Using Lion’s Mane for Multiple Sclerosis: 5 Restorative Benefits
Lion's Mane has restorative benefits with a variety of conditions. There is evidence that it may help with multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that can have a straight or relapsing and remitting course. It can impact all systems of the body and there is currently no cure. Lion's Mane may be useful in helping to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.
Updated September 20, 2023.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease with no current cure that affects the brain and nervous system and can impact all aspects of your life. All treatments for multiple sclerosis involve symptom management, and emerging research on the benefits of Lion's Mane mushrooms suggests a variety of potential benefits that may help relieve symptoms.
The most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis which treatment is sought after include:
- Tingling and numbness
- Mobility issues
- Stiffness or weakness
That being said, read on to learn more about Lion's Mane.
What Is Lion's Mane?
Lion's Mane is a large white fungus with tendrils that give it a shaggy appearance resembling a mane. It is used in cooking due to its pleasant taste, but has also been a prominent ingredient in alternative medicine for centuries, especially in Asia. (1).
Lion's Mane may promote nerve growth factor (NGF) which is essential in maintaining neurons in the brain and promoting new growth. In multiple sclerosis, the body attacks the myelin, the protective covering that surrounds our nerves. NGF specifically helps to encourage the growth and repair of neurons.
With this in mind, the following features of Lion's Mane may bring some relief to multiple sclerosis patients.
» Learn more: The Beginner’s Guide to Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
1. Repairs Nerve Damage
Nerve growth factor is essential for the maintenance of neurons and the brain (2). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein that supports the maintenance and repair of neurons. Research suggests that Lion's Mane may have neurotrophic properties that can promote the growth and repair of neurons in the brain, similar to NGF and BDNF (3).
Additionally, some research also suggests that lion's mane may decrease neuronal damage from the formation of amyloid-beta plaque that accumulates in the brain in Alzheimer's disease.
2. Improves Myelination Processes
One of the most troublesome symptoms of myelin degeneration is neuropathic pain (pain originating in any areas of the nervous system, including the peripheral nerves, spinal cord, and brain). Neuropathic pain can be triggered by usually non-painful stimuli and is either ongoing or stabbing intense pain (described as like electric shocks).
Lion's Mane may help with this because, as discussed above, nerve growth factor may help to repair myelin. Additionally, Lion's Mane may exhibit analgesic (pain-relieving) properties (4).
3. Regulates the Immune System
Medications for MS are often designed to reduce the activity of an overactive immune system and are thus called "immunosuppressants". While this works, they also tend to lower overall immunity, which may cause the patient to become more susceptible to other infections and diseases.
Lion's Mane is regarded as one of the best functional mushrooms for the immune system and may help regulate immune function by acting on the gut microbiota (5), which can help reduce symptoms of MS and modulate the off-balance caused by immunosuppressant drugs.
4. Provides Anti-Inflammatory Actions
Multiple sclerosis is considered an inflammatory disease (as are most autoimmune diseases), and so inflammation plays a large role in many of the symptoms.
Research suggests that Lion's Mane may drastically decrease inflammation (6). There have been several positive lab and animal studies that show a positive correlation between a decrease in overall inflammation and a similar decrease in the symptoms of MS.
5. Improves Mental Health
Many people with MS have cognitive symptoms (like difficulty thinking clearly and problems with short-term memory) as well as symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. Research suggests that Lion's Mane may assist with the following cognitive issues:
» Boost your mood with our range of Mood Support products
Consider Other Alternative Remedies
Lion's Mane may have a positive impact on a variety of symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis, all of which can contribute to a higher quality of life. While the amount of research is increasing, much of the current studies have been based on animals. More human research is necessary before we can fully describe the benefits of using Lion's Mane mushrooms as an adjunct treatment for people who suffer from multiple sclerosis.
That being said, the risk of potential side effects from using Lion's Mane and other functional mushrooms is reportedly low for most individuals. Though you should always consult your doctor before trying new supplements, you may see a benefit from combining Lion's Mane and other functional mushrooms with a variety of alternative therapies. Read our M2CBD formula to learn more.