-2 weeks. But the nerve regenerating effects take 1-3 months to fully unfold. Understand it's a progression.
Lion's mane provides both immediate and gradual benefits that unfold over regular, sustained use.
In the short term, within just 1-2 weeks you can expect mood and anxiety improvements. For those who deal with irritability, lions mane seems to have an almost instant soothing effect on the mind. Personally, I notice less anxiety in social situations and more general calmness within a week of consistent use.
However, the more powerful nerve regenerating abilities of lion's mane take longer to fully develop. After 1-3 months is when the lion really work properly. This is when you can expect to see reduced brain fog, heightened mental clarity, improved memory, and enhanced neuroplasticity.
Lion's mane contains compounds that stimulate Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). This is what leads to noticeable nerve repair and cognition benefits over time. The nerve regeneration is gradual, but can provide incredible long term results. I've spoken to people who say lion's mane helped reduce neuropathy pain and MS symptoms after 3-6 months.
To get an idea of the timeline, here's what some Reddit users say about how long lion's mane takes to work for them
"I take Lion's Mane and initially it took about 2 weeks before it started working. But god did it work, my mind feeels sharper, I can understand things faster and in more depth, I have more mental energy and things just come easier."
"I never liked or got anything from Lion''s Mane."
"I just started Lions Mane again and I could tell at once, things just got sharper and my meditation got way easier."
So effects can vary widely between users. Some notice benefits within days, while others require weeks or don't respond at all. Listen to your own body and experiences.
Be Patient, Be Persistent
While some notice immediate effects, give it at least 4 weeks to experience the full range of benefits. The long haul brain boosting power of lion's mane is worth sticking with it.
Lion's mane is an herbal supplement that takes some patience. Stick with it week after week and the nootropic rewards will come. Allow 3-6 months for the full nerve regenerating effects to unfold. But within just a couple weeks, you'll likely start noticing cognition benefits. The key is daily consistency.
What foods speed up lion's mane benefits?
Fatty foods like eggs, avocado, nuts, salmon may improve absorption, decreasing lion's mane mushroom kick in time.
Will taking higher doses make lion's mane act faster?
To a degree, yes. But too high a dose can cause side effects, moderate increment increases are best.
Can I take anything to speed up the long-term nerve regrowth?
Unfortunately no, nerve regeneration from Lions Mane requires long term use. But optimizing diet, sleep, exercise may help.
Are the benefits faster with capsules or powder?
Extract capsules provide more rapid effects. But powder is more affordable for longer term use.
- Improvement of cognitive function by mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) in persons with mild cognitive impairment: A pilot placebo-controlled trial (Mori, Inatomi, Ouchi, Azumi, & Tuchida, 2009)
- Nerve growth factor-inducing activity of Hericium erinaceus in 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells (Mori, Obara, Hirota, et al., 2008)
- Hericium erinaceus mycelium and its isolated erinacine A protection from MPTP-induced neurotoxicity through the ER stress, triggering an apoptosis cascade (Li, Lee, Tzeng, Chen, Chen, Shiao, & Chen, 2018)
- Hericium erinaceus mycelium enriched with erinacines A-I attenuates amyloid β-induced hippocampal neurodegeneration through inhibition of neuronal apoptosis (Li, Lee, Tzeng, Chen, Chen, Shiao, & Chen, 2018)
- Neuroregenerative potential of lion's mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (higher Basidiomycetes), in the treatment of peripheral nerve injury (Wong, Naidu, David, Abdulla, Abdullah, Kuppusamy, & Sabaratnam, 2011)