Lion's Mane Mushroom and ADHD: A Closer Look

Lion's Mane Mushroom and ADHD: A Closer Look

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Variable Attention Stimulus Trait (VAST) is a prevalent neuro-difference that affects both children and adults worldwide. Current treatment strategies often involve medication, behavioral therapy, or a combination of both. However, there is a growing body of research exploring the potential benefits of natural supplements, one of which is the Lion's Mane mushroom (Hericium Erinaceus). 

Understanding Lion's Mane Mushroom

Lion's Mane mushroom, named for its distinctive, cascading appearance resembling a lion's mane, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Scientifically known as Hericium Erinaceus, this mushroom is rich in bioactive substances, including polysaccharides, hericenones, and erinacines[1].

Neurotrophic Properties of Lion's Mane

The most notable attribute of Lion's Mane is its neurotrophic properties. It promotes the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the brain due to the presence of hericenones and erinacines[2]. NGF is crucial for the growth, maintenance, and survival of neurons, which are essential for cognitive functions.

Lion's Mane Mushroom and ADHD Management

Cognitive Enhancement

ADHD is characterized by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that can significantly impair cognitive function. Research indicates that Lion's Mane can enhance cognitive function[3], suggesting a potential benefit in managing ADHD symptoms. By promoting neuron growth and survival, it may improve focus and concentration, essential skills often compromised in ADHD.

Mood Regulation

Individuals with ADHD frequently experience emotional dysregulation, including difficulties managing frustration, anger, and mood swings. Lion's Mane has demonstrated potential in reducing mild symptoms of anxiety and depression[4], suggesting it could aid in mood regulation among individuals with ADHD.


Neuroprotection refers to the preservation of neuronal structure and function. Given the neurodevelopmental nature of ADHD, neuroprotection is a crucial aspect of managing the condition. Lion's Mane has been reported to exhibit neuroprotective effects, potentially contributing to improved brain function in individuals with ADHD[5].


While these findings are promising, it's crucial to note that Lion's Mane should not be considered a standalone treatment for ADHD. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen. More extensive clinical trials are necessary to fully understand the potential role of Lion's Mane in managing ADHD.


In summary, Lion's Mane mushroom, with its neurotrophic, mood-regulating, and neuroprotective properties, offers an exciting area of exploration in ADHD management. As we continue to seek comprehensive and individualized treatment strategies for ADHD, the potential role of natural supplements like Lion's Mane cannot be overlooked.


[1] Friedman, M. (2016). Chemistry, Nutrition, and Health-Promoting Properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) Mushroom Fruiting Bodies and Mycelia and Their Bioactive Compounds. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 63(32), 7108–7123.

[2] Mori, K., Inatomi, S., Ouchi, K., Azumi, Y., & Tuchida, T. (2009). Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytotherapy Research, 23(3), 367–372.

[3] Nagano, M., Shimizu, K., Kondo, R., Hayashi, C., Sato, D., Kitagawa, K., & Ohnuki, K. (2010). Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Biomedical Research, 31(4), 231–237.

[4] Ratto, D., Corana, F., Mannucci, B., Priori, E. C., Cobelli, F., Roda, E., ... & Occhinegro, A. (2019). Hericium erinaceus Improves Recognition Memory and Induces Hippocampal and Cerebellar Neurogenesis in Frail Mice during Aging. Nutrients, 11(4), 715.

[5] Li, I. C., Lee, L. Y., Tzeng, T. T., Chen, W. P., Chen, Y. P., Shiao, Y. J., & Chen, C. C. (2018). Neurohealth Properties of Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Enriched with Erinacines. Behavioural Neurology, 2018.

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