Although there aren’t many.
Studies have shown that out of 2000 different types of edible and/or medicinal mushrooms, only a few have been shown to promote neural growth.
What is neurogenesis?
Neurogenesis is the process by which new neurons, or nerve cells, are generated in the brain.
This process occurs primarily during prenatal development, adolescence, as well as in certain regions of the adult brain.
For a long time, neuroscientists thought adult neurogenesis was impossible. But it was observed scientifically in 1998 when researchers found new brain cells growing in an adult hippocampus.
3 best mushrooms for neurogenesis
Lion’s mane mushroom
Lion's mane (Hericium erinaceus) has been used in traditional Asian medicine for centuries.
In recent years, scientists have discovered a compound in this edible mushroom has a significant impact on the growth of brain cells and improving memory.
Studies have found that the compound, called Hericene A, can actually help neurons in the brain grow longer, connect with other neurons, and make these connections stronger.
This is important because these connections between neurons allow different parts of the brain to communicate with each other, and that's what makes our brain work properly.
All this suggests that Hericene A (and lion’s mane mushroom) can help the brain to adapt, grow, and even repair itself, potentially offering a treatment for things like Alzheimer's disease, brain injuries and strokes.
When developing our lion's mane capsules, we use a dual extracting method with both water and alcohol. This process is important because hericenones are only soluble in ethanol. With each capsule containing a high concentration of 4.8mg of hericenones, our lion’s mane capsules are one of the strongest standardised hericenone-rich extracts on the market.
Tiger milk mushroom
Lignosus rhinocerus, commonly known as tiger milk mushroom, has been used in Southeast Asia and Australia for a long time as treatment for respiratory conditions.
However, a 2015 study found that, similar to lion's mane, tiger milk mushroom stimulates neuron growth in the brain, spinal cord, and retina.
It also promoted the production of nerve growth factor gene expression, and may offer neuroprotective effects.
Psilocybin-containing ‘magic’ mushrooms
Psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound present in certain mushrooms, has attracted significant attention in recent years as a potential treatment for depression thanks to its ability to enhance neuron growth in the brain.
In a recent study, researchers at Yale University found a single dose of psilocybin produced a remarkable increase in the number and strength of neuronal connections.
Another study found just two doses of psilocybin combined with a handful of psychotherapy sessions can produce significant antidepressant effects that last at least a year.
Although the sample group had only 27 participants, 75% of them responded favourably to the treatment, with 58% considered to be in remission.
This suggests that psilocybin has the potential to counteract the detrimental effects of chronic stress on neuronal connections, offering much hope for individuals suffering from depression and other brain disorders.
The compound is also being investigated for its potential benefits for treating anorexia, obesity and post-traumatic stress disorder as well as various addictions.
While the discovery of neurogenesis in adults was once considered impossible, recent research has unveiled the remarkable potential of certain mushrooms to promote the growth of new brain cells.
Lion's mane mushroom, tiger milk mushroom, and psilocybin-containing 'magic' mushrooms all enhance neuronal connections, opening up new possibilities for treating depression and a range of other brain disorders.
While these mushrooms represent exciting prospects for brain health and therapy, research in this area is still ongoing, and more comprehensive studies are needed to fully understand their mechanisms and potential applications.
Nonetheless, these natural substances offer unique effects in the quest to unlock the brain's regenerative capabilities and improve the lives of individuals facing neurological disorder.
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