Ashwagandha Vs Lion’s Mane
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Ashwagandha and Lion's Mane is used to improve cognitive functions and optimize brain health. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has the potential to relieve stress and anxiety while lion mane is a mushroom that is best known for its ability to improve sleep quality. This article details ashwagandha and lion’s mane, their potential benefits, and possible risks associated with overconsumption.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an important herb that has been used traditionally in the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine. People have been using this amazing herb to relieve stress and anxiety, boost energy levels and improve concentration and learning.
Ashwagandha is a Sanskrit word and refers to the “smell of horse of horse” as ashwagandha roots scent is like a horse and provides strength to the body. Biologically known as Withania somnifera, this amazing herb found its use in a variety of diseases such as anxiety and reproductive problems.
Help Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Ashwagandha is well known for its adaptogenic properties which help alleviate the feeling of depression and anxiety. The study revealed that Indian ginseng has the potential to effectively reduce stress and anxiety. It works by restricting the activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis, a system in the brain that regulates sleep stress responses.
Another study concluded that ashwagandha can improve sleep quality and the effects are more potent when compared to a placebo.
May Improve Muscle Strength
Studies are being conducted to evaluate the effects of ashwagandha on improving muscle strength and athletic performance. A review of five studies revealed that ashwagandha significantly increased maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max) in healthy adults and athletes.
In one research, men who did weight training for 8 weeks while taking 600 mg of ashwagandha daily had considerably larger improvements in muscular strength and size than those who took a placebo.
May Treat Arthritis
Ashwagandha has analgesic properties and has the ability to obstruct the transmission of central nervous system that carry pain signal. Additionally, it could have some anti-inflammatory qualities.
Owing to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, ashwagandha can alleviate the symptoms of various types of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis.
Prevent Neurodegenerative Diseases
According to a 2011 review consisting of various studies, ashwagandha possesses ability to reduce the risk of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington’s disease.
As disease advances, brain parts and their functions continues to decline which may lead to memory loss. According to this review, ashwagandha may provide protection when given to mice and rats during the early stages of a disease.
Reduce Blood Sugar and Manage Diabetes
Some small studies revealed that ashwagandha has the potential to regulate lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. A study found that this ashwagandha’s hypoglycemic effects help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Possible Risks or Side Effects
Small to moderate dosages of ashwagandha are typically tolerated by most people. However, insufficient long-term research has been conducted to adequately investigate any potential negative effects. In large doses, ashwagandha may cause digestive problems like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This could be brought on by intestinal mucosal inflammation.
What is Lion’s Mane?
Lion’s mane is a mushroom also known as “hou tou gu” or “yamabushitake” and is large and white in color. These mushrooms are used for both culinary and medicinal purposes in different regions of the world. Lion’s mane mushrooms possess some medicinal compounds that have health-promoting effects on the body including brain, heart, and gut.
Help Relieve Inflammation
Lion’s mane is rich in antioxidant compounds which help the body combat both free radicals and inflammation. Inflammation is a natural defensive process but if it persists for a long time or left untreated, it may lead to the development of various diseases including diabetes and heart diseases.
According to research, lion's mane ranked fourth among 14 varieties of mushrooms in a 2012 study analyzing their therapeutic potential, with "moderate to high" antioxidant activity.
May Boost Immune Health
Lion mane’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities help strengthen the immune system by preventing oxidation and relieving inflammation.
According to research conducted on mice, lion's mane mushrooms may increase the intestinal immune system's activity. Another study conducted on mice showed that lion's mane mushrooms contain a protein that promotes the development of good gut bacteria that boost immunity.
As the person ages, the body’s ability to form new connections decreases leading to various mental problems. Research showed that the lion’s mane contains bioactive compounds like hericenone and erinacines which can boost the growth of brain cells.
A study in older adults showed that consumption of 3g of lion’s mane powder daily for 16 weeks resulted in significant improvement in cognitive functioning and mental health. But these results fade after stopping the supplements.
May Relieve Depression and Anxiety
According to a report, about 33% of people in developed countries suffer from depression and anxiety symptoms. Animal studies concluded that lion mane mushroom extract has the ability to relieve the symptoms of depression in mice.
Various studies showed that lion’s mane extract has the potential to stimulate the regeneration and growth of cells and boost the functions of brain areas that are associated with memory and emotions.
Prevent Ulcers and Boost Digestive Health
Lion’s mane extract shown to have antibacterial properties which help prevent bacterial infections and improve digestive health. Stomach ulcers may be caused by bacterial overgrowth and damage to the stomach lining due to NSAIDs. Consumption of lion’s mane extract shown to restrict the growth of H. pylori and protect the stomach lining.
Possible Risks or Side Effects
The adverse effects of the lion's mane mushroom or its extract have not been investigated in human trials, although they seem to be quite harmless.
Even at doses as high as 2.3 g per pound (5 grams per kg) of body weight per day for one month or lower amounts for three months, no side effects have been seen in rats.
People who are sensitive to mushrooms are suggested to avoid the consumption of lion’s mane as they can suffer from allergic reactions.
Ashwagandha and Lion’s Mane help relieve stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and boost brain functions. Both these natural ingredients are investigated for their potent health-promoting abilities. Addition of these supplements to the diet improves general health and well-being of the body.