Know Your Ingredients: Mighty Lion's Mane
By Rory Coulter
We source the USDA certified organic lion’s mane in Brain Blend from our fungi guy, Hamilton Pevek (A.K.A. “The Mushroom Whisperer”) of Hamilton’s Mushroom Extracts. We chat with him about the benefits of lion’s mane on brain health and how he creates this potent extract.
Ned: We use your lion’s mane extract in our Brain Blend. How does lion’s mane support brain health and cognition?
Hamilton: Lion’s mane has a number of benefits on our brain and body due to the novel compounds called erinacines and hericenones. Notable is the promotion of NGF (nerve growth factor) which helps maintain healthy neurons in the brain and increase focus and overall brain power. The unique neuroprotective effects of these lion’s mane compounds are believed to shield the brain from normal mild cognitive decline associated with aging. Lion's mane has been shown to promote synaptic growth repair, which is a fancy way of saying that it promotes stronger connections in the brain. Better connections means better thinking means better decision making and reflex action.
Ned: Can you walk us through how you create your Lion’s Mane Extract from start to finish?
Hamilton: Our USDA certified organic lion’s mane is cultivated on small family farms in China and our team of pickers hand-selects the fruit bodies and mycelium for the extraction process. We start with a whole fruit body (mushroom) of lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus). We dry it, then we powder it, then we do a hot water extraction process under pressure to extract the beta-glucans. We separate the “marc” from the liquid, evaporate the liquid and are left with a residue that is a highly concentrated beta-glucan extract. Then we use that same “marc” to do an alcohol extraction process to target the hericenones. We evaporate the alcohol and combine the two different residues to create a very high potency powder. The same process is repeated with the mycelium (root structure), but in this case the extraction process targets the erincines found within.
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